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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #286 - 16 November 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Doosan spends millions on new forklift plant.”
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ITA poll indicates tightening of supplier base
PALM BEACH, FL, United States
By Roger Renstrom
Most Industrial Truck Association (ITA) 2006 trends survey respondents think their firms will significantly decrease their supplier base over the next five years.
Fifty-eight per cent of respondents expressed that opinion, up from 24 per cent answering the question in the forklift trade group’s 2005 survey.
Past ITA president Dirk von Holt presented the results on behalf of the ITA Business Trends 2006 Task Force during the association’s annual meeting, on September 24-27 in Palm Beach.
“The tendency in the market is to reduce the number of suppliers,” said von Holt, who is vice president of sales & marketing with Systems Material Handling Co, of Olathe, Kansas.
The percentage of survey participants expecting to add significantly to their supplier base over five years dropped to four per cent from last year’s 11 per cent, and the portion anticipating the same size supplier base decreased to 38 per cent from last year’s 65 per cent.
ITA manufacturing members take part in the survey.
James Moran, senior vice president of Crown Equipment Corp, New Bremen, Ohio, presented data from James Malvaso, Raymond Corp president and ITA president. A forecast based on a range of economic, employment and industry reports and surveys predicted a slight 2007 softening of sales in the civilian forklift market for the United States and Canada.
The forecast included details on the forklift market’s growth. Moran said there was a sales projection of 209,498 units this year and sales of 207,612 in 2007 with “no major mix changes between classes” of trucks.
The 2006 figure was an increase of 7.7 per cent over 2005 sales of 194,475 units.
Doosan injects USD330million to fulfil ambitions
INCHEON, Korea, South
Doosan Infracore is investing KRW300 billion (USD330 million) in a new construction equipment and forklift plant to meet its KRW10 trillion (USD11 billion) sales target by 2010.
The South Korean manufacturer aims to be ranked among the world’s top forklift manufacturers by 2010. Corporately, Doosan wants to be in the world’s top five infrastructure support business players by 2015.
The new facility, to be completed by 2009, will be built on a 1.12 million square metre site at the National Industrial Complex, at Gunsan City, north Jeolla province. The addition of the plant will see Doosan’s capacity rise to 31,000 excavators and 55,000 forklifts a year. Doosan’s Incheon plant can produce 9,700 excavators and 35,000 forklifts a year.
At a ceremony to formalise an investment agreement with Gunsan City, Doosan Infracore president Choe Sung-chul said the company would develop the Gunsan plant “into one of Korea’s most important production facilities”.
Gunsan mayor Moon Dong-shin and Jeolla governor Kim Wan-ju said the project had their full support.
The industrial complex is beside New Gunsan Port and the West Coast Expressway.
Corruption “rampant”, says survey
By Daphne Haneman
An international survey has found nearly half the respondents believe domestic corruption is “rampant”.
Last week global corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) released a corruption perceptions index that ranked 163 countries on perceived levels of domestic corruption, with 163 being most corrupt.
West Africa’s Republic of Guinea was ranked one of the most corrupt countries in the world, while New Zealand was one of the least.
Berlin-based TI is a “non-partisan”, “financially independent” network of active anti-corruption chapters in more than 90 countries. It said corruption information was drawn from multiple expert opinion surveys.
TI’s survey found Haiti (163), Guinea (160), Iraq (160), and Myanmar (160) were the most corrupt countries.
Finland, Iceland and New Zealand ranked equal first as least corrupt countries, followed by Denmark (4), Singapore (5), Sweden (6), Switzerland (7), Norway (8), Australia (9) and The Netherlands (9).
TI defined corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.
It said “corruption distorts national and international trade” and called for strong measures to curb and criminalise bribery under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. It called on businesses to adopt codes of conduct.
TI chief executive David Nussbaum said professionals had a role to play in fighting corruption.
“Professionals, such as lawyers, accountants and bankers, have a responsibility to take stronger action against corruption. Led by prosecuting attorneys, forensic auditors and compliance officers, they can be the stalwarts of a successful fight.”
France and Germany were ranked 16th and 18th respectively in the survey.
China ranked 70th with India, Egypt, Peru and Mexico.
Indonesia and Papua New Guinea were ranked 130th.
The United States was among several countries that had “significantly worsened” in perceived levels of corruption. Others included Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, the Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago and Tunisia.
However, TI said some countries had improved.
“Countries with a significant improvement in perceived levels of corruption include Algeria, the Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay,” it said.
Australian-based Cullen Grummitt & Roe Group (CGR) chairman Alan Grummitt said there were “hundreds of cases of corruption at ports globally”. CGR provides port, harbour and marine engineering consultancy services globally.
TI said it was “intensifying” its fight against corruption. International anti-corruption day is on December 9, 2006.
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Nacco sues Applica in merger dispute
MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, OH, United States
Nacco Industries Inc, parent company of Nacco Materials Handling Group Inc, is embroiled in a merger dispute with household appliance distributor Applica Inc.
Nacco sued Applica and its biggest shareholder, Harbinger Capital Partners, on November 13 in Delaware Chancery Court.
On July 23, Nacco Industries Inc had said it would spin off its household appliance subsidiary Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex Inc and merge it with Applica, of Miramar, Florida.
On October 19, Applica notified Nacco of its intention to terminate the merger agreement. Applica said on Tuesday that it planned to complete a buyout offer from Harbinger.
Narrow Aisle multi-lingual team to meet global demand
BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom
Narrow Aisle Ltd has established a global marketing department to cope with overseas demand for its range of Flexi articulated trucks.
The department is headed by Narrow Aisle sales & marketing director John Maguire at the company’s headquarters and manufacturing plant in the West Midlands.
Joanne Wilson, Somayeh O’Driscoll and Michelle Vincent, graduates with business experience in British manufacturing companies, comprise the team.
The new team is fluent in several languages. It will work with existing European, Asian and North American distribution partners and develop business relationships with potential dealers and clients in emerging territories, a Narrow Aisle statement said.
Maguire said the forklift industry was an “increasingly global business”.
“Our company Christmas card has a greeting message in 10 languages these days.”
He claimed the Flexi was Europe’s biggest selling articulated truck.
“In recent weeks we have secured significant new business from, among other places, Azerbaijan, Romania, Austria, Greece and the US, while the emerging markets of the Baltic States offer future growth potential.”
Narrow Aisle manufactures order pickers, reach trucks, man-down and man-up trucks, besides the Flexi range.
Forkliftaction.com News reported in 2004 that Flexi and Bendi articulated trucks accounted for 2.6 per cent of the UK forklift market (Forkliftaction.com News #151).
EnerSys Cleveland plant celebrates 100th anniversary
READING, PA, United States
The EnerSys Cleveland charger plant, previously known as the Hertner Electric Company, has celebrated 100 years of battery charger manufacturing.
The Hertner Electric Company was founded by John H Hertner in 1906. He started the business manufacturing rotating equipment, like motors, power generators and specialised motor-generator sets.
Before World War Two, the company produced DC generators for carbon arc projection lamps for the motion picture industry. That business was sold in 1941.
Hertner sold mainly battery charging motor generators and controls to recharge batteries for forklifts, mine locomotives and telephone stations; DC motors for trucks and mine locomotives; magnet generators for cranes; and 400-cycle motor generators for testing military components.
Since 1971, Hertner was owned by battery manufacturers, like General Battery Corp, Northwest Industries, Exide Corp and Yuasa Battery Ltd.
In 2000, EnerSys, a public company with 22 global manufacturing operations, bought Hertner.
“While the technology has advanced, the business still relied on demand for heavy, lead-acid batteries used to power forklifts, mining machinery and other equipment,” an EnerSys statement said.
EnerSys director of marketing for the Americas, Stephen Spaar, said half the company’s business came from the materials handling industry worldwide.
The Cleveland plant employs 143 people, including design and engineering development staff.
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Still introduces new hybrid and new electric forklift
Still GmbH has introduced what it claims is the most economical forklift in its class and the world’s only hybrid forklift.
The RX70, sold in Still’s global markets, is available in 2.2, 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 tonne load capacities. Manufactured in Hamburg, the RX70 was the world’s only forklift with hybrid technology, a Still spokesperson said.
Still claims the forklift, which took two years to develop, consumes 2.5 litres of fuel an hour and is thus the most economical forklift in its class. The forklift is built at the Hamburg-Billbrook facility.
The German forklift manufacturer also has added the RX60 to its electric forklift family. Manufactured in Hamburg and available worldwide, the RX60 has “low noise volume, fast battery change, optimised views and cabin layout, AC technology for travel and pump motors, reduced power consumption and increased performance”, the spokesperson said.
Movers & Shakers
WESTPORT, CT, United States
Terex Corp has appointed Tom Riordan to the newly created position of president and chief operating officer, effective from January 1, 2007. He is currently executive vice president and chief operating officer of SPX Corp. Before joining SPX in 1997, he was president of Consolidated Sawmill Machinery International.
Kari Åkman has been appointed Nordic area director of Konecranes Group, effective from February 1, 2007. Åkman is currently deputy business unit manager for process automation service at ABB China. Before ABB China, he was president and CEO for Done Solutions, in Finland.
MILWAUKEE, WI, United States
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has elected officers and directors for 2007. The officers and the board set the association’s guidelines and operating policies.
Dennis Eagan, industrial power & equipment group president of Blount Inc, has been elected AEM chairman. Glen Tellock, president of Manitowac Crane Group, is first vice chairman. Martin Richenhagen, chairman, president and CEO of Agco Corp, is second vice chairman. Duane Wilder, president of Liebherr Construction Equipment Company, is treasurer and AEM’s full-time president Dennis Slater is secretary.
William Gehl, chairman and CEO of Gehl Company, Michael Haberman, president of Gradall Company, and WA (Lex) Taylor III, president of Taylor Machine Works, are among industry executives elected to serve on AEM’s 2007 board of directors.
Forklift transports world’s heaviest bony fish
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
A forklift was used to haul a dead sunfish onto a truck before it was taken to Auckland for tests.
New Zealand’s department of conservation biodiversity manager Keith Hawkins told The Northern Advocate the sunfish was “a big fish” and “some people were interested to look at it”.
The sunfish was spotted by a school group at Parua Bay in Whangarei district. According to the report, sunfish are the world’s heaviest bony fish and can grow up to 2,300kg.
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Australian equipment business buys Victorian forklift company
MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia
As part of a series of acquisitions, Western Australian-based equipment company United Equipment Pty Ltd has bought Victorian-based Western Forklift Services.
The acquisition took place on November 2.
A United statement said Western’s acquisition was “calculated to capture the major market segment of the materials handling industry in Victoria”. United told WA Business News the acquisition was backed by AMP Private Equity.
United, established in August 2005 in Welshpool, Western Australia, said the Western acquisition increased annual turnover from AUD79 million to AUD150 million.
In the last 10 months, United has acquired Victorian forklift companies Wagmac, in Dingley, and DFS Holdings, in Geelong. A statement said it had also acquired WA Fork Trucks, in Perth and Bunbury, and WA Access, Perth, Northern Territory’s NT Forklifts, and United Skymaster, in New South Wales.
United chairman Laurie Puddy said more acquisitions were planned.
“The purchase of Western makes United Equipment a formidable operation in Victoria and, while I can’t comment on industry speculation as to who might next join our operation, I can say that this is a very exciting time for us,” he said.
Western branch manager Mick Whelan said the acquisition had been well received and gave Western an opportunity to increase its all terrain vehicles and access gear.
Western Forklift Services has operated in Altona, Victoria, since 1994. It represents Nissan forklifts and SMV container handlers and forklifts.
United said it planned to establish a national network of materials handling and access outlets.
Ports struggle to keep pace with container movements
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
The number of containers handled globally has increased nearly 10 per cent, but infrastructure at some Australian ports is not keeping pace.
Speaking at an International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association (ICHCA) meeting in Brisbane, Cullen Grummitt & Roe Group (CGR) chairman and former port engineer Alan Grummitt said Australian port infrastructure lagged behind growth in container movements.
“Port infrastructure has not kept pace with a global 9.8 per cent increase in container movements. This is regrettable,” he said.
Grummitt said the Port of Melbourne was the worst affected Australian port.
“The Port of Melbourne is experiencing congestion, delays and huge costs as a result of infrastructure deficiencies. This is good for Sydney and Brisbane ports because ships just move on to the next available port.”
Grummitt said port equipment suppliers were affected.
“I would think the market for port equipment won’t increase as it should.”
Port of Melbourne Corporation wants AUD2 billion to “reconfigure the road network around the port to improve movement of freight traffic and reduce traffic congestion and impacts on local communities”.
However, Victorian Government transport minister Peter Batchelor said the port was efficient.
“The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest, most efficient container port, with the nation’s largest stevedoring facilities, excellent highway connections and extensive rail terminal facilities.”
This week the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said productivity had fallen in Australia’s major ports in the 2005-06 financial year. The ACCC is directed to provide information to the Federal Government and the community about progress of waterfront reform at Australia's major container terminals. They are Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Burnie and Fremantle.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said growth in loading and unloading containers from vessels had slowed.
"The important industry reforms undertaken in the late 1990s led to a period in which very strong growth in container volumes was handled and costs and prices, in real terms, fell. However, it appears these gains are no longer being made. The growth in container volumes that is predicted to continue raises issues about how the necessary expansion in stevedoring capacity will be managed,” he said.
The ACCC report said: “Management of certain land-side logistics may require a more proactive approach to ensure port-land interface does not emerge as a transport bottleneck.”
A Victorian report, Container Origin Destination Study, found regional importers “often complained” of shortages in empty container availability. It said 68 per cent of containers were unloaded in Melbourne’s outer industrial suburbs, a fact that “challenged the conventional wisdom that most import containers moved only a few kilometres from the port”.
A 2004 Western Australian Government report, Fremantle Inner Harbour Container Movement Study, concluded “additional costs are being imposed on the community through inherent inefficiencies [in the container movement chain] with no single stakeholder able to make a significant difference”.
It said there was an important role for government in working with stakeholders to “achieve system-wide improvements”.
Grummitt said Melbourne’s Port of Hastings could perhaps relieve Port of Melbourne’s concerns. He said it had “good deep water and plenty of available land, road and rail infrastructure”.
In general, however, Grummitt was concerned.
“There are lots of challenges, lots of worries, and lots of stress, but there are others who are worse off,” he told the ICHCA meeting.
CGR is a port, harbour and structural engineering group based in Brisbane. It has offices in Sydney, London, Mumbai, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur.
Yale Veracitor VX series released
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia
Yale Asia-Pacific has released its one-tonne to 3.5-tonne Yale Veracitor VX series in the Asia-Pacific region.
Nacco Materials Handling Group’s (NMHG) Japanese factory manufactured the series, which is marketed under the Yale brand. NMHG said it had invested AUD180 million and a five-year development program in the series.
It is being distributed through Yale Asia-Pacific in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, and through Western Australia’s Budget Forklifts. SG Equipment Ltd is distributing the range in Auckland, New Zealand. It is also being distributed in Guam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Yale regional sales manager Tim Fraser said the range addressed “more than 70 per cent of unscheduled maintenance associated with electrical, hydraulics, cooling and transmission”.
Yale Europe managing director Mike Rowlett said customers wanted modular manufacturing for easy customisation and “our new Veracitor VX series minimises investment and whole-of-life-time operating costs”.
The series was released in Europe and the US in late 2005. Rowlett said the European release was an important “step change” for Yale.
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OSHA again cites training for forklift violations
SAN DIEGO, CA, United States
Inadequate operator training again accounted most frequently for federal forklift-related violations, the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) said.
Click here for the full Fork Talk feature, including pictures.
Rob Vetter: Seek first to understand…then kick some butt
BLAINE, WA, United States
In these days of extreme political correctness, it is hard for trainers to define where the line is drawn between accommodating and offending. I recall a wonderful train-the-trainer program I was delivering in Kansas City, Missouri, and completely ruining it by letting slip a reference to the place of fire and brimstone where the Prince of Darkness dwells.
Click here for the full Safety First feature, including pictures.
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