Efficient order picking
28 May 2019
Linde N20 C: A new generation of low-level order pickers
It is a broad-based product offensive: Linde Material Handling is renewing and expanding its range of industrial trucks for order picking applications in order to offer the most comprehensive product portfolio in the industry. Eight new models of the Linde N20 C low-level order picker are the first such trucks to be launched. They ensure comfortable, safe and above all cost-optimized order picking in the load range between 1.2 and 2.5 tons.
From home improvement stores to food wholesalers, from the automotive industry to contract logistics: The picking of goods is a core task in every warehouse – and a very cost-intensive one at the same time, due to the high proportion of manual activities involved. This is why Linde Material Handling attached particular importance to user support when developing its new trucks: Even the standard versions of these order pickers, which can reach speeds of up to 14 km/h, offer a high level of driver comfort, which can be enhanced through additional optional equipment depending on the application needs.
One thing is clear: Demands have grown steadily during recent years. Be it shorter delivery times needing to be met just as adequately as seasonal peaks – for example during the Christmas season – or rising labor costs. Pick rates and throughput times must be increased, error rates reduced, and the health-related absence of employees prevented. “With the various versions of our new order picker, customers can keep their logistics costs under control in traditional person-to-goods applications and increase the efficiency of their warehouse,” Eloïse Lévêque, International Product Manager at Linde Material Handling, summarizes with regard to the advantages.
Increased ergonomics for more efficient processes
With the arrangement of the battery, driver’s stand-on platform and load-handling module, Linde Material Handling has adopted the standard market design for the N20 C, which is particularly beneficial for operators of mixed fleets: Drivers do not have to rethink the operation of the vehicle when switching back and forth between trucks from different manufacturers. The low entry height of merely 130 millimeters and the wide vehicle access (428 or 418 millimeters depending on the model in question) make it easy to enter and leave the driver’s platform, something which is required frequently during day-to-day order picking.
Ergonomically positioned handles provide a secure hold, even when reversing. Optional equipment features include the pneumatically damped stand-on platform, which reduces the impact and shocks experienced by the driver when the truck is used on uneven ground. The standardly padded backrest, which provides for a safe position while driving, can optionally be adjusted to suit the operator’s height. A fold-out driver’s seat (with sensor for driver recognition) is also integrated for longer distances or waiting times. Additional comfort when sitting is ensured by the optionally available padded knee protection.
Everything in view
The Linde N20 C is operated via the new, height-adjustable steering wheel – a highlight of the new industrial truck generation. Rocker switches for forward and reverse driving are integrated into the round shape which has a rubberized surface for optimum grip. They can be operated on both sides using the thumb or index finger. To ensure driving is as distraction-free as possible, the Linde engineers have deliberately positioned the multi-function color display below the steering wheel. The clearly arranged screen displays the most important information relevant to the truck – from the state of the battery charge to service instructions.
Connected and safe
Upon request, the modular fleet management software “Linde connect” with access control, damage monitoring and usage analysis can also be installed on board the new trucks.
Picking is usually carried out in a very busy environment, which entails increased risk of material damage and accidents – and thus higher risk of unplanned consequential costs and operational disruptions. To prevent this, the Linde N20 C comes with a whole range of standard and optionally available safety features. Extremely important for the driver is the excellent view of the driveway and load. Additional features include the hydraulically assisted braking unit – which is one of a total of three braking systems on board. It varies the braking effect of the order picker in relation to the load picked up. The Linde Curve Control system reduces the speed in relation to the steering angle and prevents tip-over accidents when navigating corners. To reduce expensive damage to shelves, goods or the vehicle itself, special bumpers can be mounted on the front of the truck. Additional equipment features such as powerful LED front headlamps, the Linde BlueSpot, front panoramic mirror, protective screens or grids for the mast and various load guards round off the range of offerings.
Solutions tailored to customer needs
Fleet operators also have a wide range of options regarding the general design of the new series: The Linde N20 C can be ordered as a double-deck version (D), with long load arms and covering forks (LoL), with a scissor lift function (LX), with extended forks of up to 3,100 millimeters and as a high-performance version (HP) for its 2.5t model. In this way, the truck can be adapted specifically and as economically as possible to the respective application. As more and more warehouses feature pick positions not only at the lowest rack level but also at the level above, Linde Material Handling has now added a lifting stand-on platform to its portfolio for almost all of the aforementioned design variants: Thanks to this, the driver can safely reach parts and goods up to a height of 2.8 meters.
In terms of drive, both tried-and-tested lead-acid batteries and modern lithium-ion batteries in combination with different chargers are on offer to power the new Linde N20 C. The large selection of batteries (345 Ah to 620 Ah) means that the most suitable solution can be found for every need. Battery change can be vertical or lateral.