Concept 08

Aug. 27, 2008
The new truck study Concept involves a ride-on pedestrian pallet truck with a completely new energy storage and drive concept: Lithium ion batteries plus

The new truck study “Concept ‘08“ involves a ride-on pedestrian pallet truck with a completely new energy storage and drive concept: Lithium ion batteries plus direct drive will in future ensure even more energy efficiency than the current 3-phase AC technology already used by Jungheinrich as standard. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Rosenbach, Member of the Board of Management, Engineering, at Jungheinrich AG: “The most effective contribution towards protection of the environment is energy that is not utilised!”

“Floating”: a completely new driving sensation with Concept ‘08
The new battery technology will also facilitate a more compact construction and therefore completely new truck concepts as well as improved ergonomics. Ergonomically designed operating elements for both travel directions controlled with just the thumb ensure the fatigue-free handling of the truck. By integrating the drives under the low platform, the operator will in future “float” with the truck instead of walking with or riding on it. A cushioned, noiseless chassis provides a completely new travel sensation.

The highly efficient direct drive is a further development of an already very effective and environment-friendly 3-phase AC technology that is currently utilised in virtually all electric trucks from Jungheinrich. In connection with lithium ion batteries, it facilitates considerably longer travel distances and shorter charging times than before. “The technology in the concept truck is able to become a real alternative to drives with hydrogen fuel cells for which research is still going on”, explains Dr. Klaus-Dieter Rosenbach. “It will save the customer a lot of money in the future and also cares for the environment.” The concept truck from Pre-Development at the Hamburg company thus sets standards for the entire industry branch. CeMAT visitors can see the fully functioning “Concept ‘08” at the Jungheinrich Stand.

Considerably less energy: from storage to consumption
The in-depth approach of the new energy and drive design is: Store energy intelligently and use it efficiently. The use of lithium ion batteries ensures that significantly less energy will be required in future – from storage to consumption – and this contributes decisively towards protecting the climate. Dr. Christoph Weber, Professor for drives and electronic circuit development at Kiel Technical College says: “On balance one can say that this new technology will result in much more sparing utilisation of stored energy”. “Conservatively calculated, one could assume energy cost savings of at least 15 % with the same performance data”, Professor Weber continues.

The much more sparingly utilised stored energy is facilitated by a new approach in energy storage. With regard to charging or discharging characteristics, the lithium ion batteries show a significant increase in efficiency compared with conventional lead batteries. They last twice as long and are also completely maintenance-free. A special battery management ensures that cells are permanently monitored. “This also makes lithium ion batteries safe in practice”, explains Professor Weber. With approximately one third of volume and a quarter of weight, they are considerably more compact and lighter than lead batteries. This will in future lead to a marked reduction in truck weight.

Lithium ion batteries: complete recharge in only one hour
Contrary to lead batteries, the lithium ion battery capacity can be utilised at virtually 100 %. Low discharge is practically impossible when using the battery management system. Another positive aspect is the fast charging ability of lithium ion batteries. A complete recharge will in future only take one hour. In many cases, there is no need for a battery change.

The economic potential of top-up charging can already be exploited in Concept ‘08. The operator drives into a designated charging station, the so-called docking station, with the fork tips of the truck. The fork tips provide the contact with the lithium ion batteries. Start and completion of the charging process are fully automatic. “For example, the operator can recharge during his lunch break and this increases the travel distance and thus availability considerably”, says Dr. Klaus-Dieter Rosenbach.

Direct drive: fewer noises, higher efficiency ratio
Jungheinrich electric stackers have in the past been powered by already very efficient asynchronous motors. By way of contrast, the Concept ‘08 has direct drive, i.e. permanently excited, torque-amplified synchronous machines with powerful magnets. As due to direct drive, gears will in future not be necessary, this results in an additional efficiency ratio increase apart from considerable noise reduction.

“All in all, much energy can be saved with direct drive compared with asynchronous motors,” Professor Weber explains. Jungheinrich also sets new standards with lift drive. It has no hydraulics and is equipped with a recirculating ball screw. Apart from a significant efficiency increase, the lift drive is remarkable due to its low noise development.

Due to its new battery technology, the Concept ‘08 is very compact. With a total length of 1,765 mm (with a fork length of 1,150 mm), it is approximately 630 mm shorter than an analogue electric pallet truck for ride-on operation. Comparable pedestrian trucks are also significantly longer than the Concept ‘08 of one adds the space required by the operator. The concept truck is therefore predestined for ride-on operations in confined spaces. This will result in considerably higher throughput efficiency in customer applications.

Jungheinrich ranks among the world’s leading companies in the material handling equipment, warehousing and material flow engineering sectors. Jungheinrich is a logistics service provider with manufacturing operations, which offers its customers a comprehensive range of forklift trucks, shelving systems and services covering the entire field of intralogistics. Jungheinrich shares are traded on all German stock exchanges.

Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp, 804-737-7400 and