Valmet Automotive has acquired over 100 electric forklifts from Toyota Material Handling Finland Oy for internal logistics at the Uusikaupunki plant.
The value of this agreement is several million euros, making it the largest forklift investment in Finland. The acquisition improves the occupational safety at the plant and significantly reduces the emissions and operating costs created by forklift traffic.
As a result of the deal, only electric forklifts will be used at the plant. Forklifts have a critical role in the material flow of vehicle production. Electric forklifts offer longer service intervals, fewer maintenance targets and lower energy costs compared to fuel powered forklifts. Also the working environment improves when exhaust emissions are removed.
At the same time, a significant share of trucks powered by lead-acid batteries are replaced with new forklifts powered by lithium-ion batteries to further enhance the efficiency of internal logistics. Compared with lead-acid battery, the shorter charging of lithium-ion battery saves working time, its life cycle is about triple and the energy consumption is about 30 percent lower.
“On the Finnish scale, the size of the vehicle plant’s forklift fleets is significant, the annual utilization rate is high and the material volume transported with the forklifts is absolutely enormous. This sets strict demands on forklift durability, maintenance operations and life-cycle costs,” says Pasi Nieminen, CEO, Toyota Material Handling Finland Oy.
“The transition to electric-powered equipment and lithium-ion battery technology will bring annual savings of hundreds of thousands of euros on the forklifts’ operating costs. Improving occupational safety and reducing environmental emissions support the sustainability strategy of the car plant,” says Ismo Haaparanta, VP Supply Chain Management, Valmet Automotive.