Efficient, environmentally friendly and with the highest level of safety, the futuristic model of the Intelligent Concept Forklift aims to propel Doosan forward as leaders in the forklift industry.

An ingeniously designed product with a host of radical design technology, the ICF aims to push the boundaries of materials handling, whilst sticking to the Doosan belief of simple, powerful products with great performance.

Created by the award winning technologists at the Doosan Institute of Technology Industrial Design Centre, the ICF is, according to the design team, “Innovation that embodies efficiency & intelligence.”

Like its predecessor, the concept Construction Equipment models the CX and CL, it is intended to provide a dynamic combination of maximum usability and operation providing features that are efficient, environmentally friendly and safe.

Amongst the innovations are changes to the operator position, mast properties and drive train. Doosan is already a world leader in OLED technology, and the ICF shows how the company may eventually incorporate augmented reality systems into a heads up display. A unique ‘work guide system’ enables operators to see information about their cargo and interpret the best optimized work process they should apply to it, helping to maximize productivity and targets. An extendable counterweight also improves stability and increases loading capacity, but maintaining the minimum turning radius.

Being electrically powered the ICF is able to reduce emissions, excess noise and fuel costs, meeting all future international environmental standards guidelines. The highly efficient rechargeable battery enables faster recharging, providing an increased work time and productivity.

“With technology constantly moving forward, it is important to look to the future and develop new products, and concepts while still incorporating Doosan’s core values.”  Says Young Lee, Team Leader of the Overseas Marketing Team.

Unlike other manufacturers keen to flaunt their innovation credentials, Doosan has played down the ICF’s radical departure in design by stressing the design team’s efforts to add practical, pragmatic enhancements.

Director of Doosan Infracore Forklifts, Kun H Lee remarked on how building in new technology with proven components now, will shape and secure Doosan’s future in the industry:

“I think that the company that is the most successful is the one that is prepared to use durable technology when needed and innovate whenever possible. And this is really where Doosan construction benefited massively from the design of the CX concept excavator, where it won the Reddot design award 2009. The same theme went into the design of the CF, and hopefully we will see it reap the same benefits.”

With tilting seats, hub drive motors and solar reacting glass, will the technology really find its way into the forklifts of the future? If the market dictates it, Kun H Lee believes such innovations will make it onto future models. “Take foldable forks. The technology and engineering capability are already with us, as are cameras and sensors mounted on forks and masts. Like all features, we need to demonstrate the need and the benefits to prove the changes are worthwhile.”

Rapid prototyping, or 3D printing, may also prove an important element to the forklift supplier of the future. With the technology already available to reproduce a model of the human heart by effectively ‘printing it’, the need to carry expensive parts holdings or even rarely used parts, may become less important.

“New technologies can free up the design process,” said Kun H Lee, “as well as offer exciting new avenues that can be applied to existing products. The true arbiter will be the end user. If they want the technology, it will no doubt come to pass.”

As an exciting glimpse of what the future holds for forklifts, and to see how Doosan are working towards opening up a multitude of new technologies for its customers, the ICF will undoubtedly make other manufacturers take note.

Concludes Kun H Lee: “Even though we won’t be seeing the ICF in warehouses for some time yet, there may be some elements that we will hopefully be able to incorporate into our next series of products. We certainly do not rule out providing new and more efficient ways of providing value for money products that make the operator and the owner’s life less complicated through technology.”