Of the 13 trucks and solutions that reached the finals of the international ‘Intralogistics Oscars’, BYD, Crown, Jungheinrich and SSI Schäfer won the prestigious IFOY Awards in five categories. They were presented with the metal and glass trophies in front of 350 invited guests.
In a tight finish, victory in the ‘Counter Balanced Truck up to 3.5 tons’ category went to the 1.8-ton ECB 18C, an electric forklift from BYD. The 80V lithium-ion stacker was the first Chinese made-vehicle to be named the world’s best forklift truck of the year.
The determining factor in the decision was the overall package offered by the European-type Chinese truck in combination with the value added by the battery technology. Its iron-phosphate battery is a genuine USP. It can be recharged extremely quickly, as often as needed and without memory effect, which means it can handle three-shift duty without any problem. All that needs to be done is to charge the forklift during the breaks. (For more information, see our BYD case study in the November 2015 issue )
Jungheinrich had a twofold reason to celebrate this year. The winner in the category ‘Special Vehicle’, part of the IFOY Award for the first time in 2016, was the EJQ 325. The purpose-built vehicle from Jungheinrich special build design department was developed for the Deutsche Bahn rail company to permit the loading and separation of the wheel sets for the ICE trains and the wheel set changer. The solution is made up of standard components and impressed the jury above all with its precision. This kind of combination is extremely sophisticated in technical terms and has never before been realised in this form in the segment of industrial trucks.
The Hamburg-based company won its second IFOY in the ‘Warehouse Truck Highlifter’ category, with the Jungheinrich EKX 516, an 80V highlifter brought onto the market in early 2015. The man-up truck lifts loads of up to 1,600kg to heights of 17.5m. The jury named the high degree of innovation as the main reason for its choice. According to the jury, the features that make the truck one-of-a-kind are the modular platform concept, the lightweight design, the passive load sway damping system fitted to an NVA truck for the first time and the synchronous reluctance motor technology, another first. The jury added that the Jungheinrich EKX raises the bar in the highlifter segment.
The IFOY Award in the ‘Warehouse Truck Lowlifter’ category went to the newly developed Crown RT 4020 forklift truck with driver platform. This vehicle is designed for demanding applications in modern logistics and can lift up to two tons. The top speed of 12.5km/h and a chassis width of just 780mm make it easy to maneuvre in tight spaces easy, for instance when loading and unloading delivery trucks, or storing pallets in narrow channels. The key factor in the decision of the jury was the outstanding productivity of the vehicle in the tightest of spaces. “The high-powered three-phase drive system, the compact design and the intuitive and highly responsive control elements make the RT the perfect stacker for narrow and busy areas,” jury members said.
The ‘Intralogistics Solution’ category award went to SSI Schäfer. The Swiss provider created a fleet solution complete with Weasel driverless transport systems for the in-plant logistics operations of the NextLevel Logistik company near Schweinfurt. Whether it be for containers, cartons, trays or other products of widely varying sizes up to a weight of 35kg, Weasel handles all the transport jobs, from goods receipt through workplaces and goods dispatch to waste disposal. In contrast to conventional AGVs, it does without sophisticated sensor technology or complex control systems. One of the big advantages for NextLevel Logistik is the flexibility and easy scalability of the solution: Weasel is not rail-based and can therefore be flexibly integrated in existing infrastructures. And the solution can grow with increasing business volumes. Alongside the high level of customer benefit, the factor that finally swayed the jury was the extremely low investment cost of the driverless system. With this product, SSI Schäfer opens up the market for automated transport solutions.