Singled out as innovation pioneer: Crown ESR 1000 reach truck wins IFOY Award 2020

Crown has won the International Intralogistics and Forklift Truck of the Year (IFOY) Award 2020 in the “Warehouse Truck Highlifter” category for the company’s ESR 1000 Series of reach trucks. A world-famous accolade for outstanding performance, the IFOY Award acknowledges the year’s best intralogistics products and system solutions. The new ESR 1000 Series won the IFOY Award 2020 on the back of multiple innovations for boosting productivity, connectivity and operator safety. These include Crown’s newly developed Gena® operating system and Xpress Lower™ mast-lowering technology.

The independent jury of internationally respected trade journalists praised the high level of customer benefits offered by the ESR 1000 Series: “Decisive factors for the jury’s decision were the innovations in the areas of sustainability, ergonomics and safety, which are consistently geared towards high customer benefit, as well as the performance values of the truck. Particularly outstanding are the Xpress Lower Technology, which can double the lowering speed, and the energy-saving regenerative lowering”, explains Anita Würmser, Executive Chairperson of the IFOY Award Jury.

Ken Dufford, Vice President Europe at Crown, explains what this means to the company: “For me, and especially for Crown’s engineers, it’s an enormous honour to be presented with our fourth IFOY Award for forklift technology. This award acknowledges that our work produces valuable resources for our customers and our industry in general. Going beyond traditional product development to create advanced solutions that deliver genuine added value is an integral part of Crown’s DNA. We build rugged, durable, reliable forklift trucks, but we also develop trendsetting solutions that supplement forklifts and complement operator skills. Our development strategy has always prioritised productivity, safety of operators and ergonomics.”

The new ESR 1000 Series: smart, efficient and reliable – for real performance

Transport and logistics services provider Voigt Logistik has been using the reach truck for some time and is impressed: “Crown’s recently launched ESR 1000 Series is a reach truck that our operators have come to appreciate for its many innovative features such as Auto Height Select, Capacity Data Monitor and the brand new, intuitive Gena operator experience,” reports Jan-Peter Wingert, Site Manager at Voigt Logistik in Neumünster, Germany.

The ESR 1000 Series offers innovative technology paired with new, intelligently connected features in the Gena operating system that provide operators a data-rich user experience and which enable them to work precisely and effectively at any height without compromising productivity.

Operators and warehouse managers, as well as service and safety managers, all benefit from the Gena operating system, newly developed by Crown and making its debut in the ESR 1000 Series. The Gena system is intuitive, customisable and interactive, offering a new and engaging operator experience. A 7-inch colour touchscreen allows the operator to choose from 25 languages and from a growing range of widgets displaying key forklift functions such as operating time, steering angle, speed and battery charge. The new Gena operating system optimises the forklift’s performance ­and makes crucial information easy to see, understand and use, helping operators to boost their productivity.

Another ESR 1000 innovation is the Xpress Lower technology, which is capable of doubling the truck’s mast-lowering speed to 1.1 m/s. This speed is unique in the market, enabling up to 21 percent more productivity overall. Far from consuming extra energy, the mast-lowering function feeds the energy released during the lowering process back into the battery. In combination with the ESR 1000’s regenerative braking system, this can result in energy savings of up to 11 percent. Crown has a flexible response to the various energy sources currently available on the market. Like all Crown lift trucks, the new ESR 1000 Series is available with lithium-ion power, but with the help of our service technicians it can also be switched over to lead-acid batteries at any time to match the energy profile of specific applications.

The Auto Height Select feature enhances precision. Operators can use this automatic, predefined height selector to stop the forks at programmed rack heights or by using the one touch button to stop the forks at the next programmed height. This precise, automated positioning helps to avoid product, rack and truck damage while simultaneously improving throughput. As the forks rise, the truck’s colour display shows their current shelf height, alerting the operator as soon as the forks reach the programmed target height. Programming different rack heights for multiple warehouse zones is straightforward by utilizing the remote navigation knob used in conjunction with the Gena display.

The Capacity Data Monitor is an equally useful feature, giving operators an at-a-glance view of load weight, lift height and residual capacity so they can ensure that load handling stays within safe limits.

Prizewinning performance

Over the IFOY testing period in February 2020, held in Hanover, Crown’s new reach truck dominated the competition. The ESR 1000 Series passed the test organised by independent journalist and IFOY tester Theo Egberts, then continued to make an excellent impression during the scientific IFOY Innovation Check and subsequent jury test. Apart from innovation, other test criteria included economy, energy efficiency, sustainability, safety, ergonomics and design.

The IFOY Award is one of the world’s most prestigious international awards for logistics and material handling solutions. Winners are selected by a jury of internationally reputed trade journalists. This is the fourth time that Crown has won the coveted award: Crown’s previous IFOY Award winners include the company’s wireless InfoLink® fleet management system (in 2013), QuickPick® Remote order-picking technology (in 2014) and the RT 4000 Series of ride-on pallet trucks (in 2016).

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