Plug Power Announces Expanded Collaboration with Walmart

Continued growth expected in Walmart’s use of Plug Power hydrogen fuel cells in its distribution center material handling fleet. Walmart granted right to purchase Plug Power equity, vesting based on future business.

Plug Power Inc., a leader in providing energy solutions that change the way the world moves, has announced a new collaborative agreement with Walmart to facilitate further expansion of its ongoing relationship with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  The new agreement includes revised deal terms with Walmart that allow Plug Power to access project financing at a lower cost of capital and no restricted cash, making Plug Power’s future distribution transactions with Walmart cash flow positive up front.  Plug Power expects to provide its GenKey hydrogen fueling station and fuel cell energy solutions to up to 30 additional Walmart sites in North America over the next three years, with ten sites already under contract and scheduled to be finished by the end of 2017. The value of these 2017 commitments is expected to be around $80 million. On average, Plug Power has deployed a new Walmart site every 6 weeks since 2014, resulting in a deployed fleet of 5500 Plug Power fuel cells at 22 of Walmart’s U.S. distribution centers as of the end of 2016.

“Our expanding relationship with Walmart validates Plug Power’s advanced capabilities in fuel cell products and systems, allowing the world’s largest retailer to maintain its leading position as an industry innovator,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “Walmart’s long-term supply agreement is a great example of our strategy in action, as it enables us to improve both our revenue visibility and cost structure, all while allowing our customers to experience improved productivity and operational cost savings. We see a growing market opportunity for our power and fueling station technologies within the material handling segment, as well as new mobility applications worldwide, positioning us for long-term success and shareholder value creation.”

As part of the agreement, and as an incentive to align Walmart’s future business with Plug Power’s growth and success, Plug Power has granted Walmart warrants to acquire up to 55,286,696 of Plug Power’s common shares.  Warrants for the first 5,819,652 shares vested upon execution of the new program agreements at an exercise price of $2.1231 per share, which is based on the volume weighted average closing price of Plug Power common shares for the thirty trading days ending July 19, 2017.  Additional warrants will vest in installments tied to successive $50 million payment thresholds, up to a total of $600 million in the aggregate, made by Walmart in connection with qualified purchases of goods and services from Plug Power.  The exercise price for warrants vesting after the first 34,917,912 warrant shares will be based on the volume weighted average closing price at the time that such warrants vest. The details of the warrants and vesting are described in more detail in a report on Form 8-K filed by Plug Power with the SEC earlier today.

The new agreement is a key milestone in a longstanding relationship with Walmart, which has been at the forefront of fuel cell technology adoption and commercialization in material handling, becoming Plug Power’s first GenKey customer in 2014. Plug Power supplies the retail giant with fuel cells, hydrogen fueling stations, and ongoing maintenance services. Today, Walmart operates the largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell powered electric vehicles in the world, totaling more than 6,600 units in distribution centers across North America. Plug Power’s hydrogen fuel cell technology replaces traditional lead-acid batteries, helping customers increase warehouse productivity with a more energy efficient solution while reducing the costs and sustainability issues related to traditional battery maintenance.

“Plug Power’s material handling solutions represent a critical component in our supply chain,” said Jeff Smith, Senior Director of Logistics Maintenance and Purchasing Services. “Plug Power’s hydrogen fuel cell technology, coupled with their innovative fueling stations has proven to be a reliable, cost-effective alternative to traditional energy solutions.”

Source: Plug Power

Lithium-Ion Battery Pack Can Be Adapted to Any Forklift

Romeo Power, the energy storage technology company founded by top engineers and designers from SpaceX, Tesla, Samsung, and Amazon, has introduced THUNDER PACK™- C, the first lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack designed to be adapted for any electric forklift make or model. Like its predecessor, the THUNDER PACK – J 2.0, THUNDER PACK – C is safer, non-toxic and far more energy efficient with significantly longer cycle life than lead acid batteries that still dominate the global forklift market, now forecasted to reach $55.9 billion in 2021.

Romeo Power THUNDER PACKs are warranty-backed to last 4,000 cycles – approximately 12 years – deliver quick recharge, require no maintenance, and produce zero emissions and zero odors. In contrast, traditional lead-acid forklift battery packs have much shorter cycle life, long recharge and cool-down periods, need constant maintenance, run out of energy in as few as six hours, and emit hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfuric acid that smells bad, is messy and hurts the environment.

“In our experience forklift buyers want three things: more safety, longer drive time and less downtime,” said Michael Patterson, Romeo Power founder, and CEO. “THUNDER PACK – J 2.0 – and come December, THUNDER PAC – C – were developed to deliver on all three criteria better than any other battery pack on the market today.”

All Romeo Power battery packs are engineered to exceed the most stringent government safety requirements and include an advanced battery management system based on control-oriented, physicochemical models. Combined with the company’s innovations in thermal engineering, manufacturing processes and the materials chosen to connect components, Romeo Power battery packs have smaller space requirements than other battery packs on the market and offer enhanced state-of-charge (SOC) and state-of-health (SOH) monitoring.

“Romeo Power battery packs are just unbeatable,” said Dan Crowley, CEO of Madison, WI-based Power Designers USA, an innovative battery charger company that provides battery packs and charging solutions for forklifts and other materials handling equipment. “THUNDER PACK’s design, materials, and thermals, combined with Power Designers’ advanced charging algorithm are totally winning the day with our customers – especially big, name-brand packaged goods and food companies with massive fleets of forklifts in their warehouses.”

Batteries Are Big Business

The global forklift market, valued at $35.3 billion in 2014, is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.9 percent and now forecast to reach $55.9 billion by the end of 2021, according to a February report by Persistence Market Research (PMR).

In 2014, 55 percent of global forklift sales were electric models. In 2015, 60 percent were electric. In North America, electric lift trucks now represent nearly 64 percent of sales.

The increase in electric forklift sales is due to several factors, including efficiency and cost. The need for a machine or equipment that can maneuver heavy goods with ease to various locations is also an important reason that drives this market, according to a January study by Allied Market Research. And other triggers such as an increase in productivity, reduced injuries and accidents along with operator comfort are major considerations that supplement the market growth, the study found. But the main influence is reduced emissions in the work environment, according to MHI.org, the largest materials handling, logistics, and supply chain association in the U.S.

Yet, electric forklifts are still powered predominantly by lead-acid batteries, which emit hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfuric acid that smells bad, is messy, and hurts the environment.

“Our ability to adapt THUNDER PACK – C for any electric forklift make or model is huge, not to mention we’re manufacturing it in America,” said Patterson. “When you combine that with zero maintenance, zero watering, zero battery room, no gassing, no equalize charging, zero hazard, and significant cycle life increase, we think we have everything we need to disrupt this market and change it for the good, forever.”

Just The Specs

Li-ion battery technology is changing the way the industrial motive power market does business — and Romeo Power continues to advance the technology.

New KAUP Discharging Device Provides Non-Hydraulic Solution

forklift attachment discharge

 

The new KAUP Discharging Device T167S has been designed and manufactured by KAUP for emptying boxes on Euro pallets with a pallet frame and emptying grate boxes.

The Discharging Device has been developed for companies that may only require intermittent use of this type of attachment. It is a cost effective solution for infrequent or seasonal material handling tasks when a hydraulically operated attachment may not be viable.

The KAUP T167S attachment slips easily onto a rotating fork clamp with no hydraulic connection to the forklift truck necessary.  The quick mounting mechanism ensures it is immediately ready for operation and can be quickly dismounted from the forklift truck when it is no longer required.

The attachment can be quickly adjusted to handle three different load heights. A simple manual adjustment of the load holding arms allows the attachment to accommodate pallet frame heights of 800mm, 1.200mm and 1.600mm. The Discharging Device has a central track for the precise lifting of Euro pallets, allowing the pallet to be positioned exactly 90° to the attachment. This lightweight attachment ensures the residual capacity of the forklift truck remains unchanged for normal forklift truck operation and provides an opening range of 1.200mm – 1.300mm.

This attachment is available for all industry sectors throughout the UK and Ireland from material handling specialists B&B Attachments. B&B pride itself on providing the most comprehensive range of attachments available from one provider.  This includes solutions for ancillary systems, such as cameras and weighing systems from leading manufacturers, such as KAUP, Liftek and MoTec, while also designing and manufacturing custom, specialist attachments in-house for customers with unique requirements.

Source: www.bandbattachments.com.

Aker Wade Power Technologies Announces Availability of Forklift Fast-Charging Systems for Material Handling Operations in Europe

Aker Wade® Power Technologies is proud to announce that its popular UniMAX® and TwinMAX® forklift fast chargers are now manufactured in Corsalone, Italy. Working in collaboration with Powergen S.R.L., a leading European manufacturer of quality charger electronics, Aker Wade is positioned to provide European material handling fleets with the performance and reliability they expect along with shorter lead times and lower prices.

“Since 2004, Aker Wade has delivered over 17,700 fast charge ports to customers in North and South AmericaAsia and Europe. The models built in Corsalone feature Aker Wade’s proven charge control software and add a new 7.5kW output option to the 10, 15, 20 and 30kW outputs already available. Working with Powergen, a trusted European brand, brings faster shipping, shorter lead times and better service for our customers,” says Bret Aker, Managing Director, Aker Wade.

“Our continuing alliance with Aker Wade helps us serve a growing segment of customers in Europe who prefer the simplicity, safety and cost savings of running each forklift on a single battery,” says Antonio Borri, Managing Director, Powergen.

Aker Wade’s fast chargers allow operators to charge while they are on regularly scheduled breaks. Advanced controls on the charger communicate with the battery to manage current and temperature, automatically reaching an optimum state-of-charge. This allows operators to work through multiple shifts without battery changes while optimizing the health of the battery for long life.

“Operations throughout Europe can confidently eliminate multiple batteries, battery storage rooms and the heavy labor demands that go with changing batteries,” says Michiel Hendriksz, General Manager, Aker Wade Europe. “With our UniMAX® and TwinMAX® fast chargers, they need only one battery for each lift truck, even for multi-shift operations.”

Aker Wade Power Technologies designs and manufactures advanced fast charging systems for industrial forklift fleets. Founded in 2000, Aker Wade is the market-leading provider of fast charging technology in the global material handling industry, servicing markets in the U.S., Europe, and AsiaAker Wade collaborates with battery companies, forklift manufacturers, and infrastructure suppliers to deliver custom fast charge solutions for each application. For additional information, please visit www.akerwade.com.

Powergen is based in Italy and manufactures, distributes, sells and services multiple lines of fast and high-frequency industrial battery chargers and charger parts for the manufacturing and material handling industries in Europe. Powergen is a family-owned company, founded on the work of Mr. Ernesto Borri, industrialist, who first patented equipment for a temperature-controlled electric heater. For more information, please visit www.batterychargerpowergen.eu

PORTABLE DOCK LIFTS REQUIRE NO PIT

Presto ECOA Trans-A-Dock™ Surface Mount Loading Dock Lifts deliver all of the benefits and advantages of a permanent dock lift without the need for pit mounting. They are ideal for use in leased buildings, or places where permanent installation is not possible or practical.

Trans-A-Dock™ Lifts can access a wide range of truck bed heights up to 60” and transfer loads to fixed height docks or grade level.

They are available in 3,000, 4,000, and 5,000 lb. capacities. Platforms are constructed of safety tread steel plate and are available in 72” x 72” or 72” x 96” sizes with a variety of transfer configurations. They also feature safety chains at either end and a removable hand rail. Approach ramps and bridge plates also feature safety tread construction and are equipped with lifting chains. Rectangular structural tube scissor legs minimize deflection and allow safe handling of off-center loads.

A detachable dolly jack with flip down wheels on the base frame allows the empty lift to be moved when not in use.

For more information, visit www.prestolifts.com.

I.D. Systems to Acquire Keytroller, Strengthening Its Position in Industrial Truck Management Market and Overall Growth Outlook

Company Also Reports Preliminary Second Quarter 2017 Revenue of $10.0 Million to $10.5 Million

I.D. Systems, Inc., a leading provider of mobile asset management technology and solutions for the Industrial Internet of Things, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Keytroller, LLC, a manufacturer and marketer of a wide range of electronic products for managing forklifts, construction vehicles, and other industrial equipment.

The purchase price is $9.0 million at the close, consisting of $7.0 million in cash and $2.0 million in I.D. Systems common stock, plus up to $3.0 million in earn-out consideration over two years, also in I.D. Systems common stock. The acquisition of Keytroller is expected to close before the end of July 2017, upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

In 2016, Keytroller generated revenue of $6.6 million and adjusted EBITDA of $1.2 million. Beginning in the third quarter of 2017, Keytroller’s results will be included as part of I.D. Systems’ industrial truck management product line.

The two companies’ market positions and distribution channels are highly complementary. I.D. Systems sells its flagship PowerFleet® industrial truck management systems primarily to large global enterprises and through lift truck manufacturers (OEMs), while Keytroller markets most of its products through a large network of lift truck dealers to small and medium-size end users. PowerFleet® rarely competes head-to-head with Keytroller devices.

By combining Keytroller’s mid-range and economy products with PowerFleet®, I.D. Systems becomes an unmatched single source of fleet management technology for industrial truck owners and operators, which the company believes will help it compete more effectively and diversify its revenue sources. The acquisition of Keytroller also gives I.D. Systems a new source of industrial truck usage data for its PowerFleet IQ® analytics database, enhancing the value of that tool for multi-site enterprises.

Preliminary Second Quarter Fiscal 2017 Revenue

For the second quarter ended June 30, 2017, I.D. Systems expects to report revenue between $10.0 million and $10.5 million. The midpoint of this estimated revenue range represents approximately 28% sequential revenue growth and 15% year-over-year.

“We are encouraged by the organic growth reflected in our preliminary second quarter revenue—and excited by our planned acquisition of Keytroller,” said I.D. Systems CEO Chris Wolfe. “Keytroller’s business complements our industrial truck management segment incredibly well, from product mix and market position to sales cycle and customer diversification. The acquisition should contribute immediately to I.D. Systems’ revenue and profitability, as well as position the company to achieve a more predictable, profitable revenue stream from a much more diverse customer base. We look forward to integrating Keytroller’s operations smoothly into our corporate family and leveraging the benefits of this acquisition as we continue to focus on future growth.”   

Jury Awards $17 Million to Man Who Lost His Leg in Forklift Accident

 

A Riverside Superior Court jury awarded Steven Meier $17 million after he had his right leg amputated below the knee due to being run over by a forklift in October 2013.

Mr. Meier, who was a security guard employed by Securitas Security Services, was patrolling at a PennySaver USA facility in Mira Loma, CA, when he was struck from behind by a forklift operating in reverse on October 20, 2013. The forklift crushed Mr. Meier’s right leg, dragging him several feet and degloving his lower limb. To dislodge Mr. Meier’s leg from underneath the forklift, a second forklift was brought in to lift the first forklift off of Mr. Meier.

Mr. Meier was rushed to Riverside Community Hospital where he underwent various surgeries to repair his leg and ankle.  Over the next year and a half, Mr. Meier underwent eleven surgeries to repair the damage to his leg, foot, and ankle. Due to the large zone of injury, Mr. Meier was plagued with complications, requiring multiple hospitalizations, and surgeries. Ultimately, however, these measures were for naught and on July 21, 2015, a year and a half after the collision, Mr. Meier’s right leg was amputated just below the knee.

Even after the amputation, Mr. Meier had to undergo three revision surgeries, and infections continued to set back his recovery. In September 2016, Mr. Meier was finally fitted for a temporary prosthetic leg, and is expected to get a permanent prosthetic towards the beginning of 2018.

Lead trial counsel for Mr. Meier, Ricardo Echeverria, said after the verdict “We are very pleased that the jury recognized the tragedy that this case presented. The verdict was a fair and reasonable result given the liability and damage issues in the case.”

The trial lasted ten days before the jury ruled in favor of Mr. Meier.

The case was Steven Meier v. PennySaver USA, LLC, et al. Riverside Superior Court, Case No. RIC1507069.

 

MCFA CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF MATERIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING

Mitsubishi Caterpillar forklift

Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklifts America  celebrates their 25th Anniversary

Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA), a leading manufacturer of forklifts under the Cat® lift trucks, Mitsubishi forklift trucks and Jungheinrich® brands, celebrated a major milestone this July, marking 25 years of quality material handling production and distribution. The company has continued to grow each year, expanding its 40-acre, Houston-based manufacturing facility and lift truck product offering to drive quality customer support throughout North, Central, and South America.

“MCFA has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last 25 years,” says Ken Barina, president of MCFA. “From a small operation of 335 employees to the nearly 1,200 we have today, MCFA has continued to make significant strides in not only the Class IV and V internal combustion forklift market, but also in the electric segment with our innovative Class I, II and III warehouse products.”

Founded July 1, 1992, MCFA has undergone an expansion of its Houston-based manufacturing facilities over the last several years to accommodate product growth as well as the industry’s growing demand for electric forklift products. The portfolio of products manufactured at MCFA is distributed and supported by an extensive network of local dealerships.

“Our dealer network remains one of the most experienced and dedicated in the industry,” says Barina, “They offer comprehensive customer support programs in all our markets, ranging from highly-trained technicians to extensive parts availability.”

Over the last quarter of a century, MCFA has made several advances in its drive to be the leading manufacturer of forklifts. These include:

  • The addition of Jungheinrich-branded warehouse products to MCFA’s existing Cat lift trucks and Mitsubishi forklift trucks product lines – providing customers with access to all five classes of lift trucks through MCFA’s dealer network
  • Opening a new electric assembly facility on MCFA’s manufacturing campus, a move that brought a 40% increase in production capability and created new manufacturing jobs in Houston
  • Localizing the production of several key forklift products, such as the Cat lift trucks and Mitsubishi forklift trucks 6-16 ton internal combustion models to Houston to reduce lead time.
  • The launch of Warehouse Navigation technology in North America, offering customers a semi-automated approach to operating lift trucks within narrow aisles
  • A joint venture with Jungheinrich AG to form Industrial Components of Texas, LLC (ICOTEX), a new company that will manufacture industrial components. Construction of a dedicated 71,000-square-foot facility is underway in Conroe, Texas, and is scheduled to open in August 2017.

MCFA will celebrate the production of its 450,000th forklift later this year – marking another huge milestone for the company. Later this month, the company will also begin the second expansion of its electric assembly building, doubling the amount of production space for electric forklift models on MCFA’s Houston campus.

To learn more about MCFA, its dealer network and comprehensive lift truck and warehouse product line, visit www.MCFA.com.

As part of the silver celebration at MCFA, employees gathered to commemorate 25 years with a unique photo opp. A video of this gathering was created.

Forklift Manufacturers, Dealers and Distributors Drive Billions of Dollars and Thousands of Jobs into U.S. Economy

New study details impact of industrial trucks on the country’s GDP and workforce.

forklift market U.S.

Forklifts are critical in keeping America’s just-in-time inventory in motion and are the workhorses that move America’s goods on a daily basis. Nearly every product sold in this country is touched by a forklift in its lifetime, and a new report issued in June quantifies this manufacturing sector’s strong economic impact and employment rates. The report from the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) and Oxford Economics offers detailed data at national and state levels.

“Forklifts have been lifting America’s economy for over a century and we can now quantify our industry’s economic contributions to the overall U.S. economy,” said Brett Wood, president and CEO of Toyota Material Handling North America and chairman of ITA.

The report, entitled Lifting America: The Economic Impact of Forklift Manufacturers, Dealers and Distributors, includes several significant findings, such as:

  • Globally, more than 1 million industrial truck or forklift units are sold annually.
  • In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, more than 230,000 units were sold in 2016. o With over 200,000 units in the U.S. alone, more than 60 percent are electric.
  • The industry’s economic contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) was $25.7 billion in 2015.
  • The industry’s activity supports a total of 209,000 U.S. jobs.
  • Each job within the industry supports 2.5 additional jobs elsewhere in the U.S. economy.
  • The industrial truck manufacturing industry workforce has a greater share of veterans compared to all other manufacturing as well as other industries.
  • In 2015, the industry paid $5.3 billion to local, state and federal governments in taxes.

Industrial trucks are categorized into seven classes based on characteristics, such as engine type, design and size. Manufacturers of industrial trucks make a widespread contribution throughout the U.S. economy. Of the $25.7 billion total contribution to GDP, some $14.9 billion results from supply chain and consumer spending activities.

Overall, the sector benefits other parts of the national economy, including, for example, $3.5 billion in trade, transportation and utilities; $2.1 billion in professional and business services; and $1.1 billion in education and health services.

“Forklifts facilitate the production of goods and services, creating increased efficiencies,” said Brian Feehan, president of ITA. “Industrial trucks play an important functional role in the production process in virtually every industry.”

In total, industrial truck manufacturers support more than 209,600 jobs. The companies directly employ more than 59,700 workers in manufacturing, sales and support staff positions. In addition, for each worker directly employed by the industrial truck sector, 2.5 additional jobs are supported in the wider economy, either in the supply chains of industrial truck manufacturers or through the wage spending of those employed by the firms themselves or their supply chains. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 540,000 forklift operators are employed across the country in all 50 states.

The Oxford Economics report takes into consideration the direct, indirect and induced contributions of the industry. “We were honored to be selected to perform this analysis and work with the industrial truck manufacturers to understand and quantify the significance of their economic impact as well as narrate their vital contribution to America’s industrial production sector,” said Hamilton Galloway, Head of Consulting, Americas for Oxford Economics. “Workers in this sector are highly productive, and wages reflect this with above average annual income and placing them above the median income earners in most states.”

The complete report can be viewed on ITA’s website at www.indtrk.org.

forklift industry infographic