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Exhibiting at IMHX 2022

Stands 5E55

Ahead of IMHX 2022, Alexander Glasmacher, Managing Director of ELOKON GmbH to chatted to us about all things IMHX, new product launches, sustainability and key market trends to watch out for.

To learn more about ELOKON GmbH, visit them at IMHX 2022 or head over to the ELOKON website.

Following the various upheavals over the last 18 months or so the industry is now looking ahead with confidence.

The warehousing sector is particularly buoyant due to the unstoppable growth of e-commerce, and the increase in online shopping during the pandemic is a trend that is here to stay. Retailer stockpiling and supply chain challenges mean that demand for warehousing space is at an all-time high.

Take up in the first three quarters of 2021 hit 46.9 million ft², 27% up on the same period in 2020, according to property consultancy Knight Frank.

This is good news for manufacturers of industrial vehicles such as forklift trucks and automated equipment as more of these will be needed to service the high throughput of goods being handled, stored, picked and delivered. ELOKON works closely with OEMs, supplying our safety and assistance systems to major manufacturers,who report healthy order books and sales. This in turn signals growth opportunities for us in all our international markets, as guaranteeing a safe working environment for the workforce where machines and humans work in close proximity
will continue to be paramount.

On the flip side,we see significant supply chain challenges and costs which have gone up by 20-25% for key components and materials we purchase. ELOKON is proactively managing these challenges, ensuring that we have product component availability well into 2023, as we cannot yet answer the question of when the chip crisis will come to an end. 

Many suppliers and manufacturers used 2020/21 to focus on new product development and we are no exception.

We look forward to using trade fairs such as IMHX as a platform to demonstrate what we have been working on “behind the scenes” so to speak in the last year or so. We have new variants and add-ons to our flagship products ELOprotect and ELOshield for example. ELOprotect ACS (anti-collision system) enables the simultaneous operation of two VNA trucks in one aisle whilst ensuring maximum safety and collision prevention thanks to intelligent laser and scanner technology.

This is proving to be a very attractive proposition for our OEM partners, the majority of whom recommend the installation of this safety solution to their VNA customers.

We will also be unveiling the new improved ELOfleet smart phone based fleet management system, which comprehensively monitors fleet performance and individual truck activities. Just some of the benefits of ELOfleet are optimised fleet size for reduced operational costs, significantly fewer truck-on-truck accidents and enhanced protection of the workforce. 

Our solutions support sustainability as many of the products are designed to enable safe truck operation in VNA warehouses.

For new builds, this allows optimum pallet density from the outset, and by switching to VNA operation in existing premises in times of growth, companies can avoid expanding their physical and therefore their carbon footprint.

The boom in e-commerce will fuel the increased growth of automation, and a further factor for the increased use of AGVs and robotic systems in warehouses is the shortage of labour and the ageing demographic of the current workforce.

According to the CBI, 25% of staff working in warehouses in the UK in 2018 were non-UK EU nationals. The situation has changed markedly since Brexit and the sector is struggling to fill vacancies.

This leaves the way open for ever more innovative and intelligent automated solutions for materials handling, picking, scanning, moving and sortation.

Customer expectations when it comes to speedy order fulfillment and delivery have also influenced the adoption of ai-driven software and wearable scanning technology.