JLT Mobile Computers Selected by Steketee for Smart Farming Precision Agriculture Solutions to Increase Farmers’ Efficiency

Växjö, Sweden, November 13th, 2017.   JLT Mobile Computers, a leading developer and manufacturer of reliable computers for demanding environments,  has entered into a partnership with Machinefabriek Steketee B.V., who are using JLT VERSO™+ 10 rugged computers to integrate their Smart Farming solutions for precision agriculture. Steketee is a leading developer of high-tech weeding and soil cultivation machines, used by arable farmers and horticulturalists worldwide.

Leveraging its extensive experience in the agriculture industry, Steketee develops innovative Smart Farming solutions that increase farmers’ efficiency and improve crop yields through the use of IT. Their IC-Light hoeing solution uses a high-definition integrated camera to detect crops in the field and to render a digital image that can be used to detect cultivated crops and enable hoeing machine alignment with outstanding accuracy. The digital image can also be used to measure green surfaces, capture discolorations or count crops. Integrating the IC-Light solution with the rugged VERSO+ 10 computer from JLT Mobile Computers brings exceptional reliability and high computing performance.

The rugged VERSO+ 10 computer deployed in Steketee cultivation solutions is designed to withstand significant temperature changes, severe vibrations, bright sunlight and is IP65 dust and waterproof, making it ideal for use in the agriculture industry.

“The compact format, high performance and great resistance to wear and tear make the rugged PCs from JLT very suitable to our needs,” confirms the R&D Director at Steketee. “The ease with which they can be mounted and dismounted in the farmers’ tractors is another great advantage as this simplifies service and allows devices to be ported between tractors or removed at the end of the working day to prevent theft.”

Featuring the revolutionary JLT PowerTouch™ display technology, the VERSO+ 10 computer provides a user-friendly experience comparable to modern consumer devices – both with a gloved and ungloved hand – while being virtually unbreakable. The clear and bright projected capacitive touchscreen makes it perfectly readable in any conditions, including direct sunlight, enabling real-time visualization of field mapping information right in the field.

For more information about JLT Mobile Computers, its products, and solutions, visit www.jltmobile.com.

CNG’s Spicers Canada Acquires Shippers Supply, Expanding Product Mix throughout Western Canada

Central National Gottesman Inc. (CNG), a leading sales and marketing organization in the global pulp, paper, packaging, tissue, wood products and metal industries, announced today that its Spicers Canada division will acquire Shippers Supply, expanding its position in the distribution of shipping, packaging and warehouse supplies.

Privately owned and headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Shippers Supply operates nine locations throughout Western Canada, and has supplied corrugated boxes, labels, tape, stretch film, shelving, packaging supplies and warehouse equipment to the region since 1975.

“The acquisition of Shippers Supply is another critical step forward in many product categories we want to grow throughout our North American Distribution business,” said Andrew Wallach, CNG President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to building on the strong foundation and success that Shippers Supply has created over the years.”

Spicers Canada President Cory Turner added that the acquisition of Shippers Supply fits with his organization’s strategy to leverage its significant distribution capabilities in new ways.

“The opportunity to acquire Shippers Supply adds significant capabilities and expertise that will be invaluable in meeting our company’s market strategy,” said Turner. “Extending product solutions both inside and outside of our core markets creates immediate opportunities that align well with our growth initiatives.”

Shippers Supply will operate as an independent division of Spicers Canada, working closely with Spicers’ existing operations and distribution network in Western Canada.

Spicers Canada is a leading distributor of quality commercial print and business papers, graphic solutions, industrial packaging supplies, wide format and specialty products.

The transaction is expected to be finalized November 30, 2017.

Central National Gottesman Inc. (CNG) is a $5.5 billion global sales and marketing organization in the pulp, paper, packaging, tissue, wood products and metal industries. Founded in 1886 and headquartered in Purchase, NY, CNG operates through established industry entities in its Distribution, Publishing Papers and international Central National divisions, building on more than 131 years of family ownership, market knowledge and adaptability to create value for clients around the world. To learn more, please visit www.cng-inc.com.

23rd International Congress for Battery Recycling ICBR 2018

First Announcement and Call for Papers

Curtain up for the International Congress for Battery Recycling ICBR 2018: The call for papers is open until January 31, 2018. Contributions are requested on the topics of battery recycling technologies, materials supply in a circular economy, transport and safety, the Batteries Directive revision and a review of worldwide battery recycling activities.

The 23rd edition of the ICBR will take place in Berlin next year from September 26 – 28, 2018. As in previous years, the ICBR will bring together numerous experts and decision-makers from the battery recycling value chain, such as battery manufacturers, battery recyclers, OEMs from the electronics and e-mobility industry, collection schemes operators, service and transport companies, policymakers and much more.

The ICBR Steering Committee wants to build on the resounding success of the recent congress in Lisbon in September 2017. More than 250 experts from almost 30 countries worldwide attended the ICBR 2017 – a new record. Most of the delegates came from the battery recycling industry and from national collection organizations. OEMs, professional associations, and consultants were also strongly represented.

As the assessment of this year’s Congress shows, the participants confirmed their interest in new recycling technologies and future challenges for the battery industry. Safety aspects of the storage, transport, and recycling of batteries continue to attract great interest.

The main topics for the ICBR 2018 will be the following:

Recycling

  • How to recycle batteries from e-cars, e-bikes and other e-vehicles
  • Recycling of batteries from energy storage systems of power plants
  • Collection and recycling of batteries from cordless tools and electronic devices
  • Best available recycling technologies for batteries

Materials Supply in a Circular Economy

  • Battery materials supply and demand or “when recyclers meet raw materials suppliers”
  • The role of battery recycling in a circular economy
  • Eco-design: A critical approach to battery removability?
  • The e-mobility and energy storage markets: An opportunity for new battery technologies?

Transport and Safety

  • Update of the transport regulations on batteries
  • Safety of lithium batteries: Risks and opportunities
  • Evolution of packaging requirements for lithium batteries

The Batteries Directive Revision

  • Update on the review process of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC
  • The efficiency of battery recycling: The need for a new “optimum” approach
  • The efficiency of battery collection: Considering urban mining and waste generation
  • Challenges faced by the second life of lithium batteries: Performances, transport and safety, and producer responsibility
  • Impact of changes in hazardous waste regulations

Worldwide Activity Review

  • Worldwide updates on battery take-back, collection schemes and recycling

Those interested in speaking are invited to send a short abstract (minimum of half an A4 page in English) with their key messages to the congress organizer ICM to: info@icm.ch.

The title of the presentation should be mentioned with the author’s name. For further information please visit: http://www.icm.ch/.

Hyster Company Discussses Productivity Enhancing Technologies and Solutions, Zero Emission Lift Trucks

Technology developments in Big Trucks, such as a zero emissions, high-capacity electric powered truck, the addition of Hyster Tracker to all Big Truck products as a standard feature, and solutions that save time and money were some of the topics addressed by Hyster at Breakbulk Americas Show in Houston, TX, held from October 17-19.

The trend of declining breakbulk and project cargo volumes is continuing in 2017, fueled by lower commodity prices and competition from container ship carriers that have to expand services due to overcapacities and low shipping rates. “Add the rising complexity of breakbulk cargo, and you find breakbulk operators looking to stay afloat in a very competitive market,” explains Brett Schemerhorn, president Big Trucks for Hyster Company.

The Right Lift Truck for Heavy Loads

When it comes to moving traditional breakbulk such as steel or lumber, terminal operators are looking for material handling equipment to efficiently handle a variety of different load types and sizes, at as little cost as possible. “We are very familiar with the steel and lumber industries on the manufacturing side,” says Schemerhorn, “and we apply that knowledge to help cargo shippers and terminal operators maximize productivity and minimize cost.” One way to make the most of one’s budget and improve productivity is to ensure that your lift truck is able to support many different types of cargo, even if that means different front-end solutions are required. The Hyster® H700HD with a coil ram will be on exhibit at Breakbulk Americas 2017 as an example of a flexible solution. The innovative carriage design allows the QD-type mounted coil ram to hook directly onto the shaft without any alterations or adapters needed. Schemerhorn adds that “the exchange between forks and the coil ram is easy and fast, enabling operators to switch the truck’s front end and get it back to work on different cargo quickly. This exchange improves productivity and saves money.”

Efficiency of Connected Machines

Earlier this year, Hyster Company revealed product changes that are aimed at supporting the port and intermodal industry. “We are now incorporating Hyster Tracker into every Big Truck and container handler sold in the US, Canada, and Latin America, excluding Brazil. Hyster Tracker helps terminal operators monitor key performance indicators such as lift truck utilization, fuel consumption and service updates via a user-friendly portal, anytime, anywhere,” says Schemerhorn. Included features such as fault code monitoring and impact sensing mean that repairs and maintenance can be handled effectively, while GPS tracking, hour meters and truck use reporting can provide information to help improve productivity and processes, including yard layouts. The package can be upgraded to include wireless verification (access control for operators, truck shutdown when unattended or not in operation, and operator pre-shift checklists) for an additional fee. Hyster Tracker comes with a 60-month data plan at no additional cost for the customer.

Zero Emission Big Electric Trucks

Terminals that are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and total cost of ownership can visit Hyster at this year’s Breakbulk Show in Houston to learn about the zero-emission loaded container handler truck currently under development at the Hyster global design center. “A modular approach gives customers choices when it comes to selecting the best zero-emission solutions for their operations,” explains Jan Willem van den Brand, director Big Truck Product Strategy and Solutions for Hyster Company. To achieve the lowest total cost of ownership, the most suitable power option will depend on the requirements of the specific operation – application and infrastructure. Van den Brand adds “for example, an electric truck with a large battery pack and conventional charging may suit some customer needs. In other cases, more frequent ‘opportunity charging’ will be needed, and different methods of charging might be in order, such as wireless opportunity charging.” “Hyster Company’s current development of the wireless opportunity charging solution will be the first time that wireless charging has been used in this way,” says van den Brand. With the development of the new range of Hyster® Big Electric Trucks, a notable reduction in energy costs is expected. Servicing and maintenance costs are also projected to be considerably reduced in switching from diesel combustion to an electric powertrain, with lithium-ion batteries providing zero-maintenance energy storage.

 

Larson Electronics LLC Releases Explosion Proof White Forklift LED Spotlight

Larson Electronics LLC, the industrial lighting expert, has released a new explosion proof white LED spotlight for forklifts, that produces 2,250 lumens of bright white illumination. This spotlight can be used as a headlight for forklift drivers to clearly see in lowly lit environments. This fixture is NEMA 3, 4, 4X, 7 and 9 rated, designed to withstand demanding environmental and operational conditions in hazardous such as warehouses and delivery bays.

The EXHL-TRN-LE4-FKWL-WHT-1224 from Larson Electronics is a Class 1 Division 1 & 2, Class 2 Division 1 & 2, and Class 3 Division 1 &2, explosion proof LED spotlight for illuminating forklift pathways during operation in low lighting. This LED spotlight contains five 5-watt LED bulbs that produce a total of 2,250 lumens of white light, while only drawing 25 watts. The spotlight beam has a 5º spread, providing operators with a high intensity center beam visible during both day and nighttime operations. This light acts as both forward area illumination and a visual path indicator of the forklift for pedestrian safety.

The EXHL-TRN-LE4-FKWL-WHT-1224 is listed for worldwide use and is NEMA Type 3, 4, 4X, 7 (B,C,D) and 9 (E,F,G) rated for use in harsh conditions. This unit operates within temperatures of -40° C to 60° C, is waterproof to 3 meters and resistant to dust, dirt and humidity buildup. The housing is constructed of copper free aluminum, and the LED is sealed behind a borosilicate glass lens. This forklift spotlight operates on universal 9-60V DC, including common 12, 24 and 48 V DC voltages. The unit is mounted with an adjustable surface mount bracket with adjustable tilt and rotation. Wiring is completed with terminal strips located inside the fixture.

“This LED spotlight provides forklift operators with a high-powered spot beam great for many lighting options,” said Rob Bresnahan, CEO of Larson Electronics LLC. “It can be used for headlights, reverse illumination for backing up, and for pedestrian safety.”

Larson Electronics LLC: Larson Electronics LLC is a manufacturer of industrial lighting equipment and accessories. The company offers an extensive catalog of industry-grade lighting and power distribution products for the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, food processing, oil and gas, military, marine and automobile. Customers can benefit from the company’s hands-on, customized approach to lighting solutions. Larson Electronics provides expedited service for quotes, customer support and shipments.

KION North America Hosts Dealer Meeting, Introduces Three New Products

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — KION North America Corporation hosted a meeting for its dealer network on Oct. 25-27 in Charleston, S.C. There were more than 150 attendees representing 63 dealerships from throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico equaling 85 percent of the company’s dealer network.

On day one, attendees were taken on a private tour of KION North America’s facilities including its manufacturing plant and parts warehouse. Several facility upgrades have been made in the two years since the company’s last Charleston-based dealer meeting including the addition of new assembly and storage areas, a counterweight (CTW) roller system, the changeover to DC-powered torque tools, controlled monitoring and the soon-to-be-completed external covering for stock equipment. The plant tour was followed by a pig and oyster roast welcome dinner.

“We’ve been moving at such a fast pace over the last several years that we wanted to take the opportunity to not only acknowledge, but also to celebrate, where we started and how far we’ve come,” said Vincent Halma, president and CEO of KION North America.

The second day was dedicated to learning about new products and technologies which included additions to both the company’s Linde and Baoli product lines. Attendees also had the opportunity to test drive each of the new products along with some popular existing models.

The Linde Series 1346 is a stand-up electric counterbalanced truck with a load capacity ranging from 3,500-4,000 pounds. This truck is best suited for loading and unloading supplies from trucks and working in tight aisles.

In its economy segment, the company introduced the Baoli KBE25C (electric powered) and the Baoli KBG25C (LPG powered). Both cushion tire forklifts, they are designed to work in a variety of indoor environments. Their small size and sharp turn radius are ideal for working in tight spaces, loading docks and in high lift dock-to-stock operations.

Additionally, Dematic showcased the new iGo neo, a dual-use automated guided vehicle. This vehicle can operate as both a traditional walker-rider machine or as a fully automatic AGV. This new technology can improve overall picking performance by up to 30 percent. The iGo neo is powered by STILL and will be sold in North America by Dematic.

These additions complete their goal of the largest new product release in the company and material handling industry in a single year, which they began with the introduction of five new volume and economy segment forklifts at ProMat in Chicago earlier this year.

“By adding eight new products to our product portfolio this year, we are one step closer to achieving our goal of transitioning from a premium, niche equipment provider to a full-line material handling equipment provider,” added Halma.

The meeting concluded on Friday with a captain’s choice golf tournament at Dunes West Golf Club. There were 15 teams comprised of over 60 participants. Brian Hutto, a regional sales manager with KION North America had a hole in one on the 169-yard 17th hole. Finishing in first place were Lonnie Boyd and Jon Paul Tabor of CE-DFW and Tim Woeste, KION North America key account manager.

 

Delta-Q Technologies Expands Family of Lithium Battery Chargers for Electric Vehicles and Industrial Machines

New charging solutions provide superior reliability and charge quality for electric vehicles; meets touch-safe charging standards

lithium ion battery chargers

VANCOUVER, B.C.– [October 20, 2017]—Delta-Q Technologies (Delta-Q), a leader in battery charging solutions for electric drive vehicles and machines, has introduced their new ICL900 lithium battery charger – expanding their family of lithium battery chargers to create the ICL Series.

The new ICL900 is a 900-watt charger, designed to optimally charge lithium battery systems of any lithium-ion chemistry from 9 to 15 cells in series. Delta-Q’s new lithium charger is suitable for use on any electric machine including scooters, floor care machines, lift trucks, and sports and utility vehicles.

“We are pleased to announce the expansion of our lithium charging line. Our products are designed to meet the evolving needs of our customers while providing reliability and long-term performance. The new ICL900 is a perfect complement to our OEM customers as they incorporate lithium technologies into their products” says Trent Punnett, Delta-Q’s vice president of sales, marketing, and product management.

The ICL900 has a maximum output voltage of 57V and uses custom lithium algorithms to optimize battery performance and life to meet tough application requirements. The ICL900 also uses Controller Area Network (CAN-bus) communications and carries a comprehensive set of global regulatory approvals, including touch-safe requirements for the European electric vehicle market.

Featuring a wide AC input range, the charger can operate on any single-phase electrical grid around the world. With a fully customizable, field replaceable cable design, the new ICL900 provides original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with flexibility in design and deployment.

The ICL900 is highly reliable and provides an IP66 rating to protect against dirt and fluids, while its mechanical design and component selection resists vibration, shock and temperature extremes.

Delta-Q Technologies is now accepting sample requests for the ICL900.

Delta-Q Technologies is a leading provider of battery charging solutions that improve the performance and reliability of electric drive vehicles and industrial equipment. The company has become the supplier of choice to many of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric golf cars, lift trucks, aerial work platforms, outdoor power equipment, motorcycles and scooters, floor care machines, and utility and recreational vehicles. Delta-Q is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with a local presence in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.delta-q.com.

Training and Forklift Simulation. A Match Made in… the Warehouse?

Hyster is exploring the benefits of using a forklift simulator in response to a growing number of companies interested in using simulation as part of their training programs. 

“Today’s forklift simulation technology provides the user with an immersive, full 3D environment combined with the actual controls and responses of a real lift truck,” says Robbert Wijnandts, Commercial Trainer for Hyster Company. “Even the toughest operating conditions can be simulated with the virtual forklift to give a real driving experience.”

The new Hyster Simulator has the same seat as featured on the Hyster® Fortens® model, the same pedals, steering wheel, CANBus and hydraulic controls.  The user wears a VR headset (360° Oculus stereoscopic goggles) and as their head turns it gives different views through the mast, up, down and to the side, while spectators watch the activity on a screen. The software can also be customised to create experiences with different masts and attachments, such as paper clamps.

“The resistance and feeling is almost exactly the same as the real thing, but the act of moving loads is of course in a risk-free “gaming” environment,” he says. “There are many uses for this technology deployed in the right way for the right businesses, from introducing people to the driving experience at an event, through to integrating it into training programmes.”

Robbert explains that some critics argue that simulation is not “hands on”, unnecessary and not realistic to the actual equipment, but he says those arguments miss the point as to what simulation can do.   Simulator training aims to reduce training costs and any associated risks, particularly early in the training journey.

To operate a lift truck in a live environment, there should typically be three stages to the training, beginning with Basic Operator Training (learning the basics about controls, hydraulics, safety etc.) followed by Specific Job Training (related to the equipment they will actually be using, and any attachments) and lastly Familiarisation Training where the operator is introduced to the actual live operation for the first time.

A mix of classroom-based theory and practical training is typically used to train operators in as little as three days with tens of thousands of operators trained this way each year.

Robbert suggests that forklift simulators can now be used throughout this learning journey, by training departments looking to increase trainee engagement, reduce cost and improve safety. It will suit big organizations who deliver training on-site and larger external training providers, with the benefit that they can train a greater number of operators. The simulator has many different settings so it can be used as a tool within different training programmes, from a fun awareness activity for non-operators, through to more detailed training sessions for skilled drivers.

“Rather than going straight to the training area, learning can be accelerated by building the trainees’ muscle memory in the classroom and improving their awareness of space and hazards from the outset,” he says, explaining that the pallet-sized unit is easy to set up.

“Lift truck simulators can aid and assist Basic Training but should never be considered as a replacement for this essential stage,” explains Nick Welch, Technical Director for RTITB, the preferred workplace transport training accrediting body. “However, they can have a place in Specific Training (as described in ACOP L117) and would add great value to the process.  The other area where simulation can add significant value is in the assessment of an existing operator’s ability and competence.”

However, it is not just about training the operators. Simulation can be used to find new potential drivers and give familiarisation training to warehouse operatives, supervisors, and managers, providing greater awareness of what drivers can see, and educate about risk.  It can also help with more regular refresher training, in the introduction of new safety initiatives, and to deal with issues such as complacency and bad habits.

“Daily routine and time pressures can make people forget what they learned on their initial training,” Robbert says.  “Regularly monitored simulation can help re-establish motivation and tests in various scenarios can help drive behavioral change leading to better productivity.”
For more information about Hyster, visit www.hyster.com.

KION Group publishes preliminary results for the first nine months of 2017 and slightly adjusts outlook

  • Value of order intake in the first nine months is EUR5.699 billion; revenue is EUR5.675 billion
  • Group achieves adjusted EBIT of EUR561.8 million; adjusted EBIT margin is 9.9 percent
  • Outlook for Group slightly lowered
  • Reasons are customers’ hesitation to invest and delays in project decisions by customers in the Supply Chain Solutions segment

Wiesbaden, October 19, 2017 – The KION Group has published its preliminary results for the first nine months of 2017 and slightly adjusted its outlook for the financial year. Between January and September, the value of the company’s order intake was EUR5.699 billion (Q1-Q3 2016: EUR4.050 billion), with revenue of EUR5.675 billion (Q1-Q3 2016: EUR3.848 billion). Adjusted EBIT was EUR561.8 million, resulting in an adjusted EBIT margin of 9.9 percent (Q1-Q3 2016: EUR366.1 million; 9.5 percent).

In the Industrial Trucks & Services segment, the value of order intake between January and September was EUR4.280 billion (Q1-Q3 2016: EUR3.919 billion, up by 9.2 percent). Revenue increased by 8.2 percent from EUR3.761 to EUR4.070 billion, while adjusted EBIT climbed from EUR411.5 to EUR448.3 million. The adjusted EBIT margin improved from 10.9 to 11.0 percent.

In the first nine months of 2017, the value of order intake in the KION Group’s Supply Chain Solutions segment was EUR1.406 billion, with revenue of EUR1.593 billion. The adjusted EBIT was EUR154.2 million and the adjusted EBIT margin was 9.7 percent. The Supply Chain Solutions segment mainly comprises the business acquired from Dematic in November 2016.

While the year-on-year growth in the value of order intake and in revenue in the Industrial Trucks & Services segment was stronger than anticipated, order intake and revenue in the Supply Chain Solutions segment fell short of expectations. The weaker performance in the Supply Chain Solutions segment is mainly attributable to customers’ hesitation to invest and delayed project decisions by customers.

A subsequent adjustment of the outlook for both segments for the fiscal year 2017 leads to a slightly adjusted outlook for the Group:

Order intake in the KION Group is now expected to be between EUR7.550 and EUR7.900 billion (previously EUR7.800 to EUR8.250 billion). The target figure for consolidated revenue is in the range of EUR7.400 to EUR7.700 billion (previously EUR7,500 to EUR7.950 billion). The target range for adjusted EBIT is between EUR715 and EUR765 million (previously EUR740 to EUR800 million). Free cash flow is expected to be in a range between EUR320 and EUR380 million (previously EUR370 to EUR430 million). The target figure for ROCE is in the range of 9.0 to 10.0 percent (previously 9.5 to 10.5 percent).

The bottom end of the range has thus been lowered by between 1.3 and 3.4 percent for order intake, revenue, and EBIT.

Order intake in the Industrial Trucks & Services segment is expected to be between EUR5.650 and EUR5.800 billion (previously EUR5.450 to EUR5.600 billion). The target figure for revenue is in the range of EUR5.450 to EUR5.600 billion (previously EUR5.300 to EUR5.450 billion). The target range for adjusted EBIT remains unchanged at EUR605 to EUR630 million.

The order intake of the Supply Chain Solutions segment is expected to be between EUR1.900 and EUR2.100 billion (previously EUR2.350 to EUR2.650 billion). The target figure for revenue is in the range of EUR1.950 to EUR2.100 billion (previously EUR2.200 to EUR2.500 billion). The target range for adjusted EBIT is between EUR170 and EUR195 million (previously EUR195 to EUR230 million).

The outlook is based on the assumptions that material prices will not increase any further and that the exchange rate environment will remain stable.

“Our sector – intralogistics – is benefiting hugely from growth drivers such as e-commerce and megatrends such as automation and digitalization,” says Gordon Riske, Chief Executive Officer of the KION Group. “Thanks to Dematic and our new Supply Chain Solutions segment, we are well positioned to profit from these opportunities.”

The final results for the third quarter of 2017 will be published on October 26 as stated in the financial calendar.

Website: kiongroup.com/mediasite

Passing the baton at STILL: CFO Birkner retires and is succeeded by Hofmann

Karl-Heinz Birkner (left) and Thorsten Hofmann

Wiesbaden/Hamburg, October 6, 2017 – Personnel change on the Management Board at Hamburg-based forklift truck and warehouse technology specialist STILL GmbH: After 34 years of service in various companies within the KION Group, CFO Karl-Heinz Birkner will be retiring with effect from February 1, 2018. He will be succeeded by Thorsten Hofmann, currently Head of Corporate Controlling at the KION Group in Wiesbaden. He was appointed on Friday by the Supervisory Board of STILL GmbH with effect from February 1, 2018.

“Karl-Heinz Birkner has made a significant contribution to the success and profile of the Linde Material Handling and STILL brands, and the KION Group as a whole, in a variety of important Finance roles,” commented Thomas Toepfer, chairman of the Supervisory Board at STILL GmbH and CFO of the KION Group. “Our brand companies and the Group were very fortunate to benefit from Mr. Birkner’s extensive and valuable expertise over such a long period. He knew the DNA of the KION Group and its key brands, Linde MH and STILL, like few others, and played a very important role in the Group’s success. We wish Karl-Heinz Birkner the very best for his well-earned retirement.”

Karl-Heinz Birkner was appointed to the Management Board at STILL in February 2016, having already been a member of it between 2009 and 2011. Before transferring to Hamburg, he was the Head of Accounting, Tax, and Financial Services at the KION Group. After graduating with a degree in economics, he started his career in 1984 at Linde AG and held several management positions over the years, primarily in the industrial truck business, including as a member of the management team at Linde Material Handling between 2005 and 2007.

“We are delighted that in Thorsten Hofmann we have gained an outstanding financial expert with many years of experience within the KION Group to fill the vacant position on the Management Board at STILL,” commented Henry Puhl, Managing Director and President of STILL GmbH. “His in-depth knowledge of the Group, the sector, the markets, and our products will be an excellent asset in the further expansion of our long-established STILL brand.”

Thorsten Hofmann (52) began his career in 1991 in Controlling at Linde AG. In 1994, he transferred to Linde Material Handling and held a number of management positions in Finance and Controlling in Germany and abroad. In 2013, he was appointed the head of group-wide Controlling at KION Group.

The KION Group is a global leader in industrial trucks, related services, and supply chain solutions. Across more than 100 countries worldwide, the KION Group designs, builds and supports logistics solutions that optimize material and information flow within factories, warehouses, and distribution centers. The company is the largest manufacturer of industrial trucks in Europe, the second-largest producer of forklifts globally, and a leading provider of warehouse automation.

The KION Group’s world-renowned brands are clear industry leaders. Dematic, the newest addition to the KION Group, is a global leader in automated material handling providing a comprehensive range of intelligent supply chain and automation solutions. The Linde and STILL brands serve the premium industrial truck segment. Baoli focuses on industrial trucks in the economy segment. Among its regional industrial truck brands, Fenwick is the largest supplier of material handling products in France, OM STILL is a market leader in Italy, and Voltas is a leading provider of industrial trucks in India.

With a global installed base of more than 1.2 million industrial trucks and over 6,000 installed systems, KION Group’s customer base includes companies in all industries and of all sizes on six continents. The KION Group has more than 30,000 employees and generated revenue of around EUR5.6 billion in 2016.