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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #271 - 03 August 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Italian manufacturer in industry's top 10.”
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Komatsu and Linde sever joint-venture link
Komatsu Ltd and Linde AG have agreed to sever a financial link between the two companies, less than five years into their joint venture.
In May 2002, Linde became a 35 per cent shareholder in Komatsu Forklifts, of Japan, running a joint-venture company, Komatsu Forklift Co Ltd, with Komatsu (Forkliftaction.com News #57).
Last week, Linde announced Komatsu’s intention to buy back the 35 per cent shareholding and make Komatsu Forklift Co Ltd a wholly owned subsidiary.
However, both companies will continue existing partnerships in Europe, Asia and Japan. Linde subsidiary OM Carrelli Elevatori SpA is a Komatsu forklift distributor in Europe and manufactures Komatsu products under licence. Komatsu Forklift Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore, distributes Linde-owned Still forklifts rebadged as Komatsu and Komatsu is a Linde distributor in Japan (Forkliftaction.com News #7).
The share buyback is expected to be finalised in early August.
The move is the latest corporate strategy for Linde Group, which last week announced the break away of its materials handling segment to focus on its gas and engineering business (Forkliftaction.com News #270).
A Komatsu spokesperson said Linde’s intention to acquire BOC had triggered talks between the two companies about their joint-venture agreement (Forkliftaction.com News #244).
“Linde and Komatsu intend to continue regional alliances as long as they are beneficial for both parties,” he said.
The spokesperson said since Komatsu established its Jining plant, about 650km northwest of Shanghai, Komatsu manufactured its own forklifts for the Chinese market. Linde’s Xiamen plant previously produced Komatsu forklifts and components on Komatsu’s behalf (Forkliftaction.com News #57).
Forkliftaction.com News previously reported that the Shanghai subsidiary sold Linde forklifts imported from Germany (Forkliftaction.com News #132). The Komatsu spokesperson said Komatsu Shanghai only sold Komatsu forklifts from Japan and Still class I, II and III electric forklifts from Germany.
Forklift dealers exchange territories, share brands
BROOKFIELD, WI, United States
Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America’s (MCFA) two brand one channel distribution strategy is in progress with two US forklift dealers exchanging territories and sharing brands.
Brookfield-based Wisconsin Lift Truck (WLT), a Caterpillar dealer for Wisconsin and Illinois, has sold its Illinois operations to Chicago-based Material Handling Services (MHS), a Mitsubishi dealer for Wisconsin and Illinois. In the exchange deal, MHS sold its Wisconsin operations to WLT. Acquisition prices were not disclosed.
WLT chief operating officer Jerry Wiedmann said MCFA wanted one dealer selling both brands.
The transaction means WLT is now the Caterpillar and Mitsubishi dealer for all of Wisconsin, except the western part. MHS is now Caterpillar and Mitsubishi dealer in northern Illinois.
Adding MHS’s operations to WLT provided “more alternatives to meet customers’ needs”, Wiedmann said. WLT is also a dealer for Drexel, Aisle Master, Combilift, Taylor and Trackmobile.
MHS’s parent company, New York-based Pon North America Inc, initially intended to buy all of WLT (Forkliftaction.com News #245).
But Wiedmann said Pon and WLT were unable to agree on the sale.
“Ongoing discussions led to a counter proposal to exchange WLT’s Illinois operations for MHS’s Wisconsin operations,” he said.
“WLT and MHS will be separate companies, operating in separate markets.”
The acquisition adds 60 staff, including 39 service technicians in Wisconsin, for WLT and increases its rental fleet by more than 100 forklifts. MHS has increased employees by 100, including 50 service technicians in Illinois. Its rental fleet has expanded by more than 250 forklifts.
MCFA spokesperson AJ White said the two brand one channel distribution strategy would “better serve customers, improve distribution and help the company compete more effectively with other manufacturers”.
Any changes in distribution would be incremental and were “a matter of internal business strategy”, he said.
Hubtex visionary dead
Winfried Heger, managing director of Hubtex Maschinenbau GmbH & Co KG, has died just before the company celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Heger, 56, died of a heart failure on July 24. The qualified engineer will be succeeded by Ralf Jestädt and Jϋrgen Keller, who will be joint managing directors.
In a eulogy presented to Hubtex’s 240 employees, Jestädt called Heger a “godsend for the company”, whose “far-reaching vision” and commitment contributed to the German company’s global success.
Jestädt said Hubtex’s 25th anniversary celebrations on August 26 would not be cancelled.
“We know Winfried Heger, whose motto was ‘keep moving forward’, would have wanted it this way,” he said. “[But] it will now be a more subdued celebration.”
Hubtex, headquartered in Fulda, manufactures sideloaders and forklifts with load capacities up to 80 tons. About 70 per cent of its products are exported. It has four sales and service branches in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Fulda and Dortmund. Turnover in 2005 was almost EUR80 million (USD102.6 million).
EnerSys continues low-cost-region strategy
READING, PA, United States
Forklift battery manufacturer EnerSys has agreed to buy the assets of its Chinese supplier for sealed lead acid batteries.
EnerSys will operate Chaozhou Xuntong Power Source Company Ltd (CFT), which manufactures two-volt valve-regulated lead acid batteries for reserve power applications.
There are plans to “rapidly expand production” to meet increasing customer demand for CFT’s products.
John Craig, EnerSys CEO, said: “We are excited about this acquisition since we are currently unable to meet customer demand for these products.
“This acquisition, coupled with other ongoing investments in our Chinese operations, will allow us to increase production capacity to support an additional USD30 million in sales annually.
“It will also allow us to continue our strategy of expanding production in lower cost regions while effectively using our world-class global distribution network.”
CFT is located in eastern Guangdong province, China.
Fuel cell orders received for forklifts in North America, Asia
by US correspondent Roger Renstrom
Hydrogenics Corp has received orders for installations of its fuel cell power packs in class 1 forklifts for use in North America and Asia.
Two of the company’s HyPM-brand packs would go into use on a pair of North American-based Still forklifts, and another would be integrated into a forklift for an unidentified Japanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM), a Hydrogenics statement said.
The Still RX60-40 forklifts have a 10,200lb (4,590 kg) lifting capacity. UK-based Still manufactures forklifts that are widely used in the North American automotive industry.
Hydrogenics also will supply HyPM packs for two Still-made R07 tow tractor vehicles for deployment at Hamburg Airport, Germany.
Germany-based Linde AG’s gas division will provide fuel for the integrated forklifts and tow tractors.
Hydrogenics packs have a company-proprietary HyPM 12 fuel cell power module to handle base-load requirements, energy-storing ultracapacitors to deal with peak loads and the capability to capture energy through regenerative braking.
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Bolzoni in top 10 for innovation
Forklift attachment maker Bolzoni SpA has been recognised as one of 10 “most dynamic and innovative companies” in the Italian mechanical and engineering industry.
The Federation of the Italian Associations of Mechanical & Engineering Industries (ANIMA) analysed companies based on data collected by the statistical office of the European Communities (Eurostat), data from the Patent Register and data from the third Community Innovation Survey (CIS-3), Bolzoni marketing director Carlo Fallarini said.
Bolzoni’s financial results also were taken into account. The company’s turnover grew 80 per cent in the past five years and its return on investment was double the Italian mechanical industry average in 2005, Fallarini said.
The CIS-3, conducted by European statistical offices and research institutes, is used to monitor Europe’s progress in innovation. Its methodology is based on the Oslo manual, a joint publication of Eurostat and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development.
ANIMA represents major Italian companies in the mechanical and engineering industry. Established in 1914, it has more than 1,000 member companies and more than 60 associations and groups within the organisation.
A case study of the 10 award-winning companies, “Innovation in the mechanical sector: some specific cases”, is available in Italian at: www.anima-it.com/servizi/servizi_studi.htm.
Nissan honours sales reps
MARENGO, IL, United States
Nissan Forklift Corp North America (NFCNA) has presented “Pinnacle” sales awards to Don Hannan, of M&L Industries, Metairie, Los Angeles, and Brian Keeran, of Hoj Engineering & Sales, Salt Lake City, Utah.
The annual awards were created in 1994 to honour sales representatives who exhibited outstanding sales performance and professionalism, a NCFNA statement said. Winners were selected based on their contribution to their dealerships’ success.
Nominated by their dealer principals, Hannan was described as a “dedicated professional salesman” and Keeran as “one of the best closers in the industry”.
Toyota unveils walkie straddle stackers
IRVINE, CA, United States
Toyota has introduced its state-of-the-art, 7-Series walkie straddle stackers with adjustable baselegs. The straddle stackers, built in Muscatine, Iowa, USA, have load capacities of 2,000lbs (900 kg) and 2,500lbs (1,125 kg).
Available from June in North America, the new models share traits and components, including the drive motor, transmission, drive tyre, brake system control handle and cover, with Toyota’s 4,500lb (2,025 kg) walkie pallet truck.
The new line succeeds Toyota’s 6-Series, built in Sweden, that entered the market in July 2003.
First Ergos set for September delivery
OMG spA will deliver its first Ergos 70 D-G counterbalanced forklift in September.
OMG previously made counterbalanced forklifts with load capacities ranging from 1,500kg to 5,000kg. The Ergos 70 D-G has a load capacity of 7,000kg, says Daniel Hanssens of OMG importer ACD Handling.
Introduced at the end of May, the Italian-made forklift will be exported to the European market. It can be used in heavy industry, the glass and steel industries and to load cargo boats.
Headquartered in Gonzaga, northern Italy, OMG started manufacturing forklifts in 1983. Its 70-model range includes reach trucks, four-way and rough-terrain reach trucks, powered pallet trucks and stackers, order pickers, electric side-loaders and electric counterbalanced forklifts. It builds about 4,500 forklifts a year.
OMG’s exclusive distributor in Benelux, ACH Handling, will exhibit the forklift at the PROlogistics trade fair in Brussels, Belgium, on September 26-28.
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Movers & Shakers
WEST BEND, WI, United States
Telehandler manufacturer Gehl Company has elected Bruce D Hertzke to its board of directors. Hertzke is chairman and CEO of Winnebago Industries Inc, of Forest City, Iowa. He joined Winnebago Industries in 1971.
MARENGO, IL, United States
Rick Green is Nissan Forklift Corp North America’s new director of sales. Green was vice president for sales at Material Handling Services, Nissan’s Carol Stream, Illinois, dealership, for more than 25 years. He is a past recipient of Nissan’s “Pinnacle Emeritus” award.
Ilidio Alves is Nissan Forklift Corp North America’s new director of marketing & product support. He has more than 16 years’ experience working at Komatsu, Mitsubishi Caterpillar and BT Prime-Mover. He is a member of the Industrial Truck Association’s board of directors.
Jason Bell has been appointed Toyota Materials Handling Western Australia general manager. Bell started his career as a mechanic with Toyota in 1997 in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, and was promoted to sales, operations and then branch manager.
Growth prompts Australian port expansion
The Port of Brisbane Corporation is expanding its infrastructure and is seeking to lease two new container berths after trade forecasts identified the need for more berths and terminals.
Port of Brisbane CEO Jeff Coleman said the AUD202.5 million (USD154.8 million) expansion was needed to meet growth in logistics activities in south-east Queensland.
“Based on current container trade growth, capacity forecasts and operational performance benchmarks, we have identified the need for the new berths and their associated terminals to be operational by 2001 and 2013 respectively.”
He said the Port of Brisbane was Australia’s fastest growing container port.
“With compounding container trade growth of more than 11 per cent a year for the past five years, the trend is expected to continue as the population of south-east Queensland continues to grow.”
Coleman said the port offered a valuable opportunity in the Australian market for stevedoring operations and integrated logistics activities, such as container parks and warehousing.
Last year the corporation began reclaiming 23 hectares of land at Fisherman Islands to ensure wharves and supporting infrastructure could be developed to meet growth.
MLA signs agreement with Linde
After more than 25 years exclusively importing and distributing Mitsubishi forklifts in Australia, Mitsubishi Lift Australia Holdings (MLA) now has a badge-engineering agreement with Linde Materials Handling (UK) to market a range of heavy forklifts and reach stackers under the name Vulcan.
MLA formally adopted the Vulcan series on January 1, 2006, and the range was currently available in Melbourne and Perth, an MLA statement said.
The arrangement included MLA distributing C4351 model Vulcan reach stackers and full and empty container forklifts with capacities to 45 tonnes.
The agreement means Linde’s South Wales plant will manufacture the Vulcan heavy truck range and MLA will sell it in Australia.
Forkliftaction.com News understands the agreement includes the new LC gantry truck, launched this year.
MLA Sydney national sales manager Bernard Chandra said the imported Vulcan range was developed exclusively for the Australian market.
“The Vulcan range was developed in conjunction with one of the world’s leading materials handling manufacturers specifically for Australian conditions and will be distributed exclusively by MLA,” he said.
The statement said additional forklifts were currently being manufactured in South Wales for distribution to the Australian market in the first quarter of this financial year.
In a previous statement, Chandra said MLA would continue to sell the 1.5 tonne to 15 tonne range of Mitsubishi forklifts and battery electric materials handling products.
New forklift launched for Australian conditions
Manitou has unofficially launched a new truck-mounted forklift for the Australian market.
The TMT 2520 SR XT was manufactured in France and exported to Australia two months ago. Manitou Australia’s commercial manager Stuart Walker said it suited the Australian environment.
“The terrain in Western Australia is very sandy. To accommodate this, the new TMT has a higher torque wheel motion and wheel motors on each wheel,” Walker said.
The TMT 2520 SR XT has not been officially launched in Australia but is being distributed with Manitou’s December 2005 release of the Manitransit truck-mounted forklift range that includes the TMT 2520 SR rough-terrain telescopic truck-mounted forklift.
NTP Forklifts, LiftRite (Western Australia), Western Diesel (Northern Territory) and Waverly Forklifts (New South Wales) are official distributors of the TMT range.
NTP Forklifts will showcase the TMT range in Sydney at the National Truck Show, on September 7-10, 2006.
Australia to solve logistics gridlock
The Logistics Association of Australia (LAA), a membership organisation for the logistics and supply chain industry, is concerned at the impact of growth trends in south-east Queensland on the logistics and transport industries.
At a meeting in Brisbane, the LAA said road, rail, sea and air sectors needed to share information about expansion constraints to allow local and state governments to provide solutions.
Representatives of the Ports Authority, the Shipping Council, the Air Freight Forwarders’ Association and other organisations supported a model for a national logistics roundtable discussion forum, after it was acknowledged none existed.
The objectives of the Queensland roundtable forum were to create and sustain Queensland as the “state of supply chain excellence” and the “logistics gateway of choice” for imports and exports, an LAA statement said.
Forklift picks up lady in loo
BILLINGHAM, United Kingdom
An Englishwoman was surprised when a forklift suddenly picked up the portable loo she was in.
Hartlepool Today reported Jean Ogden, 54, was sitting in the cubicle when she felt the toilet shift.
“It was moving about quite violently so I didn’t dare open the door because I didn’t know if it had been lifted into the air or not … I was shouting quite a bit,” she said.
Ogden, who was volunteering at the Billingham International Folklore Festival, said the forklift operator heard her shouts.
“I don’t know who felt worse – him or me.”
She said she told another volunteer what happened and she “laughed so much she nearly choked on her cereal”.
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Bolzoni Auramo in Germany
Many of the main forklift manufacturers have their headquarters in Germany. Therefore, the German market is vital for the Bolzoni Auramo Group, and it represents a quarter of the corporate turnover. Bolzoni Auramo is the leader in the supply of integral side shifters worldwide. These products are installed on the forklift mast directly at the OEM’s premises. Furthermore, Bolzoni Auramo is the official supplier to the main German OEM’s of forklift attachments.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Meclift Variable Reach Truck ML 3012RC
Oy Meclift Ltd, a Finnish manufacturer of Variable Reach Trucks and Side Reach Stackers, introduces its Variable Reach Truck ML 3012RC for container stuffing and other heavy lift applications. Over 20 tonnes into the middle of 20 ft container is possible. The Variable Reach Truck ML 3012RC has a lifting capacity of 30 tonnes at a load center of 1.2 meters. It is characterized by a reach feature which enables it to handle heavy loads from locations impossible for the straight-masted trucks.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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