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Tough Application for the Rental fleet of STILL Hybrid Trucks

Kühne + Nagel is the first Logistics company in Germany to rent a complete fleet of the energy-saving RX 70 Hybrid diesel trucks from STILL, the known maker of customized internal logistics solutions worldwide from Hamburg. At the fair grounds in Hannover, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Nuremberg and Munich, various goods including fragile glass cabinets, bulky wooden boxes and complex rod assemblies are moved at minimum energy consumption and reduced CO2 emission with playful ease through the narrow corridors of the fair halls.

Kühne + Nagel Expo Service, being one of the largest fair logistics service providers worldwide with branches in Europe, Asia as well as North and Central America offer their customers a complete fair and event package including all of the respective complex services. Andreas Kerkmann, KN Expo Service branch manager in Hannover, explains: “We provide frictionless fair hosting by personally attending our customers. In setting up and removing fair stands quickly, efficient use of forklift trucks plays an essential role. Last year alone we had about 38,000 hours of operation on our major fair venues. To enable us to move the complex goods even faster and more efficiently, we have tested the trucks of the latest generation in fair ground application. In the test, the RX 70 Hybrid from STILL scored best by far at a consumption rate considerably below that of the models it was compared to. This is why we decided to rent a complete fleet of twenty RX 70 Hybrid trucks which we operate at the fair grounds in Hannover, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Nuremberg as well as Munich.” This makes Kühne + Nagel the first Logistics company in Germany to operate a fleet of RX 70 Hybrid trucks from STILL at trade show fairs.

Rental fleet to increase flexibility
Opposed to normal shift operation in a producing company, the trucks at fair grounds are subject to very volatile demands. Branch manager Andreas Kerkmann at Kühne + Nagel underpins: “For this reason we cover nearly 90 percent of all applications with rental trucks. The transparent cost structure allows us to handle a very broad range of different requests and orders.

To ensure full availability of the trucks in the long run, regular service is indispensable. The large number of STILL branches ensures fast service at every fair ground.” The project manager responsible for the hybrid rental fleet at STILL, Oliver Hoffmann, adds: “We also adapt the trucks to individual requirements for specific applications.” For this, the hybrid trucks are equipped with minimum fork length 2,000 mm, particle filter for indoor operation in fair halls, full cabin with heater for outdoor operation and paint of the counter balance weight in K+N blue.

Ten hybrid trucks with a load capacity of three and three and a half tons respectively and closed mast heights ranging from 2,180 mm to 2,925 mm and lift heights from 4,480 mm to 6,430 mm were delivered to the five major fair grounds in Germany. Besides the standard equipment, ten RX 70 Hybrid are equipped with a hydraulic double pallet handler. Oliver Hoffmann emphasises: “Trucks with low closed mast heights were ordered for the fair in Cologne were they also operate in cellars with low ceiling heights. Kühne + Nagel Düsseldorf, in contrast, asked for trucks with large lift heights. To increase the comfort for the drivers, all trucks were equipped with an exclusive, air suspended seat with a seat heating.” The head of the technical department at Kühne + Nagel Hannover, Uwe Gildner, underlines: “The initial scepticism of the drivers concerning the new RX 70 Hybrid has by now transformed into full enthusiasm.”

The right rental truck for every application
Be it counter balance trucks with different drive types, warehouse equipment, various reach trucks or tractors, STILL offers a range of 60 different vehicle types and is able to rent the right truck for any occasion. A fleet of about 6,000 rental trucks is available at 33 locations in Germany. The manager responsible for short term rental in Europe at STILL, Oliver Hoffmann, underlines: “Especially in times of high utilisation or in case a customer’s truck fails, our customers are perfectly prepared by our ‘Full-Service’ rental trucks. Due to an increase in the demand we have enlarged our pool of rental trucks in Germany by 500 new trucks already in the first quarter of this year.” Besides this special accessories and attachments such as fork arm positioners, bale clamps, role clamps or double pallet clams are part of the rental range offered by STILL. Also available any time are special trucks with long forks and high lift capacities up to 16 tons such as needed for special requirements like assembly of racks or pressure vessels or to move heavy machinery. “Our tight network and the numerous subsidiaries in 17 European countries currently provide a total of 23,500 rental trucks. If a customer needs a truck, we are able to provide the truck at short notice from a branch nearby.

Hybrid trucks reduce C02 emissions
The hybrid trucks combine the advantages of a powerful IC drive with the sensitivity of an electric truck. The diesel-electric drive from STILL is mainly characterised by its high efficiency and its long service life. This powerful propulsion system consists of a generator, an intelligent control unit and an electric motor. In the system, the generator is driven by a fuel-efficient diesel or LPG engine. A control unit regulates the electric power which is transmitted to the electric drive motor as needed. Thanks to the low fuel consumption, the CO2 emission is drastically reduced in comparison to comparable models.

First hybrid truck from serial production with energy recuperation
The RX 70 Hybrid is the first counter balance truck produced in series to feature energy recuperation and electric power transmission as a hybrid truck. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the truck is electrically slowed down wear free. During the deceleration, the kinetic energy is transformed into electric energy which is then fed into the high capacity capacitors (UltraCaps) mounted on the rear of the truck. UltraCaps are able to quickly absorb and release high currents. This is important if the truck accelerates and stops frequently as it is the case when loading and unloading HGVs, for example. Fair grounds often demand for this type of work and are therefore the ideal place of application for the RX 70 Hybrid. In combination with an extremely efficient utilisation of the internal combustion engine, the energy recuperation provides additional potential to save up to 15 percent of fuel compared to a standard RX 70.

Blue-Q – Saving energy at the push of a button
With the energy saving mode Blue-Q, STILL offers another means to save power. The driver can activate this mode by pressing a button. Blue-Q does not only affect the driving characteristics, but also intelligently switches electric devices on the truck on and off. For example, this can be the seat heater which is switched off when the driver leaves the cabin. Optimising the characteristics of the IC engine, will reduce the fuel consumption up to twenty percent, depending on the application profile and the equipment of the truck. Less wear and longer maintenance intervals will reduce costs further and improve the economic feasibility of the truck.

Transport control system to optimise truck utilisation
Together with the RX 70 Hybrid, Kühne + Nagel Hannover also installed a new truck control system which, amongst others, optimises travel routes for the trucks. The communication in-between the trucks themselves and with the control centre is handled by mobile GRPS radio data terminals. Oliver Hoffmann explains: “To provide the function of the mobile radio data terminals on the trucks also during long lasting applications, we have equipped all the trucks with on-board 12 V power supply and supports inside the cabins to hold the terminals. This allows recharging the radio data terminals during the application.“ Transport jobs are entered into the transport control system either manually or via IT interface. Traffic manger at Kühne + Nagel Hannover, Lars Reichelt, explains: “The essential benefit of the new system is the dynamic calculation of optimised transport sequences in real time: If a new transport requirement is registered in the system, or if there is a delay or a traffic slow-down anywhere, the system re-calculates the new optimisation based on all the transport requirements and all the trucks currently available and assigns the job respectively within a few seconds. The control system guides the trucks to take the shortest routes. Amongst other measures we provide our contribution to reducing the emission of CO2 by this optimisation.”

To reduce energy costs, STILL develops sustainable technologies and processes which are practically applicable to every day challenges. With the series production of the RX 70 Hybrid, STILL has made another step towards eco-friendly and efficient industrial trucks. The benefits of the STILL hybrid technology are at hand: Notably reduced fuel consumption, reduction of noise and vibration and eco-friendly order handling by reducing CO2 emissions.

To co-ordinate the transport requirements of the exhibitors, Deutsche Messe in Hannover will continue its cooperation with Kühne + Nagel in the future as well. With some 60 fairs and events every year on the fair grounds covering approximately one million square meters and fairs in Shanghai, Istanbul, Moskau, Sao Paulo as well as in Dehli in India, Deutsche Messe is one of the globally leading fair companies. The head of technical services for exhibitors, Harald Windeler, notes: “The globally leading fair for the intralogistics industry CeMAT has been presenting STILL as an exhibitor for many years in Hannover. Especially the intralogistics industry offers technical solutions that achieve higher performance with less energy consumption. This is why Deutsche Messe supports the sustainable ‘GoGreen’ project from STILL and Kühne + Nagel.”

Kühne + Nagel: With more than 63,000 employees Kühne + Nagel counts to the global leading companies for logistic solutions. Kühne + Nagel operates on more than 1000 sites in over 100 countries. Kühne + Nagel is active for sea, air and contract logistics and has specialised in highly value adding areas, such as the organisation of essential logistics process for its customers. Please find more information on www.kuehne-nagel.com. STILL offers customized internal logistics solutions worldwide. STILL implements the intelligent interplay of forklift trucks, warehouse equipment, software and services as well as customer service. This adds up to a broad range of offers ensuring maximum efficiency worldwide. The fast service and the tight customer service network guarantee its customers highly efficient production processes. Today in Europe alone more than 7,000 qualified employees work on fulfilling the individual customer requirements. Visit STILL on the internet at www.still.de or at Facebook www.facebook.com/still.

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