The Estonian company Forknav was one of the lucky winners of last year’s IndX process and are now working on a Proof of Concept project along with Väderstad. We spoke to Martin Joandi, Co-founder of Forknav.
– We are very happy to have brought fresh ideas to Väderstad and the other partner companies of IndX. From the start, we felt clear with what they wanted to achieve and this led to a result that benefits both us and them, says Martin.
IndX is an international startup arena facilitated by Linköping Science Park. It is an initiative by Vädestad, Saab, Toyota Material Handling and Siemens Energy who join forces in the search for new partnerships and interesting technology. In 2021, Forknav was one out of ten companies that were selected to pitch to the four partner companies. And their pitch was one out of five that led to Proof of Concept projects (PoCs).
The solution that Forknav provides is about object positioning in warehouses or production environments. Martin describes how it works by using the metaphor of a messy handbag.
– For the owner of the handbag it is usually quite clear what objects are in there and where in the bag they are located. But for anyone else it’s just a messy handbag where it is impossible to find a specific item. Our solution provides you with information on where to look for every specific item in warehouses. We create order.
Live at Väderstad in May
Forknavs product separates from competition since they don’t use RFID or any other kind of tags. Their hardware is applied only to forklifts or loaders in the warehouse. And with their solution they can position the item with under 30 cm precision.
– But usually, it is actually under 5 cm, Martin adds.
As said in the beginning of the text Forknav is currently working on their PoC together with Väderstad. The plan is to go live with the product in the middle of May.
– The cooperation with Väderstad, both management and staff, has been very smooth. They are very thorough and well invested in the end result.
Aiming towards the Swedish market
Forknavs journey with positioning started in 2014 when a client came to them with a challenge, they kept losing track of items in their outdoor warehouse.
– We tried different ways to solve the problem and made several mockups, but our systems were rejected by the client. And today I am very happy about that! In 2019 another client came to us with exactly the same problem and It forced us to go back to the drawing table, which led to what our product is today!
Today Forknavs product is live on five sites with outdoor warehouses, most of them handling timber in different ways. And their aim is to have performed their first pilot with automatic positioning in an indoor warehouse by the end of this year.
– We believe that any client with a warehouse can benefit from our solution, but especially if you use custom sized pallets. Our view is that the Swedish industry has a lot of interesting cases for our product, so we are definitely aiming towards the Swedish market.
IndX is an international startup arena for industry 4.0. An initiative by: