5-ton electric forklift truck in use within the brewery

Challenge: Electric forklift trucks with an individual demand profile should be used to reduce soot and noise emissions. 

Solution: The development of STILL translated the demands into a marketable product. The STILL RX 60-50/600, which has been specially designed to match the requirements of the drinks industry, impresses with its speed, acceleration and clear vision. 

STILL products: RX 60-50/600, electric forklift truck

Krombacher, one of the most modern breweries in Europe, has long been considering the use of electric forklift trucks in order to reduce soot and noise emissions. STILL worked together with Krombacher to develop a reinforced electric counterbalanced forklift truck of the RX 60-50/600 type, which has now proved its worth in the logistics centre of the independent brewery.

At Krombacher, one of the largest independent breweries producing over 5.5 million hectolitres, sustainability and CO2 savings play a central role. By using electric forklift trucks, soot and noise emissions should be reduced, yet the same handling capacity should be maintained. In the 19-hectare logistics centre, 12 electric and 25 diesel forklift trucks transport and load the road trains with heavy pallets containing filled containers. With the STILL RX 60-50/600, which has been specially tailored to the needs of the drinks industry, four new strong electric forklift trucks are currently proving their worth in the logistics centre.

Krombacher is increasing its turnover again

Increasing turnover in a highly competitive beer market has been the success story of Krombacher Privatbrauerei Bernhard Schadeberg in Kreuztal-Krombach in Siegerland for over 200 years.

In the warehouse in Kreuztal, both full and empty containers are stored on pallets. It has been designed as forklift-operated floor-block storage. More than 4 km of pallet transport technology guarantees smooth transportation of the pallets to and from the filling plants. The warehouse operations for the full and empty containers are controlled by means of a warehouse management system with a forklift guidance system. What is more, goods tracking is, of course, guaranteed from production right through to customer delivery.

Fleet of forklifts with diesel and electric forklift trucks

In the three-shift operation, an average of 230 lorries are loaded and unloaded every day, with up to 350 lorries at peak times. Günter Hombach, Head of the finished goods warehouse and loading at Krombacher, emphasises: “Our fleet of forklifts with diesel and electric forklift trucks moves approx. 32,000 pallets every day. Due to the size of the warehouse, we need to transport our products in the logistics centre efficiently from one site to another“.

A forklift guidance system coordinates around 37 diesel and electric forklift trucks. At the same time, it organises the delivery, return and dispatch and the replenishment control for the filling plants and the buffer zones and order picking zones. Storage and removals and spatial information is entered into the system by scanning the pallet labels. Pallets with empty containers are unloaded using forklifts and transported to the automated pallet conveyors. From here they enter the buffer storage or the filling area directly.

The efficiency of the STILL electric forklift truck is impressive

Together with STILL, Krombacher defined the demand profile for the electric counterbalanced forklift truck RX 60 with up to a 5-ton load capacity in numerous workshops. The development of STILL translated the demands into a marketable product. The RX 60-50 fulfils all significant standards for driving speed, lifting speed and lowering speed, acceleration time, turning radius and the time required for a complete battery change. At present, 12 STILL electric trucks are proving successful at the Krombacher brewery. The RX 60 has a load capacity of up to 5 tons and is therefore the strongest member of this forklift family. The speed, acceleration and clear vision are all factors that have received particular praise from forklift drivers. In fact, the intensive collaboration of STILL engineers with Krombacher paid off. The review is very good because forklift drivers can load and unload the pallets more quickly. 

The electric forklift truck also achieves excellent results in comparison to an IC truck. The burnout time for the soot particle filter is around 30 minutes, whereas a battery change takes approximately 5 minutes. This is, of course, a significant difference in terms of the availability of the equipment. Due to the quiet and environmentally friendly drive, the RX 60 is not just the optimum solution for use in halls, it is also increasingly proving its worth in external use at the Krombacher brewery.

The powerful and reinforced 5-ton electric forklift truck RX 60-50/600 is proving its worth

The RX 60-50/600 is a compact and reinforced electric counterbalanced forklift truck with an extended load centre of 600 mm and a load capacity of up to five tons. Michael Arndt, Head of STILL Product management explains: “This reinforced and manoeuvrable forklift will predominantly be used in the drinks industry and automobile industry. With a total length of less than 3 metres, this forklift is the shortest truck in its class“.

Stronger triple lifting equipment and reinforced lifting and control components

Due to the larger load centre, this forklift has undergone numerous changes compared with the previous RX 60-50. The specially reinforced lifting equipment contributes to an increase in nominal load capacity, amongst other factors. It can lift up to 1150 kg more depending on the lifting height. Durable mast rolls and a reinforced fork carriage have, of course, also been newly developed for this and the driver was also taken into consideration here. The seat provides the driver with support to the side and in the spinal area thanks to its high backrest. 

The STILL Product Manager, Michael Arndt notes: “Improvements in the suspension and reduction in human vibrations can be further improved using a longer spring deflection and using a horizontal spring as an additional option”. The fabric upholstery also increases the sitting comfort. The small, smooth, sporty steering wheel significantly reduces the strain on the wrists and the neck and shoulder muscles. The adjustable steering column can be adapted to the driver in a user-friendly manner.

Users inform us of their experiences

Everyone at Krombacher is extremely satisfied. Krombacher was involved in the development of the electric counterbalanced forklift truck RX 60 product line from the outset. The advantages are obvious: The reliability and high availability of the electric forklift truck have also convinced Günter Hombach. He emphasises: “Our forklifts must always be functional. We can’t afford breakdowns. Therefore we place a great deal of value on reliability and a personal service. We have worked successfully with STILL for several years and are completely satisfied with the level of safety and service of the STILL electric forklift truck“. He recently ordered two new electric forklift trucks of the powerful RX 60-50/600 type.

Additional Information

You can find out more about the trucks and systems that are used at Krombacher here: