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New products emerge at ProMat 2011


Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 ( #508 ) - Chicago, IL, United States
News Story
Combilift, Mariotti and Cascade-Ravas were among exhibitors showing new equipment at ProMat 2011, on 21-24 March in Chicago.
Trade show organiser Material Handling Industry of America, in Charlotte, North Carolina, has received multiple kudos for the event’s 2011 iteration, and Forkliftaction.com News heard positive reports from numerous exhibitors.
"We received solid leads and talked to good prospects," says John Baker, sales director with Omega Lift Manufacturing Inc. "At times, the activity was frantic with as many as five people waiting in line to talk to us."
Omega Lift, of Bolton, Ontario, Canada, demonstrated its eight-model 4D MultiLoader series, with lifting capacities of 6,000lbs-22,000lbs (2,700kg-9,900kg); the eight-model Mega series, with capacities of 8,000lbs-20,000lbs (3,600kg-9,000kg); and the five-model 2X series with capacities of 6,000lbs-14,000lbs (2,700kg-6,300kg).
Sarah Brisbin, vice president of marketing for Sky-Trax Inc, of New Castle, Delaware, says her company’s exhibit  had steady traffic and "the quality of people was better than earlier years.  People are ready to buy again".
Eight Sky-Trax value-added resellers in the US and 12 elsewhere have placed installations that automatically track and determine vehicle movements, locations and positions. Without manual scanning, Sky-Trax’s optical real-time location systems facilitate inch-accurate asset tracking in real time inside warehouses, distribution centres or manufacturing facilities.
The Big Joe Forklifts booth "had good traffic" in higher volumes than ProMat 2009, says Andrea Palombizio, account manager.
Big Joe Forklifts introduced a compact, electric-powered, light-duty, pallet-carrying E30 eTruck at ProMat that can lift 3,000lbs (1,350kg) and has a list price of USD2,600.
"Unsolicited, we had three orders for a total of six [E30] trucks," says Bill Pedriana, director of sales. "One customer brought a cheque to fully pay for three trucks."
In 2009, a partnership involving E-P Equipment Co Ltd, of Hangzhou, China, acquired the Big Joe brand and factory and organised a new company called Big Lift LLC. The limited liability company has sales, marketing and accounting offices in Lombard, Illinois, and a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
"People are still skeptical about the economy," says David Furman, vice president of marketing with manufacturer Raymond Corp, in Greene, New York.
"We plan to grow faster than the [2011 industry] market projection of 3% to 5%" versus last year, he says. Currently, the market for internal-combustion-engine-powered forklifts is growing faster than for electric units, largely because "IC took the biggest hit in the 2009" economic doldrums.
"Seventy percent of our customers look to improve processes and warehouse layouts, and all our customers want to drive down costs," Furman says.
In addition to equipment on show at ProMat, Raymond emphasised its iWarehouse fleet optimisation services, fuel cell capabilities and CustomCare space utilisation program.  
Raymond’s most recent product introductions were announced in September. The 4150 and 4250 models of its stand-up counterbalanced lift trucks incorporate improved visibility for operators, better maneuverability and ComfortStance-brand suspension, the company says.

Combilift Ltd      

Combilift model CB8000
Combilift Ltd’s US operation introduced its 3,300lb (1,485kg) Aisle-Master model 33E to the North American market and emphasised its line-extension 8,000lb (3,600kg) multidirectional Combi-CB8000 model.
Ireland-based Combilift took full ownership of Aisle-Master Ltd in May 2010, says Gearoid Hogan, vice president of marketing for Combilift USA. "We intend to keep Aisle-Master as a separate brand focusing on very-narrow-aisle pallet-storage applications."
As Aisle-Master marks its 11th year of production, the company says: "The hallmarks of the Aisle-Master range remain the same with excellently engineered articulated forklifts with an unrivalled reputation for quality and long-life operation, which drive down the costs of storage, enable vastly increased pallet density and boost productivity."
By replacing a combination of reach and counterbalance trucks with very-narrow-aisle-operation Aisle-Masters, "storage capacity can be doubled", management claims.
The 33E and other electric models on display feature a redesigned operator’s cab and controls "for improved ergonomics and over-articulation", the company says. The narrow-chassis Aisle-Master 33E model can work in tighter aisles than most other units.
Combilift says the Combi-CB8 model was introduced in Europe in early 2010. The compact forklift was developed and sent through trials over two years and complements the successful 6,000lb (2,700kg) capacity Combi-CB6 that was launched three years ago.
"The Combi-CB8 will bring many advantages to customers who today may be using standard conventional counterbalance forklifts, reach trucks, side loaders or electric four-way forklifts," Combilift says.
Aisle-Master 33E model
The Combi-CB8 offers lift heights up to 25ft (7.5m) and power from either a Kubota V2403-T diesel engine or a three-litre General Motors LPG engine.
Combilift exhibited five other models, including the electric-powered 6,000lb (2,700kg) Combi-CB6E; the 10,000lb (4,500kg) LPG or diesel-powered C10,000XL and electric, LPG or diesel-powered C10,000GT units; and the Aisle-Master 4,400lb (1,980kg) electric-powered 44E and LPG-powered 44S  units.
"Combilift has [more than] 14,000 units in operation with capacities from 5,000lbs (2,250kg) to 50,000lbs (22,500kg) in [more than] 50 markets worldwide," Hogan says. Some US Combilift dealers represent both the Combilift and Aisle-Master brands and others carry one line.
When Combilift absorbed Aisle-Master, the parent organisation says Combilift and Aisle-Master had a combined annual output of more than 2,000 units and an annual turnover of about GBP80 million (USD120.6 million).
Subsequently, Combilift consolidated operations in the Monaghan facility it established in 2006. Combilift’s site in the town of Monaghan is about 10km (six miles) from Aisle-Master’s former premises in the village of Clontribet. Both are in County Monaghan. Combilift USA has a location in Greensboro, North Carolina, and more than 60 dealers, including 18 representing both brands, 36 exclusive with Combilift and seven exclusive with Aisle-Master.
Following ProMat, "we estimate we will have 10 more dealers representing Aisle-Master", Hogan says. "We have already received commitment from many dealers by ordering demonstration Aisle-Masters for their inventory. Our focus in 2011 is to increase the Aisle-Master network of dealers to [more than] 40."

V Mariotti Srl

Mycros AC 6C from V. Mariotti Srl
V Mariotti Srl made its first global presentation of the Mycros AC 4-6C, which is dubbed "the world’s smallest forklift" with capability to operate in tight spaces.
"The interest level was very high and we expect sales to follow," says Francesco Bruno, sales manager with the firm in Grugliasco, Italy, near Torino. "We will also present the forklift at the CeMAT show in Hannover [Germany, in] May."
Mariotti began developing the AC 4-6C in 2009 and conducted beta trials with an Italian customer in mid-2010. "All the electronic, hydraulic and mechanical components are the same as those found in the ME AC 8C-10C," Bruno says. "The major differences are the mast and the size of the forklift."
The AC4 has a lifting capacity of 750lbs (338kg) and the AC6 can lift 1,100lbs (495kg). The width for each is 31 inches (77cm) with a standard or duplex mast and 34 inches (85cm) for a triplex mast.
Smith-Gramley Ltd, of Loves Park, Illinois, with president John P Smith, and MH Distribution, of La Vista, Nebraska, with president Darrell Randall, split Mariotti distribution responsibilities in North American markets.
Smith says the Mycros AC6C list price, including battery and charger, is USD24,000.

Cascade Corp and Ravas Europe BV

iForks smart positioner from Cascade and Ravas
Cascade Corp and Ravas Europe BV are promoting technology in smart-weighing iForks and the mobile-weighing-solution iWeigh.
Cascade and Ravas representatives began talking two years ago and their collaboration resulted in co-branded iForks tines entering the US and Canadian markets in March 2010.  The co-branded iWeigh system got initial North American exposure at ProMat 2011.
Ravas has marketed the iFork forks and the iWeigh system, earlier known as Hyweigh, in Europe and elsewhere for several years. The iForks are used only in fork applications, while iWeigh is a mobile weighing system for carriage-based attachments.
"Cascade had been asked by some air transport [companies] about putting a scale on forks," says Madalyn Piar-Katter, Cascade corporate communications manager. "Instead of designing something new, we looked for a leader in the mobile weighing market and discovered Ravas."
Ravas was seeking to break into the North American market and found a way to work with Cascade. Henri-Peter van Seumeren, Ravas technical director, represented his company at ProMat.
In Cascade’s first year marketing iForks, "we sold more than our projections", Piar-Katter sayss.
Ravas supplies the electronic parts, load cells and driver display for the iForks and Cascade contributes the remainder and assembles the final product in its Springfield, Ohio, plant.Ravas says theBluetooth-enabled iForks weighing forks need nocables between the tines and the driver’s display. Each fork is equipped with its own battery module. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, a body that oversees development of Bluetooth standards and licences Bluetooth technologies and trademarks to manufacturers, manages use of Bluetooth open wireless technology.
Ravas describes a simple iFork installation as "plug & weigh" and, in website case studies, outlines quick iFork-investment paybacks for Evonik Industries AG’s Colortrend brand and a Total Produce plc import site.
While Cascade is making its initial release of iWeigh, the company made one pre-release sale to a ProMat attendee.
Ravas describes the mobile weighing system as scales with potential for integration in various materials handling equipment, including hand-pallet trucks, electric pallet trucks, stackers, order-picking trucks, reach trucks and forklift trucks. Weighing can occur while the equipment is in transit.
Cascade is based in Fairview, Oregon, and Ravas is in Zaltbommel, the Netherlands.

Linde Material Handling North America Corp

RX60 electric forklift from Linde
Linde Material Handling says its line of versatile electric-powered forklifts finds favour in North America as an alternative to units with internal combustion engines.
The 5,000lb (2,250kg) capacity RX60-25Lmodel costs about USD30,000, plus fast-charging battery and charger, and is built at the Still GmbH factory, in Aschaffenburg, Germany. Linde and Still are brands of the Kion Group, of Wiesbaden, Germany.
Linde says the payback for a RX60-25L is less than one year and claims the forklifts require less maintenance and consume less energy than competing products.
The unit line, including 6,000lb (2,700kg) and 7,000lb (3,150kg) models, is described as "ideal for indoor/outdoor applications where IC trucks are unsuitable". Options include single-pedal directional control, non-marking tyres, battery slides for side extraction, and full cab heater and defroster.
Linde saw higher interest at ProMat 2011 compared with the 2009 trade show and projects 10% higher sales in 2011 versus last year.
Linde Material Handling North America, including some manufacturing capabilities, is in Summerville, South Carolina.
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