KION North America Unveils First Forklift at Volvo’s First American Production Facility

Volvo Car US Operations, Inc. recently hosted an unveiling event for their first forklift delivery from KION North America.

In January, KION North America announced an agreement with the global automotive manufacturer to supply the material handling equipment for the company’s first American factory located in Berkeley County, South Carolina.

“Today is a reminder that one day, someday is now,” said U.S. Representative Mark Sanford at the event. “You hear people and businesses say that one day we’ll do this, someday we’ll do that, but today we see those statements come to fruition.”

A member of one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial trucks, KION North America is located just five miles from the new Volvo Cars factory, which will be the global production home of the all new S60 Sedan.

The fleet includes forklifts, reach trucks and tow tractors, all provided and serviced by KION North America.

“Not only is this the fifth Volvo factory that KION Group is supplying equipment to around the world, but this will be the first complete Lithium-ion fleet in automotive manufacturing in North America,” said Vincent Halma, president and CEO of KION North America.

An environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional lead-acid batteries, the Lithium-ion technology underpins the partnership and gave KION the competitive edge.

“It’s the next generation of material handling power solutions,” said Halma.

Equipped with the most innovative and efficient material handling equipment on the market, the Volvo factory will be capable of producing up to 120,000 cars per year.

“Our goal is to have the least intrusive footprint as possible,” said Katarina Fjording, vice president of purchasing and manufacturing for Volvo. “By 2025 we aspire to be carbon neutral, and implementing Lithium-ion powered industrial trucks at our facility is a big step towards that.”

In addition to supplying and servicing the equipment, KION North America is also hosting training at their Summerville facility for all of the Volvo equipment operators throughout the duration of the five-year agreement.

Headquartered in Summerville, S.C., KION North America Corporation is a member of the KION GROUP AG, one of the world’s two leading manufacturers of industrial trucks. Their brand companies, Linde, Baoli and STILL serve the specific requirements of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets with a comprehensive and complementary product portfolio. Their products are known for their innovative technologies, low energy consumption and low operating costs.

How Wildfire Smoke Might Help Cool the Pacific Northwest

Forest fires cooling effect

Supplied by Flickr; CC-BY 2.0 License

 

It might seem odd to think that a wildfire might actually be able to cool off a region, but in one sense, that’s actually true. It may not be the case at those locations where the fires are in progress and consuming large tracts of forest, wherever the wind blows them, but in those sections downwind of the blazes, it does have a curious effect.

The Canadian wildfires which are currently dominating parts of British Columbia are being borne along powerful winds which are blowing in a persistently southern direction, which means they are sweeping toward the northwestern United States like Washington and Oregon. A blanket of haze fairly thick in some areas and thinner in others is thus being carried into many of the cities in those northern states and is actually blocking out the rays of the sun to some extent. 

Sun Screen in Place

With this shield in place throughout July 2017, and for the upcoming weeks, it can be expected that a kind of sun screen will be shielding residents of those areas from the hottest rays of the sun, and will impart a slight cooling trend to the region. With sunlight being reflected off that haze back into earth’s atmosphere, much less reaches the surface to make residents uncomfortable. 

This setup is counteracting the normal effects of the high-pressure systems which have dominated the weather in the Pacific Northwest throughout the 2017 summer, and which have brought record-setting temperatures to the region in the process. These high-pressure air masses, which normally move through the area have instead stalled out, and have remained in place for long periods of time bringing heat-wave type temperatures to the entire region. But with the thick haze carried southward from British Columbia, much of the accompanying sunshine has been blocked and prevented from adding to the cumulative heating impact.

How long will wildfire smoke be in place?

That steady stream of wildfire smoke can be expected to keep pouring out of Canada for the next several weeks since the British Columbia wildfires are still far from being controlled. However, Canada is receiving help from other countries, notably New Zealand, which has sent at least 80 experienced firefighters to help quell the blazes in the western provinces. Additionally, as summer comes to an end and the weather cools, we hope that the changing of the seasons will provide Canada and the Northwestern United States with some relief.

Nature’s Packaging supports sustainable North American wood packaging and is committed to North American forest sustainability. Forest fires are integral to forest health and can be beneficial to the plants and wildlife within a forest.

Resources

Why so much smoke in Seattle from B.C. wildfires? http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/weather/why-so-much-smoke-from-b-c-fires-natures-air-conditioning-is-broken-weather-service-says/

Canadian wildfires are so bad you can see them from space: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/canada-wildfires-space-vancouver-visible-nasa-worldview-british-columbia-satellites-smoke-a7877046.html

 

Lithium and the Rechargeable Battery Market: What Can We Expect for the Next 10 Years?

 

Christophe Pillot, a worldwide specialist in Lithium batteries markets, will be at the ICBR 2017, giving a summary of the rechargeable battery market and the main trends we can expect to see over the coming ten years. In advance of the September congress, Christophe Pillot offers a number of interesting insights, which you can read in the interview below:

1. Mr Pillot, the powerful Lithium-ion batteries are predicted to grow strongly. How is the current demand for these batteries developing?

I will present detailed figures at the ICBR 2017, but I can say that the LIB market achieves more than 90 GWh demand in 2016, that means a 25% average growth rate per year for the last 10 years.

2. In which areas of application is the strongest growth recorded?

The trend continues unchanged; Automotive and e-buses, mostly in China show the strongest growth. In 2016, Automotive and e-buses consume 50% of the LIB. Other applications are portable devices (35%). Then, stationary and industrial applications start to use Lithium-ion batteries and replace sometimes lead acid batteries.

3. How do battery manufacturers react to the high demand for Lithium-ion batteries? Are there any plans for new production capacities known?

Huge investments are on the way in China and Korea but also as you know in the US with TESLA and in Europe. LG and SAMSUNG will both start Lithium-ion production in Europe in 2018.

4. The recycling of Lithium-ion batteries is only worthwhile in case of high volumes and high Lithium prices. What is the current trend for the Lithium price?

The Lithium is not the major metal issue in a Lithium-ion battery. Cost of Lithium represents less than 2% of the battery pack. Cobalt, Nickel or Copper are more important in LIB batteries than Lithium. Nevertheless, the Lithium price increased because most of the Lithium is consumed by the battery industry. It increased from 7 US$/kg to almost 25 US$/kg on the spot market at the beginning of 2016. 

5. In a foreseeable future do you know about any technology that will replace the current Lithium-ion chemistries?

No. Lithium-ion will be the major choice for portable devices and automotive in the next 10 years. Li-Sulfur, Li-Air, fuel cells and so one will not be on the mass market before at least 10 years.

6. Do you foresee a significant development in Europe for batteries technologies in a particular field of application?

Major application in Europe will be Electric & Plug in hybrid. Then, on a longer term basis, lead acid starter batteries could be replaced by Lithium-ion in stop-start cars, micro hybrid cars, 48v batteries.

Don’t miss this opportunity to exchange news, views, and ideas with experts from all areas of the battery recycling sector! Again this year we have put together an interesting and highly diverse program for our visitors. We are particularly looking forward to our keynote speakers, who will open the congress on September 20. These speakers include:

  • Carlos Martins (Secretary of State of Environment Portugal),
  • Nuno Lacasta (President Portuguese Environment Agency),
  • Prof. Vera Susanne Rotter (Technical University Berlin) and
  • Christophe Pillot (Director Avicenne Energy)

For all the details on the program and how to register, go to http://www.icm.ch/icbr-2017.

ADVANCED CHARGING TECHNOLOGIES (ACT) COMPLETES UL CERTIFICATION OF 380VAC AND 80V QUANTUM CHARGERS

The certification will expand sales into Latin and South America as well as new markets

Advanced Charging Technologies Inc. (ACT) is pleased to announce that it has completed the UL/cUL certification for the 380VAC and 80V Quantum chargers.  The new 380VAC chargers will expand Quantum sales into Latin and South America while the 80V chargers will allow ACT to meet growing demands for 80V forklifts.  The 80V Quantum charger also lays the groundwork for ACT to enter the airport ground support equipment (GSE) market. “This represents another milestone in the Quantum product line expansion. The new products will allow ACT to exploit new market opportunities,” comments ACT President, Bob Istwan.

The Quantum charger, the industry’s first smart battery charger, was designed with WiFi connectivity to allow for seamless cloud integration. ACT’s cloud application with simplified dashboard allows end users to centrally manage their charger assets with 24/7 access from their desktop, mobile phone or tablet enabling real-time smart warehouse management.  “The 2-way communication allows remote firmware and software updates for continuous improvements as well as remote commands to be sent to the Quantum charger to solve problems before they happen”, comments Dr. Nasser Kutkut, Chief Technology Officer of ACT.

The Quantum charger also communicates with the ACT BATTview battery monitor to capture battery utilization & performance data for even more cloud-based, real-time optimization of forklift charger and battery fleet efficiency.

The Quantum charger features modular technology for uninterrupted operations, ease of service and scalability.  Power modules with a plug and play interface can be added or replaced easily as operations and power needs grow.  The Quantum charger is UL/cUL certified, CEC compliant, and is backed with a 5-year warranty by ACT.

Advanced Charging Technologies (ACT) is a high-tech company offering a complete line of battery management products including intelligent high frequency conventional, opportunity, and fast battery chargers, advanced battery monitors, and cloud-based monitoring and management solutions serving the industrial motive power battery market. ACT’s portfolio of battery and charging solutions are sold and serviced exclusively through the Deka Battery Dealer Network (East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc.), the world’s largest and most modern independent battery manufacturer.

Visit www.act-chargers.com for more.

JLT Mobile Computers Selected by Swire Coca-Cola, USA, One of the Largest Independent Coca-Cola Bottlers in the United States

Due to its leading reliability and performance, the JLT1214N computer was selected for use in the customer’s warehouse operations

JLT Mobile Computers, a leading developer and manufacturer of reliable computers for demanding environments, has started the delivery of more than 300 of its JLT1214N forklift computers to Swire Coca-Cola, USA, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States.

The delivery process will continue throughout 2017 and into the first quarter of 2018 as Swire Coca-Cola recently expanded its territory in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and northern Idaho, including the cities of Albuquerque, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Spokane, and Tucson.

“JLT has been extremely helpful in Swire Coca-Cola’s continued growth. Our growth has required improving our inventory system in our warehouse operations,” said James Sloan, Chief Financial Officer for Swire Coca-Cola, USA. “We have used forklift computers from JLT since 2011 and the results and customer service have exceeded expectations. Improved productivity and reliability means we will continue to deliver excellent service with minimal disruption for our customers, consumers, and employees.”

The JLT1214N forklift computer is the latest generation logistics computer from JLT, delivering the lowest total cost of ownership for a wide variety of logistics applications. The JLT1214N comes with a 64-bit Intel quad-core processor and features dual-diversity antennas, custom-made for reliable Wi-Fi in environments with poor coverage.

“The JLT1214N is a real workhorse for warehousing applications with the higher performance that increases users’ productivity,” said Eric Miller, CEO of JLT Mobile Computers, Inc. “It is based on the successful JLT computer platform and designed from the bottom up with the latest processor technology to deliver maximum reliability and trouble-free operation in very tough environments, from cold storage rooms to broiling hot sun, from fixed wall mounts to vibrating forklifts.”

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

Swisslog Secures Order For The First PowerStore System Deployment In South East Asia From Coca-Cola Malaysia

As part of Coca-Cola Malaysia’s investment of RM500 (US$117)  million to expand the size and production capacity of its current plant at Bandar Enstek, the company has commissioned Swisslog for a flexible, robotic, data-driven automated warehouse that will drive the future of intralogistics for Coca-Cola in Malaysia. This makes it the first PowerStore System deployment in South East Asia.

Coca-Cola’s plant in Bandar Enstek serves as the halal production hub for the Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei markets. The plant at Enstek will help the company achieve it’s objective of increasing density in an existing warehouse and consolidate operations in Singapore and Brunei.

Futureproof Technologies

PowerStore from Swisslog is part of the intralogistics automation provider’s technology offerings that meet the requirements of Industry 4.0. It is integrated into Swisslog’s SynQ software platform, an advanced warehouse management system. SynQ intelligently connects and synchronizes automation equipment, robotics, people and processes.

The PowerStore system not only increases storage space, throughput and productivity in Coca-Cola’s highbay warehouse, it also reduces energy reliance compared to traditional AS/RS crane-based systems. The scope of the project also includes an Electric Monorail System (EMS) to transfer the pallets between the production lines and the PowerStore highbay warehouse, providing better scalability and accessibility.

‘I am very excited that we constantly strive to bring the best technology into Malaysia to continue to enhance our environmentally friendly, world-class Halal manufacturing facility,’ said Mr. Gareth McGeown, Chief Executive Officer, CocaCola Bottlers Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei.

‘Swisslog was a partner of choice for multiple reasons. Having been in the SE Asian region for over two decades, Swisslog is a well-established provider and has successfully delivered a number of complex and innovative projects in the region. Their deep domain expertise and advancements in industrial robotics and intralogistics enable us to achieve greater operational efficiencies, increased storage capacity and seamless distribution, thereby helping us to deliver at the speed of business’ added McGeown. ‘When this project is completed, Coca-Cola Malaysia will become the regional hub and center of excellence for advanced, automated intralogistics.’

Building on a Long-term Relationship

According to Mr. Koh Seng Teck, Head of Southeast Asia for Swsisslog Warehouse & Distribution Solutions (WDS), ‘Swisslog has a long-standing relationship with Coca-Cola, having completed a number of successful implementations of several major automated and data-driven intralogistics systems in markets as diverse as China, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. Our partnership is built on a strong foundation of trust and commitment. This project is another indicator of how we are redefining the future of intralogistics solutions and demonstrates the success of our growth strategy in the region. This is our first PowerStore deployment in the SEA region and is a matter of great pride and achievement.’

 

Swisslog designs, develops and delivers best-in-class automation solutions for forward-thinking hospitals, warehouses, and distribution centers. We offer integrated systems and services from a single source – from consulting to design, implementation and lifetime customer service. Behind the company’s success are 2 500 employees worldwide, supporting customers in more than 50 countries. Swisslog is part of the KUKA group, a leading global supplier of intelligent automation solutions. Visit www.kuka.com.

Jungheinrich to Implement Warehouse and Material Flow Technology for LMC Caravan

  • Automated small parts warehouse provides space for 9,600 containers with a footprint of 600 x 400 mm
  • Two EKX516k narrow-aisle stackers to handle storage and order picking in manual, four-aisle warehouse
  • Jungheinrich software solutions guarantee smooth management of material flows

The LMC Caravan company from the west German town of Sassenberg has commissioned the intralogistics experts at Jungheinrich to implement the warehouse and material flow technology at its new logistics facility. LMC Caravan, which manufactures caravans and mobile homes for the European market, is expanding the logistics system at its Sassenberg production location to cope with the company’s growth over the past few years.

The goal is to optimise material flows within the company’s overall logistics operations. The new contract includes the construction of an automated small-parts warehouse with space for 9,600 containers as well as the construction of a narrow-aisle warehouse with space for 3,801 pallet slots.

“We were won over by Jungheinrich’s logistics solutions because they will provide us with a sustainable basis for future logistics requirements at our Sassenberg location,” said Timo Tesch, Head of Logistics for LMC Caravan. “I look forward to working jointly with Jungheinrich and to the successful implementation of this project.”

The automated small parts warehouse will be connected via conveyor equipment to a total of four work stations, which are set up to handle not only the storage but also the order picking of goods. Each work station is connected with a second one so that they can use the same transport routes. To ensure the maximum utilization of space within the 12.5-meter high building, the automated small parts warehouse has been designed for the double-depth, lateral storage of containers and trays with a footprint of 600 x 400 mm, making possible a particularly narrow building design.

The Jungheinrich Warehouse Management System (WMS), which features the integrated Jungheinrich Warehouse Control System (WCS), will be used to manage the operation of the automated small parts warehouse. To optimise access times, the WCS/WMS chooses from a variety of strategies that maximize the overall system performance.

Measuring 77 m in length by 21 m in width, the warehouse building has a base area of 1,630 m². Apart from the automated small parts warehouse, the building also houses the narrow-aisle warehouse with four full-scale aisles. Here, two Jungheinrich EKX 516k forklifts with telescopic forks are in operation. Both of these narrow-aisle stackers are guided by an inductive wire, while the Jungheinrich warehouse navigation system manages the partially automated approach to stacking locations. Further racking systems are planned for the plywood, coil and cantilever warehouse.

4 Hyster® Forklifts With New Side Battery Extraction System for VBI Weurt

Four Hyster® forklift trucks and a Hyster® Powered Battery Exchange Stacker have been delivered to VBI in Weurt, The Netherlands. These are the first Hyster® forklifts in The Netherlands equipped with a new, intelligently designed side battery extraction system.

“When the current lease for part of our forklift fleet ended, we conducted a review,” says Bennie Kroes, Plant Manager at VBI in Weurt, adding that he was not satisfied with the side battery extraction system of their old trucks from another brand. “There were too many issues causing parts to break down on regular basis. On top of that, we sometimes needed 2 people to get a battery changed.”

Heffiq, the Hyster dealer in The Netherlands, turned out to be the only company that could meet the needs of VBI Weurt.

“They did not just offer the right value for money, but also listened carefully and offered us solutions that really added something to our operation,” explains Kroes.

Over Capacity

Heffiq delivered 4 Hyster® J2.5XN electric lift trucks with a lift capacity of 2.5 tonnes, as well as a dedicated Hyster® Powered Battery Exchange Stacker for changing batteries. The trucks are being used for the loading of polystyrene foam insulation materials that are produced in Weurt, and for internal transport from the production departments to the warehouse.

“For the weight of our loads – a block of insulation material weighs about 180 to 200 kgs –2.5T lift capacity seems a bit high. However, the benefit is that these trucks are equipped with a battery with a 20% higher capacity,” Kroes continues.

The higher battery capacity (trucks are equipped with 775 Ah/80V batteries) is not a luxury within the application at VBI Weurt as the company works in 2 shifts, a total of 17 hours per day.

“With this battery, less changing or loading is needed and this saves us time,” says Kroes.

Fast, simple and safe

Thanks to the new exchange system, VBI Weurt has another advantage when changing and loading batteries. The Powered Battery Exchange Stacker truck guarantees a fast and simple battery exchange, and there is no physical exertion necessary from the operator.

Many advantages

The new Hyster® forklift trucks are being leased for a period of 5 years, which includes a full-service contract for the lift trucks. The Powered Battery Exchange Stacker is only used intermittently and therefore only receives periodical maintenance from Heffiq.

“Our strong dealer partner Heffiq listened carefully to the precise challenges at VBI Weurt and was able to customise the Hyster® trucks to suit the specific customer requirements,” says Karen Calver, Product Manager for Hyster.

Since the new trucks were taken into operation on 1 September 2016, Plant Manager Bennie Kroes has only received positive and enthusiastic reactions.

“We do not just notice the advantages when changing or loading batteries. The traction and performance are also a big step forward. Plus, the trucks are noticeably more comfortable. If this continues, the chances are very high that we will replace all our other trucks with Hyster® machines,” he concludes.

Forklift Block Clamp Attachments from B&B Attachments Provide Solution for Precast Supplier

B&B forklift attachments

 

Located in Sharjah – the United Arab Emirates, Arabian German Co Ltd is one of the first companies in the region to specialize in the manufacturing of precast Concrete products.

Arabian German Company is the largest manufacturer of Kerbstone in the Middle East. It has invested over DHS. 80 Million into its production capacity, which houses the most technologically advanced Interlock factory operating today. Since 1977 Arabian German Co. Ltd. has been the premium force behind the road networks in the U.A.E, supplying various specially designed concrete products throughout the Emirates. The factories at Arabian German Co Ltd. operate 24 hours a day with production, dispatch and store keeping functioning around the clock.

To ensure that the company is running at its maximum efficiently levels, Arabian German contacted B&B Attachments to support its ever increasing material handling requirements. B&B Attachments is the leading fork lift truck attachment company in the UK and Ireland. Its factory based in North East England specializes in the design and manufacture of bespoke forklift truck attachment solutions, creating products for customers’ with specific material handling requirements.

Discussions were held with Arabian German co. Ltd to understand its requirements for ensuring on-site safety and increased productivity when handling its vast array of concrete products.

B&B supplied the concrete manufacturer with two overhead J200 Block Clamp Attachments from its BlockMaster range. The J200 is a specialist overhead block clamp designed for the flag and curb market. Rated at 2000kg, it is ideal for production and loading, with an inside height of 600mm and an opening range of up to 1100mm, also with side shift facility. This hydraulic attachment is available in a range of capacities, opening ranges and gripper bar lengths. This robust and durable attachment is ideal for flag and curb applications.

Anwar Al-Azhari, Manager at Arabian German Co. Ltd. comments “These attachments provided by B&B attachments have made a big difference to our on-site productivity. It is vital that we handle our full range of products in the safest and most efficient way, eliminating the risk of any damage to the concrete. B&B has made the ordering process very simple for us, understanding our requirements and providing us with high-quality attachments that have not only met but surpassed our requirements.“

Seegrid Announces New Self-Driving Vision Guided Vehicle for Materials Handling

Seegrid, the leader in connected self-driving vehicles for materials handling, has expanded the company’s suite of automated solutions with the announcement of the GP8 Series 6 self-driving pallet truck. Further enhancing the Seegrid Smart Platform, which combines flexible and reliable infrastructure-free vision guided vehicles with fleet management and enterprise intelligence data, the GP8 Series 6 offers fully automated material movement to execute hands-free load exchange from pick-up to drop-off.

“The GP8 Series 6 closes the automation loop by providing an end-to-end solution, removing the need for human assistance to complete tasks,” said Jeff Christensen, vice president of product with Seegrid. “In manufacturing and e-commerce environments, every human touch is costly and unpredictable. As we help our customers develop smart factories of the future, safety, efficiency, and operating costs will continue to be the driving forces behind the adoption of automation. The process of loading and unloading pallets independently creates safer working conditions, allowing for more consistent throughput, and producing a rapid return on investment for our customers.”

In the automotive industry, Seegrid self-driving vehicles are used for consistent delivery of parts to the line. The Series 6 self-driving pallet truck picks up and drops off palletized car parts without human interaction, increasing productivity amidst labor shortages for automakers. In e-commerce, the Series 6 enables fully autonomous delivery of goods to keep up with fulfillment industry growth and demand.

Operating without wires, lasers, magnets, or tape, the Seegrid GP8 Series 6 allows manufacturers and distributors to change routes in-house, operate in manual mode, and effortlessly scale their fleet as they grow. As part of the Seegrid Smart Platform, the Series 6 is aligned with Industry 4.0 and lean initiatives, helping companies transform into smart factories of the future.

For additional information on Seegrid’s connected materials handling solutions and the new GP8 Series 6, please visit seegrid.com.