See the new Flexi VNA truck ranges at IMHX 2022

IMHX 2022 will see the launch of Cold Chain Federation member Narrow Aisle Ltd’s latest Flexi ACiON and Flexi LiTHiON VNA truck ranges. 

With all drive, hydraulic and power-steering functions digitally controlled, the trucks in the Flexi ACiON (lead acid battery-powered) and Flexi LiTHiON (lithium-ion battery-powered) collections are described as a ‘tour de force’ in articulated lift truck drivability, reliability and battery energy saving. 

The introduction of digitally controlled motors for steering and all other key functions delivers a more integrated truck performance and results in greater reliability, more pallets moved per hour and significantly reduced maintenance costs.

Full digital control means that all models are ultra-energy efficient: regenerative energy produced every time the truck’s mast is raised or lowered, as well as during forward and reverse travel and by movement of the steering wheel, feeds back to the battery to maximise the time that the truck can perform between battery changes or charges. 

In addition, noise levels are significantly reduced and steering and mast control operations – whether using the lift/lower or sideshift functions – are carried out with optimum precision at all times. 

But it is not just ‘under the bonnet’ where enhancements have been made: when developing the new Flexi ACiON and Flexi LiTHiON range, Narrow Aisle’s design team sought to produce the ultimate driver-friendly articulated forklift trucks on the market. 

All aspects of operator visibility have been improved. For example, the trucks’ HiVis overhead guard has been redesigned and reconfigured to ensure perfect upward visibility of the forks and the load when stacking. The guard also features a soft grey finish that is proven by optometrists to be ‘easy on the eye’ to further aid the operator’s through vision.

Clear forward visibility is ensured by the use of three-stage lift masts, which feature four-lift cylinder technology that not only delivers full fork vision to make pallet entry clear and straightforward, but also provides class-leading lateral stability.

The latest Flexis have been developed to make order picking duties easier and safer. For instance, the ‘Halo bar’ feature provides the most comfortable single-handed action to mount or dismount the truck during intensive applications. All models are fitted with a fully weight adjustable premium seat which, combined with the trucks’ adjustable steering column, reduce operator fatigue – even during the longest shifts.

Models in Narrow Aisle’s Flexi ACiON and Flexi LiTHiON Truck ranges can operate safely and efficiently in aisles down to just 1.6 metres wide and can lift loads weighing up to 2.5 kg to heights of 14 metres. The Flexi’s 220° articulation feature that makes turning easier and faster is incorporated into all models in the range to ensuremore pallet movements per hour. 

In addition, visitors to the Narrow Aisle stand will be able to see the unique FlexiPick layer order picking system. The FlexiPick allows users to take advantage of the increasingly popular layer quantity FMCG order assembly concept. It allows retail customers to order boxed products on a larger quantity with up to five different products (SKU’s) per pallet, without the need to invest in the kind of high fixed cost automated handling technology that previous layer picking systems have relied upon.

Thanks to its articulated chassis design, the FlexiPiCK system is the perfect platform for layer picking technology. When using the FlexiPick full pallet loads of the most popular layer quantity products in the DC are arranged in an aisle format at ground level and with assembly stations positioned at the end of each aisle. The FlexiPick’s integrated hydraulic arms carefully lift single or multiple layers of product and deliver each individual layer picked to the assembly station where a load is made up of full layers.

The FlexiPiCK system works comfortably in access aisle of less than two metres – which hugely reduces the floor space footprint required. Furthermore, steel guidance rails are not required for the system to function at faster picking rates, which allows a more flexible load assembly aisle layout with more product options included.

Layer picking has become increasingly popular in the USA, where it is seen as a solution to manual handling stress injuries on high volume case picking operations. By picking orders in layers, FMCG companies can reduce case quantity picking costs by a huge amount – which provides opportunities to offer reduced costs to clients that place larger orders in layer quantities. 

With its headquarters, design and manufacturing facilities in the UK, Narrow Aisle Ltd has supplied over 10,000 Flexi articulated forklift trucks to users throughout the world and has a global network of over 65 authorised distributors. 

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