GROUNDBREAKING 

Pet food producer opts for battery-powered forklifts

AS part of its five-year fleet replacement programme, a leading manufacturer of cat and dog food, Royal Canin South Africa, has taken delivery of 11 new electric forklifts from Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC).

To maintain efficient materials handling operations at its dog food production facility and raw materials storage warehousing, Royal Canin South Africa replaces its materials handling equipment fleet every 60 months, confirms Royal Canin South Africa, Indirects, Phaphama Malashe.

This time, the company has decided to upgrade its fleet with a mixture of Doosan and Crown forklifts from GLTC. The units in question include Crown ESR5260-2.0 electric reach trucks and Crown SHR5520-1.35 pallet stackers, as well as Doosan B25S-7 and Doosan B18T-7 electric forklifts. With the addition of these units, the company now runs a total of 12 forklifts in its fleet.

“Royal Canin has decided to put its trust in Goscor Lift Trucks with another 5-year rental term, upgrading all its electric machinery to now include lithium-ion batteries and fast chargers to improve efficiency and lower maintenance costs,” explains the regional sales manager at GLTC, Dan van der Vaart.

Electric forklifts, explains Malashe, are best suited to Royal Canin’s business. When working around food, hygiene is of critical significance, from the way products are handled, to the way they are stored.

Malashe says electric materials handling solutions, particularly lithium-ion powered machines, are more environmentally friendly than diesel or LP gas alternatives and produce less pollution which is ideal for environments involving food.

Supply chain development lead at Royal Canin, Muhammad Alli, says the main driver behind the change was the need to drive efficiencies, in terms of both the investment for the machines, as well as sustainability.

“The need to drive sustainability – reduction of our carbon footprint in all our dealings – was one of the major reasons we opted for this electric fleet. The lithium-ion batteries powering the machines emit neither harmful fumes nor carbon emissions.

“In addition, ultra-high electrochemical efficiency translates into increased run-times,
reduced energy use and carbon emissions. There is also a safety benefit to it; lithium-ion batteries offer better safety – with no acid spillage, hydrogen off-gassing or battery fire risk, there are no special charging rooms required,” explains Alli.

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