VIRTUAL DRIVE & SMART CONTROL – THE HIGHLIGHTS OF INTERFORST 2018
But the old romantic notion of the lumberjack was nowhere in sight – this year's Interforst focused on Forestry Industry 4.0. Numerous manufacturers introduced their digital innovations, which not only make work more efficient, but also improve day-to-day occupational safety.
It goes without saying that PALFINGER EPSILON was one of the international exhibitors. Once again, the company was able to really impress visitors with its products and demonstrate that it has its finger right on the pulse. As part of the PALFINGER neXcellence digitalisation programme, PALFINGER EPSILON has for the first time ever entered a new era of timber loader cranes – the era of digitalisation – with the first, fully functional Smart Control and Virtual Drive prototypes, which were presented at Interforst in the form of the new Q- and S-Series.
Check out the crane control system of tomorrow – today!
A few years ago, it would have been unimaginable to be controlling a crane from the cab of a truck, but now it is a reality. Virtual Drive, the new digital control system, is PALFINGER EPSILON's first foray into the digital world. Although the most state-of-the-art VR headset technology available on the market has been used for the digital control system, it still does not quite meet the high standards expected by PALFINGER EPSILON. The company is still researching other options and looking to the video game industry for answers that will enable it to offer its customers the very best in VR headset resolution in future. Nevertheless, there was a lot of buzz around the Virtual Drive at the PALFINGER EPSILON trade fair stand. Around three hundred visitors lined up patiently over the course of the fair to find out about the concept prototypes from Josef Leitner (Customer Service & Technical Support, PALFINGER EPSILON) and to try them out for themselves at the same time. The teams from two German TV programmes, ZDF Morgenmagazin (start at minute 01:03) and BR Abendschau (start at minute 11:40), also dropped by to test out the new digital control technology of tomorrow – today.
Yet Virtual Drive was not the only highlight at Interforst; there was also Smart Control, the new boom tip controller that makes crane operation easier, more intuitive and faster than ever. Crane operators no longer have to control every cylinder individually; the electronic assistance system means that operators can focus solely on the boom tip. This not only makes crane work more efficient, but also prevents crane operators from tiring prematurely and, since operation is so intuitive, it is so much simpler to train budding crane operators as well. Sounds straightforward in theory, but what does it look like in practice? Easy as pie!
During the product presentations, Katja Wunderlich (TV and radio presenter) and Markus Prenninger (EMEA Sales Manager, PALFINGER EPSILON) invited volunteers to step up and use Smart Control to operate the new S11F. The volunteers included some people who were totally new to cranes and had never controlled one before. After receiving some brief instructions whilst the curious spectators looked on, the fledgling crane operators controlled the S11F with consummate ease. Thanks to the team from PALFINGER EPSILON, every visitor to the stand had the new boom tip controller explained to them and also had the opportunity to find out what is so great about this cutting-edge technology for themselves.
From extreme heat to heavy rainfall, the visitors did not miss out on any aspect of the world of PALFINGER EPSILON. From the Epsolution to the Next Epsolution series and beyond to neXcellence, the PALFINGER digitalisation programme, attendees were treated to an interactive, exciting and informative visit.
But of course PALFINGER EPSILON also thought of all those who could not come to the trade fair. The products were presented for the first time ever via Facebook Livestream.
To be seen on the PALFINGER Facebook channel:
- Facebook Livestream Virtual Drive and Q-Series (Next Epsolution)
- Facebook Livestream Smart Control and S11F (Next Epsolution)
It will be four years until the next Interforst, but PALFINGER EPSILON will continue to work on its products and to research new solutions in the meantime so that it can help its customers to make their work faster, more efficient and more successful.