Linamar Corp.’s Skyjack division entertained audiences in Anaheim at The ARA Show by activating an automated self-check from Australia. The new SJ3215 patiently waited for its cue to shine at the industry leader’s press conference. The machine was there to give audiences an idea of how Skyjack has been working towards a goal of autonomous functionality for the construction rental industry.
“The focus of our demonstration was on fluid two-way communication and what can be done from extreme distance” said Brad Boehler, president at Skyjack. “Our innovation team has come so far over these past few years and I was inspired to challenge them even further. We are always looking at how we can improve productivity for our customers and a machine that can autonomously perform a series of discrete tasks could do just that.”
The SJ3215 DC scissor lift was engineered to respond to commands sent over the cellular network, and independently perform a function check of its critical systems. After measuring physical feedback from drive, steer, and lifting systems, the machine then conducted a battery and solenoid test before audibly announcing that the test was complete. The confirmations were presented in a mobile application for the demonstration.
“It was important that the demonstration was authentic and represented the progress we’ve made. We wanted to demonstrate how responsive and practical the technology actually is,” explains David Swan, product manager of technology and innovation at Skyjack. “The first time we tested autonomous self-check from over 7,500 miles away it was amazing to witness the quick response time. We designed it to provide real-time interaction with the machine — but seeing it happen — it really hits you how this technology is going to change our industry. That’s an understanding we wanted to share with the audience.”
It’s all part of Skyjack’s goal to increase productivity for their customers and help contribute to a safer job site for all. The OEM said this is the first step and will move forward towards self-loading, autonomous drive, and more.
“But we’re doing this the Skyjack way. Every conversation we have focuses on how it will benefit our customers and their goals. We’re not doing this for the sake of being ‘cool’, we’re doing this to see how smart machines can improve efficiency and profitability for our customers,” Boehler explains. “We’re doing this in a simple reliable way, one that generates the best ROI for our customers, and keeps an easy to do business with mentality.”
With all of this new technology, more and more questions are surfacing about where the data is going and who owns it.
“At Skyjack it isn’t a question. Our customers are storing their entire business in the cloud and in 2019, 50% of our machines are projected to ship with ELEVATE,” Swan explains. “Telematics isn’t a throw in, it’s becoming a core piece of our customers’ business systems. They’re paying for this product and get to have it on their terms — that means their data.”
After the press conference, word spread throughout the convention center and the Skyjack booth was brimming with current and future customers looking to get a private demonstration.