Vecna Robotics Expands Product Line with Fifth Generation Pallet Jack

Vecna Robotics pallet jack

 

Vecna Robotics (Vecna), a leader in autonomous logistics solutions, continues to keep their customers one step ahead of the competition by unveiling fifth generation autonomous pallet handling. Vecna’s new Pallet Jack will be the first self-driving vehicle to include autonomous pallet identification, lifting, and pickup. The model also features an OEM agnostic base. Vecna’s Pallet Jack is the latest self-driving vehicle in an extensive fleet that features mobile tuggers, conveyors, storage and retrieval systems.

The enhanced software delivers faster, smoother pickups across a broader variety of pallets and goods, including pallets with bottom boards and partial pallets. This new technology is a further extension of Vecna’s cutting-edge Autonomy Stack. Vecna’s Autonomy Stack instills independence in all its vehicles with dynamic obstacle avoidance, topological reasoning, local decision making, high-confidence navigation, and self-learning capabilities. The Autonomy Stack enables Vecna vehicles to learn new skills as they work through diverse levels of demands, seasonal needs, and market changes – creating a constant cycle of improvement and maximizing productivity no matter the situation.

The fifth generation Pallet Jack is the latest of many innovations Vecna has pioneered over the last year, including Pivot.al – the world’s first AI-driven orchestration engine.

Pivot.al coordinates workflows and tasks in real-time based on the capabilities, location, and availability of both humans and robots in operation. Pivot.al reallocates human and vehicle assignments based on the level of demand and shares information across people, robots, and associated systems.

“The improved Pallet Jack is the newest product in our plan to advance warehouse automation,” said Daniel Theobald, CIO of Vecna Robotics. “This is another step on our roadmap to fully automate pallet handling, to include vertical operations and unloading as we expand our industry-leading capabilities and commitment to providing customers sustained long term solutions to all their material handling needs.”

Learn more about Vecna Robotics’ Pallet Jack and Pivot.al, as well as their entire fleet of self-driving vehicles at ProMat 2019. Vecna will be displaying a wide range of vehicles, including its autonomous Tugger and Pallet Jack at booth #S5483.

 

OneCharge Announces Aftermarket Sales Agreement with Hyster-Yale Group, Inc.

OneCharge lithium batteries are now available through Hyster® and Yale® dealer network

Irvine, CA February  – OneCharge Inc. (www.onecharge.biz), a leading provider of lithium motive batteries for the material handling industry, has signed an aftermarket sales agreement with Hyster-Yale Group, Inc. to sell OneCharge lithium batteries through authorized Hyster® and Yale® dealers.

“Since the communication integration of OneCharge lithium batteries with Hyster and Yale electric lift trucks was completed last year, it is the next logical step to make these batteries easily accessible to our dealers and customers,” said Sarah McLawhorn, Director Aftermarket Solutions for Hyster-Yale Group. “We take pride in our 20+ years of experience selecting valuable suppliers offering quality products to Hyster and Yale dealers and their customers through our one-stop shop philosophy and welcome OneCharge as our newest supplier.”

“We’re excited to join Hyster-Yale Group’s aftermarket program as it will allow us to offer our solutions to many new customers and to provide better support to many of our customers who already enjoy OneCharge lithium batteries in their Yale or Hyster lift trucks,” said Tim Karimov, President of OneCharge. “We have been focusing on promoting lithium batteries for use in the material handling equipment for over 6 years and are happy to see the growing acceptance of this technology in this market.”

OneCharge lithium batteries have full communications integration with Hyster® and Yale® electric lift trucks. The plug-and-play configuration allows a lithium battery to integrate seamlessly into the truck, retaining full functionality of the battery state of charge indicator and low battery warning system. “We see rapidly growing interest in and adoption of lithium-ion solutions among our dealer network and valued customers,” said Steven LaFevers, Vice President, Motive Power & Telematics.   “Offering this plug-and-play solution supports our vision and provides robust and advanced methods of motive power in the industry,” continues LaFevers.

Many companies in North America use OneCharge batteries. These clients work in food, manufacturing, distribution, 3PL, consumer packaged goods, and other industries. Every OneCharge battery features data processing module tracking numerous operational parameters. These data gathering capabilities coupled with highly-efficient communications infrastructure allows to acquire and analyze significant volumes of data further enabling value-adding services for the customers. Such services can range from daily usage reports to Energy as a Service (EaaS) offering, which is sometimes referred to as “power by the hour”.

OneCharge is working towards securing full UL Listing in Q1 2019. OneCharge batteries will be listed under UL standard 2580, which makes them also conform to the requirements for the UL583 standard for electric lift trucks.

About Hyster-Yale Group, Inc.

Hyster-Yale Group, Inc., designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services a comprehensive line of lift trucks and aftermarket parts marketed globally primarily under the Hyster® and Yale® brand names. Subsidiaries of Hyster-Yale Group include Nuvera Fuel Cells, LLC, an alternative-power technology company focused on fuel-cell stacks and related systems, on-site hydrogen production and dispensing systems, and Bolzoni S.p.A., a leading worldwide producer of attachments, forks and lift tables under the Bolzoni Auramo and Meyer brand names. Hyster-Yale Group, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. (NYSE:HY). Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. and its subsidiaries, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, employ approximately 7,700 people worldwide.

About OneCharge Inc.

OneCharge is one of the largest developers, manufacturers, and integrators of lithium-ion batteries for lift trucks in the United States. The company sells large quantities of industrial batteries for warehouse equipment. It successfully collaborates with several OEM market leaders.

While competition is mainly focusing on R&D activities, OneCharge is commercializing lithium-ion battery technology. The company’s aim is to create easy and ready-to-use solutions for a wide range of industrial clients. This strategy has allowed the company to enter several markets quite rapidly.

OneCharge acts as a ‘change ambassador’ in relation to new technologies implementation. The company is continuously investing in technological development. It has been exploring new chemical compositions for batteries that could reduce the cost of the product while improving the operational characteristics. New developments are quickly implemented in the production process and are gradually becoming new benchmarks on the market.

The company does a lot to ensure that the maintenance of its batteries is as simple as possible. It has developed a special modular component system that allows streamlining service department training in order to accelerate the lithium batteries’ acceptance on the market.

For more information, visit www.onecharge.biz.

Hänel Launches Hands-Free Augmented Reality Device for Use with Automated Vertical Storage

Hänel Storage Systems, a leader in the manufacture and integration of automated vertical storage units, is pleased to announce Augmented Reality (AR) features for use in conjunction with its storage systems. Through the use of wireless “data eyeglasses” and Pick-by-Voice, a Hänel Lean-Lift Vertical Lift Module (VLM) can be operated hands-free, without the use of a system controller or keyboard.

The optical AR device uses voice commands to accomplish data input and item selection.  While wearing the AR display, users can view all relevant data and information regarding a stored item, including its description, photograph, and stored location. Once an item is requested via voice command, the storage system automatically brings it to the access point for retrieval.

The item’s position on the shelf can then be identified by Hänel Pick-o-Light, a moveable LED unit inside the access point that shines a targeted beam of light precisely on the specific item awaiting retrieval.

This AR system allows users to focus their full attention on the picking process without the need to handle notes or other paperwork.  When used in conjunction with Pick-o-Light, the system drastically minimizes the risk of human picking errors.  Hänel storage units and AR glasses can be linked to various ERP systems through an integrated Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) interface, which allows programs on different operating systems to communicate.

“In the warehouse environment, Augmented Reality devices show clear advantages,” said Craig Sinclair, manager of systems integration.  “Efficiency gains made by keeping your hands free to do other tasks, especially in dangerous environments, and time savings by directing employees quickly to the next task are large steps forward.  Future applications that can livestream a task to improve accuracy and augmented vision capabilities that can quickly help new staff are right around the corner.”

Hänel will exhibit and provide product demonstrations of the new Augmented Reality system during ProMat 2019 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL on April 8-11, 2019, at Booth #S2036.

About Hänel Storage Systems

Hänel Storage Systems is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, and specializes in the design and engineering of Rotomat® vertical storage carousels and Lean-Lift® Vertical Lift Module for a wide range of industries and applications.  Hänel provides sales, service and technical support to North America and South America through a network of factory-trained channel partners and service providers.

Introduced in 1957, the Rotomat® Vertical Carousel is based on the Ferris Wheel principal.  Inventory is stored in a series of carriers that rotate within the unit and are accessed at a single opening.  This vertical “goods to the user” concept improves productivity, lowers costs, increases security and saves valuable floor space.

Introduced in 1994, the Lean-Lift® Vertical Lift Module stores inventory on trays that are automatically measured for height each time they enter the unit. A vertical extractor automatically places the tray within the unit in a location that maximizes available storage space.  Trays can be equipped with dividers, totes, bins and specialized holders to store any type of inventory.

For more information about Hänel products, visit www.hanel.us.

Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Launches new 9-Series Forklift

Doosan 9 series GC35

Doosan Industrial Vehicle America has launched its all-new 9-Series Internal Combustion Cushion Tire Forklift line. With improved maneuverability, a high visibility mast, and heavy-duty cooling systems, Doosan has again delivered what dealers want and what customers need. Ranging from 3,000 lb. to 12,000 lb. capacity, these lift trucks were made specifically for the warehousing, paper, bottling, and trucking industries.

These 9 Series reward operators with 20% more leg room while enhancing safety with over 20% more mast visibility. These new trucks boast power and speed that is immediately apparent once you put your foot on the accelerator. The boxcar model creates a solution for applications with tight spaces.
“We are thrilled to expand our product line in the North American market. Not only will this be a great addition to our current offerings, but it will also solidify the partnership we share with our dealers. It’s another example of our commitment to North America, to our dealers and to our customers,” Tony Jones, CEO remarked.
About Doosan
Doosan is Korea’s oldest business organization with a proud history of 122 years. As the world’s leading Infrastructure Support Business (ISB) provider, Doosan delivers the basics necessary for improving the quality of people’s lives. Doosan’s history represents a story of dynamic change and growth. Founded in 1896 as Korea’s first modern retail business (known then as Park Seung-jik Store), Doosan has established itself as a world-class ISB provider. With about 40,000 employees in 38 countries, Doosan now operates 25 affiliates and 121 global entities. Doosan is present in every area of the infrastructure support business, which encompasses energy development, industrial facilities, parts and machinery, heavy equipment, construction, civil engineering, transportation, and other value-added areas.

Toyota Industries North America Acquires Hoist Liftruck

COLUMBUS, Ind.  – Toyota Industries North America, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Hoist Liftruck Mfg., LLC effective February 8, 2019. The new company will be Hoist Material Handling, Inc.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in building a terrific brand and quality products,” said Hoist Founder Marty Flaska. “I am retiring and will no longer be part of the business, but the company is in good hands. It’s an honor to hand it off to the industry leader Toyota.”

Hoist Material Handling will be led by Vice President (VP) and General Manager Dan Kossow; VP of Engineering Bob Miller; VP of Sales Stu Jacover; and VP of Operations Ryan Delaney. Delaney, who spent the last six years as Director of Quality for the Raymond Corporation, will join the Hoist Material Handling team in East Chicago reporting to Tony Miller, Senior VP of Operations and Engineering for Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing.

“This is the perfect next step in the expansion of our Toyota Heavy Duty (THD) line,” said Jeff Rufener, President of Toyota Material Handling U.SA. “Hoist has been a great manufacturer of heavy-duty equipment for years and brings a group of passionate, talented associates that will help us in our role as a full-line equipment supplier. We are excited about the future of Hoist Material Handling.”

The acquisition of Hoist Material Handling adds to Toyota’s already robust presence in the state of Indiana. Headquartered in East Chicago, Ind. with a 550,000-square-foot factory, Hoist has nearly 25 years of experience manufacturing heavy-duty cushion tire and pneumatic forklifts, reach stackers, container handlers, and more, ranging in lift capacity from 7 to 57 tons.

Toyota has had an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Hoist for the manufacture of large capacity forklifts under the THD brand since 2015.

About Toyota Material Handling

Toyota Material Handling offers a full line of material handling products proudly assembled in the United States, including forklifts, reach trucks, order pickers, pallet jacks, container handlers, automated guided vehicles, and tow tractors, along with aerial work platforms, fleet management services, and advanced automation engineering and design. Toyota’s commitment to quality, reliability and customer satisfaction, the hallmark of the Toyota Production System, extends throughout more than 230 locations across North America. For more information, visit ToyotaForklift.com.

Four eyes see more than two for forklift operators

Forklift cameras: Bosch is bringing its automotive multi-camera system to the logistics market

  • Fewer accidents: its new multi-camera system for forklifts helps with precision maneuvers
  • Four near-range cameras capture the vehicle’s entire surroundings
  • Sight assist and route overlay increase safety in logistics

Stuttgart, Germany – In a warehouse, space is often hard to come by. Forklift drivers frequently have to maneuver their vehicles through tight spaces between shelves and stacked pallets. Time and again, this leads to accidents that result in damage to the goods or the vehicles – a consequence that is not only annoying but can also become quite expensive. A far worse consequence than property damage is personal injury. According to a study by the German employers’ liability insurance association for the wood and metal industries (BGHW), personal injuries occur most often when the vehicle is backing up in a small space of one to three meters. In Germany alone, official reports put the number of accidents involving forklifts at some 12,000 each year (source: WEKA). “A driver’s eyes cannot be everywhere at once – that’s where the Bosch multi-camera system comes in,” says Andrew Allen, responsible for Bosch’s Commercial Vehicle and Off-Road unit. Its forklift camera system will be publicly showcased for the first time at LogiMAT.

The full picture

Using the sight assist, the multi-camera system can provide a full 360° view around the forklift – even if it is carrying bulky freight. This simplifies the task of picking up and moving loads, even in tight spaces. The system helps the forklift maneuver with precision and makes it possible to estimate distances more accurately while on the move. Drivers can thus execute logistics tasks simply, safely, and efficiently.

The multi-camera system consists of a control unit plus four very compact near-range cameras. Working together, they can capture an area measuring eight by eight meters. The cameras were originally designed for Bosch’s passenger-car segment but have now been adapted for the special needs of the logistics market.

Cameras capture the vehicle’s entire surroundings

Forklift cameras are positioned at the front, rear, and each side of the vehicle. With an aperture of nearly 190°, they capture the vehicle’s entire surroundings. Drivers see a realistic representation of their vehicle as a detailed 3D model on a display. As the vehicle moves, the display adjusts the view of its surroundings in real time. To better suit the vehicle’s purpose, the manufacturer can preconfigure the screen to display individual or 360° views as well as full-screen or split-screen views. The driver then can choose the best view for the task at hand from the preprogrammed options.

Route overlay shows the way

The multi-camera system can visually project the vehicle’s immediate path over the forward, rear, or top view. To achieve this, the control unit measures the steering angle, calculates the resulting route, and shows it on the display. If the steering angle changes, the system recalculates the route and adapts the display accordingly. The route overlay serves primarily to aid in maneuvering and merging.

Forklift/Lift Truck News Briefs

Lift truck/forklift news and other MHE information.

Business owner fined and jailed for six months in unprecedented case after fatal forklift accident

A Victorian Magistrates’ Court found the owner of a scrap metal business guilty of breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was fatally crushed by a metal bin.

The company owner was operating a forklift to lift a metal bin which the worker was standing in. When the metal bin was raised in the air, the worker fell through the corroded base of the bin before the bin itself fell from the forklift tines on top of the worker.  Read more.


New forklifts and telematics streamline operations

Thyssen-Krupp, located in Park City, Kan., outside of Wichita, is a partner for the world’s leading aerospace companies and their supply chains. A big part of the company’s overall efficiency is dependent on its fleet of forklifts. After changing forklift brands, the company reduced maintenance costs while improving safety and operational visibility. Read more.


Forklift drivers convicted for cellphone use in warehouse

In the first case of its kind in Canada, two workers have been prosecuted for using their cellphones while on forklifts at work. This case demonstrates when the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will prosecute workers under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and it shows the ministry’s expectations on employers to enforce zero tolerance policies with respect to cellphone use in potentially dangerous workplaces. Read more.


Frigates To Forklifts: A Designer’s Journey From The Navy To Industry

What do warships have to do with forklift trucks? For Kero Uusitalo, these two vastly different vehicles have shaped his working life – combining his childhood dreams and an enduring passion for design. Read more.


Rhode Island Man Arrested After Taking Forklift, Trying to Ram Police Cruisers

Just one more reason not to leave the key in the ignition!


RELiON Battery Announces New Online Store

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — RELiON Battery, a leading global manufacturer of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, announced today the launch of its new online store. In a continued effort to strengthen the brand’s accessibility, enhance customer interactions and increase consumer product knowledge, the RELiON website offers e-commerce functionality for the first time.

Online shoppers in the U.S. looking for high performance LiFePO4 batteries for recreational vehicles, boats, electric vehicles, solar energy systems and more can now not only access in-depth technical information on RELiON’s products, but also shop from the comfort of their home. The online store stocks many of the company’s standard LiFePO4 batteries, including a range of 12V, 24V and 48V products. RELiON also offers free shipping on all orders, making sure that customers can take advantage of quick delivery.

“Launching our online store is a direct response to requests from consumers for an online shopping experience. Our goal is to offer a seamless customer experience by blending the convenience of ordering standard items in smaller quantities online with technical support to ensure customers get the right solution for their application,” said Paul Hecimovich, CEO, RELiON Battery.

RELiON will continue to increase product offering within the online store as the company’s product lines expand and new innovative technology is released into the market. With an assortment of products larger than most online lithium battery retailers, shopping at relionbattery.commakes it easy and convenient for consumers to order a LiFePO4 battery for their high powered applications.

“For anyone looking to quickly find an alternative to lead-acid or other traditional batteries, the RELiON online store will streamline the customer buying experience and save valuable time,” added Hecimovich.

RELiONBattery.com conveniently accepts all major credit cards and products purchased can be shipped anywhere within the continental United States. For more information on their new online store, visit https://relionbattery.com/products/lithium.


Forklift Accident Kills Man at Campbell’s Soup Plant

July 16, 2018. An accident involving a forklift and a dumpster at the Campbell’s Soup plant in Maxton, NC on Sunday left one man dead and another person with injuries., according to Powder & Bulk Solids.

Plant employees told local ABC News affiliate WPDE that a dumpster being moved by a forklift fell, fatally injuring one man. Another worker was injured in the incident and transported by helicopter to a local hospital. The Robesonian reported that the person received injuries while attempting to assist the man who died.


Doosan Industrial Vehicle unveils eco-friendly, smart forklifts

Doosan lithium ionJuly 16, 2018. Doosan Corporation Industrial Vehicle (DIV), celebrating the 50th anniversary of its foundation, introduced a high-tech forklift model BS7 running on lithium-ion batteries. Read more.


Poorly Maintained Propane Lift Trucks Send Workers to Hospital with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

https://www.ien.com/safety/video/21012680/bad-forklifts-sent-workers-to-the-hospital


Forklift slips off truck after it hits I-5, I-84 overpass

PORTLAND, Ore. — A truck carrying a forklift hit the the underside of an overpass while traveling north on interstate-5 on Monday afternoon, causing delays as crews work to get the forklift back on the trailer.  Read more.


RPA 2018 EXCELLENCE IN REUSABLE PACKAGING AWARD SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 30

The Wide World of Forklifts

May 15, 2018 – There are said to be roughly 400 forklift manufacturers in the world, of all types and varieties of equipment. No single trade show, no matter how big, could possibly include all of them, but CeMAT 2018, held in late April on the sprawling exhibit hall campus outside of Hannover, Germany, included a couple dozen forklift suppliers from the continents of Europe, Asia and North America. Read more at MH&L.


LEEA and IPAF working together to the benefit of members 

May 15, 2018 – The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) CEO, Dr Ross Moloney, recently met with Tim Whiteman, CEO of The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), and Richard Whiting, UK Market General Manager for IPAF, to discuss shared approaches for supporting members as well as exploring opportunities to work closely together in the future across the sector.

“It was a pleasure to welcome Tim and Richard to LEEA’s office. This meeting is part of our determination at LEEA to work across the sector to deliver more benefit for our members,” says Dr Moloney. “We see this as the start of an exciting period of cooperation between our two organisations.”

IPAF promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide through technical advice and information, influencing and interpreting legislation and standards, and safety initiatives and training programmes.

The not-for-profit organisation is owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the Mobile Elevating Work Platfrorms (MEWP) rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.


Toyota Forklifts Expand Product Line with Marina Truck

 April 5, 2018 – Toyota Forklifts, a leading forklift manufacturer in North America, announced a new marina truck option for select models of its THD pneumatic forklifts. The fully-customizable marina truck option helps lift boats out of the water or transfer them from one location to another more efficiently than traditional methods. It’s a great solution for marinas, boatyards, dry stack facilities and any customer who launches watercraft.

The marina truck option boasts a lift capacity up to 55,000 pounds with load centers designed for the unique balance of watercraft and mast options with a negative lift of down to 20 feet. Equipped with features designed for marine environments including galvanized epoxy coated carriages and padded rotating forks to protect boat hulls, the marina truck option makes lowering and lifting boats out of the water and moving them in and out of storage a smoother process.

Toyota’s latest marina truck option also features a 7-inch touch-screen multi-function display with a capacity estimator and an optional wireless remote control for operating the forklift outside of the normal seating position. The new marina truck option is available now to order. For more information, visit ToyotaForklift.com.


CLARK MATERIAL HANDLING COMPANY APPOINTS PACIFIC MATERIAL HANDLING SOLUTIONS INC. AS AN AUTHORIZED DEALER IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MARKETS

Lexington, KY – April 2, 2018 – CLARK Material Handling Company today announced it has appointed Pacific Material Handling Solutions, Inc. (PMHSI) as an authorized distributor of CLARK products in the San Francisco Bay and Northern California markets.

“Pacific Material Handling Solutions, Inc. is part of the Pacific Solutions group of Companies that provides Material Handling, Commercial Truck, Rental & Leasing solutions to their customers while focusing on long-term customer relations by providing cost-effective solutions. We are excited to have them join our dealer network,” commented Dale Guckian, CLARK’s Director of Dealer Development.

“We are extremely excited about our new affiliation with CLARK Material Handling and its rich tradition to the material handling industry. The CLARK organization provides Pacific the opportunity to bring increased value to our customers and aligns with our 24-7-365 commitment to our customers, associates, and partners,” commented Ralph Logan, Pacific’s President/CEO.

PMHSI will support its CLARK new equipment, aftermarket parts, and service efforts out of its facilities located in Union City, Sacramento, Stockton, and Modesto, California locations. Additional information can be found on the web at www.pmhsi.com or by calling (510) 429-0303.

Holt of California remains an authorized distributor of CLARK products in the Sacramento, CA markets with facilities in West Sacramento, Stockton, Yuba City, and Redding, CA. Holt is a full-service material handling dealer featuring full sales and service departments.


April 5, 2018.  Storage Equipment Safety Service returns to MODEX and the North American Market

Storage Equipment Safety Service returns bringing its 31 years of expertise in Rack and Shelving Safety Inspections and Training to the North American Market.  SESS states it is the market leader in independent rack safety inspections covering the UK, Ireland, Europe, North America and the Caribbean.

Many warehouse users are unaware of the requirements of the RMI codes and guidelines or even the manufacturer’s requirements for installation and use of racking systems.  They are therefore unaware that they are in fact operating in conditions that are unsafe.

SESS USA LLC is passionate about ensuring that all warehouse users operate in a safe environment, which allows them to return home safely to their loved ones. Years of working with warehouse and health and safety personnel have identified a need to educate and raise the awareness of end users on the correct and safe use of racking and shelving.

SESS USA LLC works closely with its customers to ensure that:

  • Annual Inspections are done and damaged racking is identified and classified according to risk level as well as to identify operational issues such as pallet condition, clearances, housekeeping, general conformance to RMI Codes, etc
  • Employees are properly trained to perform in-house monthly inspection
  • Post-Installation inspections are done to ensure that racking has been installed according to manufacturer specifications.

SESS USA LLC  will be participating in Modex 2018 where it will showcase its rack inspection and training services. We look forward to meeting with attendees to discuss their rack safety needs.

Post-Modex will see the re-introduction of the company’s online store and our safety blog which will assist in raising the awareness for rack safety and assist in educating their customers on information pertinent to rack and warehouse safety.


InterrollApril 5, 2018.  Sant’Antonino, Switzerland. Interroll, leading global provider of material handling solutions, announces today that Dr. Ralf Garlichs, Executive Vice President Products & Technology and member of Interroll Group Management, has decided to leave the company by the end of June.

Garlichs, 55, joined the Interroll Group in 2006 as Executive Vice President Drives & Rollers. Since 2011, he has been Executive Vice President Products & Technology and a member Interroll Group Management.

“Ralf Garlichs has been highly successful in advancing Interroll’s technological development and innovation over the past few years, especially with regard to our platform strategy and the digitalization of our company,” says Paul Zumbühl, CEO of the worldwide Interroll Group. “He also directed the successful expansion of our production capacities and pushed forward the implementation of lean manufacturing as part of our globally oriented Interroll production system. We are convinced that on these very good foundations we will successfully speed up our further expansion. On behalf of the entire Interroll Group Management, I would like to thank Ralf Garlichs and wish him the very best for the future.”

The successor of Garlichs will be announced at a later date.


December 5, 2017.  HANNIBAL INDUSTRIES PROVIDES RACKING SOLUTION FOR WESTERN WINDOW SYSTEMS

Pallet Rack News
Hannibal Industries, Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of steel pallet racks for the material handling industry, today announced its cantilever racking system has been successfully installed in Western Window Systems’ new warehouse through Handling Systems.
Based in Phoenix, Western Window Systems designs and manufactures door and window systems that bring indoor and outdoor spaces together. As a preferred choice of architects, builders, and homeowners throughout North America, it’s inspired by modern living with unlimited design possibilities in residential, prefab, retail, commercial and educational projects.
Western Window Systems and Handling Systems worked closely with Hannibal to obtain permits, design concepts and development to complete the installation ahead of schedule. Hannibal Industries Cantilever Racks are ideal for storage of long, bulky products and are available in heavy-duty structural or medium duty roll-formed design.
Additional information on Hannibal Industries is available at http://www.hannibalindustries.com.

December 4, 2017. Chamberlain Group acquires Systems, Inc.

Automated dock-levelers now a part of CGI’s product suite

Warehouse equipment news
Oak Brook, IL-Chamberlain Group (CGI), a global leader in access solutions and products, has acquired Systems, Inc. (SI), one of North America’s leading dock-leveler manufacturers.

“Online retailers are driving growth in the warehouse space and that growth has increased the demand for integrated and efficient access solutions,” said JoAnna Sohovich, CEO of CGI. “We’re very excited about this acquisition because it expands the scope of solutions CGI provides by adding dock-levelers to our product offering and expanding our brand portfolio to meet the diverse needs of warehouse managers. It will also allow us to offer enhanced efficiency to end-users through the integration of automated solutions on our connected platforms.”

Sohovich noted that Sl will continue to operate as they do now, with their President, Mike Pilgrim continuing to lead the dock-leveler business.

“We’re very excited to be a part of the CGI team now,” said Pilgrim. “A family-owned company of their caliber has the kind of resources and values-driven culture that any organization would want to be a part of.”

“SI has excellent strength in manufacturing, they have great customer service and a very robust network of independent dealers, installers and national accounts,” Sohovich added. “We’re looking forward to the great things Mike and his team will do as a part of CGI.”


December 4, 2017. Eberspaecher Vecture: Intelligent battery solutions for Industry 4.0 and logistics.

Forklift news
In logistics and warehousing forklifts are the driving force. Eberspaecher Vecture’s Battery Management Systems (BMS), digital acquisition systems (DAQ) and battery chemistries ensure their optimal functioning. One year after Eberspaecher acquired the majority stake in Vecture Inc., the company further develops its expertise for industrial purposes.


December 1, 2017.

Forklift news
Woman injured after forklift tips and falls from dock.  A woman was taken to hospital after her forklift tipped over, falling five feet from a dock. She was restrained by the use of her seatbelt.


November 29, 2017.

Forklift news
Buffalo Forklift to Consolidate in Amherst.


November 27, 2017

Dr. Thomas Toepfer, CFO of KION GROUP AG, will be leaving the company on March 31, 2018. He will be joining Covestro AG in Leverkusen, one of the world’s leading polymer material manufacturers, in the same role. On Monday, the Supervisory Board of KION GROUP AG agreed to Dr. Toepfer’s request to have his contract – which would have run until August 31, 2020 – terminated early. The Supervisory Board will decide on his successor very soon.

Dr. John Feldmann, chairman of the Supervisory Board, stated: “It is with regret that the Supervisory Board has accepted Thomas Toepfer’s resignation, but we respect his decision to pursue his next career step outside our Group. Thomas is a very experienced CFO and Labor Relations Director and we are sorry to be losing him. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Gordon Riske, he has worked closely with his colleagues on the Executive Board and has played a crucial role in our success and in shaping the positive development of our Group over more than five years. He has placed the financial structure of the Group on a sound long-term footing and will be handing over the finance function in very good shape. Dr. Toepfer has played a crucial role in ensuring that the KION Group has enjoyed the confidence of the capital markets and of its shareholders in recent years.”

Gordon Riske, Chief Executive Officer of the KION Group, said: “I would like to thank Dr. Toepfer for the successful and collaborative working relationship and for the substantial contribution he has made to the trajectory of profitable growth and our transformation into an integrated supply chain solutions provider. We wish him the best of luck and every success in his new role.”


November 7, 2017. Wajax celebrates 50 years as Hyster distributor.

2017 marks the 50th year of the business relationship between Wajax and Hyster Company, who celebrated the occasion with a series of events across Canada as well as with the introduction of new warehouse products and the latest Class V internal combustion pneumatic forklifts.


November 6, 2017. Researchers work on autonomous forklift trucks.

The European consortium behind the Iliad Project is working on the development of autonomous forklift trucks.  The team, which consists of robotics specialists from the UK, Sweden, Italy, and Germany, has been working on the project for four years and believes the machines can support tasks such as packing, palletizing and transporting goods.


October 29, 2017.  Forklift battery technology is a top priority for the future.

Battery technology has emerged as the top technical challenge for the future by forklift truck operators, dealers and the wider industry according to early results from a new national survey being undertaken by FLT manufacturer TCM.


October 23, 2017.  Smart Glasses Make the Difference in Food Logistics Order Picking

Warehouse logistics needs to run quickly when goods rotation is high, especially when it comes to perishable food products. Belgian third-party logistics provider Weerts Supply Chain S.A. therefore relies on the pick by vision solution from logistics IT developer Picavi. In its central warehouse near Liege, Weerts currently uses fifteen pairs of Glass Enterprise Edition to pick orders for American food giant Mondelēz.


October 19, 2017. KION North America Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Forklift news briefs

This month, KION North America Corporation made a donation to Susan G. Komen South Carolina in support of their mission to “save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.”

In addition their financial contribution, the company is displaying a pink forklift in front of their facility and employees have been encouraged to wear pink on each Tuesday throughout the month of October.

“We have employees and their families members who have personally been affected by breast cancer, or other types of cancer,” said Vincent Halma, President and CEO of KION North America. “We felt a responsibility to show our support of this critical mission.”

KION North America is a member of the KION Group, one of the world’s two leading manufacturers of industrial trucks and the world’s largest manufacturer of electric forklifts. The company, which employees an estimated 200 employees, has been in operation in Summerville, S.C. since 1985.


October 19, 2017. Hoist and Rigging Training Made Easier with Columbus McKinnon’s New Website

Whether you need to meet OSHA or ASME requirements, receive overhead crane and rigging certification or simply gain the peace of mind that comes from having a safer work environment, Columbus McKinnon can help. Columbus McKinnon Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCO), a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of material handling products, systems and services, launched its new training website, putting all of the information professionals need to get trained and do their jobs safely right at their fingertips.

“Promoting the safe and proper use of hoist and rigging products is a top priority for Columbus McKinnon,” said Paul Smielecki, marketing and training manager. “Our new website will allow Channel Partners and end users to easily find detailed course information and immediately register for training classes.”

In addition to comprehensive course information, Columbus McKinnon’s new training website provides information on the company’s professional trainers as well as its training locations, including the state‐of‐the‐ art Niagara Training Center and Rock Lititz entertainment center of excellence. There is even hotel and flight information available for easy and convenient trip planning.

The site also features downloadable safety resources, like a Hoist Pre‐Operational Inspection Checklist, that riggers, plant managers and safety supervisors can share and post at their facilities.


October 17, 2017. Worker dies in serious incident at Swift CaravansA UK worker was fatally injured in a collision involving a forklift.


October 13, 2017.  Newmarket Company Fined $135,000 After Worker Fatally Injured by Forklift. A temporary worker was critically injured and later died after being struck by a forklift in an area that was shared by both forklifts and pedestrians.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour’s investigation found that the walkway was a shared pedestrian and forklift aisle frequently used as a traffic corridor in both directions. There were no pedestrian crossways, stop signs, mirrors, walkways or barriers separating pedestrians from forklift traffic, and there were no identified crossing points along the aisle to make pedestrian movement more predictable and easier to anticipate.

A Ministry of  Labour ergonomist conducted a line-of-sight assessment and concluded that there had been an insufficient distance for the forklift operator to safely bring the forklift to a stop before the impact with the worker. Also, there was a ‘blind spot’ area, and the forklift operator had not been speeding.

Empty bins were stored two high adjacent to the yellow lines on the floor in the surface line area. The line-of-sight assessment indicated that the storage of empty bins adjacent to the yellow lines on the floor in the surface line area was a contributing factor to the incident. The location and height of the bins limited the sight lines available to the forklift operator by effectively blocking part of the view.


September 18, 2017. Silver Jubilee — Mitsubishi releases special edition warehouse and forklift trucks.


September 11, 2017. Pallet-Track to roll out cameras on its forklift trucks after successful trial. Leading logistics company Pallet-Track is rolling out more than 100 bespoke high resolution cameras for its fleet of fork lift trucks (FLTs) to help drive increased efficiencies and protect its unparalleled industry record of never losing a consignment during its 13-year history. The company moves more than 20 million pallets annually.


September 6, 2017. Tougher new test for UK fork lift operators comes into force.  From the 1st September, anyone training as a fork lift truck operator will find the test considerably tougher than ever before.


September 1, 2017. Forklift Foils Gravity’s Effects. Toyota’s System of Active Stability (SAS) was designed to directly improve vehicle stability by automatically stabilizing loads during high lifting and reducing the possibility of the forklift and its load tipping over as it turns.


August 29, 2017. Hyster lowers handling costs for paper recyclers.  The collection and recycling in Europe increased by almost one million tonnes of paper in just 5 years. As the industry continues to grow, Hyster Europe claims that it can help even the most intensive paper recycling operations reduce cost and maximise efficiency.


August 26, 2017. When Automation Doesn’t Bring Layoffs. UniCarriers Americas, a subsidiary of Kyoto, Japan-based Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift, employs 600 workers at its plant 75 minutes northwest of downtown Chicago. Though the plant has automated more and more production in the past five years, no workers have been laid off. In fact, headcount has doubled since 2012, and the company has spent $1.1 million to retrain employees for other jobs within the factory.


August 23, 2017. Massive Forklift Used to Steal ATM. Closed circuit television captures the heist.


August 18, 2017. Schoolboy who stole forklift truck and went on a two-hour rampage escapes a PRISON sentence.

The 15-year-old, who was also carrying a rifle, stole the industrial machine from a farm shop before setting off along country roads in the late evening last September, a court heard. He recklessly crisscrossed lanes around Sonning Common and Cane End near Henley-on-Thames in Berkshire at speed before maneuvering the prongs under the chassis of a blue Fiat Punto before tipping it onto its side, writing it off.


August 15, 2017. Hyundai Construction Equipment’s has launched the newest of its all-around heavy-duty diesel forklifts – the compact but powerful 160D-9L. The new truck fills the gap between the 160D-9 and 180D-9 and offers an increased load capacity, extra safety, cost-effectiveness and operator comfort.


August 7, 2017. Forklift Operators: Drivers of Change.


August 7, 2017. Delivery driver who had leg ‘crushed’ by forklift truck at work sues for £300k.


August 3, 2017. Man Heralded After Spotting Runaway Forklift.


Augusts 3, 2017. Food firm fined for forklift accident. A manufacturer of prepared meals has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 for safety failings, fter a worker fell 6m off the back of a forklift truck.


August 3, 2017. Ontario’s Concord Premium Meats Ltd. has been fined $55,000 for a forklift accident at its Brampton, Ont. plant.  The incident took place in May 2013 and involved a shipper/receiver operating a walkie forklift. According to the Ministry of Labour, the young worker was moving meat with the small forklift and collided with materials being moved by a co-worker. The worker suffered a broken ankle during the accident.


August 2, 2017. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are finally taking off—inside Amazon and Walmart warehouses. In the last few months, Plug Power has struck two $600-million deals. One with Amazon for forklift fleets in 11 warehouses, and another with Walmart for the same in 10 warehouses. (Walmart is already using Plug Power forklifts in 22 warehouses).


August 2, 2017. E Instruments has introduced the F900 Carbon Monoxide Exhaust Analyzer. This device is designed to accurately measure CO from forklifts and small engines for CO safety testing, pre-compliance testing, and engine tuning and maintenance.

The F900 is now available with a wireless Bluetooth printer, which allows users to print on-site exhaust analysis reports.


July 28, 2017. Top 6 Forklift Mobility Trends. In case you are wondering, these include alternative power, low resistance and non-marking tires, safety, lift scales, Internet of Forklifts, and compact platform.


July 26, 2017. Winnebago plant in Middlebury fined $10,000 following worker’s death. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the Winnebago plant in Middlebury $10,000 for workplace violations after a 54-year-old employee was run over and killed by a forklift in April. Two serious violations were noted: A windshield was installed on a forklift, which affected it’s operation, and the forklift wasn’t operated at a safe speed.


July 23, 2017. Teen Worker Run Over by Forklift.


July 22, 2017. Plug Power shares jumped as much as 19% in response to an announcement that the company had expanded its relationship with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.


July 21, 2017. Port of Tilbury is London’s major port and operates on such a large scale it needs its own on-site, resident engineers to ensure the continual running of vital equipment. FSDF member Briggs Equipment is able to offer a 3 hour response time to breakdowns thanks to its nationwide fleet of service engineers, however the expectations of a busy port are even more immediate and the Port remains one of the company’s longest standing examples of providing a resident team to help a customer achieve their productivity goals.


July 19, 2017. A worker at a UK building site was potentially seriously injured when he was crushed between a forklift and a post. He was airlifted to a London Hospital.


July 18, 2017. The AC-powered forklift market is expected to grow at 6.5% CAGR through 2021. The new BCC Research report also notes the major applications of forklift trucks are distribution centers and warehouses, accounting for 27.5% and 25.2%, respectively, of the 2016 global market. In response to consumer desire for ever-shorter delivery times, e-commerce companies are seeking warehouse spaces near urban areas. As the demand for distribution centers increases, the demand for forklifts is expected to jump during the forecast period.

BCC Research projects that the global forklift truck market will grow from $41.9 billion in 2016 to $56.3 billion in 2021 at a 6.1% CAGR.


July 17, 2017.  EnerSys® NexSys® TPPL (Thin Plate Pure Lead) technology batteries have been chosen by Kuehne+Nagel to power vehicles at a new warehouse in Turkey, eliminating gas emissions and thus increasing safety and reducing time loss on battery change.


July 13, 2017.  Brazen cash machine thieves use a forklift to smash through building society wall and escape with the loot.  CCTV footage captured a Bobcat telehandler ramming a building three times before lifting free an ATM and placing it onto a pick-up truck. Click image to watch.

forklift news briefs


July 12, 2017.  A Mississippi man was fatally injured while pressure washing a building. He was standing on a forklift platform when the forklift tipped.


June 27, 2017.  Drunken Rampage. A 20-year-old man Ontario man is facing numerous charges after allegedly stealing a forklift while drunk and taking it on a destructive drive, according to the Toronto Sun. When police arrived they found damage to property and trees, as well as overhead wires which were pulled down.


June 25, 2017.  Forklift safety training is critical. An article from the National Safety Council stresses the importance of forklift training.

World premiere for Linde Roadster with fuel cell drive

Linde Roadster Fuel Cell

With its Roadster concept, Linde Material Handling has set completely new standards in terms of visibility and safety for industrial trucks. The company is now adding one of the most promising energy systems to the advantages of this unique design: It’s curtain up for the first Linde Roadster with fuel cell drive!

It is one of the crucial questions in goods handling: Which drive technology is best suited for the operating conditions of a particular forklift fleet? To find the answer, fleet managers have to take a wide range of factors into account: Are the trucks meant to be used indoors or outdoors, will they operate in single or multi-shift systems, what kind of goods have to be moved, what is the local infrastructure like – and finally, what type of drive is recommendable in terms of total cost of ownership? “Our customers are looking for economical energy solutions and more and more often the CO2 footprint is playing a decisive role in this context,” says Markus Weinberger, International Product Manager Energy Solutions at Linde Material Handling: “Our sales consultants can offer them a wide range of possible energy solutions, from electric drives with lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries to fuel cell powered vehicles or combustion engine drives using diesel, LPG or natural gas. The best solution always depends on the local conditions.”

For two decades now, Linde Material Handling has been working on the development of series-production industrial trucks with fuel cells. “In 1997, we were ahead of the game, focusing intensively on this promising technology, and production of the first trucks started in 2010,” says Weinberger. “Today, the Linde brand offers the largest range of fuel cell-powered industrial trucks on the market. Around 80 percent of our models can be ordered with this promising energy option. These include pallet trucks, tow tractors and reach trucks as well as counterbalanced trucks including the Roadster model.”

A smart combination

With the Linde-Roadster, an extraordinary forklift meets an extraordinary drive concept: Thanks to its sophisticated vehicle layout, it provides optimum load and driving visibility. The absence of the usual A-pillar makes a significant contribution in this regard. This could be dispensed with thanks to overhead tilt cylinders that absorb the lifting forces and direct them backwards via the overhead guard frame. The Roadster versions of electric forklift trucks Linde E20 to E35 score particularly well in logistics and industrial facilities with heavy passenger traffic. In addition, the driver can carry out precision work such as container loading more easily thanks to the significantly larger field of vision.

It is one of the crucial questions in goods handling: Which drive technology is best suited for the operating conditions of a particular forklift fleet? To find the answer, fleet managers have to take a wide range of factors into account: Are the trucks meant to be used indoors or outdoors, will they operate in single or multi-shift systems, what kind of goods have to be moved, what is the local infrastructure like – and finally, what type of drive is recommendable in terms of total cost of ownership? “Our customers are looking for economical energy solutions and more and more often the CO2 footprint is playing a decisive role in this context,” says Markus Weinberger, International Product Manager Energy Solutions at Linde Material Handling: “Our sales consultants can offer them a wide range of possible energy solutions, from electric drives with lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries to fuel cell powered vehicles or combustion engine drives using diesel, LPG or natural gas. The best solution always depends on the local conditions.”

For two decades now, Linde Material Handling has been working on the development of series-production industrial trucks with fuel cells. “In 1997, we were ahead of the game, focusing intensively on this promising technology, and production of the first trucks started in 2010,” says Weinberger. “Today, the Linde brand offers the largest range of fuel cell-powered industrial trucks on the market. Around 80 percent of our models can be ordered with this promising energy option. These include pallet trucks, tow tractors and reach trucks as well as counterbalanced trucks including the Roadster model.”

A smart combination

With the Linde-Roadster, an extraordinary forklift meets an extraordinary drive concept: Thanks to its sophisticated vehicle layout, it provides optimum load and driving visibility. The absence of the usual A-pillar makes a significant contribution in this regard. This could be dispensed with thanks to overhead tilt cylinders that absorb the lifting forces and direct them backwards via the overhead guard frame. The Roadster versions of electric forklift trucks Linde E20 to E35 score particularly well in logistics and industrial facilities with heavy passenger traffic. In addition, the driver can carry out precision work such as container loading more easily thanks to the significantly larger field of vision.

Extraordinary forklift meets an extraordinary drive concept: the Linde-Roadster with fuel cell drive.

Extraordinary forklift meets an extraordinary drive concept: the Linde-Roadster with fuel cell drive.

“As the strengths of the Roadster come to bear especially in indoor areas, its combination with fuel cell technology seemed ideal to us,” says Linde expert Weinberger, explaining the expansion of the portfolio. After all, the energy system does not generate any harmful emissions during operation. Energy production is through a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. The electricity generated in this way feeds a lithium-ion battery, which in turn supplies the traction and lift motors; at the same time, the accumulator serves as an intermediate storage for recovered braking energy and as a “power reserve” for peak periods of demand. The only by-products during the process are heat and pure water. The latter is pumped off during hydrogen refueling.

Speaking of refueling: This is where fuel cell technology reveals its greatest strength: A complete filling process takes a mere three minutes. This ensures maximum availability – especially in tough multi-shift operation, where the energy system makes a convincing case with its continuous power output. Since the simple, fast and clean filling process makes battery replacement obsolete, the fuel cell Roadster is ideal for use even in hygiene-critical sectors such as the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Of course, the factor of economic efficiency plays a decisive role too. Linde expert Markus Weinberger: “Our investigations and practical tests prove that fuel cell systems can become economical with a fleet of around 20 vehicles plus. If the company already has its own hydrogen infrastructure because hydrogen is needed in its production anyway, the concept becomes even more attractive from an economical point of view.” In addition, there is a whole range of ecological benefits, starting with the comparatively long service life of a fuel cell – around 10,000 operating hours – and extending to CO2 savings if the hydrogen used comes from regenerative sources such as biogas or electrolysis using solar and/or wind energy.

Blind Squirrel Entertainment’s Forklift Simulator 2019 Adds Side Stance Reach Truck

Blind Squirrel Entertainment’s Forklift Simulator 2019 puts players in the seat of a highly realistic virtual forklift. Released on November 23rd, 2018, the Early Access of Forklift Simulator 2019 launched with 40 challenges. These challenges help players learn how to safely operate a 4-Wheel Counterbalance Forklift. In addition to the standard play, Forklift Simulator 2019 supports both Vive and Oculus VR headsets.

Latest Patch Notes

  • Added: Side Stance Reach Truck and a whole new set of challenges designed to teach and test players on the safe use of this versatile vehicle
  • Localization support has been added for French, Italian, German, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish
    • There are currently machine translations in-game, but the team is working with localization specialists around the world to improve the translation quality
  • Additional Quality of Life Improvements and Bug Fixes
  • The Patch Notes hinted at a surprise on either 12/17/2018 or 12/18/2018

For a full list of changes visit: https://steamcommunity.com/games/939450/announcements/detail/3407434592454161680

Global and China Forklift Industry Report, 2018-2023

Operation and Forklift Business of 9 Global and 31 Chinese Forklift Manufacturers

In 2017, global forklift sales reached a record high of 1.334 million units with a year-on-year increase of 15.7%; wherein, China’s sales rose 34.2% year on year to 497,000 units, still ranking first worldwide. In 2018, the Chinese market maintained rapid growth, with the fork sales outnumbering 500,000 units in the first ten months of 2018 and expectedly approaching 600,000 units throughout the year. In the future, the Chinese forklift market will still have huge growth potentials and forklift sales in 2023 will double that in 2018.

Electric forklifts, particularly electric warehouse forklifts, saw the highest growth rates in 2017 and 2018, namely 48.4% and 49.8% respectively (Jan-Oct). This is largely due to intensive introduction of environmental protection policies, increased fuel costs, and robust demand for warehousing logistics. Moreover, the demand picks up in the new energy forklift market to which more and more entrants have accessed. BYD lithium battery forklifts have been promoted by annual sales of 10,000 units; Anhui HeLi, Hangcha Group, EP Equipment, Noblelift, Ningbo Ruyi and Tailift have without exception produced their own lithium battery forklifts. A total of 8,681 lithium battery forklifts were sold in China in 2017, according to China Forklift Association. Although with a small share in electric forklifts, lithium battery forklifts are growing rapidly with its sales volume in 2018 expected to double that in 2017. As logistics go automated and intelligent, AGV sales have soared. Major forklift producers like Hangcha Group, LiuGong and Linde have rolled out forklift AGV to seize the market.

The burgeoning market in China has prompted many overseas companies to speedily get their business optimized and integrated for competitive edges. In January 2018, KION Group entered into a strategic partnership with Zhejiang EP Equipment; the partnership will focus on joint product development and supply chain synergies and is expected to make both parties more competitive in terms of their product offerings.

In June 2018, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling completed its acquisition of 75% shares in Zhejiang Maximal Forklift. In July 2018, the subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Logisnext — MF (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Nichiyu Forklift Manufacturing Co., Ltd. were integrated into Mitsubishi Logisnext Forklift (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., which will be responsible for marketing and services of all forklift brands of Mitsubishi Logisnext in China with a sales target of more than 10,000 units in 2020.

In addition, Hyundai announced its return to the Chinese market in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province in June 2018 after exiting the market in 2016, and launched a number of new products.

Meanwhile, two Chinese forklift giants integrate resources to be more competitive in key components. In February 2018, Hangcha Group invested in Zhengzhou Jiachen Instrument Co., Ltd.; in the same month, ZF set up a joint venture named ZF-HELI Drivetech (Hefei) Co., Ltd. with Anhui Heli.