Linde Material Handling – Engineered for your Performance
The Linde Material Handling segment is synonymous with innovative trucks and services. It provides users of industrial trucks with product and service solutions that meet demanding technological requirements, while always taking into account efficiency improvements and complex stipulations in terms of functionality and design. The Linde and Fenwick brand companies supply high-quality material-handling products, while the Baoli brand serves the economy segment in the emerging markets. Linde Hydraulics focuses on hydraulic components that are used both in its own trucks and in the products of third-party manufacturers. Above all, the quality and diversity of its material-handling products and services enable the Linde brand to maintain its technology and innovation leadership as well as a global market share of 9 per cent. Linde Material Handling's portfolio contains a broad range of premium products for moving goods around.
The slogan of Linde Material Handling, 'Engineered for your Performance', reflects the company's objective of enabling customers to use its material-handling solutions to make sustained improvements to their efficiency. Linde Material Handling's warehouse trucks were therefore subjected to an efficiency test certified by TÜV Nord, a technical inspection, testing and certification organisation, and compared with the trucks of other providers in terms of costs and performance. This test, which looked at the overall cost of the loading cycle for a heavy-goods vehicle, found that Linde's trucks had 20 per cent lower costs than competitors' products.
In order to safeguard its technology and innovation leadership, it is essential that Linde Material Handling constantly develops new premium solutions in a diverse range of product areas. Linde Material Handling satisfies its customers' requirements firstly with a broad portfolio of products, ranging from warehouse trucks to heavy trucks and container handlers. Secondly, every product is based on user-friendly, ergonomic concepts and meets high standards of efficiency and sustainability. Moreover, the company's strong service expertise and extensive aftersales services boost customer loyalty.
In 2011, Linde Material Handling attended CeMAT, the world's leading intralogistics trade fair, which took place in Hannover from 2 to 6 May 2011, seizing this opportunity to showcase the LMH brand and numerous product innovations. The stars of the show were the new E 20 – E 50 series of electric forklift trucks, which have a load capacity of between 2 and 5 tonnes. Available in 19 standard model variants with different lengths, heights, and widths, they enable Linde Material Handling to offer trucks geared precisely to customers' needs. The driver's workstation with its new, ergonomic design is protected against vibration, jolts and noise as it is separated from the front axle and mast. This enables the driver to work for longer without becoming tired, even in harsh conditions. The new model series won MM Logistik magazine's logistics award at CeMAT. It also received two of the highest accolades for product design in 2011: the iF design award and the red dot award.
In the H40 – H50 range of IC trucks, which have a load capacity of 4 to 5 tonnes, a new variable displacement pump in the lift hydraulics is significantly reducing energy consumption and lowering noise emissions. Linde Material Handling's logistics train is a new product for optimising logistics in production. It is formed from the Linde P 50 C tow truck, which has a tractive force of 5 tonnes, and four trailers – making it ideal for use in just-in-time and just-in-sequence manufacturing. In the area of warehouse technology, Linde Material Handling presented solutions for the driverless transport of materials: an automated stacker crane and an automated tow tractor.
Early on, Linde Material Handling picked up on the trend for alternative drives that, as far as possible, produce zero emissions. At CeMAT, for example, the company featured a pallet truck with a fuel-cell drive system and a fully functioning prototype of a pallet stacker with a lithium-ion battery, thereby also proving its competence with alternative drives.
Besides its vast expertise in moving goods around, Linde Material Handling is also a major producer of hydraulic components and hydrostatic drives. The hydrostatic drive provides the basis for the Linde trucks' precise lifting and handling capabilities as well as their low fuel consumption. As a result, Linde Material Handling regularly generates synergies between truck development and drive technology development. Major brand manufacturers around the world install components from Linde Hydraulics in their equipment for the construction, agricultural and forestry sectors – proof positive of their performance and reliability.
Linde Hydraulics' growth was also stimulated by the development of new products, the market launch of electric technologies, and the global sales and distribution alliance that it had formed with EATON Corporation in mid-2010. This significantly improved Linde Hydraulics' access to the markets in 2011, in particular enabling it to win new projects with big-ticket customers in Asia and North America.
Last year, Linde Hydraulics set new standards in drive technologies with the MPR 50 medium-pressure pump and the LINC 2 electronic control unit. Both products are playing a key role in improving the efficiency and reducing the emissions of mobile machinery. Fuel savings of up to 20 per cent can be achieved thanks to the optimised interaction between the hydraulic and electric drive technologies combined with intelligent electronics.
Drive and power takeoff systems powered by electric motors represent a new growth market that is a valuable addition to Linde Hydraulics' traditional core business of high-pressure hydraulics. Concept projects have successfully gone into series production just a year after their launch on the market. One of these projects is the New Karabag 500 E electric car. The entirely electric drive system – including the engine, converter, fan and electronic control – was designed and supplied by Linde Hydraulics.
As at 31 December 2011, Linde Material Handling, which is headquartered in Aschaffenburg, employed 13,838 people worldwide. Driven by the upturn in the German market as well as in the emerging markets of China, South America and eastern Europe, order intake rose by 22 per cent to 88,300 units, generating revenue of €2,856 million. Adjusted EBIT increased by over 100 per cent to €283 million. Linde Material Handling has an extensive global distribution and service network with more than 700 sales outlets. Depending on the country and region, products are sold by Linde Material Handling's own sales outlets or via dealers that cover the market. The two sales channels account for roughly equal proportions of total revenue. International production sites are located in Châtellerault (France), where warehouse handling equipment is produced, and Merthyr Tydfil (UK), which focuses on extra heavy-duty trucks and container handlers. To cater to local needs and requirements, Linde Material Handling manufactures region-specific products in Summerville, South Carolina (USA), and in Xiamen (China).
Baoli operates as an independent brand in the market, focusing on the low-cost economy segment in China and other growth markets. The range of attractive and sturdy products, combined with the KION Group's excellent distribution network, enables Baoli to satisfy the high demand in emerging economic regions such as South America very effectively. As an integral part of the Linde Material Handling (LMH) segment, Baoli generated an order intake of 3,894 units in 2011. Worldwide, it has more than 120 distribution and service outlets, the majority of which are in Baoli's home Chinese market. The distribution network was expanded last year to include Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Production is located at Baoli's head office facilities in Jingjiang, China. It employed 555 people at the end of 2011.
STILL – First in Intralogistics
The STILL brand positions itself as a leading supplier of intelligent intralogistics solutions. Besides its core range of forklift trucks, warehouse technology and tow tractors, STILL's wide-ranging portfolio also includes process-related value-added services for warehouse logistics, the design of internal logistics processes, goods flow management and fleet management. STILL is known for its sustainable and successful logistical innovations such as in the field of hybrid drives. In the electric forklift truck sector, the company has always been one of the top providers in Europe. In 2011, STILL's market share in the European focus markets was around 14 per cent. STILL already occupies an outstanding position in the high-growth South American region. It also pursues a successful market penetration strategy, above all in the Asian regions. Its global market share is approximately 5 per cent. Integration of OM into the STILL Group was largely completed in 2011. The STILL Group's portfolio is complemented by OM's products: the RC 40 diesel truck, the ECU and ECU-SF pallet trucks and the Xlogo low-level order picker are offering STILL new sales opportunities around the world, while OM is enhancing its own range of products in Italy with intralogistics solutions from STILL. Some of the two brands' strongest products are being offered jointly from 2012; they are marketed worldwide under the STILL brand and in Italy under the 'OM STILL' brand. This makes OM STILL one of the leading players in Italy.
The STILL Group uses its portfolio of industrial trucks, financial services, aftersales services, hardware and software to create customised packages of products and services tailored to customers' individual needs. That is why the company developed the interactive PartnerPlan tool, which helps it to select the best options for the customer from its entire range of products, technologies and services. The aim in putting together the packages is always to find a system-based solution that optimises the customer's logistics processes and thereby its efficiency and costs.
In 2011, STILL added innovative forklift trucks and warehouse technologies as well as services to its portfolio and presented them to the public. For example, it showcased fully automated material flow solutions at the LogiMAT trade fair in Stuttgart during the first quarter of last year. The broad range of trucks with various types of navigation ensures that STILL can always offer tailored solutions for any warehouse layout – including warehouses with challenging narrow aisles and racks at heights of up to 15 metres as well as horizontal transport systems. In the field of automated picking, STILL demonstrated a version of the EK-X high-level order picker that can drive automatically and combines a picking height of up to 3.90 metres with a pick-by-voice function. The innovative features of the EK-X significantly reduce the number of pick errors and boost picking efficiency by up to 25 per cent.
Another combination of STILL trucks and intelligent software for intralogistics systems was achieved in a benchmark project with Güldenkron, which produces fruit juice and other beverages. This involved using MX-Q turret order pickers and EGV-S pallet stackers to automate the entire flow of materials in fruit juice production, from putting away and retrieving goods in high-bay storage areas to planning the dispatch of goods. The customer benefits from the vehicles' flexible dual operating modes, which enable automated or manual operation at any time. STILL also provided the bay systems, thereby demonstrating that it can deliver end-to-end logistics solutions.
STILL presented its cubeXX concept truck at CeMAT, the world's leading intralogistics trade fair, which took place in Hannover. An efficient warehouse requires many different trucks to carry out the various logistics tasks. The cubeXX is an intralogistics solution of the future and combines six different applications in a single truck, serving as an order picker, pallet truck, pallet stacker and double-decker truck. It can also be converted into a tugger train or a forklift truck. Depending on how it is being used, the cubeXX can be operated automatically or manually with a driver as it is fitted with a retractable cab. The cubeXX therefore offers the highest degree of flexibility and compact dimensions, impressively underlining STILL's claim to be the 'first in intralogistics'.
STILL already caters to customers' requirements with fully integrated warehouse systems and a comprehensive range of products and services. In future it will increasingly work on solutions further up and down the supply chain. Development and refinement of products and services is always aimed at creating the maximum benefit for customers at all process stages. Besides being flexible and safe to use, the products must therefore be of outstanding quality so that they can withstand the heavy loads associated with warehouse logistics. That is why STILL regularly gathers feedback from its customers to ensure that its products meet their requirements. However, the company has also received objective confirmation of the high quality of its products in terms of their functionality, user-friendliness, ergonomics and design. In November 2011, for example, STILL received the 'Best Supplier of the Year Award' from retail chain SPAR for its special achievements in the areas of product innovation, sustainability, customer relationship management & support, quality and flexibility.
The market upturn, particularly in Germany, eastern Europe and Brazil, was of great benefit to STILL, which was able to boost its order intake by 15 per cent to 51,200 units. Revenue rose by 17 per cent to €1,666 million, enabling STILL to generate EBIT – adjusted for non-recurring items – of €102 million.
At its head office in Hamburg, Germany, STILL produces forklift trucks, reach trucks and tow tractors. The Reutlingen plant focuses on very narrow aisle (VNA) trucks. Counterbalance trucks are manufactured in Bari (Italy), in particular for the Italian market. Other types of warehouse technology are produced in the French Montataire plant and in Luzzara (Italy). The aim of the planned consolidation of the plants in Italy and France is to concentrate the production of product series at individual locations, which will also ensure greater capacity utilisation at each plant. Under these plans, the trucks currently produced in Montataire will be built at the Luzzara plant while the production of forklift trucks in Bari will shift to the counterbalance truck plant in Hamburg. As at 31 December 2011, STILL including OM employed 7,328 people worldwide.
Germany remains the most important sales region for the STILL brand, followed by France and Italy. The German and French markets are served by a direct sales organisation. In its UK and Spanish markets, STILL uses dealers to supplement its own direct sales operations. This is also the case in Italy, which is OM's home market. All other European markets are largely served by direct sales organisations and, in some cases, by a highly efficient network of dealers. STILL opened new branches in St. Petersburg (Russia) and Katowice (Poland) as part of the expansion of its sales structure. At the same time, the successful integration of the STILL and OM dealers in Russia has enabled STILL to strengthen its market presence in eastern Europe. It has also gained market share in this region thanks to numerous projects with large international companies. In addition, expansion of the dealer network improved STILL's market position in high-growth countries during 2011, especially those in Asia. Equipwell (India), PT Power Trucks Mitra Perkasa (Indonesia) and TCJ Asia (Thailand) all became STILL sales partners last year. The sales network in south-east Asia has been managed by a new STILL office in Singapore since 1 November 2011.
BlackForxx GmbH, headquartered in Stuhr near Bremen (Germany), is a subsidiary of STILL which started up in 2008. Since then BlackForxx has been leasing special forklift trucks and warehouse trucks and selling used and reconditioned forklift trucks and warehouse trucks in Germany and abroad through its own online marketplace. On the back of strong domestic and international demand for industrial trucks, BlackForxx considerably expanded its customer base in the year under review and opened two further lease centres in Stuttgart and Paris. As a subsidiary of STILL, BlackForxx cooperates closely with the STILL sales organisation if required. In spring 2011, for example, it helped with the resale of two fleets containing 90 and 221 used STILL trucks respectively.