OSHA Fines New York Manufacturer $287K after Employee Injury

List of infractions included forklift training deficiencies – failing to train and evaluate forklift operators on how to safely operate equipment

WESTBURY, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited U.S. Nonwoven Corp. – a home and personal care fabric product manufacturer – for repeat and serious safety violations after an employee suffered a fractured hand at the plant in Hauppauge, New York. The company faces $287,212 in penalties.

Investigators determined the employee’s injury occurred when his hand became caught in a fabric-softener sheet-cutting machine. OSHA cited U.S. Nonwoven Corp. for lack of machine guards; failing to train and evaluate forklift operators on how to safely operate equipment, and provide training on lockout/tagout procedures. OSHA also cited the company for exposing employees to fire and smoke inhalation hazards and failing to report an amputation, provide illness and injury records to OSHA in a timely manner, store materials securely, and repair damaged storage racks.

“Companies are required by law to train employees and provide appropriate measures to protect workers from workplace injuries,” said OSHA Long Island Area Director Anthony Ciuffo in Westbury, New York.

Even though safety deficiencies may be unrelated to the accident, such as forklift training, in this case, a rigorous inspection following an accident can result in them falling into scrutiny.

OSHA offers resources on safeguarding equipmentoperating forklifts safely, and the requirements for reporting injuries.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Further details regarding the cited infractions are listed here.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

VAHLE opens state-of-the-art automated miniload warehouse

  • Comprehensive modernization of production and logistics
  • Doubling of logistics area in miniload warehouse
  • Reduction of plant energy requirements by up to 25%

Vahle miniload

Kamen, Germany: PAUL VAHLE GmbH & Co. KG has opened one of the most modern material flow systems of its kind in Kamen. This marks the official end of the modernization of the warehouse, which cost €2.5 million. Effective immediately, order picking takes place automatically with the latest warehousing equipment made by Jungheinrich. Politicians, business people and administrators attended the official opening of the plant.

“With this investment, Vahle has catapulted into the future and created the foundation for the sustainable optimization of all upstream and downstream production processes,” says Achim Dries, CEO & Managing Director of Paul Vahle GmbH & Co. KG. The heart of the new system is an automated miniload warehouse with 7,314 storage locations. Boxes measuring 600 x 400 and 300 x 400 millimeters are stored double-deep or quadruple-deep and crosswise. These are serviced by what Jungheinrich views as the most powerful stacker crane of its class, which moves at a speed of six metres per second. A wide-aisle warehouse, cantilever racks for the storage of long goods and drive-through racking were also built. The logistics area nearly doubled through the modernization, to around 3,500 square metres.

“With the  Go Live of the miniload warehouse, VAHLE is the first company in the world to utilize the Miniload STC  which was introduced by Jungheinrich in 2018,” explains Jürgen Wagenknecht, the responsible project manager at Jungheinrich. It has energy storage devices called SuperCaps which are specially adapted to the stacker crane’s driving characteristics. These devices store the energy released during braking processes and feed it back into the drive system during acceleration. “This reduces our energy needs – in particular, the power required for the stacker crane compared to conventional systems – by up to 25%,” says Dries.

The VAHLE conductor bar system vConductor VKS 6 provides power transmission. “We have installed the best components that are currently available on the market,” says Dries. “In this way, we not only  ensure the performance of our miniload warehouse but also make it possible for our customers to see the conductor bar system live in action.” The system is also designed for maximum efficiency with regard to space utilization. By means of an innovative rail design and the drive system, which saves space through its integration in the mast base, the stacker crane realizes the smallest approach dimensions in its class. The result is less space required, with a simultaneous increase in warehouse capacity and higher throughput. In order to further increase the order picking performance in shipment logistics, a modern pick-to-light system was installed parallel to the automated miniload warehouse. It is connected to a drive-through rack for up to 600 fast-moving components. 

New Combilift Container Slipsheet

LOADS A 20’ CONTAINER IN THREE MINUTES  

Combilift’s latest innovation, the Combilift Container Slip-Sheet (Combi-CSS), has been designed for quicker and easier mechanized loading of products (particularly long ones) into containers. First unveiled during Combilift’s 20th anniversary last year, this product is now in serial production. The Combi-CSS addresses the challenges associated with the combination of forklifts and manual labor often required for this application.

Using a forklift to lift and maneuver the product laterally into the container and another forklift operator to push the load into the container from the end is time consuming and not overly efficient. Following the launch of the Combilift Straddle Carrier a few years ago, feedback from customers in the containerization sector prompted Combilift to look at how these procedures could be improved.

The result is the patented Combi-CSS; a low, free-standing platform with a dual-directional motor-driven pulling mechanism, on which a Hardox 500 steel sheet rests. It has a capacity of 30,000kg  and allows a full load of product to be prepared behind the container on the sheet and loaded onto a 20’ container in just three minutes (and six for a 40’ container).

Once loaded, the sheet is guided into the container by the mechanism underneath, which consists of four hydraulic cylinders moving in sequence. Hydraulic pins on the ends of the cylinders move up, fitting into holes cut into the sheet to secure it, while the cylinders pull the sheet forward, ensuring safe loading without any risk of product damage.

When the goods are fully loaded within the container, a hydraulic rear barrier gate, fixed to the end of the platform, swings across the container opening and is locked in place across the entire width of the platform. This holds the material within the container while the metal sheet is slipped out from underneath it, hence the name.

Red Dot Design Award for Cat® Lift Trucks is good news for customers too

The presentation event for this year’s prestigious Red Dot Design Awards, which took place on 8th July, gave Cat® Lift Trucks another stage on which to highlight the importance of customer-focused product development.

Designers Kero Uusitalo and Antti Asunmaa received a laureate certificate for their work on the Cat® EP14-20A(C)N(T) 48V electric counterbalance forklift range.

“This product has been designed and built around our customers, and we are very proud that our success in meeting their needs has been recognized by a Red Dot Design Award,” said Kero Uusitalo. The award-winning Cat lift truck was one of more than 5,500 entries, from which the judges selected only the best for this honor.

At a celebratory gala in the Aalto Theatre, Essen, Germany, the Red Dot organization paid tribute to 2019’s leading designers and manufacturers. This was followed by a Designers’ Night in the Red Dot Design Museum, attended by around 1,200 international guests, where the Red Dot Award winners were presented with their certificates.

Those present were able to take a close look at the Cat lift truck and other winning product designs. They also had an exclusive opportunity, at the after-show party, to view three special exhibitions before their official opening on 12 July.

Antti Asunmaa commented: “We are thrilled and proud to stand and network among so many great designers. This celebration brings together designers from a wide variety of different product sectors, all united by their wish to offer high-quality design. For Kero, myself and our fellow professionals at Cat Lift Trucks, that means making sure we understand our customers and translate that understanding into the product.”

All award-winning products are presented in the Red Dot yearbook and can be viewed online at https://www.red-dot.org.

In the yearbook, the write up of the Cat 48V lift truck reads: This electric forklift range comes with 360-degree steering, which keeps the load particularly stable due to smooth but fast flowing turns. Its responsive drive system reacts to speed, steering and pedal movements, ensuring well-controlled handling and maneuvering. In addition, the range is equipped with load-sensing hydraulics and features such as curve control and hill-hold. The customized functions and options of these Cat 48V models offer improved operator ergonomics and help to reduce fatigue.

 

Lithium Battery Producer Flux Power FY 2019 Net Revenues Expected to Rise over 115% to Approximately $9 Million

VISTA, Calif. – Flux Power Holdings, Inc., a developer of advanced lithium batteries for industrial applications including electric forklifts and airport ground support equipment (“GSE”), today announced preliminary results for its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter (Q4 ‘19) and year ended June 30, 2019. Flux expects to report final fiscal 2019 fourth quarter and year-end results in September 2019.

  • Q4 ’19 Net Revenue Expected to Rise over 170% to a New Record – Flux announced that it expects Q4 ’19 net revenue of approximately $3.0 million, an increase of over 170% compared to Q4 ’18 net revenue of $1.1 million and a new quarterly record. Flux Q4’19 net revenues benefitted from increased sales of lithium-ion battery packs across Flux’s entire product line, including GSE, Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 End Rider and Walkie LiFT Packs.
  • FY 2019 Net Revenue Expected to Rise 115% over FY 2018 – Flux expects its fiscal 2019 net revenue to increase by at least 115% to approximately $9.0 million, compared to $4.1 million for FY 2018. This growth in net revenue resulted primarily from Flux’s expanded product line, increased sales of new and existing products to current customers as well as sales to new accounts during FY 2019.
  • Expected to Achieve Positive Gross Profit Margin for Q4 ’19 and FY 2019 – Flux expects to report positive gross profit margins for both Q4’19 and its full fiscal 2019 year, compared to negative gross profit margins in the respective FY 2018 periods.

Flux Chairman and CEO, Ron Dutt, commented, “Flux continued to expand its base of products, customers and industry relationships in fiscal 2019, contributing to our expectations for record net revenues and the achievement of positive gross margins in both the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2019.”

“We look to build on this record in fiscal 2020 and to support our expected growth we recently moved into a new 60,000+ square-foot headquarters facility in Vista, CA, more than triple the size of our previous facility.”

About Flux Power Holdings, Inc. (www.fluxpower.com)
Flux Power develops advanced lithium-ion batteries for industrial uses, including its first-ever UL 2271 Listed lithium-ion “LiFT Pack” forklift batteries. Flux solutions utilize its proprietary battery management system and in-house engineering and product design. Flux batteries deliver improved performance, extended cycle life and lower total cost of ownership than legacy lead-acid solutions. Flux sells primarily to lift equipment OEM’s, their dealers and battery distributors. Current products include advanced battery packs for motive power in the lift equipment and airport ground support markets.

Hyster Europe Takes 360-Degree Industry Solutions to IMHX

At IMHX 2019 in Birmingham, UK, from 24 – 27 September, Hyster Europe will be showcasing its 360-degree solutions for logistics operations, including those to support the construction materials and paper supply chains.

Hyster EuropeAt the event, experts from Hyster Europe, and its UK dealer Briggs Equipment, will be on hand to discuss how to manage costs and optimise operational efficiency by matching the right Hyster® trucks and solutions to application specific materials handling needs.
360-degree solutions for construction materials handling

Whether operations are handling bricks, blocks, aggregates, concrete precast or other building materials, dusty, dirty working conditions are the norm, so the driver experience matters.  Hyster® lift trucks use intelligent design to assist operators, with ergonomically designed cabs that provide good driver awareness as standard, alongside, flashing beacons, back-up alarms and reflective markings. Flashing front/reverse lights and pedestrian awareness spot lights may be used to further support awareness.

At IMHX, a Hyster® Fortens™ lift truck with a 3.5 tonne capacity will be on display, fitted with additional features to further support driver awareness. This includes Hyster® object detection solutions to help support drivers in identifying nearby hazards, in turn potentially avoiding costly damage, and Hyster® camera systems, which may help support visibility in certain applications, making it possible to view the immediate area surrounding a truck and the load.
Hyster Europe also offers a range of mobile weighing solutions so operators can accurately weigh loads during transport, rather than transporting each load to a static scale, saving valuable time and increasing efficiency. To further support efficient operations in the construction materials supply chain, the Hyster® solutions team can combine the weighing system with speed limitation technology.

With either roof sensing speed limitation, or RFID speed limitation located in the warehouse floor, applications can automatically restrict the speed of the trucks when loads reach a certain weight.  This can in turn help minimise damage to the truck, load or warehouse infrastructure.

360-degree solutions for the paper industry

In busy paper handling operations, intelligent lift truck design is essential for preventing load damage and maximising reliability. Hyster® lift trucks include innovative features to keep paper moving through the supply chain, preventing product contamination and wrapper damage while minimising the damage caused by shock loads.

An ideal truck model in paper handling applications is the intelligently designed Hyster® J5.5XN-6 electric lift truck, which will be on display at IMHX.  This powerful, high capacity electric forklift provides excellent manoeuvrability in the tight confines of paper production and storage applications, alongside a low cost of operation.

The model that visitors to IMHX can see has also been specially adapted to meet the needs of customers in the paper industry. It features a custom mast that includes a variable spacer to enable paper rolls to be handled using a reel clamp attachment without the shift in load centre or reduction in residual capacity that can be encountered.

360-degree service and support

The global network of local Hyster® distribution partners, such as Briggs Equipment, provide full service and support, adapting to the needs of specific industries and application.  From providing guidance on reducing maintenance or fuel costs and optimal fleet management, to after-sales service to maximise uptime and productivity, Hyster® dealers have 360-degree expertise to enhance demanding materials handling operations.

Learn more from Hyster Europe at stand 19K120 at IMHX or visit Hyster® distribution partner Briggs Equipment at stand 19K125.

Konecranes wins another Flow Drive reach stacker order from Dutch terminal Alpherium

Konecrane flow drive

 

In March 2019, CCT Alpherium, an inland waterway container terminal located in Alphen aan den Rijn, a mid-size town in the western Netherlands, received their second Konecranes Flow Drive reach stacker in as many years, and placed an order for a third one. All the three units are being used for container handling around the site.

Located almost halfway between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the inland terminal has a capacity of more than 200,000 TEU per year. Keen to manage environmental issues more effectively, Alpherium in 2018 invested in their first two Konecranes Flow Drive reach stackers, aiming to reduce fuel consumption and costs, as well as carbon emissions and noise within the terminal.

Almost immediately, truck drivers gave direct feedback to terminal manager Ivo Hilhorst. They told him that the Flow Drive lift truck gave then a smooth ride, with no issues affecting the transmission. Braking and reversing were simpler and maneuverability was excellent. In addition, the truck ran at a lower noise level that made operating the vehicle at any time more pleasant, and a better choice during night shifts. They also noticed that fuel consumption was down by around 25%.

”We were very happy with our first Flow Drive machine,” says Mr Hilhorst. “It performed so well, we decided to get another one less than a year later. We plan to replace all of our old reach stackers with Konecranes Flow Drive vehicles, and that’s why we have one additional order in the pipeline”

Peinemann Mobilift Group was responsible for brokering the deal. As one of Rotterdam’s premier heavy lift solution providers, the company offered Alpherium their “total terminal maintenance concept”, by which they mean a complete service and maintenance package. “Together with Alpherium. we are continuously improving on environmental issues, including the reduction of fuel consumption,” said Marcel Toepoel of Peinemann. “All the machines have also been equipped with TRUCONNECT for close monitoring.”

Konecranes has developed three ECOLIFTING concepts – Power, Flow, and Hybrid – that employ innovative engineering solutions to help customers save money, maintain performance and benefit the environment. Flow Drive uses a combination of hydrodynamic and hydrostatic technology to improve efficiency at high speed and precision at low speed. The result is its impressive performance for customers including Alpherium.

“We’re excited to hear how much our customers like Flow Drive,” says Tobias Åkesson, Area Sales Manager, Konecranes Lift Trucks. “ECOLIFTING helps them make better choices for their businesses and the future.”

Crown Equipment Introduces InfoLink 7” Touch Display Module

Infolink 7 Crown

NEW BREMEN, Ohio – Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world’s largest material handling companies, has introduced a larger, more robust display module for its forklifts equipped with Crown’s InfoLink® fleet and operator management system. The InfoLink 7” Touch Display Module enhances the operator experience with greater functionality and an interface designed to simplify onboarding, maximize productivity and reinforce safety.

The information presented on the adjustable color LCD display creates a more informative and personalized experience for operators. For example, intuitive and easy-to-read menus and configurable widgets enable operators to customize their screen and receive context-sensitive alerts to increase engagement with the forklift. Three programmable-performance modes, as well as multiple language support, allow for equipment operation to be tailored to each user.

“We believe deployment of any technology must immediately disprove the misperception that it is more complex than the prior solution. This is why our design thinking approach includes studying how operators interact with our forklifts to better understand work context, physiological needs and cognitive requirements,” said Kim Stachler, marketing connected product manager, Crown Equipment Corporation. “Our new InfoLink 7” Touch Display Module is an example of how we apply learnings to facilitate enhanced engagement that leads to elevated productivity and safety levels throughout the entire operation. The module also provides a platform for introducing new InfoLink functionality and capabilities as operations change and evolve.”

An operator checklist with images at login helps ensure inspection compliance, while on-screen safety reminders and Dynamic Coaching™ messaging during operation reinforce operator training and deliver real-time feedback to operators. Built-in wireless connectivity provides access to enterprise networks and allows the sharing of real-time data for productivity tracking and preventive service, among many other uses. Wireless firmware downloads ensure new features can be leveraged for additional functionality and accommodate future application requirements as customer needs evolve.

Toyota Forklift Announces New Lithium-ion Battery Lineup

Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. has announced the approval of a new lineup of lithium-ion batteries for use in its 3- and 4-wheel electric sit-down models. This introduction makes Toyota the first manufacturer in the industry to obtain UL-E and UL-EE certification for the combination of lift truck and lithium-ion batteries on a sit-down counterbalanced forklift.

Toyota engineers worked directly with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to test and certify the use of four new Navitas lithium-ion batteries in Toyota forklifts. This development provides a solution for customers requiring UL-E or UL-EE rated forklifts who would also like to benefit from the use of lithium-ion batteries.

“This is the next step on our journey to become a full-line provider of material handling solutions,” said Toyota Material Handling Senior Vice President Tony Miller. “It’s important to us to offer our customers versatile solutions that are also reliable and safe.”

A not-for-profit organization dedicated to public safety, UL is a world leader in product safety testing and certification. For more than 100 years, manufacturers have had their merchandise evaluated and tested for safety risks by UL’s independent, third-party safety certification organization.

Some of the key benefits of lithium-ion batteries over traditional lead-acid batteries include lower maintenance costs, longer run times, increased performance, faster and more efficient charging, and less downtime.

Toyota’s latest lithium-ion battery offering is part of the company’s aggressive development plan for offering a wide variety of alternative energy solutions for its customers through Toyota Energy Solutions.

“We remain committed to delivering the best products in the industry, and that extends to alternative energy solutions,” Miller said. “As the market evolves and customers demand new and innovative ways to power their forklifts, we will offer solutions nobody else in the industry can because of Toyota’s commitment to quality and our unmatched dealer network.”

 

Manitex International, Inc. Announces TC600 Series Boom Truck Mounted Crane

Broadening Manitex Straight-Mast Product Line With 60-Ton Series

BRIDGEVIEW, IL. – Manitex International, Inc., a leading international provider of cranes and specialized industrial equipment, has introduced the newest model in the next generation TC-series lineup. The new TC600 features a base rating of 60 tons and a maximum main boom height of 141 feet and a194-foot maximum height when equipped with an optional jib, expanding the company’s heavy-crane product offerings.

The TC600 incorporates a 4-section boom and offsetable lattice style jib utilizing high strength steel and components providing high strength-to-weight ratio for increased capacities at long radius. The TC600 includes a spacious, high-visibility cab and the advanced hydraulics of the Manitex TC line of lift solutions with increased lifting capabilities. Featuring a removable counter-weight system and uniquely designed trapezoid subframe, the TC600 provides added stability and precision control.

Steve Kiefer, President, Chief Operating Officer, added, “We are excited to add the TC600 boom truck to our line of products, supporting the industry’s growing need for high-capacity machines. Manitex has consistently been an innovator in meeting end-users’ needs for equipment delivering high-value, operator comfort and overall performance. The TC600 is available for immediate sale through the Manitex dealer network, and we are looking forward to displaying the TC600 at the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in Louisville, KY in early-October and beginning deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2019.”