The ESR 5000 Series of reach trucks developed by Crown has taken the iF product design gold award for 2010. Of the 2,400 or so entries from around the world, just 50 were singled out for top honours by the jury of international experts, putting Crown in the top two percent. Every year since 1953, the iF award has gone to companies and designers whose products display all the hallmarks of exceptional design. A variety of criteria are used to evaluate each entry, including aesthetic quality, degree of innovation, ergonomics and safety.
The ESR 5000 Series combines productivity and optimised operator ergonomics with exceptional strength, and it was this combination of class-leading features that made such an impression on the jury. In particular, the reach truck series has set new ergonomic standards. While developing the truck, the Crown designers gave top priority to ensuring that every aspect of the vehicle is tuned to the driver’s needs and working environment. The truck is designed to help warehouse operators transport more pallets in less time, substantially raising the bar for operational efficiency. For Crown, the iF award is a major coup: "We aim to develop innovative solutions that help our customers to manage their materials handling workflow as economically and efficiently as possible. The iF jury’s decision to single out the ESR 5000 Series confirms that our approach is the right one", asserts Jim Kraimer, Director Industrial Design Europe at Crown.
Class leading ergonomics mean better performance
Operators work more efficiently in an ergonomically enhanced environment, which is why the design team gave such a high priority to ergonomics during the development phase. The modular design of the ESR 5000 Series means that it can be adapted to specific applications and driver preferences: customers can choose between multi-task, fingertip and dual-lever controls, and the infinitely adjustable steering column means that finding a comfortable driving position is easy.
A low step reduces the cumulative strain of climbing in and out of the operator compartment, while the ergonomic seat with its shock absorbers and individually adjustable settings helps operators to work more safely and productively. Together with the patented overhead guard, the offset clear-view mast gives drivers an almost unobstructed field of vision during driving and lifting operations.
In a (S)pecial Class of its own
High-pressure warehouse applications place corresponding stress on drivers. With the ESR 5000 Series S Class, Crown has raised operator comfort to a completely new level, enabling drivers to cope with the toughest working conditions. The S Class MoveSeat™ with its tilting FlexBack sets new ergonomic standards for lift trucks: the MoveSeat can swivel through 30°, so drivers no longer have to twist their upper bodies unnecessarily, while the FlexBack, which comes with quick-adjust lumbar support, tilts backwards so drivers can look up without straining necks or backs. Built into the MoveSeat is an adjustable armrest with integral controls, so drivers maintain total control of the vehicle while moving to and fro. The S Class driving compartment also sports a desktop with an extra-large working surface and angled clipboard holder, as well as a Work Assist™ post on which data terminals and barcode readers can be mounted. Finally, the S Class has an extra wide compartment, so drivers have generous amounts of knee and legroom for less fatigue at the end of the shift.
Latest technology for best-in-class driver safety
The Crown-developed Access 1 2 3® control system in the ESR 5000 Series of reach trucks means that each vehicle’s performance and driving characteristics can be adjusted to suit operator preferences and specific warehouse applications. Access 1 2 3 technology monitors key lift truck systems, analysing and responding to information flows throughout the truck in real time. This means that the truck reacts instantly to operator inputs, accelerating, braking and changing direction smoothly and safely. Performance profiles with adjustable settings can be used to match each reach truck’s performance characteristics to a wide variety of ambient conditions – including, for example, the skill set of the individual driver. This adaptability is a major contributor to the safety and productivity of the ESR 5000 Series in day-to-day operation.