Linde leads the charge on Lithium-Ion range
07 November 2017
Linde Material Handling will be able to offer lithium-ion options for all its forklift models up to five tonnes by the end of 2017, and is rapidly expanding its portfolio of warehouse trucks with new models including features to improve operator safety and reduce downtime.
The new releases include several new pallet and stacker trucks and five counterbalance trucks ranging from 1.4 to 1.8 tonnes where both the truck and battery will be covered by the Linde CE mark having passed extensive safety and functional testing.
The new Linde T16L ION pallet truck and Linde D08 ION double stacker come with varying battery sizes and charging times. The latest pallet truck is available with an easy-charge system comprising a side mounted battery connector so that operators only need to plug the charging cable into an external socket on the truck instead of opening lids or flaps. This will make opportunity charging more convenient.
The design of the pallet and double stacker trucks centre on operator comfort and productivity. Both feature an ergonomic lift function which raises the load arms, in the case of the T16L ION, by 635mm making it easier for operators to pick up and position heavier loads and allow the truck to be used as a mobile work bench. The D08 ION on the other hand is designed as a double stacker with a selection of masts offering lift heights up to 2110mm allowing the truck to handle two loads at the same time for loading or unloading double deck trailers.
David Bowen, Linde’s UK warehouse truck product manager said: “We’ve fitted a range of safety and comfort features including spring loaded castor-wheels on the D08 ION for stability and traction when operating over dock levellers, a creep speed option on both models for operation in confined spaces and buzzer alerts to replace horns in noise-sensitive environments.”
The T16L is also available with an automatic lifting and lowering function using light sensors attached to the truck’s mast to detect loads. The lift mast automatically lifts the forks avoiding operators having to bend down. All lifting functions can be controlled manually to save time while unloading.
One of the first companies to invest in Linde’s new Lithium-Ion range is national third party logistics supplier, Fowler Welch, who have awarded Linde a five year contract for over 180 units. The new fleet of Lithium-Ion equipment will serve sites in Spalding, Washington, Heywood, Teynham, and Hillsea.
Paul Hone, Corporate Account Manager at Linde UK said: “We’ve worked with Fowler Welch for more than a decade during which time we have been able to present them with some of our latest technologies. We’re pleased they will now be investing in our newest range of lithium-ion trucks.
“We were able to demonstrate our trucks in action at our German factory in Aschaffenburg and provide trials of our trucks across three of Fowler Welch’s sites. This helped to highlight some of the truck’s unique benefits including decreased electricity and battery maintenance costs as a result of quicker charging. The batteries also do not need to be changed, meaning Fowler Welch will not lose any space in their warehouses to accommodate a battery changing area. We were also able to guarantee numerous health and safety benefits such as zero emissions or injuries caused from battery changing, all of which meant we were able to provide Fowler Welch with a cost effective long-term solution.”
The trucks at Fowler Welch include the T25SP ride-on pallet truck, R14 and R16HD reach trucks and E16P electric counterbalance forklift. Each truck is fitted with Linde’s fleet management system, ‘Connect:’ which enables operators to carry out pre-safety checks which will activate their truck, and warehouse managers to keep track of the service and maintenance status of their fleet. Powered by varying sizes of Linde branded lithium-ion batteries, the trucks come with a management control system and full quality protection from Linde MH.
Laurie Black, technical director at Fowler Welch said: “We were particularly impressed with the range of safety benefits Linde was able to offer on the new fleet of trucks, including the protection of the lithium-ion batteries which we were pleased were quality protected by Linde. Seeing some of the latest trucks being tested in our warehouses helped us to decide on our final order, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results of our more efficient fleet across our first two sites.”
During charging, the traction circuit is locked out for safety. Pallet truck li-ion batteries range from 1.8kWh to 9kWh depending on how much power is required.
In addition to the pallet and double stacker trucks, Linde has introduced five new lithium-ion counterbalance trucks to its range.
These new models have a variety of safety features including a centralised control system and shock sensor to monitor impact and possible damage. The counterbalance trucks include technology which converts regenerative braking energy into heat, instead of feeding it back into the battery, preventing overcharging.
These trucks automatically reduce performance in the event of a technical defect and there is a 25mm thick steel box surrounding the battery cells preventing damage in a collision. This design has been extensively tested at Linde’s factory in Aschaffenburg by a controlled crash tests where a laden 8-tonne forklift truck was deliberately driven, at full speed, into the side of a 3-tonne li-ion truck, ably demonstrating that the lithium-ion battery could withstand even in such an extreme impact event.
Zuzana Golisova, Linde’s UK counterbalance truck product manager, said: “Our new range of lithium-ion trucks is a great innovation for our customers who are always looking to decrease downtime. The high level of energy stored in the batteries results in faster charging. Extensive tests have shown the batteries increase uptime, meaning less time is needed to recharge the li-ion batteries resulting in greater efficiency.
The new models include the E14 and E16C compact trucks, both compatible with small batteries of 13.1kWh and the E16, E18 and E16P which have a greater battery capacity of 16.3kWh.
“Each lithium-ion battery can be charged using one of two different chargers, the power of the charger and battery size determines re-charging speed. For example, it takes around 50 minutes to charge the small battery with a large charger, useful for sites which require a short downtime period when trucks are constantly in demand. Linde guarantees the trucks will still have at least 80% of their original battery capacity after more than 2,500 full charging cycles, making lithium-ion drive technology a cost-effective solution for customers in multi-shift operations.”