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f+h Intralogistics 1/2016

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f+h Intralogistics 1/2016


INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS Clean performance – electric trucks in Turkey in operation Starwood, the Turkish producer of chip and MDF boards, does not only use electric trucks in an area formerly dominated by IC trucks, but also promotes women in a traditionally male workplace. Internal logistics in the wood board industry is facing special challenges: On one hand, wood boards are so heavy that only IC forklift trucks seemed to have sufficient goods turnover performance up to now. On the other hand, cleanness is a top priority of most wood products and the soot emitted by Diesel trucks is the natural opponent to this. It is an opponent that could be kept at bay by different measures but never be wholly defeated, up to now. Because meanwhile there are appropriate soot-free solutions for such applications, and a particularly one comes from the company Still, Hamburg/Germany. Electrified pioneer Late last year, the Starwood company has applied a literally clean solution at its manufacturing location in Inegöl, Turkey. Electric trucks type 26 RX 60 with a load capacity of seven tons prove there that modern electric trucks can perform. In interaction with another four five-ton RX 60 trucks, four RX 60 with a load capacity of 2,5 tons and seven R07 tow tractors, the applied Still fleet moves up to 4,500 tons of wood every day. Diesel is a thing of past. Not only are chip and MDF boards produced on the approx. 220,000 square metre company grounds: Depending on the order, they are also coated on-site with melanin or they are painted. Approximately 25,000 boards are moved by the Still electric trucks and tractors every day. Firstly, the raw boards are transported from the presses into a cooling area. From here, they are moved to the grinding area and finally to the melanin presses. Before the finished boards are refined according to the user wishes they are transported to the block warehouse by the R07 tractors where a quality check is carried out: The boards are lifted by a vacuum lifter, turned by 45 degrees and lightened by spotlights. If the trained quality team does not detect any deviances, the boards are loaded on pallets and transported to the block warehouse. In the warehouse, electric seven-ton Still trucks are applied to handle the boards. The power packs do not only organize the block storage, but also load the lorries that move through the warehouse on a special lane (Image 01). More performance – lower costs The tasks now being performed by electric tow tractors used to be performed by conventional tractors before. Instead of the modern RX 60 trucks, IC trucks from a South Korean manufacturer were used. The new trucks are not only significantly more powerful, but

01 Work now done by electric trucks and tractors used to be done by Diesel trucks in the past 02 The trucks move up to 4,500 tons of wood per day also more compact, comfortable, and can be operated more precisely at the same time. This makes the work easier and safer. Another great benefit of the electric power are the operational costs. “By rule of a thumb, the operational costs of a Diesel truck were approximately 200 Euro per day. With the Still electric trucks, these are only approximately 80 Euro,” says Tahir Kitpaci, head of logistics of the Starwood plant. And this amount does not even include the costs for maintenance and spare parts – with IC trucks, these are generally higher than those of electric trucks as well. The trucks operate in three-shifts, 24 hours a day. Two batteries per truck are sufficient to guarantee a consistent availability. Kitapci: “One battery charge provides energy for approximately eight hours of operation and then we charge it again for eight hours”. And even at high temperatures – in summer, raising up to as much as 40 degrees in the warehouse – the batteries as well as the rest of the truck technology functions absolutely reliably. Therefore, the service technician responsible for Starwood is a guest who is welcome but seen very rarely. The electric trucks help to save time and money also beyond the savings created by the low operational costs: Contrary to the Diesel trucks used before, the power packs full of energy from Still do not emit any soot. “Our whole plant has become significantly cleaner since then, and we could even completely cancel one work step,” says Kitapci. In the past, Starwood had to free the wood pallets from the soot layer caused by the Diesel trucks with a special blower. Since Still came, saw and electrified, the blow cleaning system has had its day. Starwood customers can rely on clean wood supplies also without this interim step, and the Starwood employees can take a deep breath with peace of mind (Image 02). Women’s power Starwood proves to be an industrial pioneer also with respect to its employees. Like in most countries, men characteristically dominate the job outline of truck drivers and this holds true for Turkey as well. However, if you have a look into the cabins of the Still trucks at Starwood, you will frequently see female faces. Actually all the electric trucks are operated by women. Starwood pursuits the support of women in this occupational field and performs, amongst others, regular special driver trainings for women to pave the way to this working area for them. “Each of our female employees does a very good job. Many of them come from small villages, and hence already have experience with agricultural vehicles. Some of them work even more carefully than their male colleagues,” Kitapci reports. The percentage of female employees might even rise in the near future as the company is desperately searching for support, the wood board manufacturer is expanding. An additional logistics centre of approx. 21,000 square metres is under construction close to the existing production plant. And here, further industrial trucks will be needed as well. Text/Photos: Heiko Görtz/Gerd Knehr About Still Still GmbH provides custom intralogistics solutions worldwide featuring intelligent interactions between the trucks and warehouse systems, software and services. Still was founded by Hans Still in 1920, and his creativity, entrepreneurship and dedication to quality have made the company into a global brand. The company has a workforce of more than 7,000 in R&D, production, sales and service, all committed to satisfying the requirements of their customers around the world. The key to the company’s success are its efficient products, ranging from industry-specific total solutions for small and large companies to software solutions for effective warehouse and material flows management. f+h Intralogistics 1/2016


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