Lithium battery for any forklift

Romeo Power, an energy storage technology company founded by top engineers and designers from SpaceX, Tesla, Samsung and Amazon, has introduced THUNDER PACK – C, claimed to be the first lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack designed to be adapted for any electric forklift make or model. The THUNDER PACK – C is safer, non-toxic and said to be far more energy efficient with significantly longer cycle life than lead acid batteries that still dominate the global forklift market, now forecasted to reach $55.9 billion in 2021.
Romeo Power THUNDER PACKs are warranty-backed to last 4,000 cycles (approximately 12 years), deliver quick recharge, require no maintenance, and produce zero emissions and zero odours. In contrast, traditional lead-acid forklift battery packs have much shorter cycle life, long recharge and cool-down periods, need constant maintenance, run out of energy in as few as six hours, and emit hydrogen sulphide gas and sulfuric acid that smells bad, is messy, and hurts the environment.
“In our experience, forklift buyers want three things: more safety, longer drive time, and less downtime,” said Michael Patterson, Romeo Power founder and CEO.
All Romeo Power battery packs are engineered to exceed the most stringent government safety requirements and include an advanced battery management system based on control-oriented, physio-chemical models. Combined with the company’s innovations in thermal engineering, manufacturing processes and the materials chosen to connect components, Romeo Power battery packs have smaller space requirements than other battery packs on the market and are said to offer enhanced state-of-charge (SOC) and state-of-health (SOH) monitoring.
Batteries are big business
The global forklift market, valued at $35.3 billion in 2014, is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.9 percent and now forecast to reach $55.9 billion by the end of 2021, according to a February report by Persistence Market Research (PMR).
In 2014, 55 per cent of global forklift sales were electric models. In 2015, 60 per cent were electric. In North America, electric forklifts now represent nearly 64 per cent of sales.

ASCO appoints new Australasia CEO

ASCO, provider of logistics, materials and warehouse management services, has appointed Michael Fulham as CEO of Australasia.
Recent changes to the Australian senior management team saw Fulham replace Matt Thomas, who has moved into a Global Client Director role within ASCO Group and is now based at its Corporate HQ in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Fulham, who will be based in Perth, WA, brings commercial supply chain management experience in both construction and oil and gas logistics.
He will play a role in the future growth and development of ASCO’s Australian business, working closely with the current management team to continue the growth of the region.
“Some of the largest operators in the industry have major interests in the Australasian region,” said Fulham. “As demand for ASCO’s services continues to grow, it is important that we continue to safely deliver the quality service for which we are known, providing operators with solutions that are project specific.”
Matt Thomas, Global Client Director, ASCO, added, “Australasia is a key strategic region for ASCO and we see significant opportunities to continue to grow our business. We are perfectly placed to provide operators with solutions that are both cost effective and operationally efficient. Michael’s experience will be key as we continue to develop and grow in this important market.”
ASCO will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017.

Who are the top technicians?

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has confirmed its commitment to training and service standards with the annual National Skills Contest.
TMHA executive vice president and COO Steve Takacs said the contest, which Toyota has held in Australia for a quarter of a century, was an important investment in its technicians and just reward for their efforts in continually up-skilling.
The Master Technician and Apprentice of the Year will make an educational visit to one of Toyota’s global forklift production plants.
“As someone who came into this industry as a technician, it is always an important event for me and especially pleasing to see our branches around the country represented on the list of winners,” Mr Takacs said. “The results and the closeness of the contest show off our technicians’ high levels of product knowledge and in turn supports our position as the number one forklift brand.
“The National Skills Contest has been proven over many years to support high customer satisfaction rates, with less downtime and increased efficiency for all our business partners.
“The Apprentice of the Year component in particular provides an opportunity for budding technicians to test themselves against the country’s best, and allows us to invest in their future and that of the entire TMHA business.
“Toyota pioneered specialised TAFE-level training for forklift technicians in Australia and we aim to maintain that edge,” he said.
TMHA invited 15 forklift specialists (nine technicians and six apprentices) to a two-day skills contest final at its Moorebank (Sydney) headquarters, based on written tests from approximately 160 entrants nationally.
The event included a series of practical- and theory-based exercises across the three brands of TMHA equipment: Toyota, BT Lift Truck and Raymond.
Competing technicians chose a brand in which to specialise for the practical component, and sat an exam encompassing all three brands to determine the winner of the Master Technician award.
And the winners are…

The Master Technician of the Year award went to Matthew White from TMHA’s Melbourne branch and he also received the award for Raymond Technician of the Year.
The 2017 Apprentice of the Year is Richard Maitland-Smith, from TMHA’s Perth branch.
Paul Pritchard from TMHA’s Sydney branch is the Technician of the Year for BT products and Adrian Sruhan from TMHA’s Brisbane branch is the Technician of the Year for Toyota products.
They accepted their awards from Mr Takacs at a gala dinner on the Gold Coast on June 30.
This year’s TMHA National Skills Contest marked the tenth anniversary of adding the Apprentice award. It was introduced when TMHA’s Moorebank national headquarters opened in 2007.
Since 2007, the contest has attracted 2,369 technician entries and 639 apprentice entries, including one female winner.

Former ATA Chair joins freight and supply chain panel

Former Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chair David Simon will sit on expert panel supporting the Australian Government’s National Freight and Supply Chain Inquiry.
The Hon. Darren Chester, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, announced the appointment on 17 May, in a speech about transforming Australia’s freight and rail network.
Current ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said the appointment shows that the Australian Government recognises the importance of trucking operators to moving the national freight task.
“Trucking operators are critical to the national supply chain, and increasing the productivity of trucking makes the supply chain more competitive, reducing costs for consumers, industry and exporters,” said Crouch.
“The ATA and its member associations are working on the issues and proposals that need to be made to the inquiry to boost productivity and safety for our industry.
David Simon is the Executive Chairman of Simon National Carriers and was Chair of the ATA from 2010 to 2014. He also served as a member of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) project implementation board and the Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment reform board.

Toyota Industries acquires Vanderlande

Toyota Industries Corporation has acquired logistic process automation manufacturer Vanderlande Industries Holding
Founded in 1949, Vanderlande develops material handling systems for the retail and parcel handling industries, passenger baggage handling systems for airports. Vanderlande and a line-up of sorters, conveyors, and other materials handling equipment and software and automated equipment for warehouses.
Vanderlande has 50 sites around the world and approximately 4,500 employees.
Toyota paid approximately 140 billion yen ($1.6 billion) to obtain 100 per cent of the company’s shares and the transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2018.
Toyota said in a statement, “Today’s announcement of the acquisition of Vanderlande enables Toyota Industries to expand its range of materials handling equipment and systems globally beyond lift trucks, which will serve as an important first step for expansion of the materials handling solutions business and make a significant contribution to raising the Toyota Industries Group’s presence over the world.”

Toowoomba airport flies out first airfreight cargo

The first successful domestic freight operation out of Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport has opened the skies for new business opportunities in the region, according to the airport’s commercial manager Sara Hales.
Hales says the airport’s cargo and passenger capabilities ensure local businesses have improved connectivity and the opportunity to meet urgent client deadlines using local infrastructure.
“Toowoomba and the surrounding regions provide services and supply materials for major national and international companies and for many of these entities the advantage of having airport nearby streamlines logistical operations,” said Hales.
Toowoomba-based civil construction, quarrying and mining industries supply company Trackspares commissioned the first domestic freight flight from Toowoomba late last week, the company was dispatching an urgent shipment to Rio Tinto’s bauxite mine at Weipa.
Trackspares managing director Brad Oats says the 10-tonne shipment included heavy-duty undercarriage, including track chains and rollers, for a material handling machine known as an apron feeder.
He says it has been fantastic to be part of another major milestone for the region’s airport.
“It opens up opportunities, not only for us but for companies like Rio Tinto to access our services,” he said, adding that without the local airport the order would have been trucked to Brisbane and companies such as Trackspares would have been faced with a “logistical nightmare.”
“The Rio Tinto mine was dealing with a time-critical breakdown situation and the flight from Wellcamp helped expedite the whole process in an industry where time is money,” said Oats.
EastAir, who usually conducts urgent air transport for Rio Tinto, arranged dedicated charter airline Pionair Australia (via Aviation Cairns) to freight the Trackspares equipment to Weipa on a BAE 146-200QT ‘Whisper Jet’.
“Once the freight order grew from 3.4 tonne to 10 tonnes we needed a bigger aircraft for the service,” said EastAir chief executive Dean Mooney.
“We were thrilled to be able to help Trackspares meet their client’s urgent request and also facilitate the supplies for our client Rio Tinto who we have been working with for the past six years.”
“Our aircraft can carry up to 11.5 tons of cargo into and out of difficult to reach locations, worldwide, so we were thrilled to be able to assist Trackspares with the urgent client request,” said Pionair General Manager Michael Lee.
The cargo door is a massive 3.33 metres wide and 1.93 metres tall, allowing large oversized cargo to be loaded.

Logistics robots market to be worth $29bn by 2021

Research and Markets has recently released a research report on the market for robots designed for use in warehouses and the logistics sector.
The report, ‘Warehousing and Logistics Robots: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts’, found that worldwide sales for the robots reached US$1.9 billion in 2016 ($2.5 billion), forecast to rise to US$22.4 billion (29 billion) by the end of 2021.
Research and Markets also reports that AI advisory service Tractica expects worldwide warehousing and logistics robot unit shipments will increase from 40,000 in 2016 to 620,000 units annually by 2021.
“The market is experiencing strong growth, with many prominent companies showing greater confidence in new robotics technologies that can yield a return on investment (ROI) in less time than it took a few years ago,” the company stated. “In the modern world’s fast-paced, customer-driven economy, the warehousing and logistics industries are looking for robotics solutions, more than ever before, to remain globally competitive.
“While robotics technology has already made an economic impact on the manufacturing sector, it is currently starting to transform supply chain operations to be faster, safer, and more productive. The demand for robots and the supply of matured robotic solutions for the optimisation of logistics processes have created a tipping point that could lead to widespread acceptance and presence of robots in warehouses and logistics operations.”

Stock pickers help museum manage 250k-strong collection

The Australian Museum is employing Toyota Material Handling Australia’s (TMHA) new range of elevated work platforms (EWPs) at its new, purpose-built warehouse facility in Sydney’s west.
The Museum currently has two Bravi Spin-Go stock picker EWPs supplied by TMHA in operation at its 3000sqm warehouse in Castle Hill, with plans to add a larger Bravi Sprint EWP and other Toyota warehousing equipment to the fleet soon.
The Australian Museum’s Dr Anja Divljan said staff at the new facility found the Bravi Spin-Go EWPs to be an easy and efficient way to access some of the 250,000 items of the museum’s collection that are stored at the site.
“The staff here find the EWPs easy to use and they are functioning very well in what is quite a unique warehousing environment,” Dr Divljan said.
The BRAVI Spin-Go EWPs are currently used to access items stored in compactus units that reach four metres in height.
“This part of the warehouse is situated on a floating floor, so there is a weight limit in place,” Dr Divljan said. The higher-reach capacity Bravi Sprint stock picker will be used in the remainder of the warehouse that sits on a solid floor and is fitted out with regular pallet racking.
“This area contains larger and heavier items, many of them on standard pallets, so we are also working with our local Sydney TMHA branch to assess our need for more traditional warehouse equipment like a counterbalance forklift, walkie stackers and pallet jacks,” she said.
“Most of our collections staff aren’t qualified to use a forklift, but they were able to get to work with the EWPs after TMHA organised on-site inductions and familiarisation to a standard recognised by the Australian market.”
TMHA business development and compliance sales manager Andrew Jones said the company had taken a real solutions-based approach to helping the Australian Museum set up its new storage facility.
“The Australian Museum has a lot of different items of varying size, weight and fragility that need to be stored and easily accessed by collections staff. We decided the agile Bravi Spin-Go EWPs would best suit their needs to start with, so we delivered a demonstration unit to the warehouse to physically illustrate and trial its capabilities and confirm that it was the right tool for the job,” he said.

Siemens to construct super efficient air cargo centre at London’s Heathrow Airport

Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL) has been commissioned to install an air cargo centre at the international London Heathrow Airport.
International Airlines Group (IAG) issued the contract for IAG’s subsidiary British Airways.
Siemens is equipping a complete new cargo terminal, allowing the airline to profit from a substantial expansion of the existing air cargo capacities and an optimisation of complex cargo processes. The centre will contain with a’ fast-track facility’ – capable of processing particularly urgent air cargo in only 45 minutes.
“With our many years of experience and our in-depth knowledge of air cargo logistics, we will be able to help IAG strengthen their competitive position,” said Michael Reichle, CEO, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics.
“We are proud to have held our ground for years as a major player in the highly contested air cargo business,” added Sarah Coulson, Head of Strategy and Business Development, IAG Cargo.” Premium solutions such as the ability to process air cargo at short notice will help us to successfully keep ahead of the competition.”
In order to enable fast cargo handling, Siemens has developed a streamlined operational concept which avoids long distances and supports optimal use of the area with a surface measuring just 11,30sqm. Siemens will install a sophisticated system consisting of four elevating transfer vehicles (ETVs) and four transfer vehicles (TVs). The scope of delivery also includes three truck docks for loading and unloading, and four conveyor lines for build-up and breakdown. The air cargo centre with a throughput of 135,000 tons per year will have over 110 positions for unit load devices (ULDs). Siemens will also deliver 54 special cold storage and deep-freeze rooms for perishable goods.

Nominations now open for Mercury Awards 2017

The Mercury Awards are back in 2017 with a new list of categories acknowledging excellence in supply chain management.
The long-standing event recognises the achievements of the small and large businesses that demonstrate ‘best practice’, excellence and innovation in Australia’s logistics, supply chain and materials handling industry.
Awards categories for the Mercury Awards 2017:

  • Materials Handling Solution Award
  • Supply Chain Innovation Award
  • Excellence in Safety Award
  • Best Technology Application Award
  • Sustainability Initiative Award
  • Transport Solution of the Year Award: Road
  • Transport Solution of the Year Award: Rail, Sea and Air
  • Outstanding Third Party Logistics Provider Award
  • Outstanding Graduate Program Award
  • Best Warehouse and/or Storage Solution Award

To nominate an exceptional company, head to the Mercury Awards website.
Winners will be decided by an independent panel of industry experts and announced at the Mercury Awards Gala Dinner to be held at 6.30pm in the Jim Stynes Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday 27 September.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online – Early Bird tickets cost $165 + GST, and you can get a table of 10 for $1,500 + GST.
For a night of great entertainment and delicious food in a fantastic venue buy your tickets now, and for a chance of being honoured on the night get your nominations in.
The 2017 Mercury Awards are sponsored by European manufacturer SEW-Eurodrive. SEW are passionate about celebrating industry excellence and also provide their support manufacturing excellence at the Endeavour Awards and mining progress at the Prospect Awards.

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