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f+h Intralogistics 2/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 2/2015

FORKLIFT TEST I

FORKLIFT TEST I INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS About three years ago we tested the Linde E25 electric four-wheel forklift truck, which has undergone some changes since then. That and the possibility of equipping the enhanced E25 with Linde Safety Pilot, the optional operator assistance system, were reason enough for us to take a closer look at the interaction between the truck and the assistance system. the short and low version of the E25. This version of the model has a load center of 500 mm and is suitable for holding batteries up to max. 500 Ah. Even longer versions of the E25 with a load center of 600 mm are available for batteries up to 775 Ah. The test trucks from those two years may have the same chassis size, but there are also significant differences between them. Instead of a triplex masts with a lift height of 4 700 mm, the current test machine is fitted with a duplex mast (lift height: 4 530 mm) without free lift. This offers the operator a viewing window that is 70 mm wider (Image 01). Travel direction is now controlled by a dualpedal system instead of a lever. The beige non-marking tires have now given way to black SC15 tires. Both types come from Continental and have the same size. The design of the current test truck features an allsteel cab. Because the cab design increases the overall weight of the forklift, and nonmarking tires regularly achieve better values in our tests, somewhat higher energy consumption could be expected for the new E25. By contrast, Linde promises lower energy consumption as well as various optimizations based on the control software. Our measurements showed that the consumption of the previous model corresponds very much to the current one if the factors listed above are taken into consideration. 01 Visibility through the mast was increased by 70 mm compared to the predecessor model Three selectable operating modes In terms of operation, our test machine handles just as easily and pleasantly as its predecessor in the 2011 test. Steering response is very direct with the combination axle, as it was previously. Anyone who is not familiar with this steering system will certainly be surprised to encounter the maximum steering angle for the first time. However, a short time is enough to become accustomed to the otherwise normal steering. As in 2011, we are running the truck in the three performance levels Economy, Efficiency und Performance. In the old model, the performance level setting still had to be made by the customer service technician. In the new model, however, we can make this setting ourselves with the Linde Safety Pilot. We did not record any differences between the old and new model in any of the three operating modes in terms of balance between acceleration capacity and travel speed. The 2011 test truck was actually rated 02 Our test forklift is equipped with an integrated battery charger and battery ventilation somewhat better than its successor in its overall driving response. Compared to the performance of forklift trucks previously measured by us in the same classification, the E25 achieved completely acceptable values. While its productivity was good as previously, consumption in Efficiency mode is about 18 % below the average. In Performance we can make five percent more pallet movements than in Efficiency mode, but that also “costs” about 15 percent more energy. Productivity in Economy mode is nearly identical compared to Efficiency mode, yet we save six percent on energy. In Efficiency mode the installed 500-Ah battery is just sufficient for one day’s operation of a forklift trunk that is not especially intensive. The longer or higher version of Practical operating period in hours:minutes (with max. battery size incl. regeneration) 09:54 11:18 12:00 08:04 03 The driver operates the assistance system with the two function keys in the arm rest

INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS I FORKLIFT TEST the truck chassis, combined with a larger battery, is therefore recommended for more intensive applications. The test truck has an integrated battery charger to charge the battery (Image 02). Due to the active ventilation, there is no need to open the battery cover while charging the battery. In our opinion a handle is missing here, with which the operator could hold onto the cover firmly while opening and closing it. If the battery needs to be exchanged this can be done quickly and safely with side access. Safety under electronic control When the truck is placed in operation, the Safety Pilot operator assistance system is activated automatically. We believe this process could run a bit more smoothly. First the load diagram appears in the display. Then the operator can use the jog shuttle key, located on the arm rest behind the joysticks (Image 03) to click through to the other screen displays. Safety Pilot has various functions such as lift height selection, speed limiting, drive modes, weight measuring and weight addition (for loading vehicles). Others include tilt angle setting, lowering limit, lift limit (damping) and hours display. The most important screen – probably the one chosen most often – shows a combination of fork tilt, current lift height and the load position and weight. The system always calculates safe combinations, taking into account additional factors such as travel speed, travel direction and steering angle. As soon as the load has been picked up by the fork, the display shows its weight. The system also detects whether the load is against the fork stop. The corresponding load center is displayed graphically as well. The system functions well overall. The only point of criticism is the display for the position of the fork. Backward tilt, which is normally safe , or fork tips pointing up is indicated by a negative prefix (–), while forward tilt or fork tips pointing down is indicated by a positive prefix (+). In our opinion this should be exactly opposite. The manufacturer is considering using arrows pointing up and down for this purpose in a future update instead of the current ± display. Colored warnings increase safety When the fork is raised, Safety Pilot not only shows the current lift height, it also calculates the maximum remaining safe lift height. If the load is not resting against the fork stop, or if the fork is at an unfavorable tilt angle, the lift height will be accordingly less. The display also changes its background from white, under normal circumstances, depending on the area where the load is currently located during the lift process (Image 04). As the lift height approaches the pre-calculated maximum height, the white background first changes to orange. When the maximum permitted lift height is reached, the background color becomes red and lifting stops automatically. The system also limits the tilt angle of the fork and if the forklift is moving, also continuously lowers the travel speed until it comes safely to a complete stop. We would choose even more restrictive settings for some of the safety features. These can be configured by service engineers via Safety Pilot. For example, the forward tilt angle of the fork is restricted to 3° at maximum lift. In our opinion, 1° would be safer. The travel and lifting speed could also be limited considerably more when simultaneously driving, steering and lifting, as soon as the fork is above the cab. Other than the preferences in fine tuning described above, Linde offers an intelligent system in Safety Pilot, one that makes a valuable contribution towards using the forklift truck safely. The system comes with numerous automatic functions and setting options. The system pays for itself if a single accident or damage incident is prevented. The truck itself has barely changed compared to the 2011 test. The Linde E25 remains a performance-oriented electric four-wheel forklift truck with good steering response and a very small turning circle. Text and photos: Theo Egberts, Andersom Testing DOWNLOAD STRATEGY TIPS 04 The background color of the Safety Pilot display changes to show the danger zone of the current load height Evaluation + Driving comfort + Overall performance + Ergonomics – No handle on the battery cover – Becoming accustomed to maximum full steering angle – Limited possibilities for adjusting the steering column 50 f+h Intralogistics 2/2015

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