Innovative solutions and customer benefit
The overarching commitment to deliver efficiency, safety and ergonomic comfort also influences the KION Group and its operating units’ approach to innovation management, which targets the customer-orientated further development of the product portfolio. A key focus is on the possibilities and opportunities of increasing digitalisation, frequently referred to as Intralogistics 4.0, which arise for the KION Group, its brands and above all its customers. In the current reporting period numerous examples demonstrated the Company’s capacity for innovation – which is also a focus of the new ‘KION 2027’ strategy. From 2018, product portfolio scenario management will evaluate the product portfolio’s capacity for innovation.
Innovations for greater safety and ergonomic comfort
The Linde Load Management safety system is now available on all forklifts with an electric motor or internal combustion engine. Above a nominal load of above 50 per cent, the Linde Load Assist (LLA) function actively intervenes in the front tilt angle and the lifting speed of the industrial truck as soon as the second mast is reached. In addition, overload protection and load-dependent speed restriction provide even greater safety during operation.
Linde Speed Assist is now being mass-produced. The system adapts the truck’s speed to suit different environments by means of a ceiling or radar sensor. The next generation of the system is currently in development; it is zone-dependent and is to be realised in 2018 with the help of Comnovo’s UWB technology.
At Linde Material Handling EMEA, work continued in the reporting year on the next generation of the Linde BlueSpot, where a graphic warning symbol is projected on the ground instead of the current blue spot. The upgrade has already been field-tested and will be available from 2018 for all Linde Material Handling EMEA counterweight and reach trucks.
Automation and connectivity
Following the acquisition of Dematic, the KION Group now provides the full range of Intralogistics 4.0 solutions. These range from smart industrial trucks to fully integrated, automated intralogistics systems that can integrate autonomous industrial trucks as components. Strengthened by the Dematic R&D teams, the KION Group is in an excellent position to support its customers with tailored turnkey solutions. In terms of sustainability, the new solutions increase safety and support accident-free operator-machine interaction. Big data, which involves the analysis of vast amount of data, and the intelligent handling of the abundance of available information are major challenges.
Numerous product developments in 2017 in both segments served to further improve the automation and connectivity of warehouse and logistics solutions. For customers this will further accelerate processes, allow seamless integration of all production and logistics steps, and offer even greater performance in the same space. KION Group Annual Report 2017 – Automation and connectivity
In addition, the KION Group and its operating units expanded their range of fleet management solutions. Under the name Truck2Cloud, work is currently underway on a cross-brand solution for fleet management.