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The Electrification of The Steel Industry

Thursday, 6 May 2021 ( #1024 )
When looking at the role of a forklift in the steel industry, the facts are clear. It is all about lifting heavy loads and handling extremely hot liquid metals. The type of forklifts that can be considered for operation in this industry must endure intensified conditions and temperatures. The need to overcome challenges such as large and awkward loads, high utilization, rough driving surfaces and extreme conditions, are just a few examples of what CARER needed to consider, when designing electric forklifts for the steel industry. In most cases, we find that lift trucks used in the aluminum, steel coil handling, and automotive industries, have capacities that are primarily 16,000 lbs or greater. Furthermore, they almost always require some type of front-end attachment, that increases the need for capacity, efficiency, and power. CARER'S high-capacity line up with their advanced lithium power solutions, high volt operating systems, and advanced componentry, is helping define how industries, such as the steel industry, are converting their forklift fleets to electric. In fact, it is one of the sectors where our machines express their maximum value, offering customers reliability and excellent performance, as well as the opportunity to significantly save on operating costs. Aluminum Traditionally, internal combustion forklifts do not have a reputation of performing well under extreme temperatures. When we look at an environment such as an industrial foundry, the temperatures can reach 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, and can be extremely challenging. On average, a standard internal combustion forklift in this type of application, has an extraordinary number of moving parts, all creating some form of heat. Between the engine, transmission, and hydraulic system alone, temperatures can reach hazardous levels. Add to the mix extremely heavy loads, long run times, and confined operating spaces, we see an industry that is faced with countless challenges. With CARER'S high-capacity electric forklifts, there are several ways in which these industry challenges are addressed. To begin with, all CARER lifts trucks have a fraction of the moving parts compared to a propane or diesel lift truck, which dramatically contributes to the reduction of heat. In order to meet the specified safety criteria, CARER offers optional items such as high-capacity cooling fans, and filtration packages to reduce internal heat buildup. The Carer electric forklift can then be fitted with heat resistant hoses, with braided steel cable casing, to prevent them from drying out and leaking, and a heat shield for hydraulic cylinder protection. An extended front fender can also prevent tires from softening. Enclosed within the operator cabin is air conditioning with compartment fans and are isolated from the chassis on energy absorbing blocks to eliminate sound and vibration, all of which contribute to keeping operators comfortable and productive. Automotive In an industry as long lasting as the automobile industry, it is assumed that every conceivable cost efficiency has been explored and implemented. This is not necessarily the case. Many of the most successful car manufacturers, are coming to the realization that there are electric solutions now available, that can have a significant impact on supporting reliable up time operation, material throughput efficiencies, and cost savings of their operations. One area being explored now more than ever, in material handling, specifically the utilization of electric powered forklifts. Previously, electric forklifts were not an option because of the excessive load weights being moved. Material handling in the automotive industry requires the ability to handle large metal sheets and molds for vehicle frames. Typically, these items weigh anywhere from 6 to 8 tons and are stored in an indoor environment. This makes for a crowded and restricted floor space, making CARER'S small footprint forklifts the perfect choice. Also, considering CARER now has extended lift capacities including 36,000, 44,000 and 60,000 lbs at a 48-inch load center, are powered by lithium batteries requiring no maintenance, and can be customized to meet the needs of any type of application, CARER is seeing a dramatic response from the automotive industry and how they are purchasing their new fleets. In fact, CARER has already worked with some of the best players in the field. Sixteen of the major automobile manufacturers are currently using CARER electric forklifts in their factories worldwide. Steel Coil Through the supply chain for steel coils, starting from manufacturing, to warehousing and reload yards, to break bulk port terminals, and to the end user, heavy steel coil handling requires an electric forklift that can meet the needs of extreme load capacities. The Carer A160x with 36,000 lbs capacity is a popular choice for the steel coil industry currently. However, we are seeing the size and weights increase further, and Carer is ready with the A200/1200x model as rated for 44,000 lbs capacity at a 48" load center, and developing the A250/1200x at 55,000 lbs and the A300/1200x at 66,000 lbs at a 48" load center. At these load weights, understanding how the machine will consume energy, and how it will be returned to the battery, is critical. Carer's lithium batteries are designing to be a convenient and easy to use battery system, that does not require multiple batteries in even the highest daily hours of operation. Carer has the solution for your steel coil operation, and these environments produce excellent return of your invested capital. Feature models include:
Z100-120 HD series: Capacity ranging from 21,800lbs-26,000lbs, with a 120 Volt operating system to provide maximum efficiency and long operating time. The Z100-120 HD is the ideal forklift truck to handle heavy loads with top safety, in areas such as the automotive industry.
Z60-100H series: including capacity ranging from 13,500lbs to 22,000lbs with a 96-volt chassis configuration, high-performance drive motor, short wheelbase. Great for operation in dense warehouse and production environments.
A80-300X series: Capacity ranging from 17,500lbs up to 60,000lbs at a 48-inch load center, excellent high lift height capacity retention, a 96-144-volt operating system for high-efficiency energy consumption and long operating time, high-performance dual drive motors, elevated seating position, large diameter super elastic tires, and all-weather cabin options. This series is a great fit for steel, lumber, port terminals and multi-pallet handling applications.
R45-80H2 series including capacity ranging from 9,900lbs up to 17,500lbs with an 80-volt chassis configuration and all-weather cabin options. This Carer R series range is great for manufacturing and processing facilities including freight loading and container loading.
Carer electric forklifts has the right machine for any heavy-duty application in the most aggressive operating environments. Please contact Carer Electric Forklift Solutions at 1-844-33CARER (1-844-332-2737) for information on how Carer can support the integration of industrial electric forklifts into your facility.
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