A shining example in safety matters
25 Jan 2018
The Linde BlueSpot – a worldwide success story
From America to Australia, from wood processing companies to the beverage industry: Customers from many countries and a wide range of industries now rely on BlueSpot technology from Linde Material Handling. The simple yet effective colored warning signal has already been sold more than 150,000 times. No wonder, because the LED light provides a clear increase in safety for operators.
A typical scene in a logistics hall: Deep in concentration telephoning with his smartphone, an employee approaches an aisle crossing. At the same time, a colleague is reversing his forklift towards the same crossing. Only a few years ago, this could have ended in disaster. But now an intense blue beam of light appears on the ground, signaling a warning to the pedestrian: Look out, an industrial truck is approaching! The employee stops in time, the forklift truck can safely go on its way. Once again, the Linde BlueSpot has done a good job.
“We introduced the Linde BlueSpot six years ago,” says Frank Bergmann, Product Manager Counterbalanced Trucks at Linde Material Handling. “It was not the first warning system, but the other solutions mostly involved acoustic signals.” And that was usually ineffective: On the one hand, after a time, the shrill tones became annoying for the staff, and on the other hand, even loud warning signals were often ignored due to the high level of background noise in the warehouse.
Blue LED light warns without intruding
The Linde engineers came up with a different solution: a blue LED light attached to the forklift, projecting a warning signal on the ground in the direction of travel. A solution that can either be ordered ex works or easily retrofitted, and one which promises a significant increase in safety at low investment costs.
The BlueSpot proved to be such a resounding success that it became a household name in the industry. “Customers from many different sectors ask about the BlueSpot,” says Bergmann. The original is still only available from Linde, of course, the name being a registered trademark. “Even though the concept has now been copied many times, we at Linde are proud that our idea has probably prevented countless accidents in recent years – both with buyers of the original BlueSpot, and elsewhere too.”
In addition to its simplicity, the system also impresses customers through its flexibility: The spot can be used for reverse and forward driving. Thanks to its ability to provide a visible warning well in advance of any possible impending danger, pedestrians have plenty of time to reposition themselves in a safe location. “No loud noise, no frightened passersby and no risk,” explains Frank Bergmann. The non-dazzling, high-intensity LED lamps impress with their outstanding endurance and low energy consumption. Environmental influences – dust, rain, vibrations etc. – do not affect the Linde BlueSpot. And the optionally constantly illuminated or flashing spot is instinctively perceived as a warning signal even by external visitors.
At Linde, however, the BlueSpot is not the only safety feature which is now more or less standard safety equipment in the industrial sector. Assistance systems such as Linde Load Management, Safety Pilot and Dynamic Mast Control have also set new standards. As Product Manager Bergmann says: “Each of these innovations follows our integrated safety concept ‘Vision Zero – Safety in your world’, with which we have set ourselves the goal of reducing accidents at work in goods handling to zero.”