A number of innovative fork lift truck technologies were unveiled at this year’s CeMat trade fair show. Jungheinrich presented its new IC engine truck with hydrostatic drive to the international trade public for the first time at the Hannover show. The VFG 425s-435s, which can transport loads up to 3,500 kg, and stack up to a height of 7.5m, has been designed to consume less fuel than a regular converter truck. It features a Volkswagen engine, which is diesel (DFG) and LPG compatible. Jungheinrich says the truck is particularly well-suited for reversing operations. The hydrostatic drive technology has only a few mechanical components, which will help keep maintenance levels low.
The company presented the latest version of its very narrow aisle Kombi order picker/stacker EKX 513-515, complete with RFID warehouse navigation, which means the stacker can communicate independently with the warehouse administration system and the floor. Information from the warehouse administration system, such as order-picking orders, goes directly to the truck. This means it can automatically find the shortest route to the required racking position, at an optimum speed, using little energy.
Also on show were two new ranges of electric counterbalance trucks – EFG 213-220 (three-wheel) and 316-320 (four-wheel). The ranges can lift loads of up to 2,000kg to a height of up to 6,500mm, and have a top speed of 17km per hour. The trucks feature sideways battery access, electric steering and the latest generation of 3-phase AC technology, which the company says guarantees high throughput efficiency and low consumption.
The trucks reclaim energy during braking, which means the batteries last longer.
Jungheinrich also released a second generation of reach trucks at the show. The ETV C16/20 truck’s super-elastic tyres and high floor clearance makes it suitable for combined hall and yard applications.
In addition, it unveiled its truck study ‘Concept 08’, which involves a ride-on pedestrian pallet truck with a new energy storage and drive concept. The company reckons the lithium ion batteries used in the truck, plus the direct drive, will help save more energy in the future than the current 3-phase AC technology used as standard in other Jungheinrich electric trucks.
The direct drive has evolved from the 3-phase AC technology. The company says with this system, the truck will be able to travel longer distances and the battery will need shorter charging times than before.
New hydrogen engine technologies from Linde
One of Linde’s most eye-catching displays was a fork lift truck complete with a direct-injection hydrogen combustion engine – for which it claims a world first.
The concept truck is ready for use and has a three tonne load capacity. The hydrogen-powered engine turns the fuel into water vapour, making it emission-free. The company is unsure of a launch date for its first hydrogen series, but it reckons hydrogen-powered trucks could be economically viable from 2015.
The truck is based on its 39x range and the most noticeable differences compared to conventional drives, are the thrust-controlled fuel tank system and the intercooler attached to the overhead guard.
The fuel tank system is mounted on the counterweight and to replace the pressure pump it is reversed onto a rail system where the cartridge is removed from the side. The cartridge can hold around 26 litres of hydrogen, which is pumped into the pressure pump at 350 bar – the equivalent of 2.3 litres of diesel.
The compressor-charged direct-injection engine, manufactured by Volkswagen Industrial Engines, has a 2.0 litre piston capacity and a 43 kW power rating, at 2600 rpm. The hydrogen stored in the pressure pump is blown directly into the engine’s combustion chamber, enabling the fuel to burn efficiently. The compressor charging achieves 160Nm torque and low rotational speeds of 1000 rpm.
Another display was its mild hybrid truck, also based on the diesel 39x series. This concept truck, which can lift loads of up to 3.5 tonnes, features an electric motor that can operate as a starter and generator. By combining combustion and electrical technologies, energy consumption can be reduced by up to 25 per cent.
The internal combustion (IC) engine still forms the basis of the drive train, but extra energy capacity is gained from the synchronous motor, a 400 Volt lithium ion battery and an energy management system in the truck.
To save fuel, the IC engine automatically switches itself off when the truck has come to a standstill, when continuing to drive the engine automatically switches back on. It also features an energy-recovery system which turns braking energy into electric energy, which is then stored in the battery.
The IC engine is a 30 kW, SDI motor manufactured by Volkswagen Industrial Engines. The unit has an engine speed of 190 rpm with a maximum torque of 120Nm. The supporting electric motor has a 13.2 kW power rating, at 2100 rpm, and has a maximum torque of 200 Nm.
In addition, Linde unveiled a zero emissions fuel-cell tow tractor at the show. Unlike the one it released in 2000, which featured fuel-cell drive, this one is on the brink of prototype maturity for small series development. Over the next seven years it plans to send 50 industrial trucks with hydrogen technology for a broad range of field tests.
Toyota demonstrates hybrid concept forklift
Toyota’s Hybrid Concept forklift made a debut at the show. Developed in Japan by TICO, the truck is based on the hybrid technology used in its popular Prius range.
There were previews of its new BT Reflex reach trucks and 48-volt electric counterbalance forklifts, which offers both three-wheel and four-wheel models.
Also on show were the newly launched pedestrian truck ranges – BT Levio and BT Staxio.
CeMat marked the market launch of its comprehensive services and solutions offer, designed to help companies improve their materials handling operations. It comprises Toyota Service, Toyota I_Site and Toyota Rental Solutions.
Hyster shows off big truck developments
Hyster used the event to show off its latest ReachStacker models, designed to minimise overall handling costs of laden containers at ports and terminals. These machines can stack in the 1st, 2nd & 3rd row, allowing high density storage in limited space.
Also on show was its latest energy-efficient K1.0 high level (8m) order picker, designed to improve worker output.
Its big tuck range included the H16.00-22.00XM-12EC, designed for handling single empty containers up to seven-high, and the H22.00XM-12EC, which allows eight-high stacking, with the double stacking capability offered by the double horizontal twistlocks or hooks, and side-clamp engagement systems.
Its new Warehouse Simulator programme was on display. The simulator means a company can view two and three dimensional representations of its operation, which can help identify the optimum fleet mix for its business.
10th anniversary for Combilift
Combilift, which was celebrating its tenth anniversary, displayed its newly launched container lifter, developed for the container haulage industry. It can lift 20, 30 and 40 foot containers up to a weight of 34 tonnes. The truck features rear axle steering for better manoeuvrability in enclosed areas and a 2.70m jack leg for improved stability.
*Aisle-Master launched an AC battery-powered truck to the international market at the show. The company is now fitting AC as standard on all its electric trucks.