19 December 2019
There’s no doubt that 2019 has been a busy year for Cat® Lift Trucks as well as the materials handling industry. With multiple new product launches, updated product ranges, award winning forklifts and the introduction of new battery options, it has been a year of unparalleled product development for the company. As the year rapidly comes to an end, now feels like the perfect time for us to take stock and recap on the incredible product innovation that has taken place over the last twelve months.
Award winning forklift designs
In the Spring this year, we were delighted that the Cat® EP14-20A(C)N(T) 48V, our revolutionary electric counterbalance forklift truck developed and built at the manufacturer’s Järvenpää site in Finland, won a prestigious Red Dot Design award. An impressive achievement given that the judges tested a record total of 5500 products from 55 different countries on site in Germany before allocating the awards. They particularly highlighted the forklift’s excellent user experience and clever design, and at the award ceremony in July, the designers Kero Uusitalo and Antti Asunmaa proudly received a laureate certificate for their work on the forklift range.
A host of new Cat products
The year saw us launch various new forklift ranges to complement our comprehensive product offering, beginning with our new range of easy-handling electric hand pallet trucks. These agile 1.2 and 1.5 tonne Cat trucks are perfect for many applications and fully benefit from our thorough design approach. Built to provide an excellent user experience, highly productive performance and a low total cost of ownership, these feature-packed, high quality trucks are ideally suited to light and medium transport duties in indoor environments, including those with confined spaces. Additionally, with the efficiency of lithium-ion battery technology, the patented AC hub motor and their durable, low-maintenance design, these hand pallet trucks offer great efficiency which minimises downtime and cost of servicing.
We added extra versatility and choice to our platform stacker range with 6 new models launched in autumn to maximise productivity in a wide variety of roles. A new compact model, the space-saving but powerful 1.2 NSP12PC, ideal for filling store shelves, stacking, order picking and short internal transport work, joins the existing 15-model pedestrian stacker line-up, whilst the previous platform stackers have been replaced by an all-new five-model range. The NSV12-16P(I)(S) platform stackers, with 1.2 and 1.6 tonne capacities, can be used in pedestrian or ride-on mode and are designed for horizontal transport and stacking up to 5.4 metres. These versatile trucks include a comfortable platform which folds flat against the chassis, to save space when not required. They are adaptable to a diverse range of applications in narrow spaces, including occasional order picking, and their new style, ergonomically shaped tiller head provides a user-friendly interface on all models. The stackers’ performance is top class, thanks to the latest AC drive technology which delivers higher torque, faster travel and easier control and they benefit from a long list of additional options, such as Li-ion batteries, which help match each truck precisely to its application.
Additionally, the autumn also saw the launch of our power pallets NPV20PD and NPP16PD double pallet handler range with capacities of 2.0 and 1.6 tonnes. They are built to the highest ergonomic and safety standards to assist with horizontal handling situations in the warehouse, from short shuttles to long distances. The NPP16PD model now closes the gap of the pedestrian double pallet handler that we had in past, whilst the NPV20PD with foldable platform helps saves time by carrying two pallets simultaneously (one above the other). With the optional Over Head Guard on this pallet handler, lift heights above 1.8mtrs are possible without leaving the platform and the power steering option also allows for extremely comfortable driving with less power needed in slow moving areas.
Exciting new range additions
In 2019 we announced the launch of new range additions to both our order pickers and tow truck ranges. The new Cat® NO20N2X and Cat® NO20N2XP Scissor lift models are an addition to the NO12-25N2 Low Level Order Picker range with capacities of 2.0 tonnes. The new scissor-lift mechanism raises forks to a height of 855mm to reduce stretching and straining for the operator. Along with the NO20N2X model, there is the NO20N2XP with a rising platform. This lifts operators up to 855mm and enables comfortable picking heights up to 2.5m.
The new Cat® NTR30N2 and NTR50N2 range of Tow trucks with towing capacities of 3.0 and to 5.0 tonnes maximise both machine and operator effectiveness, thanks to their market-leading energy efficiency, control and comfort. They feature proven design and technology developed in the Cat NO-N2 range of low-level order pickers and are ideal for a wide variety of indoor towing jobs in both warehouse and industrial applications, especially in the automotive sector. Along with the NO-N2 low-level order pickers, these are the first Cat lift trucks to offer Li-ion batteries as an option.
Innovative product improvements and new lithium battery options
As part of our continued product development, this year has also seen our 1.5-3.5 and 4.0-5.5 tonne diesel and LPG counterbalance forklift trucks range have a facelift with new and improved features for safety, comfort and operator satisfaction. The main visible change to the newly modified forklift trucks is the new overhead guard with a new styling, whilst other improved features include the speed limiter and the wet disc brakes on the larger models. The models from this IC counterbalance range are a common sight in a wide variety of industrial workplaces and with an extensive selection of models, configurations and options, they can be matched closely to each application’s specific requirements.
2019 has seen us working towards having Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) battery solutions available for our complete electric range with the introduction of this new offering available on the current EP14-20A(C)N(T) range of 48V electric counterbalance trucks and low level order picker models, including: NO20N2, NO20N2P, NO25N2, NO25N2P, NO20N2X, NO20N2XP, NO12N2F and NO12N2F. The Li-ion batteries allow a host of benefits to owners including the ability to use ‘opportunity charging’ (intermediate charging at any time) and with no need to have a strict battery handling discipline (such as charging cycles, charging locations, cooling, etc.) such as with lead acid batteries. We intend to release the Li-ion options for our full electric range throughout 2020, with our reach truck range, power pallet trucks, stackers and ECB 2.5-3.5t (80V) being launched first.
Our product development has been unparalleled this year and with more innovations in the pipeline for 2020 and beyond, we are fully committed to continually improving our materials handling offering and enhancing our users’ experiences. For now, however, the month of December offers us a chance to look back on the year that’s gone and recharge before another productive year ahead.
We wish you all a wonderful, festive holiday season!
If you wish to find out more information on any of the forklift trucks mentioned above or any of our other products, please visit our website www.catlifttruck.com .