Refurbished articulated trucks offer price and environmental benefits
08 April 2013
Flexi Narrow Aisle has released collection of completely remanufactured ‘second life’ Flexi articulated trucks, the Flexi ECO AC range.
Flexi ECO AC trucks feature new component parts – only the truck chassis, four counterweights and heavy fabrications are re-used, and these components are tested and repainted to the highest standards at Flexi’s UK manufacturing plant.
The range is said to offer two benefits. First, because the heavy steel and cast-iron parts used in their construction are recycled, the trucks deliver obvious environmental benefits.
Secondly, they confer a price advantages. Flexi ECO AC models come with an identical warranty but cost some 30% less than an equivalent all-new model.
Flexi ECO AC trucks are available through Flexi Narrow Aisle and authorised distributors only.
Used Flexi’s that are selected to undergo the ECO AC ‘makeover’ process are completely stripped down. All original parts are graded and either disposed of or reworked for onward sale to the global spare parts market.
All the cast-iron and steel components of the truck are assessed and tested to ensure that they are suitable for re-use.
Once passed fit for re-use, the iron and steel body parts are cleaned and repainted before joining the Flexi ECO AC production line where all-new componentry – pumps, motors, hydraulic parts, the latest Zapi AC motor technology - is introduced.
Flexi Narrow Aisle sales and marketing director John Maguire says: "The UK material handling market is in many ways unique in that some 80 per cent of all equipment is contract hired for a fixed period, often over 5 or 7 years and including a comprehensive maintenance package.
"This means that there is a constant flow of used end-of-contract equipment returned to distributors, and dealers. Much of this equipment is often disposed of.
"The Flexi product is very different. The truck is built with heavy gauge steel plate, ‘I-beams’ and four cast-iron counterweights. The Flexi G4 design is based on a registered chassis and counterweight design that provides the trucks’ `True Radius’ in-aisle turn that eliminates the kind of product and rack damage that is often associated with other warehouse truck types.
"This means the heavy chassis components - even when 10 years old - are able to be re-used and brought up to the latest specification, saving a great deal of primary and secondary manufacturing cost and the normal energy and CO² usage.
"We know from talking to our customers that there is a potentially large market of articulated truck users who are keen to take advantage of the large reduction in carbon saved in the manufacture of the Flexi ECO AC product. The significant cost savings that our remanufacturing process allows us to pass on is an added benefit.
"The Flexi EC AC range is very environmentally friendly and – at 30 per cent cheaper than a new truck – cost friendly too.”
"Furthermore, thanks to our warranty terms, users have complete peace of mind.”
Factory expansion for Flexi
To keep pace with demand, Flexi Narrow Aisle has undertaken a major expansion of its UK production facility.
Production space and output capacity at the site in Tipton has increased by nearly 50%. The 2.5 acre site now provides over 50,000 sq ft of factory space.
Managing director, Peter Wooldridge, explains: "We have invested a sizable sum in our plant. In addition to the factory extension, we have upgraded our spare parts store and invested in our finished goods dispatch area and our offices – particularly our IT facilities.
"We believe the investment is a clear statement of intent and underscores our confidence in the future development of our Flexi range of articulated forklift trucks.
"Our commitment to Tipton means we can continue to offer local skilled jobs to existing staff. The Black Country is a great place to do business. The local availability of skilled engineering personnel has allowed us to employ a significant number of new staff -including five apprentices - during the last 12 months.”
In 2012 the company announced that orders for the Flexi range of articulated forklifts had reached record levels with sales up 40 per cent on the corresponding period 12 months previously. The positive trend has been sustained in the first quarter of 2013.
Warehouse Systems Division
Flexi Narrow Aisle has launched a Warehouse Systems Division to offer a comprehensive range of warehouse planning and design consultancy services to the logistics and materials handling industry.
Flexi Narrow Aisle sales and marketing director John Maguire says: "Flexi Warehouse Systems will offer impartial advice on a broad spectrum of warehouse based intralogistics solutions. It’s aim will be to offer the most space efficient and cost effective system for each application – even if the solution does not involve articulated or VNA trucks!”
"Using warehouse planning and throughput simulation software and drawing on the many years’ experience of the Flexi Warehouse Systems development team, the Flexi Warehouse Systems Division will deliver tailored and impartial input and advice to any intralogistics development process.”