Hyster Company Introduces Power Match to Help Companies Evaluate Power Sources and Improve Operations

When evaluating opportunities to improve efficiencies, many operations often overlook the power source of their materials handling equipment. With the introduction of new advanced technologies and improvements on existing power sources, there are compelling reasons to look again at better matching a power source to an application.

Hyster Company is offering a dedicated Power Match team to help customers determine the best power solution based on their application and specific needs. The Power Match team can help navigate the complexities of today’s power needs and implement a range of power sources from a variety of brands. Selecting the best power source involves researching and calculating several variables, including shifts, utility prices, space requirements and operator discipline.

“It was only a few years ago that were really starting to explore alternative power solutions,” said Steven LaFevers, vice president for motive power and telematics at Hyster Company. “Today the accelerated adoption and widespread availability of power sources like lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells are transforming how operations think about their materials handling equipment and overall cost of operations.”

Hyster Company offers the broadest range of power options across its full line of lift trucks, including internal combustion engine, lead acid battery, lithium-Ion battery and hydrogen fuel cell.

Interested customers can start a free evaluation of their power source needs by scheduling a consultation with their local Hyster® dealer or by emailing PowerMatch@hyster.com.

About Hyster Company
Hyster Company is a leading world-wide lift truck designer and manufacturer. Hyster Company offers 130 lift truck models configured for gasoline, LPG, diesel and electric power, with one of the widest capacity ranges in the industry — from 2,000 to 105,000 lbs. Supported by one of the industry’s largest and most experienced dealer networks, Hyster Company builds tough, durable lift trucks that deliver high productivity, low total cost of ownership, easy serviceability and advanced ergonomic features, accompanied by outstanding parts, service and training support.

Hyster Company is a division of Hyster-Yale Group, 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 more than 7,700 people worldwide.

Toyota Industries North America Formally Acquires Hoist

COLUMBUS, Ind.  – The assets of Hoist Liftruck Mfg., LLC, have been acquired by Toyota Industries North America, Inc., effective April 1, 2019. The name of the new company is Hoist Material Handling, Inc., and it will be managed directly by Toyota Material Handling USA in Columbus, IN. The acquisition adds to Toyota’s already robust forklift product line.

Hoist Material Handling’s headquarters and 550,000-square-foot factory are in East Chicago, IN., with sales offices in downtown Chicago. 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.

Hoist Material Handling will be led by Dan Kossow, General Manager and Vice President; Bob Miller, Vice President of Engineering; Stu Jacover, Vice President of Sales; and Ryan Delaney, Vice President of Operations. 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 Vice President of Operations and Engineering for Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing.

“After 25 years, we are honored to send Marty off with a sincere thank you,” said Kossow. “His entrepreneurial spirit has driven Hoist Liftruck from a once small business to one that now has the distinction of joining the industry leader in Toyota.”

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

“This is the perfect next step in the expansion of our big truck strategy,” said Jeff Rufener, President of Toyota Material Handling USA. “Hoist has been a great manufacturer of heavy-duty equipment for years and brings a group of passionate and talented associates that will help us expand our product offerings as a full-line equipment supplier.”

Advanced Charging Technologies (ACT) Launches ACTFIRST Industrial Battery Room Management System

La Mirada, California — Advanced Charging Technologies (ACT) has announced the launch of ACTfirst, an industrial battery room management system. ACTfirst is a state-of-the-art battery room management system that utilizes ACT Quantum chargers, BATTview battery monitors, ACTintelligent cloud-based asset management program and a proprietary Best-One-First-Out (BOFO) algorithm to select the best battery to use for a given type of forklift or truck battery change.

The Best-One-First-Out (BOFO) algorithm is an intelligent battery ranking algorithm that selects the best battery for use based on battery state of charge (SOC) at the end of charger cycle, total AHRs used during a preset period (i.e. 1 week), cool down time, battery temperature, and reported faults during charge cycles. Unlike conventional battery room management systems that employ a First-in-First-Out (FIFO) process, the new proprietary BOFO algorithm assigns scores to batteries using critical battery performance criteria to ensure equal utilization for all battery assets onsite.

“We are quite excited with the launch of ACTfirst as it reinforces ACT’s vision and leadership in cloud data management and controls,” comments ACT’s CTO, Dr. Nasser Kutkut. “ACTfirst leverages ACT’s deep cloud data management and analytics capabilities to select the best battery for each type of truck and ensures that all batteries are equally utilized,” adds Dr. Kutkut.

ACTfirst features wireless and remote monitoring and configuration identifies intentional mis-picks, separates batteries with issues (parked batteries), and generates in-depth battery room utilization reports.

To provide support for sites with non-Quantum chargers, ACT has developed CHARGlink, a smart accessory that enables ANY charger to integrate with the ACTfirst battery room management system. CHARGlink is an easy to install charger monitoring device and features Power Line Communication (PLC) and WiFi connectivity. It supports wireless and remote monitoring and configuration of any charger asset, seamless cloud integration with ACT BATTview battery monitor, and seamless cloud integration with ACTintelligent asset management program. CHARGlink provides detailed logs and reports of charger asset utilization and can be set up through a dedicated iOS and Android mobile app.

ACTENERGY- SMART GRID ENERGY MANAGEMENT SERVICES

ACT also announced the launch of ACTenergy, a suite of energy management services that allow manufacturing and distribution facilities to realize significant energy cost savings for their ACT Quantum charger fleets through automated peak shaving and dynamic demand response programs. By reducing electrical usage during periods of maximum demand through peak shaving or reducing electricity usage temporarily based on change in the price of power through demand response (DR) programs, facilities can benefit from charger fleet demand reductions in the range of 15% – 30%. ACTenergy is the industry’s first suite of smart-grid, cloud-based, energy management services for industrial battery chargers.

“As distribution and manufacturing facilities strive to reduce their energy usage and the associated energy costs, ACTenergy will streamline these energy savings programs through automation and remote control and configuration,” comments Kutkut. “ACTenergy represents the first step of leveraging ACT’s smart appliances- Quantum industrial battery charger and BATTview battery monitor to deliver more value to our customers.”

ACTenergy supports static (manual) and dynamic (automated) demand response (DR) programs via SMS and/or email DR dispatch services. ACTenergy features intelligent and adaptive energy management algorithms based on battery State of Charge (SOC) to minimize the impact on operations. Wireless and remote load control or web-browser based cloud configuration and control allow for seamless integration with the Quantum and BATTview smart appliances and ACTintelligent cloud-based asset management program. Detailed energy analytics, reports, and charts are readily available within the ACTenergy platform.

EXPANDS PORTFOLIO OF UL CERTIFIED, OUTDOOR GROUND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT CHARGERS

ACT also announced the addition of the Quantum GSE- Q12 Charger to its portfolio of Quantum GSE Chargers – a line of UL Certified, Type 3R Outdoor Chargers designed specifically for Ground Support Equipment. The new Quantum GSE- Q12 doubles the output of the current product offering and extends the charging capabilities from 150A to 300A at 80V. Furthermore, the new Quantum GSE-Q12 Charger supports openCAN communication protocol enabling support for Li-Ion battery charging applications.

“The expansion of our Quantum GSE product line with the introduction of the Q12 will allow ACT to meet the charging needs of a variety of GSE equipment powered by lead-acid and Li-Ion batteries, thereby opening up new market opportunities,” comments ACT CEO, Bob Istwan.

The Quantum GSE chargers feature a rugged UL Certified, Type 3R rated cabinet designed for outdoor installations. Like the Quantum series chargers, the Quantum GSE chargers feature modular technology, built-in redundancy, plug-n-play operation, and scalability through field expansion thus offering the highest reliability and the simplest serviceability in industrial charger technology. The Quantum chargers offer high energy efficiencies with peak efficiencies greater than 94 percent and full-cycle efficiencies greater than 93 percent.

One of the unique aspects of the Quantum charger is the integrated wireless communication that allows for seamless cloud integration, where real-time data is automatically uploaded to ACT’s cloud-based data management platform, ACTintelligent. End users can centrally manage their charger assets, analyze operational data, optimize battery and fleet performance, generate performance reports, and troubleshoot charger issues. In addition, wireless cloud integration allows for remote firmware and software updates enabling new functionalities to be added to the Quantum chargers with minimal effort.

The Quantum GSE chargers feature conventional, opportunity, and fast charge capabilities all integrated into a single charger design, targeted towards FBO, regional, and non-hub maintenance and logistics companies.

The Quantum chargers are UL/cUL certified, CEC compliant, and are backed with a 5-year warranty by ACT.

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.

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.