Published: 14 October, 2016
PWE reports on a few highlights from last month’s IMHX exhibition.
Toyota Material Handling UK, gave visitors to IMHX last month an exclusive look at some new truck models, as well as future technologies and developments in the automation area.
Some of the exclusive previews for IMHX visitors were the new BT Levio powered pallet truck and the new BT Reflex reach trucks. The BT Levio LWE130 is the entry-level powered pallet trucks that will not only have a new design, but also new features that optimise energy efficiency, driveability and user-friendliness. The BT Reflex R, E and O-series (Standard, Tilting cab and multifunction) will have increased all-round visibility for an improved driver experience. The reach trucks will be able to lift heavier loads to even higher heights with increased speed thanks to new mast technology.
The TAE050, an automated guided cart, was launched at the event. With its purpose of simple automation from A to B, the TAE is a cost-effective solution that replaces repetitive work. The TAE can be used in two ways: to carry light loads up to 140kg on bolt-on racking, or tow heavier loads up to 500kg.
Toyota also launched a new truck management tool called My Fleet at IMHX. My Fleet is a feature of Toyota’s I_Site truck management system that gives customers access to service and rental information for their fleet. The information for My Fleet is taken directly from Toyota’s trucks and service databases – which are instantly updated after every service visit. All the information can be accessed from a simple online portal that can be accessed by computer or mobile device, providing an accessible tool for customers, no matter where they are.
The key features of the system include full fleet lists of trucks on a site or multiple sites, planned and unplanned costs plus service reports, providing customers with visibility of their fleet and a clear understanding of their operation costs. All this information can be accessed using simple tables or the easy to read graphs and charts and can be exported to enable customers to carry out further analysis.
Safe working practices
Combilift also premiered a number of new developments at this year’s IMHX, one of which will make a substantial contribution to safer working practices. Live demos of the new Combilift Safe-Lift showed how drivers can avoid the pitfalls of tip-overloading. There are several factors that can influence a forklift truck to become overloaded and these include the load centre, the weight of load, lift height and the type of load. The load centre – the distance from the face of the forks to the centre of gravity of load - plays a crucial part. But as we cannot expect forklift operators to have to constantly do the maths, the Combi Safe-Lift makes life easier and safer for them.
The Combi Safe-Lift incorporates features to detect, monitor, alarm and shut down operation to eliminate the occurrence of tip-loading. A strain sensor on the mast detects when the load centre is extended or when the forks are not fully engaged. The green, amber and red traffic light signalling on the load moment indicator unit fitted to the dashboard in the cab gives the driver a clear overview of the status of the load. An audible alarm is activated when the risk level is reached and the lift cut out valve shuts down operation until the driver has rectified the situation.
Combilift’s new Combi-Counterbalanced Stacker (Combi-CS) model, was also premiered at IMHX, and represents a further move by the multidirectional forklift specialist into the pedestrian operated truck sector. With a load capacity of 1000kg @ 500mm, this walk behind stacker can work in the smallest operating aisles for a machine of its type and lift capacity.
The Combi-CS was developed to enhance health and safety procedures in areas where personnel may be present such as in production areas of manufacturing plants and it will also be of particular benefit to retail outlets and back of store where not only employees but also the general public may be present.
Meeting business needs
Briggs Equipment seized the opportunity to promote some of Yale’s latest product developments. They included the new MX series of counterbalance forklift trucks, which the company says is tailored to meet the needs of businesses with a variety of materials handling workloads, the MX is initially available in 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 tonne capacities.
The MX series follows the same design language as the Yale Veracitor VX series, which is the premium product in the Yale range. It is available in diesel, LPG, and dual-fuel configurations, with service intervals of 500 hours and the full back-up of Yale and Briggs Equipment’s team of 600 highly qualified engineers.
While Enersys explained the benefits of its NexSys battery solution in comparison with existing and emerging technologies. After the success of its first-generation TPPL batteries – the Hawker XFC range, introduced in 2007 - NexSys has been enhanced to offer faster charging, opportunity charging, Zero Battery Change (ZBC) and virtually maintenance free (topping) features that deliver significant operational benefits and lifetime cost savings compared with traditional flooded and gel battery alternatives. NexSys batteries are available in Standard and Fast Charge configurations so that OEMs and equipment operators can specify the right combination of battery, charger and monitoring system.
Also highlighted at IMHX was the company’s Ironclad, the heavy-duty range of batteries that offers more motive power, extended running times and longer life than comparable designs, in order to support intensive lift truck operations and other demanding materials handling procedures. This solution is particularly suited to longer truck run times where necessary to minimise the use of spare batteries.