Jungheinrich has been at the forefront of developments in lithium-ion battery technology for many years: indeed, a prototype of the new model EJE 112i was first shown over three years ago, but the company is the first forklift manufacturer to go in to production with a lithium-ion powered truck.
Lithium-Ion technology offers a number of significant environmental and productivity benefits over traditional lead acid batteries. The battery unit itself, for example, is radically different from a lead acid battery. The battery used to power the EJE 112i weighs just 14kg. It looks very much like a brief case and can be handled easily without lifting gear.
“We believe that our new lithium-ion powered EJE 112i represent a step change in forklift truck design,” says Bill Goodwin, sales director of Jungheinrich UK Ltd.
“We have been researching alternative energy sources for a long time and believe that with its rapid charging, long running times and compact truck dimensions our lithium ion powered pallet truck will be welcomed by truck users in all sectors and of all sizes.”
Charging is quick and simple – it takes just 30 minutes to deliver a 50 per cent charge and the battery is fully charged within 80 minutes. The short charging times enable more flexible truck utilisation and ‘opportunity charging’ – something that will be particularly welcome at sites running multiple shifts.
A single charge is sufficient to power the truck through a typical eight hour shift and, importantly, when it comes to recharging, a dedicated charging bay is not required. The battery is simply removed by hand from the truck and placed within a recharging docking device that can be positioned near a power supply anywhere within the building. The simplicity of the recharging process reduces the need for dedicated battery charging room personnel.
The smaller and lighter battery means that Jungheinrich has been able to dramatically reduce the size of the truck’s battery compartment and, therefore, shrink the truck’s overall dimensions. The length of the EJE 112i is 425mm – which is over 70mm less than a comparable model with a similar capacity powered by traditional lead acid technology.
The truck weighs notably less too. The combined weight of the EJE 112i and its lithium ion battery is just 289kg – some 30 per cent less than the weight of a lead acid powered model of the same load capacity. The lightness of the new model makes it particularly suitable for loading and unloading lorries with taillifts.
Jungheinrich also chose the Hannover show to launch the Auto Pallet Mover (APM) – a new type of automated guided vehicle.
The driverless APM moves independently around the warehouse and has been designed to perform ‘routine’ handling tasks such as delivering palletised loads from the goods-in area or production line to a transfer point in the racking system.
Steve Richmond, general manager of Jungheinrich UK Ltd’s Systems and Projects Division, commented: “There is renewed interest in automated guided vehicles and we believe the development and launch of our new Auto Pallet Mover is well timed. The Jungheinrich APM offers a number of advantages not the least of which are the ability to reduce labour costs while improving safety and reducing product and equipment damage.”
Jungheinrich also chose CeMAT as the platform for the launch of a new forklift truck route optimisation module into its warehouse management systems (WMS).
In simple terms, the system directs the most appropriate truck to the place in the warehouse or distribution centre where it is needed – thereby eliminating ‘empty’ forklift runs within the store.
“This innovation not only adds efficiency to a logistics system but reduces the costs of operating a forklift fleet,” says Steve Richmond.
Using a predefined set of principles and rules, the Truck Optimisation System gathers and processes a wide range of information from the WMS before directing the most appropriate truck in the fleet to where it is needed. “This ensures that the right truck is always selected for the pending transport job,” he adds.
Other products launched at the show included:
• a warehouse navigation system that works in wide aisle applications.
• a new version of Jungheinrich’s best selling ETM/ETV 214/216 reach truck
• a new 4-tonne capacity tow tractor – the model EZS C40, and
• the EJC B14/16 – an electric pedestrian straddle stacker been designed to handle both Euro and Chep-style pallets
“The diversity of the products launched at CeMAT reflects the extensive product offering available from Jungheinrich,” says Bill Goodwin. “We look forward to introducing the products to our UK clients in the months ahead.”
Jungheinrich UK Ltd
Craig Johnson, Marketing Manager
Tel: 01908 363100