The forklift market is showing an increasing number of customers demanding efficient performance rather than maximum speed from their trucks. “Blue-Q = IQ” is the latest energy saving concept to capitalise on this demand. Its focus is on economy of use and responsibility for the environment.
What is Blue-Q?
Blue-Q is most basically an autopilot system that works by optimising the motor elements within an electric forklift to save energy where it isn’t needed. The adjustments that it makes can be compared to a driver changing speed according to the flow of traffic or turning the lights on and off according to the conditions.
Blue-Q essentially amends how the forklift motor works according to the job at hand. Plus drivers do not lose any control as they can activate or deactivate the technology with the press of a blue button.
What are the Benefits?
Depending on the forklift and its equipment, this system can save 10 to 20% of the truck’s overall energy consumption. For example, an electric truck with a 1.6 tonne load capacity could make an energy saving that would equate to approximately €2,500 in cost over a period of 5 years. The technology can also make savings in terms of less wear, a longer battery life and longer battery operation per charge.
On a wider scale, the Blue-Q technology reduces the CO² emissions generated by the production of electricity – if less electricity is required then less needs to be produced.
Besides having an effect on the driving characteristics of the forklift, the Blue-Q mode has the ability to turn off auxiliary electric components. These additional consumers of electricity can account for up to 35% of the total electric consumption of the truck and therefore make for a significant chunk of the energy cost.
Some examples of how this autopilot technology works are as follows:
- The driver only requires the rear lights of the truck when reversing and so the front spotlights are automatically turned off.
- The heaters and lights are turned off if the truck is still or left alone for a certain amount of time.
Essentially, with Blue-Q, companies can save money, time and effort with their forklift operations.
Where is Blue-Q?
Blue-Q is a STILL innovation and the company’s RX50 and RX20 ranges are the first to introduce forklifts equipped with this new system. The technology is part of the company’s aim to provide a more holistic approach to the driving and the equipment of mechanical handling vehicles.