Monaghan based global materials handling manufacturing Combilift launched the latest addition to its product portfolio in a virtual press conference on 3 February. The NEW Aisle Master-OP (AME-OP) is a pioneering stand-on electric powered model that combines the advantages of a narrow aisle articulated forklift and an order picker for versatile operation in warehousing applications.
The development of this model was influenced by customer feedback – as has often been the case with Combilift’s innovations – as well as the recent soaring growth of e-commerce.
In explaining the latest product development Martin McVicar, Combilift CEO, said: “Customers already using the Aisle Master for space saving, storage and efficiency in their warehouse asked if we could redevelop the Aisle Master to meet their ever-growing demand for order picking customised orders.”
Research & Development carried out in 2019 & 2020 has created the Aisle Master-OP. The main feature of this unit is the step-through operator compartment which has design copyright protection (European Design Registration No. 002676809-0001) across multiple markets worldwide. The low floor height of just 280mm (11”) enables convenient, single step access from both sides of the truck which speeds up order picking compared to the operator having to get on and off from a seated position. The AME-OP truck has all the key advantages of the conventional Aisle Master – indoor/outdoor, for loading/offloading and for stock replenishment at other times during shifts when order picking is complete.
The Aisle Master-OP is available in a number of variants, with lift capacities from 1,500kg to 2,500kg, lift heights up to 12.1m and can operate in aisles as narrow as 1650mm. It features a patented chain steering system (EU Patent No. 3008008), which allows the truck to articulate more than 205°, with an inline drive motor and front drive axle assembly, all of which enable narrower aisle operation. The multifunctional programmable joy stick control lever in the operator compartment, which includes controls for the hydraulics and traction, is adjustable to enable comfortable and ergonomic working conditions for operators of all sizes. The Operator Presence Detection floor pad engages the parking brake automatically when the operator steps off the truck to carry out Order Picking.
“Before we officially launch any new model, Combilift carry out extensive field testing on customer’s sites, this was the case with the Aisle Master-OP,” added Martin McVicar. The AME-OP is now a production model within Combilift, with units currently in build for customers in the United States and in New Zealand – one of which is Sorted Logistics based in Christchurch New Zealand, a third-party logistics provider and freight forwarder who will be receiving eight AME-OP units shortly.
“This is a major innovation in the warehousing sector,” added Martin, “and the versatility to use the one Aisle Master for multiple applications – narrow aisle operation, truck to rack handling, bulk picking and item order picking – will result in strong demand for this new product in our home and export markets around the world.”