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Waterline of Newport Pagnell has taken delivery of fifteen 12-tonne Volvo FL 4×2 rigids from Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London, Milton Keynes.

The vehicles are the company’s first Volvo trucks and are being used for the nationwide distribution of kitchen components from worktops and units to appliances and even lighting.

Group Logistics Manager, Matt Elborough says: “Driver and road-user safety, environmental impact, fuel economy, driver comfort, reliability, usability and network support were all identified as prerequisites when it came to renewing what is essentially over one third of our entire 40-strong fleet of trucks and vans.”

“In choosing the new trucks we started with a blank sheet and looked at all the options. Through this exhaustive process it was the Volvo FL that stood out as the only truck that met all of the criteria we’d defined at the outset. Needless to say, I think the Volvo iron mark on the front also does wonders for our corporate image, which is an added bonus,” he adds.

For overnight accommodation the new trucks’ day cabs are fitted with Super Sky Cab conversions by Hatcher Components of Framlingham, Suffolk and bodywork is in the form of ‘Cheetah’ fast back bodies from Cartwright Group of Altrincham for enhanced aerodynamic performance.

“We take the environment extremely seriously,” explains Matt. “Everything about these new trucks, from the fuel saving curved roof through the highly responsive and effective 6-speed overdrive I-Sync automated mechanical gearbox to the high torque at low revs 210hp engines is about efficiency and limiting our impact on the environment. This attention to detail has already been borne out in fuel figures that show we’re returning over 16mpg. This has really impressed.”

Running a low chassis frame height of 850mm above ground and with two bag rear air suspension, the new Volvo FLs have been specified with safety and comfort very much in mind. “The Hatcher conversion is the most comfortable for our drivers,” says Matt, adding, “Air suspended and heated driver seats with additional lumbar support continue that comfort theme into the cab and our drivers appreciate it. I am positive this investment has boosted their morale.”

When it comes to safety the new Volvo FLs are bristling with features and technology designed to put well-being to the fore. ”Driver safety is massively important to us as is that of vulnerable road users,” says Matt. To these ends, the new trucks are specified to FORS and CLOCS standards and include forward, rear and nearside facing cameras. Additionally, we have supplementary lights fitted in the steps on the driver’s side as well as additional lighting at the top of the box body to illuminate the loading area plus a Dhollandia tuck-away tail-lift. Furthermore, the box has been specifically tailored to precisely meet our needs in respect of safe loading and fixing.”

Dealer support from Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London at Tongwell in Milton Keynes has been pivotal in the realisation of the fleet renewal. ”The service from Tongwell has been excellent,” states Matt. ”The dealership really looked after our earlier non-Volvo trucks and I was keen to continue this relationship. Furthermore, when it came to specifying these new Volvo FLs, the dealer really helped us to arrive at something that is ideal for our needs. And with a 3-year Gold Repair & Maintenance contract I have confidence for the future.”

Working in the sub-zero world of the cold store demands the highest standards of visibility, reliability and comfort. Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks has now developed a brand-new range of cold cabins for its SENSiA reach trucks, which the company says are tailored to work productively and reliably – even in temperatures as low as -35 degrees.

Like every product in the Mitsubishi cold store line-up, SENSiA cold store models have been specified with cold-resistant cabling and waterproofed electrics: protecting against damage from cold and moisture. While SENSiA’s thermostatically controlled heaters protect critical components, its hydraulics have been optimised to perform in the coldest of conditions.

Recognising a reach truck is only as productive as its operator, designers at Mitsubishi looked for ways to do more than keep operators warm in their cabins.

Developed for energy efficiency, each cabin is generously insulated and features a 1700 W heater to ensure the optimum working environment for each operator throughout the longest shifts.

Available on standard chassis reach trucks, cabins are spacious by design. Every element of the operator compartment has been specified to keep it uncluttered: from its intelligent fingertip controls to its folding steering wheel console.

Controls are kept within easy, avoiding unnecessary movement to reduce the risk of operator fatigue. For added control, every cold store model benefits from SENSiA’s intelligent SDS (Sensitive Drive System). Fitted as standard, SDS automatically tailors the truck’s performance to the specific needs of driver and load. As a result, it delivers smooth start and stop movements and agile, stable performance.

Visibility is paramount in any lifting operation. Like every SENSiA reach truck, cold store cabin models offer 360-degree visibility. The cabin’s heated side windows protect against frost, misting and condensation, ensuring exceptional visibility and safe, productive performance.

A clear-view, crash-proof polycarbonate roof – fitted as standard – means operators benefit from maximum upwards views, while being shielded from falling debris of any shape or size.

The cabin’s robust steel frame, which features a reinforced collision guard, offers added protection to operator, bodywork and door when working in tight spaces.

SENSiA is the latest addition to the Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks range of lift trucks dedicated to cold store applications. Other products in the range include VELiA, its low level order picker; electric counterbalance trucks, including the popular EDiA EM and its family of pallet trucks, PREMiA.

A bio-mechanics study, recently commissioned by health & safety specialist, Pristine Condition, in conjunction with Tesco Distribution, has revealed ground-breaking results, and helped the supermarket retailer achieve 60% reduction in manual handling incidents.

The purpose of the study was to objectively and technically measure the manual handling risk reduction when applying Pristine Principles across a number of key Tesco Distribution Centre manual handling tasks.

Using ViSafe wireless motion sensor technology, the study measured movement and muscle activity when undertaking the tasks pre and post Pristine Condition’s manual handling training.

The tests were undertaken across a range of tasks comparing the outputs both before and after Pristine Condition manual handling training. This included the loading and pulling of cages, and loading, unloading and stacking pallets. The results were exceptional. Objective data provided by ViSafe quantified the advantage of Pristine Condition techniques in reducing risk for injury across all tasks assessed as ranging between 35% and 94%, in particular reducing muscle demand by up to 73%.

Tesco Distribution had historically followed the same route as many other companies – following HSE guidance and hierarchy of controls. However, because that approach often fails to properly address the issue of incorrect technique then predictably manual handling incidents were still prevalent, causing injury to colleagues and cost to the business.

Tesco took the initiative to employ Pristine Condition – H&S Specialist and global leader in manual handling – to create a bespoke training programme to address manual handling incidents across their Distribution Centres.

For the first time ever Pristine Condition brought Olympic weightlifting techniques to industry, dispelling many myths and fallacies, and introducing realistic, achievable Principles and control measures.

Egemin Automation is going to this year’s CeMAT trade show with the slogan “Smart, connected, global – Intralogistics 4.0”. The slogan holds a clear offering to the market. Egemin delivers intelligent and integrated automated material handling solutions that interconnect logistics, production and distribution processes of globally active customers.

From Egemin locations in eight countries supported by the worldwide service network of the KION Group and Egemin’s many years of experience in concept development and material handling automation, Egemin customers receive the exact solution they require to optimise their intralogistics process.

Egemin’s expertise in developing turnkey solutions for customers will be in the spotlight at CeMAT. One of the spotlights is Egemin’s newest AGV model (automated guided vehicles), the E’gv® Compact Counterbalance Forklift. The seamless integration of AGVs with automated material handling and warehousing systems in production and distribution offers smart solutions that make complex material flows and operations manageable.

As the KION Group’s seventh brand company, Egemin Automation is focusing on KION’s automation business. “At CeMAT, we will also highlight the successful cooperation with the other brands in the KION Group”, explains Michaël Coryn, Marketing Communications Manager at Egemin Automation.

“We will demonstrate for example how premium warehouse trucks and intralogistics services from STILL can be integrated in our turnkey solutions. We add the required intelligence to material handling systems and warehouse trucks enabling them to perform the tasks assigned to them accurately. With turnkey material handling solutions and concepts, as well as our many years of experience on the international market, we’re helping companies on the path towards connected processes and intralogistics 4.0.”

In continental Europe, Egemin Automation primarily collaborates with the KION brand STILL, and in the Asian Pacific region, mainly with the KION brand Linde Material Handling. With its extensive industry expertise in the fields of food/frozen products, beverages, pharmaceuticals and dairy as well as production and distribution, Egemin Automation develops tailored concept solutions worldwide and knows how these industries’ exact material handling requirements can be met in full.

Egemin Automation is exhibiting at CeMAT in hall 27, stand H17 (31 May to 3 June).

Doosan’s wholly owned subsidiary Rushlift, is launching a new Fleet Management System (FMS). Originally developed in 2005, the latest revision of the website allows all customers access to real-time fleet information on a 24/7 basis. This ensures customers are optimising their materials handling equipment.

Through Doosan Rushlift’s IT team at the Northampton (UK) premises, the FMS website has been developed in-house allowing the company to maintain and update as and when required, ensuring that customers are always kept up-to-date with the latest FMS functionality and website enhancments.

Each customer is provided with their own login details, enabling them to have complete visibility of their equipment and its history; this new online system allows customers to log breakdowns on a 24/7 basis, monitor uptime and fleet utilisation, request and authorise quotes for repairs, as well as review accounts information. The major benefit here is that these improvements to the FMS website enables the customer to make informed decisions based on real time information.

With the ability to log breakdowns and repairs online, there is no longer the need to make a phone call to report a problem. Once a job is registered online, the job is issued by the operations team to a Doosan Rushlift engineer, who will then action and arrange to resolve the problem.

The ‘Fleet Summary’ section allows the customer to monitor progress of any breakdowns or repairs, providing a live indication of the estimated time of arrival of the engineer as well as an update on the status of the job. This is also updated to the customers via email, if required.

Live information is fed into the FMS website from the engineer’s tablet whenever they visit site with all maintenance records being updated in real time. The Doosan Rushlift system provides important data on customer’s equipment, including uptime, utilisation and other Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).