With just a few weeks to go until the IFOY Awards are handed out in Dortmund on June 22nd, we continue our look at all of the 2023 finalists and share the verdict from the IFOY test conducted during the evaluation by an expert jury in March. Our next entry is the SP 1500 series order picker from Crown.
Category: Warehouse truck “highlifter”
IFOY Test Report
The SP 1500 is Crown’s latest high-lift order picker. It offers a load capacity of up to 1,250kg, driving speeds of up to 12km/h and a maximum lift speed of 0.71m/s at lift heights of up to 11.2m. To meet market demands, Crown redesigned the entire platform ̶ based on feedback from 250 customer surveys worldwide. The result is greater comfort, better handling, and more customisation options for users. The only element in the cab that has not changed is the Gena system, although the display now runs a new generation of software.
Thanks to the Work Assist Rail, numerous customised solutions allow the operator to set up the workstation entirely as desired. In the current configuration, however, this is only possible with tools. The safety doors that provide access to the booth have been renewed and are now easier to operate. The cab itself is 150mm higher so that even tall operators do not feel trapped as quickly or hindered by peripheral equipment attached to the Work Assist.
For the first time in high lift trucks, Crown offers the option of a dual configuration that allows the operator to control the truck from either side of the cab. The controls feature active sensing: When the right-hand control unit is gripped, the left-hand unit will be automatically activated. Thanks to the clever positioning of the controls, all hydraulic functions can be operated in a single movement. The steering wheel is tiltable and can be adjusted and operated in both horizontal (European) and vertical position (standard in the USA). The two control units on the mast side are also height-adjustable. Also new are the bright LED lights on the sides of the cabin contours. These illuminate the picking positions in the often dark aisles and give the operator an even better view of the goods.
During the IFOY test drive, it is obvious that visibility is optimised to an unprecedented degree on the SP 1500. A standard centre window, unique to these trucks, provides unsurpassed downward visibility even from great heights. Two large viewing windows are also present on the fork side, while the cab floor features grilles that provide optimal visibility without requiring the operator to leave the safe contours of the truck. For the first time on high-lift order pickers, Crown has also included a panoramic skylight that also optimises upward visibility.
The IFOY test team would have liked to have seen the central lift cylinder also replaced with two cylinders recessed into the mast for even better visibility during the extensive visibility optimisation. According to Crown, this will be considered in a future optimisation. In addition, a central cylinder that is up to 100mm shorter than the previous one would be sufficient now.
Another improvement expected in future forklift models, especially in Europe, is a footplate that acts as a dead man’s switch as a whole. At present, the SP 1500 is equipped with a large dead-man’s button, which is also much more convenient than that of its predecessor.
Another innovation is found under the battery cover. In addition to 24V units, Crown now supplies the SP 1500 with 48V batteries (from 432Ah to 960Ah). For example, for application situations where a higher residual capacity is required or a longer operating time is needed. The 48V batteries significantly increase the truck’s performance and enable, among other things, high-performance lifting. Here, the lifting speed increases to up to 0.71m/s. The standard lifting speed is already 0.58m/s, which is well above the market average. Another standard feature is regenerative lowering of the mast for greater energy efficiency.
IFOY test verdict: The SP 1500 high-lift order picker is the new standard for efficient order picking. Visibility and clarity are industry-leading and bring the greatest benefits. But the numerous customisation options to configure the workstation entirely according to your needs are also unique.
IFOY Innovation Check
Market relevance: With the SP 1500, Crown is setting new standards within order picking applications, which are increasing due to more and more demands. Increasing requirements for performance, efficiency and ergonomics in e-commerce and retail are therefore leading to high market relevance.
Customer benefit: Using the completely new model, the performance data of the SP 1500 can convince all across the board. With a lift height of over 10m at high travel and lifting speeds, a clear increase in performance can be expected. The unique ergonomics with a large number of configuration options, which were developed from studies conducted directly at the customer’s premises, are another key feature. The different aisle widths, the uniquely individually adjustable operation and the excellent field of vision are particularly worthy of mention. This without a doubt increases comfort for customers while at the same time ensuring a high level of safety during order-picking.
Novelty / Innovation: In addition to the increased performance characteristics, Crown is showing some innovative features that have a high degree of novelty in this area. Due to the high lift height, regenerative lowering could be used sensibly for the first time to increase energy efficiency, whereby low conversion efficiency is to be expected due to the hydraulic-electric-generative solution. A very impressive feature is the operator’s area, which provides the right adjustability for every body size and ensures visibility of all vehicle boundaries even at maximum lift height thanks to the viewing openings in the floor and the centre window.
Functionality / Type of implementation: The SP 1500 delivers what it promised on paper and appears in an outstandingly solid design. In every respect, it offers adjustment possibilities that promise comfortable work and even address the different needs of the European and American markets. For example, the steering wheel can be switched between vertical and horizontal in the simplest way, which underlines the universality of the truck with this exemplary detail.
Verdict: Crown’s SP 1500 convinces in every respect and is ahead in the market comparison.
Market relevance +
Customer benefit ++
Novelty / Innovation +
Functionality / Type of implementation ++
[KEY: ++ very good / + good / Ø balanced / – less / — not available]