CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Supporting Sustainability with Flexi Logistics

VNA materials handling solutions provider Narrow Aisle recently hosted a series of distributor open days at its UK Flexi Truck manufacturing plant in Great Bridge, West Midlands.

Attended by some 150 visitors, the three open days gave guests the opportunity to see some of the recent additions to the Flexi Truck range of articulated warehouse trucks and hear how the latest generation of Flexi Truck models are helping today’s logistics operations meet their sustainability goals. 

Addressing guests, John Maguire, Narrow Aisle managing director, said: “Over the last three years or so there has been a major change in attitudes to forklift power sources. Lithium-ion battery technology has come of age at precisely the right time to meet the market’s environmental, productivity and safety demands.

“The radically different on-demand charging regime that Lithium-ion offers is ideally suited to interface with on-site ‘solar’ power generation systems, as the demand is spread across the working day rather than concentrated at one time and drawn from the costly mains supply.

“Of course, lead acid batteries remain a highly efficient option for electric forklifts and many electric Flexi Truck lift trucks still feature this type of battery. But Lithium-ion technology is now regarded as ideally suited to the needs of modern, 24/7 logistics and e-fulfillment operations.

“We see it as essential that our product offering constantly evolves and, of course, sustainability drives much of our research and development thinking. More and more customers are targeting zero emissions across their business so it is critical that Narrow Aisle has a range that helps them to achieve their sustainability goals.”

Narrow Aisle’s Flexi LiTHiON range of Lithium-ion powered articulated warehouse trucks require zero maintenance and deliver extended multi-shift availability – making the trucks the ideal ‘green’ energy solution for modern order fulfillment operations, retail warehouses, temperature controlled stores, chemical stores and automotive manufacturing facilities.

In addition an example of new generation automated picking robot technology which the manufacturer claims can help ecommerce operators increase productivity by up to 50 per cent was presented to demonstrate the ease with which these Cobotic picking machines can interface with Flexi Trucks in a very narrow aisle storage system.

The robots and pickers work alongside Flexi Trucks safely in VNA aisles assembling customer orders. This functionality is not available in traditional VNA warehouses because it is deemed unsafe for low level order pickers to work in the same aisleway as guided man-up VNA order picking machines.

After enjoying a barbecue lunch and entertainment, guests toured Narrow Aisle’s Flexi Truck production facility at the Black Country site which the company has occupied since the mid-1980s.

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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