JLG Vice-President Loux Addresses IPAF Conference in Asia | Construction News

Alan Loux, vice president of global marketing for JLG Industries, Inc., told Asian members of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) that the access industry's future depends on identifying and leveraging the right technologies.

Loux delivered the message as part of his keynote address, “The Future of the Access Industry is Now,” at IPAF's Asia Conference & Showcase July 20 in Singapore.

“The long-term success of our industry relies on our ability to continuously improve upon the safe operation of our machines," said Loux. "Without question, technology is a great enabler of advanced safety solutions.”

Loux’s presence at the conference underscores JLG’s commitment to meeting the growing demands for access equipment in Asia and other emerging markets.

JLG, an Oshkosh Corporation company, is a leading global manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telescopic material handlers. The company also provides outstanding aftermarket sales and service support to customers throughout the region.

In his opening remarks, Loux referred to technologies already in place to improve safety and reduce accidents, such as pothole protection systems, analog envelope control, automatic outrigger leveling, fall arrest, enhanced protection against involuntary operation, and load-sensing systems.

He used the rest of his address to look at newer technologies the industry is embracing to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Loux encouraged the industry to push for the adoption and integration of several “near-term technologies,” including collision avoidance and detection, self-leveling, and virtual reality.

“There are all sorts of possibilities for using emerging technologies in equipment and training programs,” he said. “By placing our trainees in a virtual reality environment, we would give them a greater feel and a more natural experience for the work conditions.”

Loux went on to describe a number of “close-in technologies” that have the potential to change the face of the access industry. For example, augmented reality and head-mounted displays could “give the operator access to a wealth of information regarding equipment operation, safety, or hazardous conditions, as well as a quick, easy-to-reference guide for typical job functions.”

Loux’s list of close-in technologies also included wearables, the Internet of Things, and drones.

“What if we placed sensors everywhere—on vests, gloves, boots, and equipment – including lift arms, attachments, and tires? We could also put sensors on welding equipment, the pallet on a telehandler, and the materials resting on the pallet. With all those sensors in place and providing data, we would create a complete view of the job envelope. They would allow us to gather a wealth of information that could be tracked and shared to enhance safety and productivity,” Loux said.

He then turned to “future-looking technologies,” including autonomous vehicle operation, robotics, and big data, which would enable revolutionary technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Loux concluded by challenging his audience. “Talk with your fellow IPAF members, co-workers, vendors, customers, and others about how technology is revolutionizing our industry," he said. "Change the way you think about safety. And then use technology to make our industry even better.”