Crown Equipment Corporation, as a leading global manufacturer of lift trucks, is committed to advancing hydrogen fuel cell technology. The company was recently awarded nearly $1 million in grant money from the State of Ohio to conduct fuel cell research.
“The project is important to the technological advancement of our products, which in turn is important for our customers and to the long-term future of Crown,” said Crown President Jim Dicke III. “We are pleased with the State of Ohio and its overall efforts in working with Crown to maintain a strong manufacturing base here. Crown also appreciates being recognised as a leader in the progression of fuel cell technology.”
The development of fuel cells is a natural extension of Crown’s ongoing focus on environmental sustainability.
As a technology leader in the lift truck industry, Crown is committed to supporting its customers via the emerging hydrogen economy. This project expands Crown’s focus to actively participate in, and support the development of, environmentally friendly alternative fuels that provide power savings for its customers.
The Crown project will focus on addressing the technical and commercial barriers to the application of available battery replacement fuel cell power packs in industrial lift trucks. The study will facilitate the creation and growth of material handling equipment used in warehouses and distribution centres to be powered by fuel cells.
“There are several considerations to evaluate before a wide range of lift trucks are offered with a fuel cell as its power source,” said Dicke. “In the current design, the battery provides a counterweight to the load. Fuel cells are much lighter. We need to explore solutions, and make sure all systems are compatible to ensure the critical performance characteristics of a lift truck.”
Crown intends to review the performance of each unique combination of its lift trucks with fuel cell power. This study should reveal any necessary modifications required to maintain the intended use of the lift truck while complying with industry standards.
Alternative power is a hot topic, and the material handling industry is poised to be an early adopter of this new technology, setting the standard for other industries to follow. Fuel cell technology will likely simplify and speed up the way lift trucks are powered and batteries recharged. The State of Ohio is a leader in exploring and developing technologies that advance the Hydrogen Highway.
The grant is provided by the Ohio Department of Development and Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission.
Crown Equipment Corporation is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric lift trucks. Since the company first started building materials handling equipment in the 1950s, Crown products have won numerous industry accolades. From the smallest pallet trucks through to the largest VNA trucks, Crown uses leading-edge design, innovative engineering and high-quality manufacturing techniques to respond to the full range of customer needs, achieving exceptional standards of reliability and productivity.
Crown has a unique corporate structure, characterised by the highest levels of vertical integration in the industry. This enables the company to keep tight control of development, production and customer support. Up to 85 percent of the components used in Crown products are developed and manufactured by Crown in custom-built facilities. Crown is committed to offering customers superior value that reduces TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
Crown Equipment Corporation is a family-owned business with head offices in the USA, Australia and Germany. Crown now operates a global distribution and service network with more than 70 fully-owned subsidiaries and over 300 independent dealerships.