There were once again major celebrations when the all-important words "....and the IFOY Award goes to…" were spoken at the beginning of the CeMAT trade fair.
The names of the winners of the IFOY Awards are traditionally a well-kept secret, with even the winners themselves kept in the dark until their names are announced on stage. Thirteen trucks and solutions reached the finals of the international "Intralogistics Oscars": In the end, BYD, Crown, Jungheinrich and SSI Schäfer won the prestigious IFOY Awards in five categories and were presented with the metal and glass trophies to the accompaniment of applause from the 350 invited guests.
"In the final round of the world's leading industrial trucks and intralogistics solutions, the candidates impressed the jury above all with their innovative features and customer benefit. At the end of the process, victory was decided by the proverbial hair's breadth," said Anita Würmser, executive chairperson of the IFOY Jury during the award ceremony.
Counter Balanced Truck up to 3.5t
In a tight finish, victory in this category went to the 1.8t ECB 18C electric forklift from BYD, the first time the international jury has selected a Chinese-made vehicle as the world's best fork lift truck of the year.
The determining factor in the decision was the overall package offered by the European-style Chinese truck in combination with the value added by the battery technology. Its iron phosphate battery is a genuine USP. It can be recharged extremely fast, as often as needed, and without memory effect, which means it can handle three-shift duty without any problem. All that needs to be done is to charge the forklift during the breaks.
Jungheinrich had a two-fold reason to celebrate this year. The winner in the Special Vehicle category, part of the IFOY Award for the first time in 2016, was its EJQ 325.
The purpose-built vehicle from Jungheinrich's special build design department was developed for the Deutsche Bahn rail company to permit the loading and separation of the wheel sets for the ICE trains and the wheel set changer. The solution is made up of standard components and impressed the jury above all with its precision.
This kind of combination is extremely sophisticated in technical terms and has never before been realised in this form in the segment of industrial trucks.
Warehouse Truck Highlifter
Hamburg-based Jungheinrich won its second IFOY in the Warehouse Truck Highlifter category with its EKX 516, an 80V highlifter brought on to the market in the spring of 2015. The man-up truck lifts loads of up to 1,600kg to heights of 17.5m. The jury named the high degree of innovation as the main reason for its choice.
In the verdict of the jury, the features that make the truck a one-of-a-kind are the modular platform concept, the lightweight design, the passive load sway damping system – fitted to a VNA truck for the first time – and the synchronous reluctance motor technology, another first. The jury added that the Jungheinrich EKX impressively raises the bar in the segment of highlifters.
Warehouse Truck Lowlifter
The IFOY Award in this category went to the newly developed Crown RT 4020 fork lift truck with driver platform from Crown. This vehicle is designed for demanding applications in modern logistics and can lift up to two tonnes.
The top speed of 12.5km/h and a chassis width of just 780mm makes manoeuvring in tight spaces easy, as when loading and unloading delivery trucks, for example, or storing pallets in narrow channels. The key factor in the decision of the jury was the outstanding productivity of the vehicle in the tightest of spaces.
"The high-powered three-phase drive system, the compact design and the intuitive and highly responsive control elements make the RT the perfect stacker for narrow and busy areas", were the reasons given by the jury.
In a neck-and-neck finish, the IFOY in the Intralogistics Solution category was won by SSI Schäfer. The Swiss provider of logistics solutions created a fleet solution complete with Weasel driverless transport systems for the in-plant logistics operations of the NextLevel Logistik GmbH company near Schweinfurt.
Whether it be for containers, cartons, trays or other products of widely varying sizes up to a weight of 35kg, Weasel handles all the transport jobs between goods receipt, the workplaces and goods dispatch through to waste disposal. In contrast to conventional AGVs, it does without sophisticated sensor technology or complex control systems.
One of the big advantages for NextLevel Logistik is the flexibility and easy scalability of the solution: Weasel is not rail-based and can therefore be flexibly integrated in existing infrastructures, and the solution can grow with growing business volumes. Alongside the high level of customer benefit, the factor that finally swayed the jury was the extremely low investment cost of the driverless system. With this product, SSI Schäfer opens up completely new potential in the market for the use of automated transport solutions.
Since 2013, the IFOY Award has become established as a benchmark for cost efficiency and innovation. Due to the specialised expertise it represents, it is seen as the most important innovation award in intralogistics.
The winners are selected once a year by an independent jury of leading international trade journalists. A neutral test and a scientific Innovation Check form the basis for assessment by the jury. Both test series compare the finalists with their respective competitors.
The sponsor of the IFOY Award, presented under the patronage of the German Ministry of Economics and Energy, is the VDMA Materials Handling and Logistics Systems Sector Association. The official IFOY partner is CeMAT, the international trade fair for intralogistics in Hannover. IFOY's pallet partner is Chep, a global market leader in pallet pooling. The IFOY technology partner is the battery charging specialist Fronius. The patron of the IFOY Award is the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Counter Balanced Truck up to 3.5t - BYD ECB18C (electric)
Special Vehicle - Jungheinrich EJQ 325 (electric)
Warehouse Truck Highlifter - Jungheinrich EKX 516 (electric)
Warehouse Truck Lowlifter - Crown RT 4020 (electric)
Intralogistics Solution - SSI Schäfer's Weasel driverless transport systems at NextLevel Logistik GmbH