Narrow aisle reach AGV for freezers

Dematic has released a freezer-rated narrow aisle reach AGV specifically designed to operate autonomously in chilled and freezer environments. The AGV can operate permanently in temperatures down to -25°C and intermittently as low as -30°C.
With a lift height that can access five levels of racking in a typical warehouse, a 1,100 kg load capacity and a reach mechanism to handle double-deep racking , the AGV is well-suited for automating operations in existing freezer distribution facilities.
“Our new AGV are designed for automating existing freezer storage DC that are manually operated today,” said general manager sales for AGV at Dematic Australia and New Zealand Tony Raggio. “Companies can implement freezer-rated AGV for automated picking with minimal infrastructure changes and related costs.”
For manual operations, working in the tough, demanding freezer environment means that workers need frequent breaks from the cold. For every hour worked, a worker might need to spend 10 to 20 minutes out of the freezer. AGV systems may operate 24/7, picking and transporting product in the frozen environment and delivering that product seamlessly to warmer temperature shipping areas.
“Finding people to work in chilled and freezer environments is challenging,” Mr Raggio added. “Our customers can use these AGV in the frozen areas of their distribution facilities to create a fully automated ‘lights out’ automation arrangement.”

Toyota puts its technicians to the test

Countless hours of technician study and practice were put to the test by Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) during its recently held National Skills Competition at TMHA’s Training and Development Centre in Moorebank, Sydney.
The annual competition saw 160 forklift technicians and apprentices from across the TMHA national branch network complete two online exams, the first whittling the field to 68 and the second determining 15 finalists. Six apprentices and nine technicians then put their knowledge and ability on display over two days of theory- and practical-based exercises covering TMHA’s Toyota, BT and Raymond brands of forklifts and warehouse equipment.
TMHA president & CEO Steve Takacs said the National Skills Competition is important on a number of levels. “It’s an investment in the skills of our technicians and apprentices. It helps ensure they have a high level of product knowledge and the abilities required to remain at the forefront of industry standards,” said Mr Takacs.
“Conducting the skills contest provides real benefits. It has been proven to support high customer satisfaction rates thanks to less downtime and increased efficiency for all our business partners.
“It’s also just reward for their efforts in continually up-skilling. The Apprentice of the Year component in particular allows budding technicians to test themselves against the country’s best.”
This year’s TMHA National Skills Contest marked the eleventh anniversary of adding the Apprentice Award.
Mr Takacs said the competition is also important to him, personally. “I started out in this industry as a Toyota technician so I know the importance of skills training. It’s something we have run for over a quarter of a century and something we will continue to support as part of our commitment to maintaining industry-leading service standards.”
Mr Takacs said this year’s TMHA National Skills Competition also coincided with TMHA celebrating 50 years of forklift sales in Australia. “So it was a particularly special event. Toyota sold its first forklift in this country in 1968, and now holds almost 40 per cent of the Australian market, and the number eight position for sales in the world.”
This year, nine technicians specialised in one of three brands – Toyota, Raymond and BT – for the practical component and also sat an exam covering all three brands to determine the overall Master Technician.
The Master Technician of the Year award for 2018 was won by TMHA Brisbane’s Luke Kuschert after also winning 2018 National Technician of the Year award for Raymond products. Mr Kuschert was also crowned Master Technician of the Year in 2016 and 2016 National Technician of the Year for BT products.
This year’s BT Technician of the Year was won by TMHA Melbourne’s Jhon Gallego and TMHA Brisbane’s Aaron Lang took out Toyota Technician of the Year 2018.
Michael Chattin of TMHA Albury rose from a field of six to become Apprentice of the Year 2018. As part of his prize, Mr Chattin will attend an Educational Factory Tour of an overseas Toyota forklift production plant, as will Master Technician Winner, Luke Kuschert. All brand winners received a $2,000 cash prize and all participants given Makita power tools.
In June, all winners were presented with their awards and prizes at a national TMHA awards function by Mr Takacs and TMHA Chairman, Toshi Nakazawa.

Electric hand pallet truck launched

Crown has released the WP 3010 Series, a more compact and economically priced package that is now available Australia-wide through Crown’s national branch network and its online store.
Designed and manufactured by Crown Europe in Roding, Germany, the WP 3010 features an AC drive motor combined with the e GEN regenerative braking system for performance, reliability, long battery life and maintenance-free braking.

The WP 3010 Series’ short (500mm) head length, fork length of up to 1150mm, built-in charger and low weight (279kg without battery) make it nimble and convenient, suitable for back-of-truck work.
Its load capacity of 1600kg, heavy-duty gearbox, robust helical gear set, optimised steel structure and high-tensile steel forks ensure it is rugged.
The WP 3010 Series also features the same cast aluminium Crown X-10 handle with easy-to-use-ergonomic controls used on the rest of the WP Series range.
Crown Equipment director, sales and marketing Craig Kenchington said the WP 3010 Series’ competitive pricing will introduce the Crown product to a whole new market segment.
“Crown has made a power pallet truck with compact dimensions, so it’s ideal for moving and positioning loads quickly and safely in confined storage spaces,” Mr Kenchington said.
“In doing so, it has also compacted the entry price of the Crown WP Series model line-up.
“This new model is perfectly at home doing kerbside deliveries, transport on truck beds as well as retail applications and even manufacturing environments,” he said.


Record apprentice intake

Image: TMHA has inducted a new group of technical apprentices, pictured here with company president Steve Takacs (to the immediate left of the tool box) and key TMHA staff.
Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has inducted a record 13 apprentice forklift technicians in its annual intake, ensuring a solid skills support base for the future.
The company received 878 applications for apprenticeships from around the country, a 75 per cent increase on the 2017 figure.
The 13 new apprentices, accompanied by mentors from their respective TMHA branches, were inducted and received their tools of trade at TMHA’s Sydney headquarters in mid-April.
TMHA president and CEO Steve Takacs – who began his career as a forklift technician – was on hand to welcome the inductees.
They also received presentations on Toyota values, company policies and expectations, safety procedures and Toyota history, and a tour of TMHA’s extensive national headquarters.
TMHA national technical advisor and trainer Gerry Larney said 13 apprentices was a record annual intake and continues Toyota’s commitment to industry leading skills training.
“We currently have 50 apprentices completing their four-year courses across our 17 branches and a total of 450 staff in product support roles,” he said.
“TMHA views the apprentice program as a cornerstone in providing the highest levels of product support,” he said.
“It is a real investment in our future, as today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s technicians.”
TMHA also conducts an annual national skills contest, open to all technicians and apprentices, with the aim of keeping service staff at the cutting edge of industry standards.
Mr Takacs said Toyota has been at the forefront of forklift technician training for much of the 50 years the company has been selling forklifts in Australia, this is further supported by specialist TAFE and inhouse training programs for Australia’s forklift technicians.
“The annual apprentice intake was initiated more than a decade ago to help ensure we have a strong skills base to support our business,” he said.
“Having a skilled team of technicians ready to provide high-quality back-up for all Toyota material-material handling equipment is a clear benefit for our customers nation-wide, and part of the Toyota Advantage.”

Hyster goes with hydrogen

Hyster claims to have released Australasia’s first hydrogen-powered forklifts to bring clean, green and reliable performance to industry.
The forklifts are being demonstrated by Hyster for companies seeking clean, green, environmental high performance, coupled with the convenience and workplace efficiency of rapid refuelling for maximum uptime.
The new machines – which offer the performance and refuelling speed of typical conventionally powered alternatives, but with the sustainability of electric motors – were demonstrated in Sydney in April. The products are currently available for distribution in the United States and Canada.

“These new hard-working forklifts comprise a production-tested Hyster range that complements our existing globally respected ranges and is backed by the distribution and technical resources of the Hyster-Yale group, which produces forklifts for the toughest working conditions in capacities from 1-52 tonnes,” said Mr Fagg.
“The new hydrogen powered forklift trucks are aimed particularly at companies seeking the ultimate combination of environmentally harmonious indoor and outdoor performance, without having to interrupt production cycles or have vehicles out of service for lengthy charging or battery changing. These benefits will extend to a wide range of materials handling operations, where productivity is a vital element in maintaining a competitive edge.
“We believe that not only are these the first hydrogen powered forklifts in Australia or New Zealand, but also that such practical hydrogen-powered vehicles as these show the way ahead for a whole new generation of future-focused work vehicles, and perhaps ultimately for passenger vehicles.
“Hyster’s hydrogen-powered ranges – which complement our broader globally respected materials handling technologies – utilise durable high-performance Nuvera fuel cell systems, which are fast-fuelled power options that replace lead-acid batteries in Class I, II, and III electric lift trucks. The Nuvera fuel cell system is designed and built to provide customer return on investment over the lifecycle of the product.
“The new hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts can be fully re-fuelled in as little as three minutes, which saves significant downtime compared with battery operated forklifts, that can take up to eight hours to recharge. This means the whole fleet can be used to its full potential – maximising product and operator utilisation – and the gains in uptime and productivity.”
How they work
Fuel cell vehicles are fuelled and refuelled by a hose from a dispenser in the same way that typical work vehicles and cars and trucks are refuelled at a petrol or diesel bowser. The hydrogen dispenser pumps hydrogen into the cell’s hydrogen storage tank. As long as the fuel cell is supplied with hydrogen and oxygen, it will generate electricity to power the forklift’s electric motor.
In the process of the hydrogen fuel’s conversion to electricity through a chemical reaction in the cell, electricity is produced, and this is used to power the electric motor that drives the vehicle. The process is very clean because, unlike a conventional fossil fuel engine, a fuel cell doesn’t burn the hydrogen. Instead, it’s fused chemically with oxygen producing electricity and water, this being the primary emission from the vehicle giving the vehicle outstanding clean, green credentials.
Who will use this technology?
The sustainability delivered by Hyster’s new work vehicles is applicable to an entire range of future-focused industries, including particularly materials handling, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and processing operations,. It is also directly relevant to major resources companies (such as mining, oil and gas) that are seeking to reduce their operations’ environmental footprint in remote and sensitive areas, as well as environmentally aware utilities including local authorities, energy, water and waste water engineering facilities and transport and automotive service facilities where workers may be exposed to environmental and workplace OB&S hazards.
Requirements essential to the success of the use of this technology include a steady, cost-effective supply of hydrogen, which can be delivered, generated on-site or by employing a fleet dispenser system such as Hyster-Yale’s proven Nuvera system.

Celebrating 50 years in Australia

National forklift distributor Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) is celebrating 50 years of Toyota forklift sales in Australia.
Toyota sold its first forklift in Australia in 1968 and now holds almost 40 per cent of the Australian market.
TMHA president Steve Takacs has thanked all TMHA customers and paid tribute to the former Toyota forklift dealers who contributed to the 50th anniversary being realised.
TMHA chairman Tom Nakazawa said Australia is an important player globally for TICO, with Toyota Material Handling Australia’s sales holding the number eight position in the world for overall Toyota forklift sales.
“This is an outstanding achievement, considering the smaller population in Australia compared to the many countries it has outranked,” he said.
TMHA now has 16 branches and 750 staff, the majority in product support roles and has flagged continued expansion, including a new branch recently opened in Toowoomba.
The company is continuously adding new products to its portfolio, with the latest additions being industrial sweepers and scrubbers, along with “Aichi” brand scissor lifts, another Toyota Industries Company.
In terms of the overall material-handling market, TMHA sees continued expansion in the driverless forklift range and automation markets.

WWL cancels PrixCar deal for Australian logistics business

Shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA (WWL) – also known as Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions (WW Solutions) – has terminated its November 2017 plan to sell its inland transportation and technical service business in Australia to Australian vehicle storage and transportation company Prixcar, in exchange for a 20 per cent ownership share in Prixcar.
In a statement, WWL noted that the company is “well positioned for further growth in the Australian market” and now wishes to pursue new opportunities.
WWL has been working to find a partner to be able to grow in the land-based logistics market in Australia. The company has noted that is has been “fully committed” to a partnership, but due to a number of delays to the process and significant changes, has made the decision to withdraw from the transaction.
“The company is now well positioned for further growth in the high and heavy equipment space, especially in light of the capabilities added to the group with the recent acquisition of Keen Transport in North America,” the company stated.
Ray Fitzgerald, Chief Operating Officer, WW Solutions, added: “Our fundamentals are good and our ambition within the Australian market matches our global strategic objective to build unrivalled capability to serve the high & heavy equipment industry.”

NTP Forklifts unveils 15,000sqm NSW facility

NTP Forklifts Australia has officially launched its new facility in Huntingwood, New South Wales.
Customers, suppliers and equipment manufacturers attended the opening of the 14,590sqm site, which is almost double the size of NTP’s previous facility in Granville.
The site features a 7,900sqm under-cover warehouse, a 1,000m parts warehouse, eight-metre high racking and an indoor wash bay.
“A lot of hard work by our staff was required to ensure our new facility would cater to all out customers,” said Greg Sharp, General Manager – Sydney Branch, NTP Forklifts Australia. “The Open Day was a great opportunity for customers, suppliers and our equipment manufacturers to tour our new facility, view our extensive range of equipment and engage in product demonstrations.”
Damien Garvey, Managing Director, NTP Forklifts Australia, added: “We are very proud to officially open our new Sydney premise and to present our extensive range of world-leading material handling equipment to a larger audience.
“This investment demonstrates our company’s future commitment to our staff, the New South Wales market and more importantly to our growing customer base.”

Refurbished Linde forklift is a pools winner

Queensland company Shipping Container Pools proves the benefits of recycling and re-use right down to the certified refurbished Linde forklift at the heart of its operations.
Millions of Australians saw the company’s approach demonstrated when TV program The Block featured one of its above-ground pools made from a repurposed shipping container.
That marked the current high point for a family business that began as a joint project when Johannes Roux combined his pool building experience with architecture student son Jonavan’s exploration of shipping containers as building elements.
“We’ve moved to larger premises three times and our output has grown from one shipping container pool per fortnight to now dispatching seven each week,” says Jonavan Roux, explaining how the Linde forklift became an essential asset for the business.
Saving time on a budget
“We began with an old 2.5-tonne used forklift and a tilt-tray truck to handle the shipping containers we convert,” says Jonavan. “Now we are using a gantry crane and a refurbished Linde H70D 396 seven-tonne diesel forklift at our Coolum Beach factory.
“The original method took a day per container, but now with our Linde forklift, one man can accomplish what we need to do in ten minutes, including lowering the access stairs and fibreglass shells into positions.”
Shipping Container Pools contacted Linde with a view to acquiring a used forklift with 2.4-metre tynes and seven-tonne lift capacity after observing a neighbouring business’s successful use of Linde equipment.
Certified refurbished quality
The company took delivery of the Linde seven-tonne diesel forklift sourced from the Silver level of Linde’s Certified Refurbished Forklift program. Its condition was covered by comprehensive pre-delivery preparation including forklift mast, carriage and hydraulics tested to forklift manufacturer’s specification, steer axle checked and set to forklift manufacturer’s specification, hour-meter function tested and a complete repaint to the forklift’s original colours.
The full forklift truck history was made available and the truck was also covered by a warranty of six months or 500 hours parts and labour.
“The Linde has been in service with us for nine months,” Jonavan says. “It is a perfect fit for our growing business. Obviously the purchase price was attractive, but it also has all the capability that we need. It is in use every day, constantly running up and down the production area and it has never let us down.
Engineered for durability and performance
Standard features of the Linde H70D 396 seven-tonne diesel forklift that contribute to its popularity, whether new or refurbished, include hydrostatic drive, the Linde Protector Frame with an enclosed, robot-welded chassis for maximum durability and protection of components.
Linde twin drive pedals create fast and smooth travel direction changes without constantly moving feet from one pedal to the other and short pedal travel eliminates strain on ankles or legs. Mini levers for all mast functions are mounted on an adjustable armrest allowing precise and effortless fingertip control of all hydraulic functions for safe, efficient load handling.
The Linde Truck Control system creates high reliability resulting from duplicated monitoring systems and automatic control of engine speed determined by the load carried. It is enclosed in sealed modules for protection against dust and dirt.
First impressions prove correct
“We couldn’t believe it when it arrived from Linde,” says Jonavan. “It looked completely new throughout, and not just the paintwork. The handover was very professional and so we could put it to work immediately.
“Various operators get onto it throughout the day. They all love it and have commented on how good it is in areas such as the controls and the drive system.
“We see this as an investment which will serve us well for several years to come. At the rate we are growing we are probably going to need a similar one from Linde within the next year. Based on our experience we believe it has been a bargain.”

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