News

Flagship project implemented successfully

STILL delivered a total of 66 new counterbalance trucks together with low- and high lift pallet trucks with lithium ion technology (Li-Ion) in various models to the Brüggen company.

Thirty-nine different Li-Ion truck models with different lift heights, fork lengths and battery capacities are currently in use.

The clear allocation of the machines by the STILL FleetManager also ensures that the trucks required in the departments actually are available when needed.

In contrast to lead-acid batteries, intermediate recharges are possible in any state of charge. All that needs doing to charge them is to connect them conveniently via the externally accessible charging connection.

Hamburg, May 13, 2016 – STILL, the Hamburg based intralogistics specialist, successfully implemented a pioneering project in the area of lithium ion technology (LI-Ion) in April 2016. The first major customer, the food manufacturer Brüggen, has converted its truck fleet at the Lübeck site to STILL’s Li-Ion technology. STILL delivered a total of 66 new counterbalance trucks together with low- and high lift pallet trucks in various models to the Brüggen company.

 

The future is electric mobility

The successful implementation of this major project using Li-Ion industrial trucks underlines STILL’s ambition to tackle the subject of electric mobility vigorously, and to offer 90% of its trucks with Li-Ion batteries by 2017. The company plans to present other new trucks using Li-Ion technology at the CeMAT 2016 trade fair taking place from May 31 to June 3 in Hanover, including order pickers in the CX model series, towing tractors, low lift and double decker trucks in the EXU-S und EXD-S model series and a counterbalance truck in the RX 20 model series.

 

An initial stocktaking after completion of the major project shows that the Brüggen company, after extensive consultation and a thorough operations analysis by STILL, has been able to use Li-Ion trucks to exploit their efficiency potentials without compromise, and to reduce operating costs considerably.

 

Increasing efficiency and reducing costs

Die H. & J. Brüggen KG is one of Europe’s market leaders in muesli mixtures and muesli bars. The Lübeck family business also manufactures corn flakes and cereals, and supplies raw materials and semi-finished products to the food industry. Products such as muesli, muesli bars, corn flakes, oat flakes and cereals are produced as trade brands for German and international retail chains and are also marketed under the company’s own brand names. As well as high product quality, sophisticated logistics processes are the crucial factor in this business in order to stay competitive.

 

Last year Brüggen decided to replace the previous fleet of trucks. Calculable costs through leasing and service packages, high availability in conjunction with maximum flexibility in use, shorter battery charging times and an online fleet management tool were the main aims of this extensive project. During an invitation to tender exercise, the intralogistics specialist STILL was a convincing bidder with its Li-Ion trucks, premium service from a single supplier, and a leasing option. The trucks will be replaced by new machines every six years, and repairs via customer service are included in the leasing rates.

 

Increased availability and reduced operating costs

It was possible to reduce the new truck fleet about 23.8 % by using Li-Ion technology. Marek Schröder, Logistics Manager / Non-food Purchasing Manager, explains that “Everything at Brüggen that can be used to move pallets has been converted since May.” A careful check was made in each department beforehand to find out which requirements the new machines would have to fulfil. STILL supplied trucks in various models adapted to their use in accordance with these specifications. In this process, the production assistants were able to view the various models directly at STILL and to select the appropriate accessory equipment. Thirty-nine different models with different lift heights, fork lengths and battery capacities are currently in use.

 

However, the special feature of this project was the changeover from lead-acid to lithium ion batteries. The new battery system offers Brüggen many advantages: Due to the higher performance capabilities of the Li-Ion accumulators, they are especially suitable where lead-acid batteries reached their limits in the past, e.g. high power demands or multi-shift applications with battery changes. The Li-Ion battery contains twice the amount of energy in the same physical volume, which enables a saving in the cost of battery changes and infrastructure. In addition, in contrast to the lead-acid battery, the Li-Ion accumulator is maintenance-free, which eliminates all the maintenance work associated with the battery acid, and the customer’s life can be virtually care-free. For the employees, the changeover means above all a reduced workload and more comfort and convenience. Instead of swapping interchangeable batteries and connecting them to the charging stations, charging them for more than six hours and topping up with distilled water, all that needs doing now is to charge them conveniently via the externally accessible charging connection. These are factors that increase the availability of the trucks and have a noticeable effect on Brüggen’s operating costs.

 

In contrast to lead-acid batteries, intermediate recharges are possible in any state of charge. “We have a few trucks in 24-hour operation, and we rely on them in the logistics area as well as in the production unit. As we all know from our mobile phones, the new batteries can even be charged for just a couple of minutes at any time.” The staff can now use their break times to recharge the batteries. Two thirds of the charge capacity is already available again after 40 minutes. With around 2,500 possible charging cycles, the Li-Ion accumulator can be charged twice as often as a classical lead-acid battery. There are no adverse memory effects with a Li-Ion battery. The forward-looking technology also sets new standards on the subject of safety. Each battery cell is monitored in real time, thus enabling an extremely precise display of its discharge, with the result that its performance can be utilised particularly efficiently.

 

Higher safety and security with the STILL FleetManager

The new trucks are also connected to a modern fleet management system. For this purpose, all the machines are fitted with a SIM-card similar to that in a mobile phone. Before use, the employees must log in and check whether the truck has a fault. Marek Schröder explains that “We had big problems in the past with damage to the trucks. The costs for repairs and faulty goods were high. Customer service does not cover impact damage, even with the new machines. An individual access authorisation now ensures that only trained staff work with the trucks.”

 

If an accident does occur, the trucks are automatically changed over to creep mode. The machine is not re-enabled until after the incident has been reported. “There is no points system, and STILL FleetManager is not designed as a monitoring tool either. It's a question of safety. After all, industrial trucks can move rather quickly.” The clear allocation of the machines also ensures that the trucks required in the departments actually are available when needed. In the event of a malfunction, the electronically transmitted data can be read out directly by the customer service department to allow a quick repair.

 

Holger Brandt, STILL GmbH's Managing Director for Germany, explains that “The successful conclusion of the project and the Brüggen company’s high level of satisfaction with our Li-Ion technology, as well as with our consultancy approach, point the way forward for us in the future. For us, the emphasis in all projects is always on the best solution for the customer's individual application. We have observed that increasing numbers of users in logistics and industry appreciate the advantages of the Li-Ion battery compared to classical lead-acid batteries.”

 

Visit STILL in Pavilion 35 on the open-air site at the CeMAT 2016 trade fair in Hanover, and find out more about STILL’s new trucks with Li-Ion technology.

 

 

STILL offers customized intralogistics solutions worldwide, and implements the intelligent teamwork of forklift trucks and warehouse technology, software and services. The achievement created by the Company’s founder Hans Still in 1920 through a large amount of creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and quality quickly developed into a strong brand well-known throughout the world. Today around 8,000 qualified staff in research and development, production, marketing and service are involved for the sole purpose of fulfilling customers’ needs throughout the whole world. The keys to the company’s success are highly efficient products ranging from sector-specific complete offers for large and small enterprises to computer-assisted logistics programs for efficient warehouse and materials flow management. Please also visit STILL on the Internet at www.still.de or on Facebook www.facebook.com/still.