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|We don’t often read about women in forklifts, but this week’s report on the Chesapeake Forklift Safety Rodeo shows that females are indeed making a contribution. Donna Young from Random House, one of three female contestants in the event, ranked seventh in the individual contest and posted one of the top course scores. It says something about the equality of the industry that women competed tyne-to-tyne against their male counterparts and weren’t forced to participate in their own league. Surely, we’ll be seeing more and more women as the safety contest phenomenon gains momentum. In case you didn’t notice, forkliftaction.com is a sponsor of all the major contests and we would be happy to hear about any new events, anywhere in the world.|
|Narrow aisle, wide future |
|Even in tough times, narrow aisle and very narrow forklifts continue their tradition of innovation, safety and efficiency, as Melissa Barnett reports. Read more|
|Komatsu delays start-up, keeps product flowing |
Covington, GA, United States
|Without interrupting product flow to dealers and customers, Komatsu Forklift USA will delay the start of forklift manufacturing in Newberry, South Carolina to April 2010 while closing Covington, Georgia production around mid-August.|
Komatsu management emphasizes that plans for steady product flow are sufficient to satisfy market needs and that Komatsu is committed to the market, its customers and its dealers.
President Akira Yamakawa announced the delay in a 22 July memo to Komatsu USA dealer principals and sales managers.
“Our commitment to the North, South, and Latin America markets remains as strong as ever,” Yamakawa notes. “"These tough decisions, based upon the current economic conditions and with our dealers’ best interests in mind, will work to strengthen our market position as we go forward towards market recovery.”
Komatsu has yet to see positive signs of market recovery and decided on the strategic delay to allow for better capacity absorption throughout the Komatsu America Corp organization under which Komatsu Forklift reports.
The plan to move the forklift production about 200 miles (320 km) to Newberry was reported in March (Forkliftaction.com News #401).
As previously scheduled, Komatsu will move all production-related equipment from Covington in preparation for the start-up in April. In the interim, Komatsu will supply dealers and customers from built-up inventory and, if needed, from production in Japan. Komatsu will continue some dealer functions in Covington and gradually transfer other shared services to the Komatsu America operations.
Publicly traded parent company Komatsu Ltd of Tokyo reports a profit of USD50 million (JPY4.7 billion) on sales of USD3.39 million (JPY320.4 billion) for the first quarter ended 30 June. For Komatsu’s industrial machinery segment, reduced fixed costs and a gain on reversal of allowance for doubtful receivables resulted in a profit for the quarter although the segment’s profit and sales declined 39.7% and 49.5%, respectively, from the previous first quarter.
|Manitou hit by uncertainties in agricultural sector |
|Manitou Group’s consolidated sales for the six months to 30 June dropped 50.7% to EUR357.8 million (USD502.1 million).|
Gehl, which Manitou acquired in October 2008, contributed EUR36 million (USD50.5 million) to sales. Equipment sales and industrial subcontracting dropped 59% to EUR260 million (USD365.1 million) due to market conditions in the US building sector and the deferral of purchasing decisions in the agricultural sector.
Manitou explains in a press release that delays in billing equipment valued at about EUR5 million (USD7 million) also contributed to lower sales figures. The delays were caused by the migration from an old IT system to a new one in its French production subsidiaries.
Sales of spare parts and accessories (EUR73 million/USD102.5 million) and services (EUR25 million/USD35.1 million) remained stable, “thanks to the service strategy which has been pursued [by Manitou] for several years”.
Manitou says its sales for 2009 could drop by 40%-50% due to uncertainties in the agricultural sector. More than 40% of the group’s telehandler sales for 2009 are estimated to be from the sector. Also, Gehl’s sales forecast has been trimmed due to lower market estimates.
|Hangcha aims to be in top 10 with new facility |
|Zhejiang Hangcha Construction Machinery Group Co Ltd (Hangcha) has invested CNY1.5 billion (USD219.5 million) in the Hangcha Industrial Park project and is aiming to be a top 10 global materials handling equipment manufacturer in the future.|
The Hangcha Industrial Park project consists of buildings covering 240,000sqm (59.3 acres) on 340,000sqm (84 acres) of land. Five forklift assembly lines, four automatic vehicle testing systems, a product testing centre, an R&D testing centre and a modern logistics distribution centre are all a part of the facility.
According to Hangcha, the facility is used by nine of its subsidiaries, which collectively form the manufacturer’s annual 80,000 forklift output.
Hangcha expects to generate CNY6 billion (USD878 million) in revenue next year.
“The completion of the industrial park establishes a solid base for Hangcha to be in the top 10 materials handling equipment manufacturers,” a spokesman tells Forkliftaction.com News.
|IMHX 2010 moved to later date |
Birmingham, United Kingdom
|The International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) 2010 has been postponed from March to November next year in response to exhibitor requests, the show organiser says.|
Quartz Publishing & Exhibitions Ltd managing director Paul Michael says the company believes the decision to push back the show date should be an “industry one” and “not imposed by the organisers”.
“All the exhibitors were asked to vote for one date or the other, and the overwhelming number voted for the November option,” Michael explains.
According to Quartz, major exhibitors had told the organiser they had reservations about exhibiting on the show’s original date because of the economic climate, and suggested the show be moved to a later date. Quartz had negotiated with the show venue, the NEC in Birmingham, and secured the alternative tenancy in November.
“We are convinced that this eight-month breather will place the event at a more favourable point in the economic cycle, at a time when the economy is anticipated by most indicators to be in recovery mode,” Michael says.
The format of IMHX 2010, now from November 16 to 19, 2010, remains unchanged. Quartz claims a large percentage of stand space has already been sold.
Major forklift companies contacted by Forkliftaction.com News for their reaction to the new show date did not respond by press time.
|Job losses ahead for Jungheinrich staff|
|Jungheinrich AG’s board of management will present a comprehensive package of measures to counter the declining global forklift market at an EGM next month.|
The group released a statement this week saying the measures were designed to return the company to profitability from 2010 onwards.
In addition to the 300 layoffs implemented at the German production sites early this year, about 500 more jobs will be cut, to adapt Jungheinrich’s plants to the market’s long-term requirements, the statement says.
About 400 sales employees, mainly outside Germany and 150 employees in Germany and abroad will be affected by the restructuring.
Jungheinrich says the world market is likely to decline by about 40% to 520,000 forklifts in 2009 compared to 872,000 forklifts in 2008. It does not expect the market to recover before the second half of 2010.
Jungheinrich’s EBIT is expected to drop to –EUR15 million (-USD21.1 million) in the first half of 2009 compared to EUR63.5 million (USD90.1 million) the previous year. The group anticipates its EBIT to drop significantly by the end of the year due to the rising share of sales accounted for by small forklifts and the increasing pressure on the prices of incoming orders.
“Additional one-off costs resulting from the structural adjustment measures will cause EBIT for 2009 to be in high negative double-digit million euro territory,” says head of corporate communications Markus Piazza.
An interim report published on 13 August will provide details on the company’s business performance in the first half of 2009.
|Agents, dealers wanted |
|Omega Lift Manufacturing is selectively seeking strong dealers to represent it's premium line of All Terrain and Multi-Directional forklifts worldwide, with particular interest in Australia and the Pacific Rim.|
Omega Lift is an award winning Canadian manufacturer with a reputation for exceptional quality that offers a complete range of Vertical Mast, Telescopic Handler and Multi-Directional all terrain models with capacities to 25,000 kgs.
If you are interested in promoting these world-class products, forward your company name and contact information to Nick Acocella, Director International Sales & Marketing. firstname.lastname@example.org
All enquiries will be treated confidentially.
See http://www.omegalift.net for more company and product information
|Grammer cuts costs as orders fall |
|One of Grammer AG’s largest plants in Germany may face layoffs and other cost-cutting measures as falling orders in the off-road seats segment threatens the group’s financial viability.|
The Haselmühl plant in the Amberg region, which manufactures off-road seats for tractors, forklifts and construction machinery, has been particularly affected by the global financial crisis.
In 2008, Haselmühl generated about EUR200 million (USD238.7 million) in revenues. Grammer is now expecting sales to reach about EUR100 million (USD141.8 million) in 2009. Based on the latest sales forecasts of its customers, Grammer says it sees “little hope” of significant recovery over the next few years.
“We have to be prepared to face substantially lower volumes in Haselmühl in the coming years. The only economically viable alternative is to structurally adapt the Haselmühl location for a return to profitability even at revenue levels of EUR 100 million (USD141.8 million),” says CEO Rolf-Dieter Kempis.
During the second quarter of 2009, orders in the off-road segment declined by about 50%. Orders for off-road seats, especially tractors, have fallen steeply since April. Forklift orders are also down in the range of 40%.
The group’s cost optimisation measures include the introduction of standardised structures for non-production areas, the implementation of a lean manufacturing system and readjustment of capacities in production and non-production areas to revenue levels of EUR100 million (USD141.8 million).
Since 2008, Grammer has reduced its headcount by nearly 25% or 2,500 people, mainly in locations outside Germany. Hartmurt Müller, the executive board member for seating systems says there will be no further layoffs in 2009 as the company offsets its declining orders with short-term work.
However, layoffs are likely to happen in the medium- to long-term.
“We need to adjust the cost structure of the Grammer Group, especially the Haselmühl location, to a significant lower turnover, in order to reduce the break-even point and be profitable again. This means cost reduction in material, personnel and other expenses.” Ralf Hoppe, Grammer’s vice president for communications, tells Forkliftaction.com News.
The Haselmühl location covers the production of suspended seats for offroad vehicles and a smaller segment produces passenger seats for trains. Hoppe says the railway segment is not impacted by the cost optimisation measures. The Haselmühl site also includes the IT department and R&D and sales functions for offroad seats.
In 2008, Grammer AG achieved EUR10.007 billion (USD14.198 billion) in revenue, EBIT of EUR32 million (USD45.4 million) and a net profit of EUR14 million (USD19.9 million). As of 31 December 2008, Grammer employed 8,908 people in 17 countries.
|Southern California dealer adds Mitsubishi |
Pico Rivera, CA, United States
|Southern California Material Handling Inc (SCMH) became the authorised Mitsubishi forklift dealer for Los Angeles, Orange County and the San Fernando Valley on 1 July as an addition to SCMH representation of the sister brand Caterpillar.|
“(Mitsubishi) is well-known for providing reliable, cost-effective equipment and services, which mirror our philosophy of providing our customers with the highest quality product for the best value,” says Tom Cleary, SCMH president.
The full-service SCMH team has a “vast knowledge of the material handling industry” and “the expertise and know-how to provide the best forklift truck solutions, customer service and support,” notes Kent Eudy, vice president of dealer sales for Mitsubishi forklift trucks.
Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc of Houston, Texas owns Pico Rivera-based SCMH and since 2006 - in various markets at various times - has pursued a two-brand, one-channel strategy for distribution of its forklift brands. The addition of Mitsubishi at SCMH constitutes a continuation of that strategy.
SCMH employs 157 including 63 factory-trained service technicians, has a rental fleet of about 500 units and represents the Kalmar, Combilift, Sellick, Landoll Drexel and Flexi brands in addition to the Caterpillar and Mitsubishi lines.
Among its offerings, SCMH provides Promatch parts; extensive internally staffed training and certification programs for operators, trainers and technicians; and turnkey warehouse solutions including analysis, planning, computer-aided design, engineering, procurement and installation. The dealership under predecessors has roots extending over seven decades and assumed the SCMH identity in 2003. SCMH’s Orange County location in Anaheim, California has a history to 1998 and the San Fernando Valley location in Northridge, California goes back to the 1960s.
|Pepsi crowned mid-Atlantic rodeo champion |
Baltimore, MD, United States
|Pepsi Bottling Group has won the overall 2009 Chesapeake Forklift Safety Rodeo company team top champions title for the mid-Atlantic region at the Howard County fairgrounds in Baltimore, Maryland. The first runner-up in the champion team competition was Dal-Tile and the second runner-up was Terminal Corporation.|
Pepsi’s Thomas Klennert won the individual title – and a USD500 prize, while team-mate Aaron Frye was first runner-up, followed by Chad Cinnamon from Dal-Tile.
The winning Pepsi team has been officially invited to compete in the 2009 US Open in Ohio in October, representing the mid-Atlantic region.
Organisers say an event highlight was the participation of three women competitors: Alicia Bell from Pepsi, Donna Young from Random House and Kim George from Diageo. All three women first competed in their own company’s internal forklift rodeo to qualify for the Chesapeake event.
Young ranked seventh in the individual contest and posted one of the top course scores.
Co-organised by the Chesapeake Region Safety Council and Atlantic Lift Truck, the 2009 Chesapeake Safety Forklift Rodeo was designed to promote safety in the workplace and drew over 200 company officials, safety managers, competitors and spectators.
Pictures from the event are available here.
|Manitex gets more military orders |
Bridgeview, IL, United States
|Manitex International Inc of Bridgeview reports its Liftking materials handling operation received specialised forklift orders with total value of about USD12.6 million. The US and international armed forces and an international agency are procuring the forklifts.|
Shipments of specialised forklifts in the quarter ending 31 December 2009 from these and earlier announced orders are expected to be approximately USD6 million.
“Orders from the military have been an important component of the Liftking business,” says Bob Litchev, president of materials handling operations for publicly traded Manitex. “We are particularly pleased to have been able to extend our forklift product offering to other new international customers and secure our first long-term contract with an international agency. Under this three-year contract, which has a two-year extension option, we will supply completed units and spare parts.”
Mark Aldrovandi comments: “Our long-standing relationship with the Canadian and US military, with over 1,500 units in service, provides the foundation for demonstrating the rugged capability and performance of our specialised forklifts” and has enabled Manitex to make sales to new customers in Europe and a key international agency.” Aldrovandi is responsible for Manitex military, government and international agency sales.
On 10 July, Manitex acquired Badger Equipment Co of Winona, Minnesota (Forkliftaction.com News #419).
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|Award-winning system for driverless forklifts |
|Siemens’s new navigation system will allow forklifts to move on their own in factories or warehouses without the aid of orientation tools.|
Before this, autonomous navigational systems for vehicles required external navigational aids like reflectors, magnets or inductive guide wires.
The autonomous navigation system (ANS), developed by Siemens Corporate Technology and Siemens Industry, surveys the operating environment with a laser scanner mounted on a swivel motor and prepares a 3D map.
To determine a forklift’s position during autonomous operation, the ANS requires a map of the area where it will be used. It relies on the swiveling laser scanner to measure the distances in three spatial directions to objects in the surroundings.
Special analysis algorithms then generate a map from the measurements. The algorithms apply predefined criteria to extract landmarks from the structure of the roof and walls. The system then uses these reference points to orient itself and accurately position the vehicle.
The laser scanner also reacts to obstacles and thus ensures greater safety. The system also recognizes objects like pallets.
The system learns new routes by driving them once. A person drives the vehicle while it is learning the routes. The navigation system surveys the surroundings during the entire trip with the driver entering the start and end points of each trip segment into the system.
Once this is completed, personnel can use a control system to assign the vehicle to routes comprising the route segments.
Siemens says the system can be put into operation or reprogrammed “very quickly”.
Forklifts from Fendt Fördertechnik are among the vehicles now using Siemens’s new system, which received the “Best Product 2009” award at LogiMAT.
|New appointment for Terex|
REDMOND, WA, United States
Terex Aerial Work Platforms (AWP) has appointed Mike Mrotek as senior product manager for the Genie telehandler product line. Before joining Terex AWP, Mrotek was an industry marketing manager for Rexnord, a multi-platform industrial company manufacturing power transmission and water management products. Prior to Rexnord, he worked in the aerospace industry in product marketing for Woodward Governor. Mrotek has an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.
New Nissan forklift has deluxe cabin
Rickmansworth, United Kingdom
Nissan Forklift has introduced the new Nissan GX series that has a cabin focused on operator comfort.
The driver is surrounded by wide glass doors and a panoramic front windscreen to protect him or her from the weather. The curved window offers good visibility when lifting loads to higher levels.
Meanwhile, the optional deluxe seat is adjustable to different seating positions and low noise levels inside the cab enhance the operator’s working environment, minimising physical fatigue during demanding shifts.
|Omega reworks, extends ARM-XL line |
Bolton, ON, United States
|Omega Lift Manufacturing Inc has reworked the design of its entire ARM-XL series of heavy-duty forklifts and extended the standard capacity to 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg).|
“We have always had heavier specialised telehandlers, and we were manufacturing them as one-offs,” says Nick Acocella, director of international sales and marketing with Omega.
Omega delivered its first commercial telescopic unit with the new standard capacity in May.
Models in the reworked ARM-XL series start at 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg) and include the previously largest 16,000 pound (7,200 kg) capacity unit, which entered the standard product line two years ago.
Acocella reports that dealers and end-users indicate the reworked ARM-XL line exceeds their expectations. “We wanted to add features people were asking for,” he says. That includes a hydrostatic drive and a shift-on-the-fly gearbox.
“We spent time on the attachments” including improved designs for clamps, grapples, balers and carriers, Acocella notes.
Omega’s smaller ARM series has all-terrain telescopic handler models with lifting capacities ranging from 6,000-10,000 pounds (2,700-4,500 kg).
In September 2005, Omega moved 1.2 miles (2 km) within Bolton to a 12-acre site with a facility of about 50,000 square feet (4,500 sqm) including an open assembly line concept for welding, fabrication and painting functions. Omega employs 60 people, primarily in manufacturing and sales capacities.
|Policy streamlines port investment |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|A new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) announced in NSW last week will define the boundary of ports and port related activities and allow the streamlining of port related investment.|
Three major ports - Newcastle, Port Botany and Port Kembla – have been identified as State Significant Sites (SSS) under the NSW planning system to highlight their importance to the state’s economy.
According to Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi, the new policy consolidates the existing zonings and protects industrial land and key transport corridors essential to the operation of the ports.
“It will provide clearly defined boundaries to allow local government, industry, and residents to plan for a future in harmony with each of the state’s three major ports.
“Declaring the port and related industrial lands as a State Significant Site provides certainty for the future of these important infrastructure and employment lands.
“They are a crucial provider of jobs and income directly through port related activities, as well as indirectly through the flow on benefits created by imports and exports.”
Last week, the NSW government published an amendment to State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 which outlined land-use controls for the three ports.
The amendment will:
• Introduce a consistent planning system across the three ports;
• Protect the ports from new incompatible land-uses (including residential) which have the potential to limit the ports’ operations; and
• Zone the ports’ land and surrounding waterways to accommodate port activities, including maritime industrial and bulk storage facilities, with relevant nearby industrial land.
Under the amendment, the planning minister will remain the approval authority for all port related development proposals of more than $30 million as well as proposals which are likely to have a significant environmental impact.
The relevant port authority will determine port facility proposals of less than $30 million on port authority land.
|Gough supplies range of forklifts |
Auckland, New Zealand
|New Zealand forklift supplier Gough Materials Handling has delivered a range of forklifts recently.|
Earlier this month, the company supplied South Port with a new Hyster 48 tonne container handler with a dedicated 20/40 top-lift attachment and the ability to stack laden 20ft and 40ft containers up to five high.
Sales manager Jason Manak says the forklift is supplied standard with a safety speed control system relative to lift height and load conditions.
Also in July, the company supplied boat builder Rayglass Boats with a new Hyster forklift to handle the large and heavy moulds used during the manufacturing process.
Last month, Gough supplied Port Nelson with a new compact 18-tonne capacity Hyster machine with a special factory carriage unique to Port Nelson's requirements.
“The cab is state-of-the-art with operator comfort, safety and great visibility a feature. Almost every functional item in the cab is adjustable to cater for the requirements of all operators. An engine and transmission protection system is a standard feature of this Hyster forklift,” says Manak.
Port Nelson has also taken delivery of two new ELME 20 / 40 top lift dedicated spreaders from Gough.
|New technology from lifting specialist |
Ingleburn, New South Wales, Australia
|Global specialist in overhead cranes and lifting equipment, Konecranes, has built its most advanced safety, ergonomic and reliability technologies into its high-performance CXT series of industrial cranes and wire rope hoists.|
The newest innovations are found in the CXT crane design, a type which is now in increasingly widespread use throughout Australasia, says Konecranes national sales and marketing manager Warren Ashton.
CXT cranes with individual hoist capacities up to 80 tons – and complementary CXT wire rope hoists – are designed to be industry benchmarks of safety and ergonomics, with easy and effective load handling and optimum dimensions for space-saving solutions.
The quality of its 25 service locations throughout Australia and New Zealand was recognised recently when its Western Australian branch was declared the global group’s best service branch in the world from among 370 branches in 43 countries during 2008.
Konecranes has launched an audit service in Australasia drawing on its global CRS programme to help industries to determine whether their overhead lifting equipment achieves optimum reliability, performance and mandatory safety standards.
|Nominations open for industry awards |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Nominations have opened for this year’s Australian Supply Chain and Logistics Awards, a national awards program which has run for over 40 years.|
According to David Doherty, SCLAA national chairman, the awards represent industry peer recognition of excellence. “The wide range of award categories ensures there are opportunities for all businesses, institutions and individuals of any size or status from across the entire supply chain and logistics spectrum.”
Categories this year include:
• ASCL T&L Future Leaders Award
• ASCL Storage and Handling of Materials Award
• ASCL Training, Education and Development Award
• ASCL Information Management Award
• ASCL Manufacturing Logistics Award
• ASCL Environmental Award
• ASCL T&L Industry Award
• ASCL Supply Chain Management Award
Closing date for submissions is 18 September. For more information, phone 0414 587 582 or visit www.sclaa.com.au. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 12 November in Melbourne, Victoria.
|Charity golf day for supply chain industry|
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) New South Wales division will be holding its inaugural charity golf day in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) on 16 September at Camden Lakeside Golf Course.|
The nominated charity for the day will be the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia and registrations are now open for players to book their teams.
Sponsors include Volkswagen, Australian Container Freight Services, Cormack Packaging, SSI Schaefer, Loscam, Manhattan Associates, Wellman Packaging, Century Yuasa and Linde Material Handling.
Registration forms are available by emailing email@example.com or phoning the AIP on 07 3278 4490.
|Accolade for warehouse success|
Frenchs Forest, New South Wales, Australia
|Manhattan Associates has been awarded the ‘Warehouse Management Systems Provider of the Year in Asia Pacific for 2009’ accolade at the Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Transportation and Logistics Awards banquet. |
The event is held annually to recognise outstanding performance by companies in the transportation and logistics industry in the Asia Pacific.
Short-listed companies are evaluated on actual market performance indicators including revenue growth, marketshare and growth in marketshare, leadership in product innovation, breadth of products and solutions, major customer acquisitions, and business and market strategy. Benchmarked against the highest standards of measurement criteria, the recipients of the awards represent the best-in-class in the Asia Pacific.
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|Jengtai seeks OEM dealers |
|Jengtai manufactures a global range of forklift spare parts for wheel rims. These products can be used for Toyota, TCM, Komatsu, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Tailift, Shinko, Hyster, Yale, NYK/Nichiyu,etc. With many years’ experience, we produce products which have been successfully exported to OEM and After Market customers.|
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Editorial Calendar 2009
Rough Terrain forklifts
Safety products in MH
Forklift Market in Canada
Forklift Market in the United Kingdom
Fleet & Asset management
Narrow Aisle forklifts
Forklift batteries and power solutions
Forklift Market in India