The Winners are ...


  • ECB18C - BYD Europe
  • EJQ 325 - Jungheinrich AG
  • EKX 516 - Jungheinrich AG
  • RT 4020 - Crown GmbH & Co. KG
  • Weasel at NextLevel Logistik - SSI Schaefer


Counter Balanced Truck up to 3.5 t: BYD ECB18C

BYD ECB18CThe IFOY Award in the category "Counter Balanced Truck up to 3.5 t" goes to the newly developed ECB18C from BYD (Build Your Dreams). In a tight finish, the winner was the 80-volt lithium-ion stacker – the first time a Chinese made-vehicle has been crowned the world's best forklift truck of the year.

The determining factor in the decision was the overall package offered by the European-type Chinese truck in combination with the value added by the battery technology. It need not fear comparison with its European competitors. Moreover, the winning machine solves one of the biggest problems of electric forklifts: its iron phosphate battery can be recharged extremely fast, as often as needed and without memory effect, which means it can handle three-shift duty without any problem. All that needs to be done is to charge the forklift during the breaks. The scientific IFOY Innovation Check also found the market relevance, customer benefit, degree of innovation and the type of implementation of the ECB18C to be very high.

IFOY Award – Counter Balanced Truck of the Year 2016

BYD brought the ECB18C on to the European market in December 2015. The 3-wheel forklift is powered by an 80-volt iron-phosphate battery with threephase technology and can lift 1.8 tons to a height of 6 metres.

Alongside all the advantages of the lithium-ion technology, the use of iron phosphate generates particular benefits. The power density is higher, the service life longer and the operational reliability better. Resistance to low temperatures down to -40°C additionally means longer operation in cold stores.

According to BYD, the in-house-developed batteries have a service life equivalent to that of the machine itself. BYD still guarantees 65 percent capacity after 10 years of operation. Moreover, the battery is completely maintenance-free and can be charged anywhere – without the need for an expensive charging station or replacement batteries. A battery change is no longer necessary. During the IFOY Test, the BYD ran for almost five hours in the most heavy-duty mode, easily bridging the gap to the next break, when the battery can be almost completely recharged.

Despite its powerful performance, energy consumption of the BYD is below the test average. Thanks to the different drive modes, the driver can also influence energy consumption.

The trucks designed for the demanding European market by BYD are more highly developed than rival machines made in China. They are all equipped with twin drive motors for additional manoeuvrability and maintenance-free wet brakes instead of drum brakes. The software settings are also adapted to European standards, ensuring extremely responsive handling.

The overall finish of the BYD is far superior to that of its Chinese competitors. It is fitted with a bright, modern colour display made in-house by BYD. The armrest can be adjusted to suit the sitting position of the driver. Practical mini-levers make mast operation extremely convenient, and the IFOY Test confirmed the precision of mast operation. The duplex mast in the IFOY Test provides a good view of the fork tips, and all-round visibility is also good. The forklift is remarkably compact yet is in no way restrictive for the driver. Foot and leg room are generously dimensioned.


Warehouse Truck „lowlifter": Crown RT 4020

Crown RT 4020The IFOY Award in the category "Warehouse Truck lowlifter" goes to the newly developed RT 4020 stand-up rider pallet truck from Crown.

The deciding factor for the jury was the extremely high productivity in tight spaces. The powerful threephase motor, the compact design, and the intuitive and highly responsive control elements make the RT the perfect machine for narrow and busy areas. The IFOY Innovation Check identified a compact design for the level of performance, important ergonomic features, and also and in particular a range of safety features that were implemented in an excellent fashion.

IFOY Award – Lowlifter of the Year 2016

The Crown RT 4020 forklift truck with driver platform is designed for demanding applications in modern logistics and can lift up to two tons. The top speed of 12.5 km/h and a chassis width of just 780 mm makes manoeuvring in tight spaces easy, as when loading and unloading delivery trucks, for example, or storing pallets in narrow channels. Despite its compact design, the truck still offers adequate space for the driver. In the IFOY Test, the RT 4020 was easy to handle and achieved better performance than average forklifts with fold-down platform.

 As is typical for Crown, safety and ergonomics played a central role in the development process. In terms of ergonomics, the focus is also on the spring-mounted stand-up platform, the suspended support wheel and the ergonomically designed backrest. One of the key safety features is the "Entrybar Safety Switch", which ensures that the driver's feet are always inside the vehicle contours. If the switch is in the depressed position when the vehicle is started, the forklift will not even move. If the switch is accidentally pressed during travel, the truck slowly and safely rolls to a standstill. The transverse position means visibility is good in both directions.

In contrast to its predecessor, the RT 4020 was developed in-house by Crown. This has the advantage that it ensures the use of various tried-and-tested components introduced by Crown in recent years. These include such things as the powerful, maintenance-free threephase motor, the butterfly switches, the electronic steering or the cushioned platform. The truck is optionally available in right or left-side versions and also Li-Ion ready.


Warehouse Truck „highlifter": Jungheinrich EKX 516

Jungheinrich EKX 516The IFOY Award in the category “Warehouse Truck highlifter" goes to the newly developed EKX 516 from Jungheinrich.

The key factor behind the decision is the extremely high degree of innovation as confirmed by the IFOY Innovation Check. With the introduction of the new EKX 5 series, Jungheinrich has significantly raised the bar in the segment of high rack stackers. The main features of the man-up vehicle are the modular platform concept, the lightweight design, the use of a passive vibration damping system on a VNA truck for the first time, and the similarly new synchronous reluctance motor technology.

IFOY Award – Highlifter of the Year 2016

Jungheinrich launched the new EKX 80-volt highlifter in the spring of 2015. The truck lifts loads of up to 1,600 kg, these are 100 kg more than was previously the case in this segment thanks to the reduced weight of the lightweight cabin. The maximum lifting height is 0.5 metres higher than the predecessor model at 17.5 metres.

The truck is deployed exclusively in narrow aisles and can therefore be used both for the storage and removal of standard or box pallets as well as the picking of single items. The IFOY Innovation Check found that the electric VNA forklift is of high relevance both for order picking and three-sided operation in the warehouse itself as well as in the pre-storage area.

The new machine is the first warehouse truck equipped with a new motor technology developed for the intralogistics sector – the synchronous reluctance motor. These motors use the power generated by a changing magnetic resistance (reluctance), and roughly 93 percent of the energy is converted into output – thereby halving energy losses. By a comprehensive real-world trial comparing the predecessor model with the new EKX, the new EKX 516 was slightly more cost-efficient and ten percent more productive. Thanks to the improved energy efficiency, Jungheinrich is able to guarantee that the trucks can handle two-shift duty with just one battery charge without any problem. This renders spare batteries, changing stations, expensive tools and time-consuming personnel deployment unnecessary.

In addition, a new, patented system for the dampening of mast vibrations called "Floor Pro" enhances safety and improves vehicle handling. This paves the way for a 30 percent increase in speed, and the EKX and also permits the efficient use of the EKX on sub-quality floors that are not really suitable for the use of high rack stackers. The oscillation avoidance and cushioning feature was impressively demonstrated during the IFOY Test.  

The new EKX 516 has various modules for process optimisation in the warehouse to promote efficiency of use. These include warehouse navigation and RFID as well as height and distance measurement. In addition, the EKX boasts a Jungheinrich-typical professional and spacious cabin with well-arranged control panels and ample storage space for work and personal items


Special Vehicle: Jungheinrich EJQ 325

Jungheinrich EJQ 325The IFOY Award 2015 in the category "Special Vehicle" goes to the EJQ from Jungheinrich AG in Hamburg. The EJQ was developed for the Deutsche Bahn rail company to permit the loading and separation of the wheel sets for the ICE trains and the wheel set changer.

Jungheinrich's special-purpose vehicle developers have succeeded in building a machine that meets the customer requirement of absolute precision. What characterises this truck is that the use of proven standard components creates a "whole" that is more than the sum of its parts.

The IFOY Innovation Check also classifies the degree of innovation as extremely high, as this kind of combination of multiple vehicles, each with its own powertrain, steering and brakes, is highly sophisticated in technical terms and has previously not been realised in this way in the field of materials handling equipment. One true USP is the option of operating the truck from positions on two opposite sides.

IFOY Award – Special Vehicle of the Year 2016

The solution is made up of standard components that are chiefly produced in-house by Jungheinrich. The 2.8-kW drive motors are already used in the "Junior" segment, for example, and the tiller is fitted to existing electric lift trucks. The main challenge is presented by longitudinal and transverse travel. The aisle width in which the wheel sets with a length of 2.4 metres are handled is only 2.9 metres wide, and there are also various obstacles in the aisle.

The EJQ 325 can be precision-manoeuvred in four different drive modes: straight ahead, transverse, circle and light diagonal. The modes are selected and shown via a display on the control unit. There are two buttons on the tiller (one for left-hand and one for right-hand operation) for exact positioning on the final millimetres during transverse travel. As soon as the keys are pressed, only one of the two drive units is active.

Finally, two synchronously operating hydraulic motors lift the wheel sets with a maximum weight of 2.5 tonnes and a load centre of 1,000 mm up to the desired lifting height (max. 550 mm). To ensure safe and precise positioning, the truck is also fitted with a side slider with a range of up to 700 mm and an integrated fork spreader



Intralogistics Solution: SSI Schaefer's Weasel at Next Level Logistik GmbH

SSI-Schaefer Weasel at NextLevel LogistikThe IFOY Award in the category "Intralogistics Solution" goes to SSI Schäfer's Weasel at Next Level Logistik GmbH. In a tight finish, the in-plant fleet solution with Weasel® driverless transport systems came in first to secure the title of "Intralogistics Solution of the Year".

Besides the high customer value the key factor in the decision of the jury are the low investment costs of this AGV solution. Considerably reduced investment costs open new customer perspectives in terms of automated transport solutions. Particularly in the era of Industry 4.0, it is a major advantage for companies if they can flexibly connect different in-plant areas and support processes in the front-to-end logistics environment. This system is especially beneficial for companies and start-ups whose business fields and capacity requirements tend to change at short notice.

IFOY Award - Intralogistics Solution of the Year 2016

SSI Schäfer implemented the Weasel® driverless transport systems at the NextLevel Logistik GmbH company in Eltmann near Schweinfurt. Be it containers, cartons, trays or other products of widely varying sizes up to 35 kg – at NextLevel Logistik, Weasel is responsible for all transport tasks between incoming goods, the workplaces, goods dispatch, all the way through to waste disposal. The complete hardware and software for the system was installed and went into operation within the space of just three days. One special characteristic of the solution is the automatic RFID group reading system at the goods receipt stage. Unlike conventional AGVs Weasel does not require complex sensor technology or control systems.

A further major advantage from the point of view of the fashion logistics service provider active in the fast-growing eCommerce segment, is the flexibility and easy scalability of the solution: Weasel is not rail-based and can therefore be flexibly integrated in existing infrastructures. The AGV gets straight to the work stations via an optical guiding line. This can be installed in a rapid and flexible manner and may be adapted. The solution can grow together with the business volume, and seasonal performance peaks can easily be handled by using additional Weasels.