Materials Handling – Reaching New Heights
- July 1, 2013
- Posted by: Word Press
- Category: Article
Reaching New Heights
2014 promises to be very exciting with the launch of many new products and innovative ideas including Semi and Fully Automated solutions from STILL Germany, says Kathy Hendricks, Divisional Director of Value Materials Handling who are the sole Distributor for the Still Brand in South Africa and other African Countries.
Their philosophy is looking to harmonize optimization of the 6 factors that determine the future eciencies of every company’s intralogistics.
These 6 factors include:
The Industry will see the world of warehousing equipment turned on its head with the introduction of the Li- Ion batteries. This will allow you to break even on return of investment in 1.4 years. Currently the lead acid batteries, only starts giving return on investment from 2.5 years.
This technology will also improve productivity; one battery will last for 2 shifts. The physical size of the battery is half the size of current batteries, which means that the machine is smaller and easier to manoeuvre. This should lead to less abuse of racking and product.
The batteries are completely maintenance free. Charging periods of less than 1.5 hours means a reduction in electricity costs. These batteries will also have double the energy and double the life cycle in comparison to lead acid batteries. This technology will be rolled out initially on the Electric ride on pallet 1 to 3 Ton Range and will be available from mid-2014.
Another product we would like to feature is the Tugger Train. The correct usage for this product will decrease trac in already congested warehouses. Fleets can be reduced due to the many loads that can be moved simultaneously. Fewer machines means less energy consumption and also less chance for abuse and damages.
The VNAP tool is a computer generated tool that we, Value Material Handling, use to assist customers when planning warehouses or restructuring current warehouses to optimise the performance of the logistical system. We have been using this tool since we gained the sole distributor rights 3 years ago. We are the only materials handling company in South Africa who makes use of this software.
2014 also sees the launch of the new STILL reach truck. The current reach truck is seen as the benchmark in Europe and will now be able to oer lifting heights of up to 13m, and included is new development in mast technology. We have implemented a new dampening system that will improve the stability of loads at greater heights. This dampening system will decrease the oscillations of the mast when lifting heavy loads to high levels. Normally when drivers lifts loads to 8m and beyond; they will nd that the mast still has quite a bit of movement and needs to stabilize before they can place the pallet on the racking. This dampening system ensures that our mast will come to a complete stand still within 6 seconds. This gure sounds high, but our competitor’s masts can take up to 25 seconds to stop completely.
The design on the cold store cabin has changed slightly, we have not compromised on the quality and the cab remains at the top of its class when it comes to safety and driver comfort. The fully insulated cabin includes double glazed windows, not Macrolin or Perspex. It also features thermostatically controlled inside heating.
The VNAP allows for improved workflow, cost reduction due to optimising your space in the warehouse and it also allows to accurately plan your productivity. The exciting new I-Go system will be launched this year. This is an automation system that will allow for zero damages to machinery and racking. The customer also gets the guarantee that their goods are transported safely and that no products will be damaged. It will allow for increased productivity due to better uptime. The system will be implemented on our range of Turret trucks, Order pickers, Reach trucks and Pallet stackers.
These units will be very versatile and you will have the option of using this either as automated, or you can still operate manually. The system can be installed at existing warehouses without too many modications.
Some of the advantages of this system include; a reduced search or empty runs, dened transport, minimised downtime and the biggest saver is the reduced cost in damages to the machine, the racking and the product. The machine will also still be able to work during strike season.