Intralogistics specialist Linde Material Handling (MH) is supporting its customers on their path to a more sustainable future, providing innovative products and software solutions as well as a range of precisely tailored services. The focus is on the goal of reducing CO2 emissions, saving energy and cutting operating costs while maintaining high handling performance. The various offerings in this regard are subsumed under the motto “Green Performance”. Measures range from high-performance truck models with lithium-ion batteries and the first fuel cell developed in Aschaffenburg all the way to battery charging and energy management solutions, HVO fuels, software-supported consulting services and battery recycling.
“The search for cost-effective, climate-friendly energy solutions presents our customers with major challenges,” says Stefan Prokosch, Senior Vice President Brand Management at Linde Material Handling – an insight he gained from numerous discussions with industrial truck operators and network partners. Forklift trucks and warehouse equipment are expected to make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse emissions, while at the same time continuing to deliver their usual high performance and providing cost savings wherever possible.
Linde MH has taken a first major step in this direction with its latest truck generation: For the first time, Linde X electric forklift models are now on a par with their IC-powered counterparts, even when it comes to demanding outdoor applications, and they combine the advantages of both drive options. Emission-free in operation, potentially climate-neutral, ergonomic, quiet and easy to service, these trucks with lithium-ion batteries are the perfect alternative to diesel or LPG powered forklifts. From April 2023, when the next larger series is set to be launched on the market, these advantages will no longer be limited to trucks with 2 to 3.5 tons of load capacity but will also be available for the 3.5 to 5 ton capacity range. The fact that Linde MH is serious about switching to clean electric trucks was already demonstrated last year when the manufacturer electrified its heavy-duty trucks in the load capacity range of 10 to 18 tons. Thus, an electric drive variant is now available for all Linde truck models. Linde MH has also taken another important step forward in terms of battery recycling. In the future, a strategic cooperation with the company Li-Cycle will ensure the environmentally friendly recovery of materials for all lithium-ion batteries delivered. “Linde MH customers can rest assured that the batteries will be recycled at the end of their useful life in such a way as to ensure that up to 95 percent of the raw materials will be recovered and returned to the material cycle,” Prokosch explains.
Hydrogen is also gaining in importance as another viable type of energy. This is because it can also potentially be obtained from regenerative sources such as the sun, wind or water and is therefore sustainable. At the LogiMAT trade fair in Stuttgart, Linde MH will be presenting its first own self-manufactured fuel cell system. Once launched on the market, the stacks with 24 volts of voltage and 1.8 kW of power will be used in order pickers and tow tractors, and in the future, they will also be used in Linde brand pallet trucks and double stackers. “With Linde HyPower, we have developed an exceptionally robust, powerful and user-friendly fuel cell system and can now offer our customers in the warehouse equipment segment a complete ‘one stop shop’ solution consisting of vehicles, fuel cell systems and servicing,” announces Linde MH’s top brand manager. Hydrogen-powered forklifts are particularly impressive due to their short refuelling times, their suitability for both indoor and outdoor use, and the fact that they are emission-free. The vehicles bring their advantages to bear particularly in multi-shift operation entailing many operating hours.
“For those customers who, for various reasons, continue to prefer diesel trucks, we offer an option in the form of hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), which enables them to reduce the CO2 emissions of their vehicles by up to 90 percent,” Prokosch points out.
However, the claim of “Green Performance” does not refer exclusively to products. Software solutions and consulting services make their contribution as well. For example, the intelligent battery charge management system Linde connect:charger helps customers to avoid peak demand in energy and to adjust the charging strategy according to the specific situation – always with the goal of optimizing energy consumption and energy costs while maximizing equipment availability and making the best possible use of renewable energies. The company-wide integration of all energy-relevant aspects succeeds thanks to the Linde Energy Manager. “Determining energy consumption in advance, taking into account all producers and consumers, and planning energy purchases helps to achieve a reduction in both CO2 emissions and energy costs,” summarizes Stefan Prokosch.