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This is issue #321 - 01 August 2007 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Doosan buys Bobcat”
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Emission controls won’t hurt performance
LA VERNE, CA, United States
Properly tuned modern forklift engines with the latest emission controls can operate without loss of performance, according to North American industry experts. Roger Renstrom reports after a recent Forkliftaction.com News discussion forum on fuel efficiency raised questions about the connections between emission controls and engine performance.
“Companies have to deal with this problem,” says David Petrali, vice president of testing operations for USAC Properties, a subsidiary of the United States Auto Club in La Verne, California. “They do not have a choice” as emission standards tighten on forklift trucks.
Electronically controlled carburetion systems can regulate the richness of the fuel and can improve fuel economy, Petrali says. If computer controls sense too rich a mixture, they will try to compensate.
Engines “do not want to run too lean,” he says. “Then you get compromises you do not want to see, and that can become extremely expensive” for the forklift owner.
USAC, an independent testing organisation, specialises in the design and implementation of tests for products relating to automotive, forklift and related industries.
A Canadian manufacturer of catalytic emission control products has not detected variances with controlled engines.
“Based on our customers’ results, engine power output generally rises 5% to 10% if the engine calibration is done properly,” says Wayne Borean, who handles major account sales for Nett Technologies Inc in Mississauga, Ontario. “Controlled engines generally run richer than uncontrolled engines, and the [engine control unit] keeps the air/fuel mix near optimum.”
Borean says he has not seen any drop in engine performance with an exhaust-pollution-controlled engine.
Borean was asked whether tougher emission controls make engines work harder and consume more fuel to do a job. “No, usually the fuel consumption remains the same or drops marginally,” Borean says. “I've never seen a controlled engine that used more fuel than an uncontrolled engine unless the customer was running the uncontrolled engine really lean, which means less power and tends to burn out valves and pistons.”
Controls can cause some problems but none that would indicate environmental controls are counterproductive, Borean says. “Controlled machines don’t work well on mountains. Anything higher than 5,000 ft (1,500 metres) could be an issue because the ambient air pressure is lower, which can throw off the control.”
Borean notes that some manufacturers have introduced “fixes to minor calibration issues”. Such environmental controls have improved engine life and power while keeping fuel economy about the same and reducing carbon monoxide emissions by 90% or more. “Who wouldn’t like that?” he asks.
Andy Suhy, director of product development with Power Solutions Inc (PSI) of Wood Dale, Illinois, says: “Emission controls have improved the standard of performance for off-highway engines while lessening the impact that off-highway engines have on the environment. Emission regulations and subsequent controls have improved engine performance by forcing engine companies to develop automotive quality level fuel systems that are durable over the emission useful life period.”
Suhy says emission-certified engines run hotter due to leaner air-fuel ratios required to meet the emission standards. “Emission-certified engines generally have better fuel economy, compared to previously non-certified engines, due to better air-fuel ration control,” he says.
A major distributor and supplier of General Motors Corp industrial engines, PSI provides power solutions involving cooling packages, fuel systems, air handling, hydraulics, electrics, packaging, telematics, certification and emissions compliance and design services.
Electronic fuel control systems have improved the performance of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) forklifts marketed by Toyota Material Handling USA Inc (THMU) of Irvine, California.
“Thanks to new technology, emission controls have no negative impact on an engine’s performance,” says Mark Hartman, assistant manager of product planning and support for TMHU internal combustion engines.
Improvements in power, fuel efficiency and emission reduction “can be attributed to the use of new electronic fuel control systems,” Hartman says. “These systems control the engine’s air-fuel ratio more precisely than the old mechanical systems. The old mechanical systems had to be designed to estimate the amount of fuel the engine needed. The new systems use multiple sensors to provide close to the exact amount of fuel necessary for a particular engine.”
Achieving power and fuel efficiency requires precision.
“The ideal air-fuel ratio is where all of the fuel is burned in the engine during combustion, and there is no air left over,” Hartman says. “If the fuel system provides too little fuel, the excess air will be wasted (lean condition), and the engine will not reach its full power potential. If the fuel system provides too much fuel, the excess fuel will be wasted (rich condition), and the engine will be inefficient.”
Achieving the ideal is difficult “due to current technology and impurities in the fuel, but the new electronic fuel systems are much closer than old mechanical systems,” Hartman says.
The ideal ratio is also important in regulating emissions. All current spark-ignited lift trucks must be equipped with emission systems in order to meet the current US Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emission standards, Hartman says. “Catalytic converters operate best at or near this ideal air-fuel ratio. For example, Toyota’s LPG lift trucks equipped with electronic fuel control systems effectively reduce emissions by as much as 95% compared to lift trucks sold five years ago.”
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Ambitious Doosan acquires Bobcat
INCHEON, Korea, South
Construction equipment and forklift manufacturer Doosan Infracore has signed a definitive agreement to acquire three of Ingersoll-Rand Company Ltd’s businesses including Bobcat, for USD4.9 billion.
The deal could be South Korea’s largest overseas acquisition.
Doosan Infracore vice chairman Yongmaan Park says Doosan will maximise on the synergies from the Bobcat acquisition to achieve its aim of ranking in the top five of global construction equipment companies.
The acquisition of Bobcat, a world-leading compact construction equipment business, will place Doosan in the top seven in the sector, a Doosan statement says. Bobcat makes telehandlers, loaders, excavators, utility products, light construction equipment and attachments. Other Ingersoll-Rand businesses in the agreement are Ingersoll-Rand’s utility equipment and attachments businesses.
In 2006, the three businesses generated about USD2.6 billion in sales and USD370 million in operating profits and currently have the highest world market share in their sectors. The businesses have over 2,700 dealers in the US and Europe and operate 16 factories in six countries, according to the statement.
Doosan says its distribution and manufacturing network will increase to over 3,700 dealers worldwide and 20 plants in countries including US, China, Belgium, France and the Czech Republic.
Doosan sales are expected to increase to about USD7.4 billion and its global ranking rise from 19th to seventh in the construction equipment sector post acquisition.
The statement says the company intends to continue the acquired businesses with their current management and employees.
“The businesses we are acquiring have outstanding management personnel and engineers, which we consider the most important criteria of our acquisition strategy,” Park says.
With the acquisition, Doosan adds compact construction equipment to its portfolio of medium and large-scale construction equipment lines and provides the company with world-leading technologies and brand names.
Myths blamed for incidents in the UK
Despite advances in forklift design and technology, the number of forklift incidents remain “stubbornly high”, according to David Ellison, chief executive of the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA).
The UK Health and Safety Commission last week released the latest work-related fatal injury statistics. The number of UK workers fatally injured in 2006/07 rose to 241, compared with 217 in 2005/06.
FLTA, which does not collate data on forklift incidents, estimates over 400 UK workers are killed or seriously injured in forklift incidents annually.
Ellison is concerned about the myths and misconceptions in the industry. “Often those who follow the myths are unaware of [Health and Safety Executive/HSE] legislation.
“Regular enquiries to FLTA make it clear many managers and operators are confused by some of the legislation and official guidance covering forklifts,” he says.
Ellison will discuss common forklift myths about operating on public roads, licences and training, thorough examination and work platforms at FLTA’s National Fork Lift Truck Safety Conference in Warwick University on 27 September.
On July 3, UK local councils joined a campaign at the Local Government Association (LGA) national conference in Birmingham, to confront misunderstandings that undermine health and safety legislation.
LGA chief executive Paul Coen said the majority of health and safety decisions went unnoticed because they were effective and balanced.
“However, ‘myths’ about health and safety gone mad and the rare decision that proves to be excessively restrictive have undermined our achievement in protecting our workers and the community,” he said.
The London Borough of Brent, Stratford District Council in Warwickshire, Hampshire County Council and Newport City Council committed to follow HSE’s 10 principles of sensible risk management, launched in August 2006. The principles can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm.
British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) secretary-general James Clark welcomes the existing level of scrutiny on forklift users.
Clark says forklift users in UK are regulated by legislation that included the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
“The challenge for forklift users lies in understanding what’s necessary to run a safe and legal operation without getting bogged down in details and technicalities that divert attention from the needs of running a business.”
FLTA’s Ellison agrees that the legislation is “not easy to read” and “certainly not easy to understand”.
“There is a lot [of legislation] but most is not forklift-specific.”
The two associations, committed to promoting best practice, safety and safe forklift use, interpret legislation and publish technical guides and fact sheets for users.
Separately, Ellison says he has noticed some disappointing trends in forklift use over the past five years.
“Small companies now operate a single forklift. Often they don’t have the management resources to fully understand their responsibilities for such equipment use.
“Further it is perhaps more tempting for them to allow an untrained person to operate the truck.”
He adds that there is an increasing use of forklifts, including pallet trucks, around “unaware” customers.
“This includes some DIY stores and garden centres,” he says, citing a customer killed in Southampton a couple of years ago.
HSE chief executive Geoffrey Podger has a warning for those who put their workforce at risk: “In the past year, we have approved 25% more prosecutions than the year before and our inspectors have served 1,000 more enforcement notices.
“No-one should believe that they can get away with serious breaches of health and safety.”
Forklift Incidents … the facts (from FLTA)
Manitou and Toyota partnership change
Manitou BF has halved its shareholding in its Toyota Industries Corp (TICO) joint venture company, Toyota Industrial Equipment (TIE) SA.
The move to cut shareholding in TIE from 40% to 20% coincides with the end of Manitou CEO Marcel Braud’s term as chairman of TIE’s board of directors. Braud has been board of directors chairman since TIE’s establishment in 1995.
TIE chief executive Mr Kimura will replace Braud, a Manitou statement said. Braud will continue representing Manitou on the board of directors.
TIE, headquartered at Ancenis, France, manufactures and assembles industrial forklifts under the Toyota brand.
Separately, Manitou and TICO are also renewing a subcontracting agreement where Manitou manufactures masts for TIE forklifts.
The statement says a new range of Toyota forklifts fitted with Manitou-manufactured masts will be introduced this month.
Manitou is also investing EUR9 million (USD12.3 million) in a new manufacturing unit capable of producing 20,000 masts annually. The unit is expected to be opened in 2008.
The rough-terrain specialist announced a sales growth of 14.8% from EUR584.4 million (USD799.6 million) to EUR 670.7 million (USD917.7 million) for the six months ended June 30.
Forkliftaction.com News contacted Manitou BF for further details on its joint venture company with TICO but was told by a staff member that the senior management and PR team were on holidays until August 20.
Omega Lift wins Canadian Dept of National Defence contract
Omega Lift Manufacturing Inc has won a contract to supply the Canadian Department of National Defence with four all-terrain 50,000lb HERC Series forklifts.
Two HERC forklifts will be delivered in early 2008. Another two will be delivered later in 2008, coinciding with Boeing’s delivery of four C-17 Globemaster II transport planes.
The Department of National Defence has ordered the planes to boost Canada’s international presence, provide rapid strategic troop deployment and cargo transportation of combat and support equipment, says Omega Lift.
HERCs are rugged machines specifically built for unique military applications with lift capacities at 50,000lb (22,679.6kg) at 48-inch (1.2m) load centres, 10-inch (0.25m) side shift capabilities and a maximum lift height of 24 feet (7.3m). The forklifts have three-speed DANA T32000 powershift transmissions and Perkins 1106D-E66TA engines.
Omega Lift has not disclosed the value of the contract.
Samuk finalising new forklift range
BEDFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom
Samuk is planning to launch a new forklift range following a three-day meeting between its management team and Chinese partner, Hangcha.
Samuk chairman Sir Neville Bowman-Shaw travelled to China with parts director Colin Garth and product director Richard Howard in May for talks with Hangcha’s senior directors on the new series that will be launched in the UK in 2008/09.
Bowman-Shaw says Hangcha's commitment to the UK market will see the company's sales and marketshare grow in the next 12 months.
“For the past six months, Hangcha deployed two of its top engineers from China at our Petersborough facility, providing support to our own technical team and gathering important data on the UK market.” He adds that details of the new forklifts are still being finalised.
In China, the Samuk team also witnessed the laying of the foundation stone for a new Hangcha plant that will open in 2008.
According to Samuk, Hangcha aims to double its production capacity by 2009 and wants to be in the world's top 10 forklift manufacturers by 2012.
Hangcha, based in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province was China's second-largest forklift manufacturer in 2006. It produces 30,000 forklifts annually and employs over 1,200 people.
The Samuk and Hangcha joint venture was established in 1996 after Bowman-Shaw visited Hangcha in China. Samuk HC distributes the Chinese forklifts in the UK and some European countries under the Samuk+HC brand.
The forklifts have European components, including Cummins and Nissan engines, ZF transmissions, Dunlop tyres, Curtis electric components with DC/AC control systems, Kessler drive axles with oil immersed brakes and ZAPI DC control systems.
Samuk exhibited over 20 new models at IMHX 2007 and introduced the Samuk+HC R series diesel and LPG forklifts with capacities up to 3.5 tonnes in March.
Lift System distributes Bolzoni
Bolzoni Auramo has appointed Lift System srl in Bucharest as its distributor in Romania and Bulgaria.
Previously, Bolzoni did not have a local presence in Romania but handled its Eastern European business from its Italian headquarters.
Carlo Fallarini, sales & marketing director, says the East European markets’ high potential is yet to be discovered.
Haulotte GP team on web
A team from Haulotte Group is participating in the Moto GP World Championship.
The group has put up a website, www.haulote-racing.com, for fans to follow the adventure of the Repsol Honda team – Julian Simon, Sushei Aoyama, Tito Rabat and Bradley Smith.
Hoist sells first P-Series
BEDFORD PARK, IL, United States
Hoist Liftruck has sold its first P-Series RoRo forklift to Ceres Marine Terminals in Baltimore. The series was introduced in June.
The 52,000lb (23,586kg) forklift will be built on a 170-inch (4.3m) wheelbase with a 48-inch (1.2m) load centre and have Cummins 8.3L diesel engine and Dana 32,000 transmission.
Delivery is scheduled for this month.
Rail transporter orders 13 RMGs
One of US’s primary rail transporters has ordered 13 rail mounted gantry (RMG) cranes from Konecranes.
Konecranes will deliver the container-handling cranes to The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company’s Memphis and Kansas City intermodal terminals.
Both parties agreed not to disclose the value and details of the order made in June.
Bush witnesses fuel cell demo
PARMA, OH, United States
US President George W Bush viewed a fuel cell-powered forklift demonstration during his visit to GrafTech International Ltd’s Ohio facility.
GrafTech manufactures graphite material for the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell power unit made by Cellex Power Products Inc.
A Crown PE 4500 Series rider pallet truck powered by a Cellex fuel cell power system was used in the demonstration.
Movers & Shakers
CHARLOTTE, NC, United States
Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) has appointed Gary Forger as senior vice president of professional development. Forger was editorial director of Modern Materials Handling magazine. He has covered the materials handling and logistics industry, and warehousing, distribution and manufacturing technology since 1984. He has received numerous editorial awards including the Jesse H Neal Certificate of Merit in 1992 for “Desert Storm: Unleashing the Might of Materials Handling”.
Forger is replaced by Tom Andel who has more than 25 years’ experience covering materials handling, transportation, logistics, manufacturing and supply chain management. He was chief editor of Material Handling Management magazine and a Jesse H Neal Business Journalism Award finalist in 2001 and 2004. Most recently, Andel was executive editor of Logistics Management.
MHIA also promoted Mike Ogle to vice president of education & technical services and Carol Miller to vice president of marketing & communications. Mike Laurent was appointed as vice president of finance & human resources, Ray Niemeyer as director of member services and Victoria Wheeler as director of meetings & executive assistant to the CEO.
BASINGSTOKE, United Kingdom
Kerry McDonagh has been appointed CEO of Linde Material Handling (UK) Ltd and of Linde Heavy Truck Division Ltd, effective September 1. McDonagh was DAF Trucks NV’s board of management member responsible for marketing and sales, since 2001. McDonagh will replace Wolfgang Geuecke, who leaves to pursue other challenges. Geuecke has been with the company for 20 years.
MILWAUKEE, WI, United States
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has named two executives to its board of directors. They are Richard F Pedtke, senior vice president and president for compact vehicle technologies of Ingersoll Rand Company, and Craig E Taylor, JLG Industries Inc’s president. AEM directors help set the association’s guidelines and operating policies.
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Is the forklift industry riding the wave too?
According to various reports in the media, the Australian economy is enjoying a wave of prosperity, marking 15 years of uninterrupted growth in 2006, despite two global downturns.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organisation representing 30 developed countries, 25 of which are described as high-income countries by the World Bank, expects Australia to continue to grow more rapidly than most other OECD economies in 2007.
Forkliftaction.com News decided to test this prediction with a thoroughly unscientific, anonymous mini-poll amongst a handful of forklift dealers. All confirmed that their sales for the first six months of 2007 had exceeded the figures for the same period last year, most by around 10% but one company claimed an increase of a whopping 54%.
In 2007 and for the sixth year running, the worldwide executive opinion survey conducted for the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook assessed Australia's economy as among the most resilient in the world. Australia was rated as the third most resilient economy for countries with a population greater than 20 million.
A decade of economic and institutional reforms has increased the responsiveness of Australia to shifts in the global economy and delivered world's best practice financial, legal and political systems. This has enabled Australia to better withstand global economic pressures, while strong economic fundamentals including low inflation and low unemployment, have maintained consumer confidence and domestic demand. In 2006, Australia's export earnings continued to rise sharply reflecting rapid growth in commodity export prices. Business investment also grew strongly, underpinned by high capacity utilisation and robust company profits.
According to a recent article in the Courier Mail, Australia’s economy is in overdrive.
The global minerals boom continued to boost the economy in the three months to June.
The price of Australian goods exported rose faster than import prices for the 14th quarter in a row, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.
Export prices rose by 0.3% in the quarter – to be up by 2.4% from a year earlier. They were underpinned by metal prices, which jumped 7% in the quarter and 24.4% throughout the year.
Governor Glenn Stevens in his address to a business forum in mid-June stated that the Australian economy is on the cusp of the seventeenth year of the expansion which began in the second half of 1991. There is, at the moment, moreover, a high degree of confidence about the future, with share prices near record highs, property markets firming again and borrowing proceeding apace.
According to Stevens, the trends in the global economy have imparted a very large expansionary impetus to the Australian economy. The rise in resource prices (and to a lesser extent a decline in global prices for manufactured goods) have increased Australia’s terms of trade by about 40 per cent over the past four years to their highest level since the 1950s.
Manitou offers complete Australian compliance
Safety is a key feature of the wide range of equipment supplied by Manitou Australia.
The company, a leading supplier of rough terrain materials handling equipment, recently announced that its telescopic handlers supplied to mine sites are fully compliant with all current Australian Standards and Workplace Health and Safety requirements.
Stuart Walker, Manitou Australia’s commercial manager says: “People have struggled to classify telehandlers because of their versatility. For this reason there have been a number of developments in the areas of safety relating to telescopic handlers over the past few years. It is now clear for all parties that the Manitou Maniscopic products can comply with all relevant legislation and standards.”
Manitou offers factory-fitted solutions including load management systems, for use with freely suspended loads.
TMH at The Safety Show
Toyota Material Handling’s new range of forklift trucks will be on display at The Safety Show Sydney and Sydney Materials Handling, from October 24 to 26 at the Sydney Showground.
The Toyota “8-Series” of one to 3.5 tonne internal combustion counterbalance forklifts was designed to provide increased safety, improved ergonomics, reduced operating costs and greater environmental friendliness over the 7-Series range, according to TMH.
The 8-Series range will initially include 23 pneumatic-tyre internal-combustion models from one to three tonnes payload - including petrol/LPG and diesel models with the choice of manual and powershift transmission, and compact models.
The Toyota 8-Series design changes include a smaller steering wheel, lower step height, increased seat fore/aft travel, increased head clearance, increased ease of entry and exit, reduced noise levels at the operator's ears and reduced vibration.
Inaugural show deemed successful
The inaugural MHL 2007 and ISN Safety Show, held on July the 11th and 12th at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland, was a success and set a solid foundation for future shows to come, claim the organizers, Hayley Media.
With over 170 exhibitors across the two shows and 2,724 visitors, numbers met expectations for these first-time events.
With the positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors, the organisers say they will definitely hold this event again. Planning for 2009 has already begun with many exhibitors requesting to re-book their stands.
Sydney container trade sets new record
Container trade through Sydney’s ports has hit an all-time high, with preliminary trade figures for 2006/07 showing a 12% increase over last year, according to a recent report by the International Cargo Handling and Coordination Association (ICHCA).
Sydney Ports CEO, Greg Martin, says six years of continuous growth in containerised trade is a significant achievement for any port. “And Sydney’s ports have achieved that, growing from 990,600 TEUs in 2000/01 to 1,619,000 TEUs this financial year.”
While trade in import containers has grown by 10.6%, growth in full container exports has also been a robust 7.1% over the last year.
Top commodities were machinery and equipment, manufactured articles, chemicals, paper and textiles. Chemicals, paper, machinery and equipment, waste paper and manufactured articles led the export growth.
The port’s main trading partners include China, the USA, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Thailand. Major countries receiving exports included New Zealand, China, Japan, Indonesia and USA.
Trade of bulk liquids and gases through the ports also increased substantially, with 674,500 mass tonnes traded - a 16.7% increase over last year.
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2nd Southern Asia Ports, Logistics and Shipping 2007 India Exhibition and Conference
Following the success of the 1st Southern Asia Ports, Logistics and Shipping 2006 India Exhibition and Conference in Mumbai, we are delighted to announce that the next major Containerised Ports, Shipping and Transport Logistics Exhibition and Conference in Southern Asia called 2nd Southern Asia Ports, Logistics and Shipping 2007 India Exhibition and Conference will take place in the Indian maritime capital of Mumbai at the luxurious 5 star The Leela Kempinski Hotel Mumbai on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 October 2007.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
WWP release it's new WP60-13
Manufactured by WWP, the WP60-13 is especially designed for use in narrow aisles. So far, about 1000 units of this model have been produced. Its smart design and easy operation have been well accepted by our world wide customers. The WP60-13 has quickly become the most popular model of the range of WWP’s electric pallet trucks.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
AEM gives forklift companies awards
MILWAUKEE, WI, United States
Eight forklift manufacturers are among the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)’s 39 recipients of its annual “statistics outstanding merit award”.
Click here for the full Fork Talk feature, including pictures.
Rich Dal Bello: Due diligence required
In recent weeks, there’s been heated debate over who is responsible for workplace incidents. This week, a new Safety First contributor, Canadian Rich Dal Bello, looks at the concept of “due diligence”.
Click here for the full Safety First feature, including pictures.
Juliet Elidemir, Toyota Material Handling
MELBOURNE, VIC, Australia
She’s fashionable, female and knows forklifts. Although it’s still a man’s world when it comes to the materials handling industry, particularly in the sales arena, Juliet Elidemir is one of a growing number of women challenging the status quo.
Click here for the full Industry Profile feature, including pictures.
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