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A Productivity boost

12 December 2012

Yale has developed Productivity versions of its VL series of electric counterbalance trucks with the aim of economically meeting the needs of the most intensive applications The pressure on companies to increase produc

Yale has developed Productivity versions of its VL series of electric counterbalance trucks with the aim of economically meeting the needs of the most intensive applications

The pressure on companies to increase productivity and minimise downtime has never been greater, summarised by the popular saying 'time is money'. This is where materials handling manufacturers can play a significant part in helping to increase pallet throughput while maintaining or reducing energy consumption and cost.

As a result of customer's demands for ever increasing productivity, Yale has responded by introducing a Productivity model of its successful VL Series electric counterbalance forklift truck. The Productivity model is designed for intensive applications with long runs and high lifts.

Testing and competitive analysis at the company's facilities in Craigavon, Northern Ireland have lead Yale to believe that the VL Productivity model is the most energy efficient, ergonomically advanced and productive electric counterbalance forklift series in the 2200kg to 3500kg capacity, combining the performance of an engine powered forklift truck with zero emissions.

Daniel Heap, electric truck senior product development manager, says: "When we carried out the exhaustive testing on the Yale Productivity truck we wanted the test to be indicative of a heavy duty production cycle.

"A test cycle that was synonymous with many of our customer's production applications. The result was that the Yale VL series Productivity model was up to 22% more productive than the competitive average and up to 15% more productive than its nearest rival. The beautiful thing about the Productivity truck is that it only uses 10% more energy to outperform our competitor's products by up to 22%." If energy consumption is the main driver when considering the purchase of an electric counterbalance truck in the 2200kg to 3500kg capacity range, Yale suggests the ERP VL Value truck. In eLo mode, it is up to 7.5% more productive and up to 11% more energy efficient on the standard VDI test track versus the competitor average. Equating this to the cost of ownership per pallet moved based on 1,500 hours of operation per year, cost savings of between 7-9% are claimed (see chart).

Designed to provide the best in comfort and ergonomics, the VL series operator controls are intuitive and support the 'Function meets Form' design philosophy incorporated into all Yale models. Increased lift and travel speeds are complemented by the class leading whole body vibration (WBV) levels of 0.6m/s2, says the manufacturer. By focusing on sound quality and noise levels, the VL Value model now has a low 67dB(A) at the operator's ear (EN12053). This can be reduced even further to 66dB(A) by specifying the low noise pump option. As a result of the higher top speed and larger hydraulic pump motor the VL Productivity model is just 1dB(A) louder than the standard configuration at 68dB(A).

Designed to reduce repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and to be fully intuitive the vertically and horizontally fully adjustable Yale 'AccuTouch' mini lever module features a cushioned arm and palm rest with fingertip control levers for maximum comfort.

The VL Productivity model also features three point entry for easy on/off access; unobstructed floor space with right-hand access; and generous headroom, comfortably accommodating the smallest to the tallest operators from less than 160cm to more than 194cm.

When combined with the recent product enhancements the host of ergonomic features of the VL series contribute to operators being able to stay more comfortable, alert and able to achieve the highest possible productivity levels throughout their shift period.

Heap concludes: "Yale understands that operators who work long shift patterns have different operating needs. This is why we pay so much attention to providing them with the most comfortable working environment possible in our lift trucks. As a result, in many cases, productivity can be increased, absenteeism can be reduced and operator costs lowered."