SSA Marine Teams With XL Lifts and Wiggins Lift Company to Launch Its Large Capacity Zero-Emissions Forklift Initiative

zero emission forklift

SSA Marine Puts Wiggins High Capacity Forklift Into Operation

VENTURA, Calif.Oct. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — XL Lifts, specializing in zero and low emissions forklifts and a Wiggins Lift dealer, today announced it is working with SSA Marine to launch a 36,000 lb. capacity zero-emissions electric forklift suitable for marine terminal and rail yard operations. SSA Pacific, a subsidiary of SSA Marine, has committed to deploying the newly announced Wiggins Yard eBull for its operations at The Port of Stockton facility.

Featuring a quick charge lithium battery, the innovative Wiggins Yard eBull offers high-performance and energy efficiency, features never possible in a large capacity forklift. The effort is part of the company’s mission to explore, evaluate and recommend energy transformation alternatives to reduce greenhouse gas emission and differentiate the ports and communities that SSA Marine serves.

“We are constantly evaluating our operations for opportunities to reduce emissions and we knew this technology was something that our team needed to be a part of,” said Joe Carrillo, SSA Pacific regional vice president of Northern California. “We started by deploying two 33,000 lb. Tier 4 final forklifts (highest emission standard in California currently for heavy duty equipment), which was a step in the right direction, but we wanted to do more.”

SSA Marine’s large capacity zero-emissions forklift initiative was solidified at last year’s Breakbulk Americas conference, where President of XL Lifts Mike Marzahl and SSA Pacific Regional Vice President of Northern California Joe Carrillo met over dinner. The idea was then brought to Wiggin’s Lift Company, who was able to bring the concept to fruition in less than a year. The company just announced its first commercialized, lithium battery large capacity forklift. Powered by Thor Trucks, the same innovators being used for UPS’ fleet of electric trucks, the new Wiggins electric forklifts are able to run continuously, without significant downtime.

“Wiggins has a history of innovative firsts and the new Wiggins Yard eBull is another example of why Wiggins is the leading provider of forklifts for marinas and will soon be in the industrial sector as well,” said Mike Marzahl, president of XL Lifts (a Wiggins dealer). “I am thrilled to be a part of the SSA Pacific green forklift initiative and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with them.”

Flux Power Sees FY 2018 Revenues Rising over 340% to $4M and More than Doubling in FY 2019, Principally Driven by Expanding Lithium-Ion Forklift Battery Demand

Vista, CA, July 17, 2018  — Flux Power Holdings, Inc., a developer of advanced lithium batteries for material handling applications such as electric forklifts and airport ground support equipment, provided an update on its FY 2018 Q4 (Q4’18) and full year performance for the periods ended June 30, 2018 and highlighted initial sales progress providing confidence in its FY growth outlook.

Flux CEO Ron Dutt, commented, “Flux is achieving accelerating sales momentum with our lithium-ion battery solutions for Class 3 walkie pallet jacks and airport ground service equipment from a growing base of customers. Building off this base, we are building a full line of LiFT Pack batteries that includes larger and more powerful solutions to meet the expressed needs of our customers and OEM partners.

“We are seeing very strong interest in these new, higher price-point solutions we have designed for Class 3 end rider, Class 1 counter balance and Class 2 narrow aisle forklifts. We currently expect to launch commercial production of our end rider and Class 1 LiFT pack solutions in the Fall and then follow on with the launch of battery packs for Class 2 forklifts later in the fiscal year.

“Based on our current order pace, the growth initiatives we have planned and some progress we have achieved in the area of funding, we feel confident in Flux’s ability to more than double revenue in FY 2019.”

FY 2018 Highlights:

  • Expects Q4’18 revenue to rise at least 700% to $1 million, versus $122,000 in Q4’17. Q4’18 revenue included the shipment of $261,000 in airport ground service equipment (GSE) batteries to a leading global aviation services provider.
  • Expects FY 2018 revenue to increase over 340% to at least $4 million from $900,000 in FY 2017. Fiscal 2018 has proven to be a watershed year in the accelerating adoption of Flux’s lithium-ion “LiFT Pack” batteries to replace lead-acid chemistry. Major customers have begun to buy Flux LiFT Packs with the purchase of new equipment, building on initial traction for LiFT Packs as a replacement to expired lead-acid batteries.

Developing Order Pipeline for FY 2019:

Flux has entered FY 2019 with a strong order backlog of $1.6 million and several significant opportunities are close to realization.

  • Flux recently received a $980,000 purchase order for lithium-ion batteries for airport ground service equipment from a leading global airline. The order was secured by Flux’s GSE distribution partner Averest, Inc. following testing over the past year. The batteries are expected to ship in Fall 2018 and be reflected in Flux’s FY 2019 first half results.
  • Finalizing Global Master Purchase Agreement with Fortune 100 customer that has completed a successful pilot of Flux’s LiFT Pack for Class 1 counterbalance forklifts and has just commenced the same process for their Class 2 forklifts. Flux has received an initial order for Class 2 LiFT Packs and anticipates an initial order for Class 1 Lift Packs from this customer in July. The orders are expected to total over $0.8 million and to be shipped during FY 2019.
  • End-Rider Forklift Batteries in Advanced Stages of Evaluation – During FY 2018 Flux delivered its new Class 3 End Rider Lift Pack demonstration units to a handful of customers, OEM’s and equipment dealers. The evaluations have gone well and have already progressed into procurement dialogues with a major national grocery chain and a large wholesale food distribution company. Flux expects these dialogues to result in initial orders during its fiscal 2019 first half ending in December 2018. Flux End Rider Lift Packs are priced at more than double the average price of its entry level Lift Pack solutions for walkie pallet jacks which retail range between $3,800 and $5,100.
  • Continuing commercial dialogues with leading forklift manufacturers – Flux continues to advance its dialogues with leading forklift manufacturers in an effort to develop expanded market support and potential new sales channels. While Flux cannot predict the exact timing or outcome of these efforts, it does believe they have the potential to provide material support to the scope and pace of Flux’s market penetration long-term growth.
  • A leading global beverage company is currently piloting Flux’s LiFT Packs for Class 3 walkie forklifts for potential use in certain regional bottling plants in the U.S. This prospective customer would represent Flux’s second global beverage client and underscore the compelling value and return-on-investment opportunity that Flux lithium-ion batteries bring to this material handling-intensive industry.

In support of its operations, growth and new product initiatives, Flux raised $4 million in new equity funding from private placements that closed in May and June. Giving effect to these private placements, Flux now has approximately 31 million shares issued and outstanding.

Practical Installation Tips That Will Maximize the Lifespan of Your Vehicle Mount Computers

Inappropriately installed vehicle mount terminals (VMTs) stand the risk of impaired usability and will in worst case suffer early product failure. By learning from the following tips before deployment, you can avoid the biggest pitfalls and thus maximize the return of investment for your equipment.

Even though rugged computers are built to withstand both vibration and shock, which are by far the most stringent compliance requirements and indispensable in the transportation sector, there is still a risk of damages when the equipment is installed in forklifts or other vehicles, as the engine, tires, gears and motor simultaneously create different frequencies and amplitudes of vibration, also referred to as random vibration. The vibrations and shock levels generated by a warehouse truck depend on truck type, driving speed, floor condition and the type of wheels used; this means that the operating conditions that affect the reliability of computers installed in warehousing vehicles will always be unique, and could even vary within the same site. Appropriate installation can eliminate the effects of excessive shock and vibration in extreme environments and is the key to avoid computer failure.

Lower placement reduces shock and improves user ergonomics

As users drive over debris, stones or cracks in the floor, the truck slightly tilts sideways. The higher up on the forklift or vehicle the computer is placed, the higher the shock level from the sideway tilting gets. This means that in reach stackers, order pickers and other tall trucks where the VMTs are mounted hanging from the roof, there is a higher risk of inducing severe shock levels to the VMTs, leading to effects such as poor screen readability and fatigue-related damages and consequently to poor usability and, in some cases, early product failure. Thus, mounting the unit as low as possible in the driver’s cabin minimizes the level of induced shock, thereby increasing reliability.

Additionally, mounting the VMT at a lower point, for instance at the user’s waist height instead of over his head, is advantageous also from an ergonomic point of view – shorter reaching distance provides a comfortable and safe user environment, hence improving the user experience.

Rigid mounts increase steadiness

Where a unit is placed in the vehicle is not the only thing that affects its exposure to shock; what it is mounted to also has significant consequences. Using metal plates and long beams can cause unwanted amplification. To avoid this, the computers should be mounted on the sturdiest part of the vehicle and with appropriate mounting equipment. Rigid and stiff mounts help to reduce the risk of resonance in the installation which is usually the cause of costly vibration-related fatigue failures of parts and components.

Ensuring that the mounting equipment used is tightly installed, and that the parts are stiff and as short as possible, will further reduce the risk of vibration and shock amplification.

Vibration and shock dampers improve user experience

The use of custom-designed vibration and shock dampers together with the VMTs can reduce and in less severe cases eliminate most of the user-experienced effects from vibration, such as poor screen readability. However, dampers come in many forms and materials and it is critical to use a type that suits your specific environment, otherwise the dampers will not have the intended effect and can in the worst case even amplify the vibration.

First of all, for the dampers to be effective they shouldn’t have a resonance frequency that matches any of the vibrational frequencies created by the installation itself. This can be controlled by measuring the vibrational frequencies generated in the vehicle and decide on which dampers to use based on this information.

Second, it is important that the dampers are appropriately dimensioned and are made of a suitable material for the vibration isolation to be successful. The materials used for dampers come with different characteristics. A typical material used in passive vibration damping is natural or synthetic rubber. Natural rubber is usually preferable in environments where the temperature varies as it has a good damping coefficient in both low and elevated temperatures. Synthetic rubber compounds, such as silicone rubber, are often preferable when the vehicle is being exposed to direct sunlight as they provide better resistance to UV compared to natural rubber. However, synthetic rubber has the downside of low fatigue resistance and is in most cases a more expensive option than natural rubber. The geometrical dimensions of the dampers determine how well they absorb the shock and vibration energy, therefore the diameter and length need to be adjusted to suit the specific use case.

Air-filled tires with large diameters create less vibration and shock

The material and the diameter of the wheels used for the designated vehicle directly impacts the vibration and shock levels created by each wheel. Air-filled tires naturally have a higher damping factor as compared to solid plastic wheels which transmit almost all the vibrations and shocks to the truck and further to the VMTs. When it comes to the wheel diameter, a smaller diameter translates to a larger vertical displacement as the truck drives over cracks in the floor, a cause for increased shock levels. Consequently, considering the type of wheels used on the warehousing vehicles will also impact the durability of the installed VMTs. Selecting air-filled tires over solid plastic wheels and going for the biggest suitable diameter will have a positive impact on the lifespan of the computer. In unavoidable circumstances where trucks with solid plastic wheels are in use, it is even more important to follow the above listed installation tips to keep vibration and shock to a minimum.

Other factors impacting the lifespan of VMTs in logistic operation

Overall, a well-maintained warehouse floor, clear of debris and obstacles is beneficial not only to the equipment but also to the health of the drivers who often complain of joint pain in the knees as a result of excessive shock – especially in the case of trucks with solid plastic wheels where drivers stand throughout their work-shift.

Last but not least, let’s not forget that the impact force generated by the truck as it’s driven over cracks and obstacles is directly proportional to the driving speed. Therefore, driving at the recommended speed not only contributes to a safer work environment but also improved usability and longer-lasting equipment.

 

Author: Mahmud Nurein, Product Developer, JLT Mobile Computers

HANNIBAL TUBERACK SYSTEM SELECTED BY STANLEY BLACK & DECKER FOR NEW MILLION SQUARE-FOOT FONTANA, CA. FACILITY

Hannibal Industries, Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of steel pallet racks for the material handling industry, today announced its patented TubeRack system has been successfully installed in Stanley Black & Decker’s new one-million-square-foot facility in Fontana, Calif.
Stanley Black & Decker, a world-leading provider of tools and storage, commercial electronic security and engineered fastening systems,  is experiencing heavy growth and needed a racking system that was flexible and both seismically and load-bearing strong for its new warehouse and distribution center which is double the size of its former facility in Rialto, Calif.
“Because of the weight differences among its many hand and power tool products, we designed a racking system that can efficiently and safely accommodate all pallet loads – heavy or light – and can withstand any possible seismic movement,” said Brent Baltin, owner of Baltin Rack, one of Hannibal’s regional distributors.
“Our experience with the Hannibal’s patented TubeRack system has shown that it is the only racking solution that will work in the high seismic areas, such as those found in Southern California,” Baltin added.
The massive Stanley Black & Decker installation involves 1,900 pallet bays.  Each bay has six 60-inch high-load levels for a total pallet position count of 14 positions per bay.   The design load per level is 5,000 pounds with a 30,000-pound capacity per bay.
About Hannibal Industries, Inc.
Hannibal Industries, Inc., headquartered in the Los Angeles metro area, is a pallet rack and steel tube manufacturer with a diverse product line that enables the company to offer material handling products to the most massive operations in the world.  This employee-owned company is the largest U.S. manufacturer of steel pallet rack west of the Mississippi River.
The company’s industry-leading product offering includes TubeRack, Shelving, Structural Pallet Rack, Roll-Formed Selective Pallet Rack, Hybrid Systems, Cantilever Systems, Pushback Systems, Pallet Flow Systems, Case Flow Systems and Drive-In Systems. Engineering and design services offered by the company include system design, seismic engineering, permit administration, in-house installation and custom fabrication.  A true innovator, Hannibal Industries was awarded a patent in 2006 for a pallet rack system adjustable safety restraint, and a patent for its TubeRack in 2015.  For additional information, visit www.hannibalrack.com.

OTTO Motors Introduces API Integration Solution, Enabling Connected Industrial Automation for Manufacturers

(Kitchener, ON, Canada – March 9, 2018) OTTO Motors is proud to officially release the OTTO Industrial API, solving one of the major hurdles in manufacturing today:  achieving a fully connected and optimized smart factory. The Industrial API addresses the challenge of machine-to-machine communication and full industrial automation by simplifying the process of connecting equipment and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to OTTO.

“OTTO Motors is really setting the bar high for system accessibility and ease of integration in their market. This new API allows Ignition to seamlessly access the data as OPC tags and integrate them with our built-in components and scripting,” said Don Pearson, Chief Strategy Officer, Inductive Automation. “We are excited to see how this API can remove connectivity barriers that have prevented some people from utilizing self-driving vehicles in the past.”

As a collaborating company with Inductive Automation, OTTO Motors integrated Ignition software as part of the Industrial API architecture. Ignition is a software platform with a feature set that includes the translation of different protocols to the ones needed to speak to PLCs within manufacturing environments; therefore, contributing to a closed loop automation system.

“The industry has long struggled with the challenge of connecting industrial machines built by different companies,” explains Simon Drexler, Director of Product, OTTO Motors. “Pieces of equipment from the same company generally communicate easily with each other but creating a connection that enables data to be exchanged across products from different vendors can be complicated, costly, and time-consuming – and sometimes impossible. This problem is, at best, a barrier to attaining the benefits of a smart factory that many companies aspire to. At worst, it’s a severe limitation on productivity.”

Available now, the OTTO Industrial API connects self-driving vehicles to existing automation systems and processes, providing faster integration of OTTO with robust and standardized integrations with industry-standard software and protocols. The industry-leading Ignition server software creates total system integration for the plant floor. Together, Inductive Automation and OTTO Motors are driving manufacturers towards greater efficiencies and increased productivity through higher quality and long-term reliability.

“This is a game-changing solution for the manufacturing industry,” said Matthew Rendall, CEO, OTTO Motors. “It has been our mission since day one to improve productivity and efficiency for our customers, and with the OTTO Industrial API, manufacturers can quickly, painlessly and more cost-effectively scale their business.”

OTTO™ Motors designs, manufactures and operates self-driving vehicles to automate material movement inside busy factories and warehouses. Using self-driving technology much like the Google Car, the easy-to-use OTTO vehicles move inventory in a safe and flexible manner throughout the indoor supply chain. Customers include Fortune 100 brands like General Electric, John Deere, and Toyota. For more information, visit www.ottomotors.com.

Kalmar introduces electric medium-range forklift

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has launched a new range of fully electric forklift trucks in the 9-18 ton range. Powered by emissions-free electric technology, the new machines will support customers in their efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and make Kalmar the first leading manufacturer to offer electric forklifts in this capacity range.

Kalmar electric forklift trucks offer the best of both worlds: the performance of a powerful diesel truck but without the accompanying air emissions, noise and vibration. The operating cost of the new 9-18 ton range is much lower than that of comparable diesel machines, and the payback time can be as short as two years.

The forklifts have sufficient battery capacity to operate for a full eight-hour shift with lead-acid batteries and are future-proofed to operate with new lithium-ion battery technology.

Operators can work in peace and comfort inside the ergonomic EGO cabin, which provides maximum visibility and features a driving seat that can be turned 180 degrees to ensure safe operation when handling heavy or bulky loads. The cabin setup can be fine-tuned for optimal operator position, while the highly responsive hydraulic system improves precision and the overall driving experience.

“At Kalmar, we aim for zero emissions in our offering development across the board,” stated Peter Ivarsson, Director, Forklift Trucks at Kalmar. “We’re proud to be the first leading manufacturer to offer a full range of electric forklift trucks with this level of lifting capacity. Our electric machines offer savings in terms of faster and simpler maintenance, making them a winning concept in the long run. By using an electric forklift instead of a comparable diesel-powered machine, customers can achieve significant reductions in their operating costs. Customers who require trucks with higher lifting capacities can now start reducing their emissions and energy costs at the same time without compromising their operational performance.”