How Green Logistic changes intralogistics.
On the right track:
How Green Logistic changes intralogistics.
Climate change has become a social issue that affects everyone.
In this respect, the transport industry in particular is facing a challenge, since according to the Federal Ministry of the Environment, it is still responsible for 18 percent of the total CO2 emissions in the transport sector in Germany today.* Worldwide, one third of all emissions are caused by transport. The path to change is called "Green Logistics."
A first step towards a greener footprint:
From diesel to electric power.
If you think of "Green Logistics" only in terms of avoiding empty runs, you are missing the point: Intralogistics also offers many opportunities to improve the environmental balance. This is a fact recognized by more and more companies.
Heinrich Kerstgens, Co-Managing Director of Contargo GmbH, for example, explains in an interview with Melanie Endres in the magazine "Logistik heute" (issue 11/2019, p. 30): "Office buildings, warehouses, vehicles, handling equipment, and so on, still offer a lot of potential for savings through alternative drives such as batteries and fuel cells in combination with renewable energies."
Two steps are particularly relevant here: Changing the type of drive and reducing your own energy consumption. Those who phase out classic diesel for their fleet of forklift trucks and opt for the electric version can significantly reduce their "carbon footprint" and increase the competitiveness of their own company. During the service life of a battery storage unit, a massive 10 to 19 tons of CO2 can be saved compared to diesel - each litre of diesel fuel saved ensures a 2.64 kg reduction in CO2. This puts an end to the days when diesel-powered forklifts with CO2 emissions of up to 1,000 grams per kilometer were anything but environmentally friendly. In the meantime, the battery life and load capacity of modern electric trucks have reached a level that can certainly keep up with diesel or gas-powered models. The development of ever more powerful and efficient drive components has made it possible to integrate the electric drive into heavy-weight vehicles. The most powerful heavy-duty reach truck now achieves a lifting capacity of up to 20 tons.
Modern energy storage systems are also a big step towards a greener future when it comes to internal energy consumption. The electrification of the forklift truck fleet is just as sensible here as is the installation of photovoltaic systems on the roofs of commercial buildings in order to keep the vehicle fleet moving in a climate-neutral or CO2-neutral manner. With photovoltaic systems and the associated commercial storage unit, which stores the solar energy and releases it when required, companies not only benefit from the attractive EEG apportionment, but traction batteries can also be charged for little money: 1 KWh from a photovoltaic system costs just € 0.04. Depending on the system and design, this energy solution can be used to charge an entire fleet of forklift trucks during breaks without having to switch off loads, as power peaks are intercepted by an industrial storage unit.
Even without a photovoltaic system, the switch from diesel to electrical solutions can be achieved with an industrial storage system in a resource-saving manner, without excavation work and costly extension of the connected load, as offered by companies such as INTILION.
High frequency for low energy consumption
The efficiency of the adopted energy systems depends on the choice of charging technology. High-frequency chargers are particularly popular thanks to their high energy savings and are already being used successfully in many areas. In comparison with conventional 50 Hz chargers, they really impress with their up to 30 percent lower energy consumption.
Efficiency is also a decisive factor for battery fleets.
Thanks to quick access to all relevant data such as charge, utilization and readiness status via a monitoring system, they can be efficiently deployed. The modernization and optimization of existing charging stations also pays off in terms of space utilization – many operational steps are simplified through the freed-up space.
Easy on the nerves – and the resources: Outdoor charging containers.
A further benefit is the possibility of setting up an energy system with outdoor container solutions – without the need for expensive new buildings or warehouse conversions.
This creates additional space inside for smooth logistical processes: electric charging stations will not take up valuable interior space, as they also work safely and reliably outdoors.
The "Second Life" principle also benefits the environment and company capital: refurbishing batteries extends their service life. The professional disposal of used batteries is a further contribution to environmental protection. The lead contained in the batteries can be recycled almost 100%. Recycled lead is becoming increasingly important for conserving and securing resources, as it can be reused almost infinitely without loss of quality.
A bright outlook thanks to the cloud: Digitisation and logistics.
Thanks to digitisation, information and data flows have become a competitive factor that makes supply chains more intelligent. Gone are the days when energy storage devices were just individual cells that supplied energy to devices. Today we are talking about intelligent energy systems from companies such as HOPPECKE Batterien, which use digital communication to speed up work processes and thus help to save energy. A practical example: when a loaded truck reaches a logistics centre, an evaluation of the truck on site can determine in advance whether the battery power required is still sufficient, or whether the truck battery needs to be recharged.
Lower costs. More environmental protection.
Opting for electric drives not only protects the environment, but also your wallet: electric engines are much more efficient than combustion engines and are therefore more economical. Since they have no wearing parts, they also require very little maintenance. Good reasons for this drive technology are significantly lower operating costs and more efficient operation. Due to the permanent availability of drive energy, expensive downtimes can be avoided, and the risk of failure is minimised. Work and the working climate are also more pleasant for all employees – due to less noise pollution and the reduction of exhaust emissions.
As you can see: There are many good reasons for increased green logistics in intralogistics.
It’s time to look into this this topic.
*Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment: "Climate protection in figures", 2018 edition, p. 9