Major savings from low emission

Published:  26 May, 2007

A move to LPG lift trucks featuring Nissan's Tri-Cat low emissions system has created 'major savings" in materials handling for Kingspan - UK manufacturer of raised access flooring based in Hull.
Kingspan is one of the world’s largest producers of the systems used to raise floors in office buildings for the installation of cabled services.

A typical system comprises floor pedestals supporting chipboard panels that are encased in galvanised steel. With three lines at the Burma Drive site turning out over 150,000 finished panels every week, the pace of production is impressive - and the materials handling requirement is intense.

Some 50 lorryloads of high density chipboard in 2.4 x 1.8m panels are received each week, together with palletised drums of adhesive and 50 tonnes of steel coils. Operating on a just-in-time basis, and with temporary storage at goods inwards limited to just half a day’s stock, Kingspan’s requirement was for lift trucks that could work in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner both inside and out.
"The previous fleet comprised 7.0 tonne diesel and 3.0 tonne gas trucks”, explained purchasing manager Graeme Craggs. “The diesel trucks weren’t ideal for inside working and because the gas trucks were operating from bottles, there was considerable downtime when changing over.”

With a rapidly expanding business, Kingspan’s criteria were for a new lift truck fleet that was solely gas-powered - even up to 7.0 tonne capacity - and for bulk gas storage to contribute to maximum uptime.

First of the new trucks to enter service were two 7.0 tonne Nissan FX models, specified to offload chipboard panels and transfer them two packs at a time in loads weighing six tonnes through storage and on to the automatic cutting lines.
Trucks with solid tyres were essential because of the need to maintain stable loads and to avoid punctures. “With those requirements, it’s not always easy to find a truck that’s comfortable at the same time”, said Graeme. “We involved our operators at every stage of the selection procedure and the feedback about the Nissan trucks was very positive.”

Second stage of the replacement programme at Kingspan involved the acquisition of eight 3.0 tonne gas trucks to remove finished product from the line, transfer it into storage and then on to transport.

Having made the decision to run an all-LP gas fleet, Nissan’s DX models fitted with Tri-Cat engine management systems as standard were what Graeme Craggs described as “the only choice.”

The system is a combination of three-way catalytic converter and computerised technology which reduces harmful exhaust emissions by up to 98 % and guarantees maximum fuel economy.

Believed to be the only lift truck installation of its type with a catalyst which addresses all three of the toxic substances produced when LP gas is burnt, it reduces carbon monoxide by 91%, hydrocarbons by 96% and oxides of nitrogen by 98%.

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