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|As if things aren’t tough enough, businesses face a new threat as they increasingly embrace the internet. Forkliftaction.com was this week targeted in a hacker attack. We had gone to great lengths to protect our site and our subscriber and customer records, which were not affected, and our tech team quickly restored the site. While the attack resulted in little more than some inconvenience for a few readers who might have been unable to access the site, it is a reminder to all that there are dangers out there. It’s not enough to just hope they won’t target your business. As our general manager points out, our programmers have become experts in cyber security – not something they (or we) had intended, but them’s the breaks. So, despite the nefarious efforts of some cyber thugs, welcome to this week’s newsletter …|
|Konecranes closes Windsor factory|
Windsor, WI, United States
|Konecranes will close its assembly plant in Windsor, Wisconsin by the end of October.|
The company blames low equipment demand in developed markets, closer integration of Morris Material Handling Inc’s activities into Konecranes’ operations and growing use of corporate-wide products for the reduced production volume at the plant. The factory is a part of Morris Material Handling, which Konecranes acquired in 2004.
About EUR3 million (USD3.6 million) in mainly lease-related restructuring costs will be incurred from the closure.
Remaining activities at the factory including the assembly of components, trolleys and cranes and warehousing parts will be relocated to other Konecranes locations in the US.
Twenty-seven of the 47 employees at Windsor will be offered jobs in other locations, while 20 positions will be lost.
Separately, Konecranes has finalised an agreement to increase its stake in its Japanese joint venture company, MHS Konecranes, to 100%. It acquired the remaining 35% stake from Meidensha Corp last week.
The deal is part of a strategic alliance announced in March. Konecranes and Kito signed a memorandum of understanding, according to which Konecranes will sell the hoist distribution business of MHS Konecranes to Kito. Prior to the final agreement, Konecranes had planned to increase its stake in MHS Konecranes.
|Gentle upward trend perceived at Barloworld |
Charlotte, NC, United States
|The US materials handling operation of Barloworld Ltd reports a gentle upward trend in the North American forklift market.|
“We started seeing some improvement in our market towards the end of the first quarter, and it seems to be continuing so far during the second quarter,” says Alwyn Smith, president of Barloworld Handling LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. “As our business is capital equipment-oriented, it lags in an upturn and requires an improvement in the capacity utilisation of the manufacturing and distribution base before it will improve substantially. We are now starting to see the expected improvement in our rental fleet utilisation and service and parts segments of our business.”
The limited liability company is the exclusive dealer for Hyster forklifts in eight states of the US south-east region and, effective 1 March, also became a distributor of the forklift line from V Mariotti SpA.
Smith notes that the Barloworld US business “has a concentration of customers in the building supplies’ industries. The well documented woes of the residential building industry in the United States have, therefore, had a relatively harsh impact on us.”
Smith says that despite the downturn, “we have continued to invest in our business, particularly in technology (e.g. our customer-relationship-management system from SAP AG) and in our people through the companywide roll out of a Performance Management process and up-skilling our sales force and sales processes. We believe that we are well placed to participate fully in the market recovery.
“In comparison with the over-the-highway transport or trucking outsource market, the material handling industry is yet to get going as far as the trend towards outsourcing of non-core activities are concerned,” he suggests. The businesses that position themselves to participate in what we believe will be a high-growth market for outsourced materials handling solutions should do well in the next five to 10 years.”
|Komatsu opens USD63M excavator, forklift plant|
|Komatsu has opened a USD63 million plant producing excavators and forklifts in Russia’s Yaroslavl region.|
According to Itar-TASS News, the plant’s production capacity is 3,000 excavators and 7,000 forklifts a year.
About 120 workers have been employed and another 50 positions are expected to be filled by the end of the year.
Komatsu Ltd is a multinational corporation that manufactures construction, mining and military equipment, industrial machinery like press machines, lasers, and thermoelectric modules. Its headquarters is in Akasha, Tokyo. It has manufacturing operations in Japan, Asia, the Americas and Europe.
Forkliftaction.com News contacted Komatsu for details about its Russian forklift operations but did not receive a response by press time.
|Forklifts not for lifting people, safety expert warns|
|A stream of queries from forklift users looking for guidance on using working platforms has prompted a public statement from Chas Day, technical manager of Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS), the body responsible for developing and administering the UK forklift industry’s national accreditation scheme for Thorough Examination.|
“Forklifts are for lifting materials, not people. Working platforms or man-up cages allow personnel to work at height. Despite their simple design and deployment, it’s crucial to remember that working at height is a high-risk activity,” Day warns.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, about 58 workers in the UK suffer major injuries after falling from heights on a forklift each year. In 2008/09, over 4,000 employees had a major injury as a result of a fall from height.
The laws governing forklift use in the UK state that any machine over 12 months old must hold a current report of Thorough Examination. LOLER Regulation 9 sets out that lifting equipment used for the lifting of people, including forklifts and working platforms, must be thoroughly examined by a competent person at least once every six months.
“Vigilance during inspections is paramount,” says Day. “From the truck’s data plate to its safety harness, a competent person should thoroughly inspect your working platform to ensure compliance with the law.”
He adds that the onus is on the user to choose and maintain appropriate equipment to carry out operations safely. “Importantly, we are concerned with the Thorough Examination of the forklift and working platform combination as well as the individual attachment.”
Companies accredited to the CFTS Thorough Examination scheme benefit from the trade body’s expert technical and legislative advice on the complex issues affecting the use of integrated and non-integrated working platforms. LOLER, PUWER, the EU Machinery Directive and the Health and Safety at Work Act each include regulations on the use of the equipment.
Developed in co-operation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), CFTS Thorough Examinations have been specifically designed to address the special needs of forklifts.
The CFTS Thorough Examination scheme was established through collaboration between the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), the two leading bodies in the forklift industry.
To check if the company that carries out your Thorough Examinations is accredited to CFTS, go to the website.
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|New forklifts boost operator morale |
Dewsbury, United Kingdom
|Pecan Deluxe Candy (Europe) Ltd has ordered a fleet of new forklifts from Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks dealer Rushlift Ltd to boost its staff morale.|
The West Yorkshire-based company produces candy and flavours for ice-cream suppliers and its team of forklift operators spend up to 90% of their time shuttling goods outside. The British winters were taking their toll on the company’s fleet and workforce.
Logistics manager Ernie Smithey says it is uncomfortable for the forklift operators to be working in exposed trucks in the rain and snow and so the company looked to Rushlift for a solution to lift the operators’ spirits and productivity.
“The team there understood what was needed straight away,” Smithey says. “They were very responsive and quickly delivered exactly what we were looking for.”
Rushlift business manager Tony Potocki says he identified his cutsomer’s top three priorities for the new fleet as machine reliability, operator comfort and good service support.
“The trucks needed to be robust in every type of weather while keeping their operators comfortable, warm and dry,” Potocki explains.
The new fleet includes a 1,600kg (3,527lb) pedestrian pallet truck, which is suitable for transporting loads over distances of up to 20 metres (66 feet). Another four two-tonne electric counterbalance forklifts ensure the operators are protected from the elements when working outdoors. The counterbalance forklifts are fitted with a high-specification heated cabin.
“The electrics benefit from proven AC technology ... Crucially, these workhorses deliver the same performance as an IC engine without any of the polluting exhaust gases,” Potocki adds.
Smithey says he has noticed a positive change in his forklift drivers since the new fleet was introduced.
“Our drivers are delighted with the new trucks, which are as comfortable as any armchair. They particularly love the ease of using ergonomic fingertip controls rather than leaning forward to move big, clunky levers.”
Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks UK regional manager Martyn Davies boasts that the forklifts can be used anywhere in the world and in any type of climate. “Although UK weather isn’t quite so extreme (as sub-zero Siberian Tundra), our customers benefit from the all-weather reliability built into each and every model.”
The value of the order was not disclosed.
|LiftPod gaining acceptance, JLG drops earlier version|
McConnellsburg, PA, United States
|The LiftPod portable aerial work platform from JLG Industries Inc continues in production in Changzhou, China with cosmetic improvements from a start-up Sydney, Australia-manufactured model.|
The current model, internally known as the D3, is more refined than the earlier D2 LiftPod with more finished cowlings and aesthetics. The D2 had the same functional attributes but was available only in the Australian market and. JLG discontinued production in early 2009.
Market reception for the LiftPod is positive and sales continue to grow, the company reports.
“Those who see the product in action typically voice a positive response,” says Jeff Ford, senior manager of marketing communications with McConnellsburg-based JLG. “Pioneering a new concept takes time, especially in the current economic conditions.”
JLG displayed the low-cost unit at Reed Exhibitions’ National Hardware Show, held on 4-6 May in Las Vegas, Nevada. The list price is about USD2,100.
A LiftPod webpage reports successful uses at a Lafarge North America concrete distribution facility near New Orleans, Louisiana; the multi-use Pacific Square complex in Maroubra Junction, Australia; glazier replacement firm O'Brien Glass Industries Ltd in Newcastle, Australia; the Qantas Airways Ltd heavy-maintenance hangar in Brisbane, Australia; a mid-western US body shop of an energy provider; and an eastern US nuclear power plant.
Development of the equipment began at a JLG subsidiary in Australia in mid-2004 with the intention to compete in the market with ladders and small scaffolds. The early version of the 145-pound (65.3 kg) LiftPod underwent trials in Australia, and the product entered the US market in October 2008. Numerous design and industry recognitions have lauded the LiftPod.
JLG Industries operates as the access equipment segment of publicly traded Oshkosh Corp of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
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|Toyota taking on temps |
Toyota Motor Corp’s companies are again hiring contract workers to meet strong levels of production.
According to Nikkei Report, Toyota Industries Corp will employ about 350 new workers in July, the first hiring in about a year. The new employees will be working at the firm’s auto plant in Obu and its forklift factory in Takahama, both in Aichi prefecture.
The company has reportedly been working without temps since last June.
New Chinese forklift manufacturer
Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile has ventured into forklift manufacturing and will be launching its first line of forklifts soon. According to Anhui Today, Chery plans to produce 900 forklifts this year, increasing to 3,000 next year and 12,000 in 2014.
Forkliftaction.com News contacted Chery for more information but a company spokeswoman said the manufacturer would not be releasing more information about its forklifts.
Hyundai sells machines at show
Hyundai Europe reports that numerous machines were sold at its BAUMA 2010 stand.
Despite initial hiccups caused by the volcanic ash disaster, Hyundai marketing manager Michel de Weert says its new 9 series excavator attracted considerable interest and positive feedback. De Weert says Hyundai sold 30 machines to end-users while dealers ordered another 100 machines.
Hyundai also sold the first of its new heavy forklifts with payloads from 10-16 tonnes at the show.
Watts Tyre retains certified status
Lydney, United Kingdom
Watts Tyre Group has retained its certified supplier status for Toyota for the fourth consecutive year.
Watts’ sales and marketing director, Carlo Piccirilli, credits all the company’s employees for the achievement, which he says is “very rewarding considering the challenges” faced by the original equipment sector as the global economy recovers.
The award is based on a company’s conformity with Toyota Industrial Equipment’s stringent supplier certification programme, which requires a series of measures to be consistently met over the course of a year.
|Carrollton tops Farmers Branch in rodeo |
|A six-event rodeo competition involving forklifts and other equipment was part of an observation of National Public Works Week for the neighbouring Texas cities of Carrollton and Farmers Branch. Each municipality is a suburb of Dallas.|
“The forklift basketball was swept by the Carrollton ‘wanna-be’ [National Basketball Association] stars as Sean Murphy, Fred Mahan and Bobby Clay showed the best times and excellent dunks,” says Robert Kopp, Carrollton director of public works.
Teams from the two cities’ public works departments competed on 19 May at the large Tommy Standridge Stadium, which is used by four high schools for football, soccer and track events and by the communities for civic activities.
“This community outreach activity included a number of educational displays and a primary focus on the competitive courses,” he says. In addition to forklift basketball, the timed-obstacle competitions involved precision operations of a backhoe, front-end loader and dump truck, the installation of a sign and the splicing and re-lamping of traffic signals.
“At the conclusion, the Carrollton team prevailed, but good times were had by all,” Kopp reports.
There was no indication whether a team from Carrollton or Farmers Branch might choose to compete in the 16th annual US Open Forklift Rodeo & Safety Expo being held on 29-30 October in Springfield, Ohio Forkliftaction.com News #463).
|Boom secures new contracts |
Kwinana, Western Australia, Australia
|Boom Logistics has announced three new contracts with major resource companies. |
The first involves a new three-year contract to supply cranes and associated services to BHP in the north west, with two further two-year options to extend.
The contract, expected to generate revenue of around $35 million over the next three years, will require dedicated cranes and resources for all shut-down and maintenance works at the company’s operations at Nelson Point and Finucane Island operations in Port Hedland, WA.
The company has also secured a new three-year contract to supply cranes and associated services to Anglo American in Queensland, with revenue from baseline services expected to be more than $6 million over the next three years.
It has also re-signed its BP Refinery contract in WA for a further three years, in a contract worth an estimated $9 million over the period.
|Pallet supplier loses out to competitor |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Australian pallet supplier Brambles has lost its contract with US food company ConAgra, which announced it was transferring most of its volumes to an alternative pallet pooler.|
The arrangements are expected to be transitioned over the course of the 2011 financial year.
According to Brambles CEO Tom Gorman, it is always disappointing to lose business. “We are focused on delivering customer needs and strengthening our product offering in CHEP USA through the Better Everyday program, which remains on track.”
The contract was reported to be worth around $40 million, but Brambles is not anticipating any impact on its 2010 financial year results, saying that ConAgra’s contribution to its annual sales revenue amounts to less than 1% of its revenue.
|Toll expands air freight business |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Logistics giant Toll Group this week announced its plan to acquire Qantas’ Asia Pacific express air freight business, DPEX.|
According to Toll Group managing director Paul Little, the acquisition will provide over $30 million in revenue.
Little says while operating profit before interest and tax for the current half year is currently expected to be up 5-10% on the same period last year, trading conditions have recently softened across some parts of the business in Australia and continue to be challenging in New Zealand.
“Offsetting the lower volumes in Australia and New Zealand, we have seen stronger trading performances from the Toll Global Logistics and Toll Global Resources businesses. Toll Global Forwarding is also beginning to see improving volumes and the benefits of recent acquisitions,” he explains.
|Melbourne chosen to host ICHCA conference |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Melbourne has been selected as the venue for the 2012 international conference of the International Cargo Handling and Coordination Association (ICHCA). |
The conference will focus on global cargo handling and logistics and is expected to attract a range of high quality speakers from around the globe.
Th event will run from the 18-20 April, and an additional two days will be set aside for ICHCA’s international panels to meet and engage in dialogue with conference delegates.
Delegates attending the 2010 Conference in Casablanca recently welcomed the selection of Melbourne and expressed strong interest in attending.
ICHCA Australia company secretary and conference co-ordinator Ian Lovell says the aim is to make sure the event is unique, relevant and innovative.
He urges individuals and organisations to register their interest as a speaker, sponsor, exhibitor or delegate early and help shape a world-class program.
|Australian Warehousing Association gains international recognition|
Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
|The Australian Warehousing Association (AusWA) has joined the International Federation of Warehousing and Logistics Associations (IFWLA). |
Australia’s membership was endorsed by the international council at the recent IFWLA meeting held in Vancouver, Canada last month.
“With Australia becoming a member of IFWLA, the opportunity to develop global networks, have knowledge of a particular country’s business and trade rules, industry trends and application of technology is a real benefit,” says AusWA national president Bill Henman.
The federation, comprising businesses responsible for the warehousing and distribution industry globally, includes Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cyprus, France, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Mauritius, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.
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|The LTW Shuttle for Multiple-Deep Storage |
|When storage solutions calls for a method to store many pallets of the same SKU, a multiple-deep storage method (3-20 pallets deep from either side of a rack aisle) can be put into action. Multiple-deep storage effectively uses the warehouse footprint by reducing the square-footage-per-pallet needed. When deep lane storage is coupled with automated stacker crane technology, the result is a cost-effective, space-saving automated warehouse. Unique LTW Shuttle design which carries two pallets into the storage channel per trip greatly increases the number of pallets moved per hour.|
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|BEB Announces Paperless AutomationNew Green Technology benefits Dealers and Asset Owners|
|KANSAS CITY, Mo. – March 18, 2010 – Today, BEB Industrial Asset Management announced the integration of a new image processing system as part of its fleet management services. The system captures softcopy picture files of invoices, leases, production reports, and other data sources that previously had to be managed as hardcopy paperwork.|
BEB manages thousands of assets for its customers and customers of its dealer channel partners. Each asset requires extensive data input in order to ensure a rich data output. Historically, this required asset owners, vendors, and other stakeholders to send information to BEB via traditional mail. The paperwork was entered into the BEB fleet management software by hand, and then the paperwork flowed on to the asset owner or channel partner, again via traditional mail. While the process worked for many years, the company recognized the opportunity for improvement. “Our customers and channel partners expect us to make fleet management faster and easier for them,” noted Jason Bratton, vice president of business development for BEB, “and our new technology does exactly that.”
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|Ecomatic Press-on and Resilient Tires ||Solideal USA announces ECOMATIC, a new eco-friendly budget line. The new line is manufactured utilizing European Technology and has proven to provide long wear in general use operations.
Solideal’s Ecomatic e-smooth and e-traction press-on line is manufactured with a universal rubber compound and recycled steel base bands. The press-on lineup includes all the most common sizes and a lower price solution for press-on forklift applications.
Solideal’s Ecomatic ETR resilient line is manufactured with a universal rubber compound and reclaimed cores from worn 3-stage resilient tires. The resilient lineup includes all the most common sizes and a lower price solution for resilient forklift applications.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
|Blickle Castors and Wheels – We Innovate Mobility ||For more than 55 years Blickle has been one of the World’s leading wheel and castor manufacturers.
With their headquarters located in Rosenfeld Germany, they clearly identify themselves with the German philosophy of quality & reliability. These abilities are based on advanced production facilities with a high degree of automation. Blickle stands worldwide for high-quality, long lasting and maintenance-free wheels and castors “made in Germany”
The wide range of Blickle standard products includes more than 20,000 wheel and castor types for nearly every application and requirement. Capacity ranges between 15 and 20.000 kg. From designer castors to heavy duty expert solutions.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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Editorial Calendar 2010
The Forklift Market in The USA
Attachments: Pallet Handling
Used Forklift Dealers
The Forklift Market in China
Materials Handling Equipment in Ports
The Forklift Market in Latin America
Industrial Tryes and Wheels
Batteries and Chargers
Materials Handling in Europe
Warehouse Counter Balance Forklifts