Over the past 10 years, no other aspect of our industrial truck design & production has experienced growth comparable to that seen in Customised Options, known as COs for short. While less than 20 percent of all industrial trucks left Linde Material Handling’s (MH) production plants with technical modifications back in 2004, this proportion rose to approximately a third last year. With dedicated CO teams in each factory and production processes adapted to cope, Linde MH is well prepared for the trend towards the increasing share of tailor-made solutions.
“There has always been a certain number of customised versions due to the fact that, even with the large variety of products found in the 85 Linde series and around 6,000 optional features, it is just not possible to meet all the specific individual requirements,” says Dr. Ralf Dingeldein, Vice President New Trucks at Linde MH. “What is new, however, is that customised options are being ordered more and more frequently.”
To be able to cope with the vast number of orders including customised we receive every year, Linde MH has integrated the manufacture of these trucks into the series production process wherever possible. CO specialists accompany the process from order processing, design, development and procurement all the way through to manufacture, assembly, documentation and service, irrespective of the production plant in question. “Versatility, user friendliness, robustness and efficiency are the four major values of the Linde brand,” says Dingeldein. “And of course these apply to our customised options, too.”
All the more so because many of the COs are also of interest to other customers and thus make their way into series production. One example is the compact counterbalance pallet stacker Linde L06 AC AP. This vehicle, which can lift loads of up to 600 kg and is equipped with a stand-on platform, was developed for one of the world’s largest furniture companies. In order to operate more sustainably and, at the same time, reduce costs, the home furnishing giant switched over to pallets made of corrugated cardboard that are ten centimetres thinner than the previous wooden pallets. Thus it was no longer possible to use a standard pallet stacker to handle them. However, the counterbalance stacker Linde L06 AC AP offered the ideal solution. Combining the advantages of the counterbalance principle with very compact dimensions. With its ISO forks, it can lift any type of load, including Euro pallets crossways, for example. And thanks to its shorter wheelbase and its mast set back into the power unit, this stacker with folding stand-on platform, has a length of just over 2.4 meters.
“With this new customised solution, we open up a broad spectrum of applications, far beyond this particular application,” says Tobias Zierhut, Head of Product Marketing at Linde Material Handling. “Possible fields of application could be found, for example, in production and assembly, or in warehouses with narrow aisles.”
Linde Material Handling GmbH, a company of the KION GROUP AG, ranks among the world’s foremost makers of forklift and warehouse trucks and is the market leader in Europe. In addition, the company today offers its know-how, gained during decades of developing and manufacturing electric drive systems, to external customers for a wide variety of applications. As an international company, Linde Material Handling operates production and assembly plants in all important regions worldwide, and has a global sales and service network with offices in over 100 countries. In the fiscal year 2014, Linde Material Handling employed approximately 13,900 people worldwide and generated annual sales of EUR 3.077 billion.