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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #261 - 25 May 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Merlo retires after 36,000 hours.”
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Forklift use of fuel cell growing
by US correspondent Roger Renstrom
General Hydrogen Corp, of Richmond, Canada, has made its first commercial sale of a fuel-cell-powered Hydricity pack to Cat Lift Trucks, of Houston, Texas, USA.
The Hydricity-brand pack, to be delivered in July, will be used in a counterbalanced electric forklift. The packs “have shown they can triple the runtime of battery-electric forklifts out to 18 hours, compared to conventional lead-acid batteries”, said Frank Trotter, president and CEO at General Hydrogen.
Customers have field-tested General Hydrogen equipment over two years, said Tony Troutt, General Hydrogen vice president for business development, in Gallatin, Tennessee, USA.
“Our equipment has been used in many different makes and models of forklifts. The relationship with Cat is not based on one single trial at any given customer. It is based on the success and reliability we have shown in varied equipment in multiple applications and interest being generated by end users of the equipment.”
General Hydrogen has Hydricity packs available now for class 1 rider trucks and class 2 narrow aisle trucks and expects to be ready to outfit class 3 hand trucks next year.
“Our goal is to give end users the maximum range possible,” Troutt said. “If the end user has to fuel the vehicle as often as he has to change a battery, he loses a great deal of the benefits associated with this type of system. Whether they are using traditional charging methods or fast charge, we see a desire for end users to reduce the frequency of changing” batteries or recharging them.
Hydricity packs contain a Ballard Power Systems Mark 900 Series proton-exchange-membrane fuel stack and a Lincoln Composites polymer-matrix-composite tank that can store about 3.7kg of compressed hydrogen at 10,000 pounds per square inch (4,536kg per 6.45 square cm). Refuelling can occur in three to five minutes. Hydricity packs have the same dimensions and weight as conventional lead-acid batteries.
Hundreds of potential fuel cell suppliers to the North American market include Ballard, Burnaby, Canada; UTC Fuel Cells, South Windsor, Connecticut, USA; Siemens AG, Munich, Germany; Teledyne Energy Systems Inc, Hunt Valley, Maryland, USA; Hydrogenics Corp, Mississauga, Canada; and Nuvera Fuel Cells Inc, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
During June, Cellex Power Products Inc plans to install 12 power units on pallet trucks at two Wal-Mart distribution centres in Ohio, USA, as part of a fuel cell commercialising plan.
The Cellex installations are an extension of the firm’s forklift-related work with Wal-Mart’s logistics subsidiary, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA (Forkliftaction.com News #221)
Cellex’s CX-P150 power units, suitable for all forklift models, will be used in pallet trucks from Crown Equipment Corp and Barrett Industrial Trucks. BOC Group plc will supply the fuelling solutions with forklift operators fuelling trucks indoors.
Richmond-based Cellex has trained forklift dealer OKI Systems Ltd to service the units.
In addition, an independent development at Toyota Industries Corp (TICO) has created a prototype fuel cell hybrid system for forklift use. TICO developed the Toyota FCHV-F fuel cell system in cooperation with Toyota Motor Corp (TMC), making use of TMC technology and sharing components in the automotive field. For many years, TICO has developed power electronics technology for its electric forklifts and gained fuel cell knowledge through collaboration with TMC’s automotive developments (Forkliftaction.com News #230).
Konecranes buys Morris USA
KCI Konecranes will reunite UK-based Morris Material Handling with its previous owner through the acquisition of a majority shareholding in MMH Holdings Inc, in the US (MMH).
The Morris UK business was sold to management in 1999 and acquired by Konecranes in 2005 (Forkliftaction.com News #191).
MMH filed for bankruptcy protection in 2000 but has since bounced back. Annual sales for fiscal 2005 were about USD170 million. In the first half of fiscal 2006 sales were USD102 million and operating profit was USD5.5 million, Konecranes said in a statement.
Konecranes’ US subsidiary HHM Acquisition bought 59.2 per cent of MMH last week. “Due to the nature of the transaction it has not been possible to conduct a due diligence investigation of the target company,” Konecranes said.
“However, based on knowledge of the crane and crane maintenance industries, the company has no reason to believe MMH’s general business and financial risk profile would materially deviate from what is typical in the US in this field.”
In 2003, MMH sued Konecranes for violation of intellectual property rights and unfair competition. MMH alleged Konecranes and its affiliates misused the P&H trademark licensed to MMH, and passed off non-P&H aftermarket parts as genuine P&H parts (Forkliftaction.com News #130).
A Konecranes spokesperson said a court decision was likely in the third quarter of 2006.
“The company does not, at the moment, have reason to expect the case to have a material effect and the acquisition of shares in MMH is not related to the legal disputes,” she said.
She said Konecranes intended to acquire additional MMH shares because MMH was an established player in the crane industry with a long trading history in the North American market.
Orange. BEWARE! Slow down! ...Forkliftaction.com at MATEX 2006
Next week Matex 2006 opens its doors at Darling Harbour Exhibition and Conference Centre in Sydney, in conjunction with National Manufacturing Week. It promises to be a great success.
If it’s bright and orange … it’s Forkliftaction.com in HALL 1, STAND 411.
+ Stop anyone with a bright orange Forkliftaction.com shirt,
+ Tell them the secret keyword “marketplace” and go into the draw...
+ Participate in our darts competition
+ Win one of our daily prizes…
Visit our stand and have a chat, browse our website, search the Marketplace for used forklifts or try your luck at the dart board… Hall 1 – Stand 411.
For an appointment, write to email@example.com or phone: +61 (0)7 3369 9090.
Bolzoni public offer launched
Italian stock market regulator Consob has approved Bolzoni SpA’s initial public offering (IPO) of shares (Forkliftaction.com News #247).
The IPO comprises 8,532 million shares, priced from EUR3.0 to EUR3.6 (USD3.82 to 4.59) a share, generated by the sale of 4,278 million shares by existing shareholders and a 4,255 million share capital increase.
The IPO, open from May 22 to June 1, values the company at EUR63.8 million to EUR76.6 million (USD81.3 million to USD97.6 million). After the capital increase, Bolzoni will be valued at EUR76.7 million to EUR91.9 million (USD97.8 million to USD117.1 million).
About 25 per cent of the shares are on offer to retail investors and the rest to institutional investors.
Bolzoni has granted a “greenshoe” option to institutional investors that, if exercised, adds 938,536 shares to the IPO and brings the total IPO up to 37.09 per cent of the company’s capital. A greenshoe option is an over-allotment that allows the sale of more shares than originally planned, normally done if demand is higher than expected.
The IPO is sponsored by Banca IMI and the listing is being handled by Banca IMI and Banca Cabato.
In 2005, Bolzoni’s turnover was EUR96 million (USD122.4 million), a 12.6 per cent jump from EUR85.1 million (USD198.5 million) in 2004. It has six plants in Italy, the USA, Finland, Estonia, Spain and China and 10 sales subsidiaries.
Manitou and Hangzhou work together
Manitou BF and Hangzhou Forklift Truck Co have entered into a joint-venture agreement.
Both parties were silent on details of the joint venture.
Hangzhou Forklift Truck Co manufactures one ton to three ton electric forklifts and one ton to 3.5 ton diesel and gasoline forklifts.
Chinese happy with Linde warranty
Linde (China) has received positive customer feedback for its 10-year warranty on hydrostatic transmissions.
Introduced to the Chinese market in April, Linde’s internal combustion forklifts have either a 10 year or 10,000-hour warranty for hydrostatic transmissions. The promotion ends on December 31.
“Our sales force takes it positively as it gives them a powerful tool to convince potential customers to purchase Linde,” spokesperson Antoine Chazelle said.
Toyota turns 50 years old
Toyota has published a commemorative book to mark its golden anniversary.
Celebrating 50 years of Toyota Forklifts gives insight into the development of Toyota’s forklifts and the company.
The first commercial forklift, Toyota Forklift LA, was launched in Japan in March 1956.
Clark gets governor’s safety nod
LEXINGTON, KY, United States
Clark Material Handling Company’s Louisville, Kentucky, aftermarket parts distribution centre has been honoured with a Kentucky governor’s safety & health award.
Occupational Safety & Health Association and Kentucky Department of Labour representatives were present at Louisville yesterday to recognise more than 250,000 hours of accident-free operations at the centre.
MATEX 2006 set to Rack, Stack and Pack Darling Harbour.
This years’ MATEX exhibition will be one of the most comprehensive on record, with almost all of the major forklift companies exhibiting and most planning significant product launches. Over 50 new products, including the latest warehousing equipment and storage solutions, will be seen for the first time.
The “Interactive Warehouse” and Seminar program will provide an ideal showcase arena and educational environment.
MATEX, will be held on the 30th May to 2nd June at Darling Harbour Exhibition and Conference Centre in Sydney and - once again - will be run in conjunction with National Manufacturing Week.
For further information Phone: +61 (0)2 9416 1255 OR visit www.matex.com.au.
EnerSys boosts lithium-ion effort
READING, PA, United States
by US correspondent Roger Renstrom
Lead-acid industrial battery maker EnerSys Inc has made a second investment in lithium-ion battery technology, primarily for defence and aviation applications, such as powering smart weapons and foot-soldier devices.
For industrial forklifts, EnerSys makes lead-acid batteries under the Hawker, Exide and General brands and envisions potential use of lithium-ion technology on forklifts in the future. For now, however, the lithium-ion effort is “not focused on forklifts”, said Richard Zuidema, EnerSys executive vice president.
On May 18, EnerSys said it purchased the assets of Alliant Techsystems Inc’s lithium primary battery business at Alliant’s Power Resources Centre, in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Terms were not disclosed.
Alliant signed a five-year supply agreement with EnerSys for Alliant’s requirements for products produced at the centre, which employs 41 people.
In February, EnerSys purchased a controlling interest in Modular Energy Devices Inc, of Westerly, Rhode Island, a development-stage manufacturer of large format lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Modular has 10 employees.
Reading-based EnerSys employs 7,500 people and operates 21 plants.
Telehandler retires after 36,000 hours
WEST FLANDERS, Belgium
A 1992 Merlo telehandler has just been retired after putting in 36,000 hours or the equivalent of 30 years’ work at a Belgian factory.
The Panoramic P30.7 XS, which was obtained by the Ardo Company in 1993 to move vegetables, and another Panoramic that has worked 34,000 hours, have been replaced by a Turbofarmer P34.7 Plus.
The two Merlo telehandlers worked three shifts a day in Ardo’s factory in the village of Ardooie, in west Flanders. Both machines have their original engines and hydrostatic transmissions. Ardo’s maintenance records show the machines were subjected to an intensive servicing schedule to maintain their reliability.
Ardooie has a 30 per cent share of the annual 2.5 million ton vegetable business in western Europe, a Merlo statement said. The family-owned Ardo business accounts for about 380,000 tons of spinach and peas annually.
Ardo was established by Edward Haspeslagh in 1997 as a pea producer. It has plants in eight European countries and exports to 54 countries.
Victorian driver wins competition
A Victorian beat fellow Australians to win the Swire Cold Storage national forklift driver competition yesterday.
George Glisic, who has worked at Swire Cold Storage for eight years, won the praise of judges for his safe forklift driving skills.
Glisic won two return air tickets to any Australian capital city and two nights’ accommodation, courtesy of Crown Equipment and Chep Australia.
Six drivers’ skills were tested by driving SC3002 Crown three-wheel counterbalanced forklifts through a course designed by sponsor Chep Australia at Swire Cold Storage’s Queensland facility in Hemmant.
Swire Cold Storage is a temperature-controlled warehousing and transport company, which is part of the global Swire Group. It has 1,500 employees in Australia.
Movers and Shakers
LYDNEY, United Kingdom
Jean-Paul Mindermann replaces Doug Pearson as Watts Industrial Tyres’ managing director on June 1. Mindermann has managed Watts’ European subsidiaries for 10 years. Pearson, who has been managing director since 1990, will develop the Watts business in the USA.
David Hahn has been appointed Lift Technologies’ vice president of sales, marketing & business development. Hahn was previously Kalmar RT’s executive vice president and JCB’s product marketing manager. He has experience in product and marketing planning with Bombardier and Toyota.
Lift Technologies has appointed Ken Nelson as vice president of engineering. Nelson has worked for Stewart & Stevenson, Case New Holland, Rockwell and Clark Components. He was recently vice president of engineering for Husgvarna Turf Care Company.
KCI Konecranes’ board of directors has appointed Hannu Rusanen as president of global maintenance services. Rusanen is head of Konecranes’ Nordic region. He assumes his new role on September 1. Tom Sothard is currently head of global maintenance services and Konecranes’ Americas region.
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TVH Australia to distribute new forklift battery range
TVH Australia has been appointed the exclusive distributor for the Maxx Battery brand of value-for-money traction forklift batteries. Maxx Battery is an established brand in the automotive industry. The forklift battery range is locally assembled and backed by a 12-month warranty and a full service offer.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
The new revolutionary A.T.I.B. Aluminium Fork Positioner
A.T.I.B. is pleased to present a new model of hook-on Fork Positioner with side Shift. You you can better examine it in the attached brochure - CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A.T.I.B. BROCHURE. This attachment comes from the A.T.I.B. Aluminium side shift which was released last year to enhance the side shifting Fork Positioners.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Insist on thorough examinations
ALTON, United Kingdom
Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS) said in a statement that it had received reports some dealers were supplying forklifts without providing thorough examination certificates, which are a UK legal requirement.
Click here for the full Fork Talk feature, including pictures.
Dirk Zeinstra: Forklift vibration is health hazard
Employees can suffer painful cramps and lose sensitivity in fingers, hands and arms when exposed to vibration and shocks from machinery. Other symptoms of exposure to body vibration are tiredness, nausea, blindness, dizziness, back problems, seasickness, reduced accuracy and dislocation of internal organs, writes Safety First guest contributor Dirk Zeinstra this week.
Click here for the full Safety First feature, including pictures.
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