The oldest printing machine manufacturer in the world, Koenig & Bauer Group in Würzburg, Germany, is now using 70 new Hyster forklift trucks in their plants. An in-house guidance system enables trucks to drive around 200 different stations in the operation – from the production areas for sheet, web offset and digital printing machines, plus special machines for the production of banknotes, through to the warehouse, and from the in-house foundry up to the administration area.
“We cannot afford to make trips without loads,” says Olaf Wittmeier, Transport Manager at Koenig & Bauer. “Our goal is to use the right forklift truck for all in-house transport, picking up urgent shipments and delivering them to the required work station on time, as the employee will already be waiting there for the components.” To help achieve this, the robust Hyster forklift trucks have a display in the cabin, which shows the next job directly to the driver. Intelligent software for the truck control system also calculates the optimal route and keeps the number of empty runs to a minimum.
While part of the Hyster fleet is managed by the control system, the rest of the trucks are used within the production process or for loading and unloading lorries. The range of trucks in use includes reliable Hyster P1.8AC electric powered pallet truck, the Hyster S1.6AC pedestrian stacker, both with and without the initial lift option, the Hyster P2.0SD platform double stacker truck and the Hyster S1.5S stacker with folding platform. The fleet also includes both 48V and 80V Hyster electric counterbalance forklift trucks and robust diesel Hyster forklifts, such as the Hyster H3.0FT and H5.5FT Advance.
“In order to reduce operating costs, we decided to modernise our forklift fleet,” says Hermann Schätzlein, Logistics Manager for Koenig & Bauer in Würzburg. “Wherever possible, we replaced existing diesel trucks with modern, zero-emissions, electric Hyster four-wheel counterbalanced forklift trucks, which are better for the environment.” A number of electric forklifts with load capacities from 1.8 to 4.5 tonnes are now at the heart of the operation, including those from the Hyster J1.6-2.0XN truck series, which offer an especially small turning circle.
The powerful Hyster J3.0XN counterbalanced forklifts also have a minimal turning circle, alongside superior energy efficiency. Thanks to their powerful three-phase current technology for the drive and lifting mechanism, these robust machines are particularly suitable for demanding applications over long shifts. Koenig & Bauer has also equipped several of the 3-tonne capacity forklift trucks with an integrated fork positioning device and side thrust adjusters, as well as KOOI telescopic forks, which enable loading and unloading of the trucks from one side. In addition, some machines have been equipped with 360° rotatable fork clamps to allow metal boxes to be transported and then emptied directly from the truck.
“At our plant in Frankenthal we use Hyster J4.5XN for heavy loads,” says Schätzlein. “This powerful truck not only has a lifting capacity of 4.5 tonnes but is also suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.” Despite a low level of energy consumption, this electric forklift achieves performance comparable to a truck with an internal combustion engine. Like the Hyster J3.0XN machines in the application, these trucks have a rotatable fork clamp attachment for handling metal containers but also transport heavy components required for the printing presses.
Almost one year after the changeover to Hyster trucks, Schätzlein can see the benefits. “We have succeeded in significantly reducing overall operating costs. The purchase of new, low-maintenance, Hyster equipment allowed us to reduce our use of a technician to three days, instead of the whole week.”
Due to the standardisation of the 3-tonne forklifts and the best full-service offering, Hyster dealer Kotschenreuther Stapler- und Dystemtechnik was ultimately able to beat the competition, convincing not only the managing directors, but also the operational team and the drivers. “Everything falls within the service agreement,” explains Wittmeier. “For us, this was the most convincing reason to use Hyster forklift trucks in all our plants in the future.”
Tags:Electric forklift, Forklifts, Hyster, Intralogistics