Giving customers choice to reduce emissions
Konecranes has launched an innovative new concept to help its customers save fuel and reduce emissions, GreenPort spoke to Håkan Andersson Konecranes product manager to find out more
The Ecolifting concept ties right in with the lift truck expert’s sustainability drive and is in effect an offering of three new greener driveline solutions for customers.
Each driveline aims at delivering between 25 and 40% fuel savings for operators through a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.
“We are launching three different solutions for reduced emissions, with the intention of offering a suitable for solution for as many customers as possible. Because we think it is important to start now. All three solutions offer reduced emissions, without compromising the productivity or the economy,” says Mr Andersson.
The Ecolifting concept consists of the Power Drive option which can provide up to 15% fuel savings; Flow Drive, with up to 25% fuel savings; and the pioneering Hybrid Drive, offering up to 40% fuel savings.
Of the three options, Mr Andersson says that the Power Drive option is the most cost-efficient way to start reducing emissions and fuel expenses, due to its very short payback time.
He says that the Power Drive saves on fuel and cost, yet retains the same power, saving thousands of euros annually compared to lift trucks with a normal driveline.
The second option, Flow Drive cuts down fuel consumption and emissions while increasing the time spent on active operations with a minimal financial investment. Mr Andersson says that the solution brings concrete benefits to everyday operations – a precise, smooth ride, reduced noise and less cabin vibration – and a significant increase in overall productivity.
Flow Drive cuts down fuel consumption by up to 25%.
Konecranes’ third option, the Hybrid Drive lift truck is a leader in the next generation of sustainable lift trucks, it can drive down fuel consumption by up to 40% benefitting business, users, processes and the environment, says Mr Andersson.
The right choice
Mr Andersson says that some of the new fuel saving features on offer can be downloaded along with software updates and depending on complexity, various levels of hardware updates are also possible.
When it comes to converting to one of the ecolift options, it’s about looking at which equipment the customer is using and which option would be the best fit for them.
“We say that Konecranes lift trucks are built for your world, meaning that they are adapted for customers unique requirements. That goes for our Ecolifting portfolio, as well,” says Mr Andersson.
“The strategy on how to implement changes and at what speed will vary between companies and operations.”
So, by giving customers the ecolift portfolio, Konecranes said it is serving a greater portion of the market.
For example, says Mr Andersson, the Power Drive option makes it possible to important steps without major changes in infrastructure or training of staff.
For the Hybrid Drive option, the conversion process is more complicated. Therefore, the impact on the customers operations is somewhat bigger. But conversely, the benefits in terms of reduced emissions and cost efficiency are also much more significant.
In between these two solutions in terms of ease of conversion and emission reductions, sits the Flow Drive. The ‘medium’ size option if you like. For a relatively small extra investment, Konecranes said that the driveline can provide up to 25% reductions combined with improved working environment for the driver.
Ecolifting in action
There are added benefits for an operator too when it comes to performance monitoring of the new equipment.
Through the Konecranes truconnect option, customers can gain access to operating data from a number of the company’s reference machines to study the performance of the green driveline solutions in action.
Mr Andersson points out that Konecranes also has reference customers with which it can do in-depth studies to improve the technology even more in future.
“In this way we can effectively compare the machines equipped with Ecolifting solutions versus traditional technology,” he says.
The Power Drive is currently the most popular option from the Ecolifting portfolio, probably since it is a quite a cheap investment, for example the Swedish port of Helsingborg has a couple in operation.
Meanwhile, there are several Hybrid Drive lift trucks in operation at DIT in Duisburg, which has more on order.
Konecranes is expecting that its newest addition to the range, Flow Drive will have the same kind of uptake in future.
Mr Andersson points out that Konecranes is seeing an overall increased interest among most of its customers for greener driveline solutions.
But it is a mixed picture across the globe. It is still introducing cleaner diesel engines in some markets while in other markets customers are already asking for fossil free drive lines.
Fundamentally, Mr Andersson says that the Ecolifting portfolio is a good way of bridging the gap between these two markets and helping operators begin making improvements in both efficiency and carbon footprint.
We believe that our Ecolifting portfolio is a good way of starting up the discussion since we are offering a varied portfolio of solutions.
The business strategy for Ecolifting is to offer customers solutions they can use now with great results and not just “talk about what we can offer in the future.”
“We are constantly developing and testing new solutions with reduced fuel and emissions. As many others we are also looking closely at different fossil free solutions,” Mr Andersson concludes.
Flagship hybrid lift truck
Konecranes is no stranger to the eco market and one of its flagship products is its Hybrid reach stacker.
The reach stacker recovers the energy created from braking and lowering loads and stores it in the super capacitor for later use. A fuel-efficient diesel engine propels a generator, and basically provides needed electric energy to the energy storage.
The energy storage in turn provides electric power to the electric drive motor as well as to the electrical motors that drive the hydraulic pumps. The electric motors can operate in generation mode, returning brake energy as well as load lowering energy through the hydraulic return flow back to the energy storage.
Many Konecranes reach stacker models which cater for top and combi handling of laden containers can be turned into a hybrid reach stacker.
Some of the benefits of conversion include:
* Increased productivity with quicker operator responses in lifting, lowering, and driving
* More than 30 % fuel savings in operations, according to customer testimonial
* Easier maintenance due to modular solutions and self-diagnostics
* Up to 100 tonnes less CO2 emissions at 5000 running hours per year
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