The Raymond Corp.’s
Steve Medwin finds context, relevance in the Roadmap
Medwin, whose official title is Director of Systems and Advanced Engineering at Raymond, is in charge of new product research and development. His lab cooks up the innovations—such as the iWarehouse lift truck fleet monitoring and optimization telematics system—that not only make his company’s products even better, but also expands upon the offerings of other companies, such as Seegrid’s vision-guided technologies. Indeed, Medwin is responsible for Raymond’s own roadmap of planned technological advancements and upcoming innovations.
“Every so often we get a chance to take a step back and look at what we should be doing in the lab today, knowing that it might take five years to commercialize,” he explained. “So, when I first read the Roadmap, I felt that it clued right in to where the industry is going to be by 2025. It covers a lot of content in a very timely way—that’s why it really resonated with me.”
Because of his perspective, Medwin found the section about driverless over-the-road transport vehicles (pages 39-40 in the Roadmap) to be particularly relevant to the work he’s been involved with over the past few years—including driverless lift trucks. “It ties right in to some of the developments that have come out of our lab,” he said. “That concept is a logical extension of where the technology is today.”
Although Medwin was reluctant to pinpoint how his team’s research and development process has (or hasn’t) been impacted by the Roadmap’s vision, he appreciates its relevance: “It puts material handling and logistics into a societal context by tying in the impact of cultural trends on our industry,” he said. “For us, it’s an excellent background resource.”
Join the Roadmap on LinkedIn: Industry members are encouraged to join the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics Group on LinkedIn and to follow @MHLRoadmap on Twitter.
Welcome to the Future
“Yes, sir?” responds a small SmartPin clipped to his shirt. “Is there a right valve cover gasket for my Corvette in this town?”
“Checking, sir, please wait…” After confirming the meaning of “valve cover gasket” and “my Corvette” with appropriate databases, SmartPin sends a stock request via wireless connection to a central database for automotive supplies: “Stock check, right valve cover gasket for a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette, 5.7 liter V8, 4-speed, convertible. Near address: 2049 Mockingbird Lane, Gaithersburg, MD.”
“I have found a source, sir. Please check MyEye to confirm.” Still under the car, John shifts his focus to the eyes up display in his right contact lens as it projects photographs and technical details for the part.
“Next page…. Next page. Yes, that’s it. Please order for immediate delivery.”
“On the way, sir.” The order is immediately placed and paid for. Inside the local auto parts store, a 3D printer begins the job. Ten minutes later, it’s done.
The store’s CrowdDeliver system broadcasts a request for delivery to thousands of participating mobile devices. A notification pops up in the car of Jeff Hart, who lives in John’s neighborhood but has never met him. Jeff is on his way back from his daughter’s gymnastics meet, and only two blocks from the auto parts store. He clicks “Got it” and takes a left toward the store.
A clerk greets him at the service window, “Here you go, Mr. Hart. Do you see the address?” “Yep, it came up right there. I’ve been wanting to meet John for some time.”
Ten minutes later, Jeff pulls into the driveway of John Alvarez, who is still under his Corvette.
“John, I’m Jeff Hart from down the street. Here’s your gasket. Nice car.”
Sound far fetched?
This is the future, as envisioned by the contributors and authors of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. The Roadmap offers a visionary look at how the material handling and logistics industry will change between now and 2025. It identifies both driving trends and the transformations ahead that will make the above scenario a commonplace occurrence.