Six companies awarded for innovations
The winners of the Ifoy Award 2023 have been chosen. Representatives of Agilox, Crown, DS Automotion, Hunic and Still accepted the international intralogistics award from the laudators at the Award Night in the Dortmunder U. Jungheinrich took home two of the trophies, also known as the “Oscars of intralogistics”. A laudatory speech was given by: Dr. Johannes Söllner (Managing Director, Geis Industrial Services), Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael ten Hompel (Executive Director, Fraunhofer IML), Steffen Bersch (Chairman of the Board, VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association), Thomas Westphal (Mayor of the City of Dortmund), Bettina Baumann (Founder of Baumann Paletten), Udo Schmidt (Vice President Europe, Cascade Europe) and Peter Trapp (CIO, HGK Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln).
The International Intralogistics and Forklift Truck of the Year (Ifoy) Award, which is held under the patronage of Dr. Robert Habeck, Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Protection, is known worldwide. In 2023, 21 companies with 23 products and solutions were finalists in the eleventh round of the award – more than ever before. “The jury made one of its toughest decisions in April, sending a signal for more technology in logistics. Already during the Ifoy Test Days, the outstanding level of this year’s finalists was evident, some of whom are streets ahead of their competitors on the market in terms of innovation and customer benefits. Their products and solutions will be the future benchmark for modern distribution centres,” says Anita Würmser, Executive Chairwoman of the Ifoy jury.
The Ifoy Award in the category “Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV/AMR)” was won by Agilox with the Agilox ODM. The omnidirectional dolly mover is a smart logistics robot for small load carriers. Thanks to X-Swarm Technology, the floor dolly solution autonomously finds the fastest route through the production or logistics environment. Among other things, the jury highlighted the autonomous functions for avoiding obstacles on the route very positively.
The winner in the category “Warehouse Truck highlifter” was Crown with the SP 1500 order picking truck, which scores points for performance, efficiency and ergonomics. The Ifoy Innovation Check emphasises the “unique ergonomics with very many configuration options developed from studies directly at customers’ premises”. It also highlights “the use in different aisle widths, a unique individually adjustable operation as well as the excellent field of vision”.
In the “Intralogistics Software” category, DS Automotion took home a trophy for its Arcos vehicle software. The IT makes it possible for the first time to have AGV and AMR fleets drive variably zone-based between fixed lane guidance, lane guidance with flexible avoidance as well as free navigation with a single flexible vehicle software (plannable autonomy). According to the jury, in combination with cooperative navigation, which enables the robots to take coordinated evasive action, the manufacturer offers a very efficient solution that can also integrate vehicles from other manufacturers via the VDA 5050 interface.
A total of five young companies competed for an award in the “Start-up of the Year” category this year. In the close race, Hunic convinced the jurors in the end with the SoftExo Lift. The passive exoskeleton is an extremely lightweight yet effective lifting and carrying aid. Skilled workers are supported by up to 21 percent when lifting and carrying loads. The body is relieved of up to 50 percent. In addition, incorrect movements are pointed out to the user. According to the jurors, the great innovative leap lies in the design of the exoskeleton exclusively from elastic materials.
The company won in the “Special of the Year” category with its “AddedVIEW fork camera”. The fully digital fork camera with barcode scanning reduces storage and retrieval errors. It prevents incorrectly recorded goods or storage locations in the Warehouse Management System (WMS) and thus unplanned search times, returns or loss of goods. The camera reads barcodes directly at the storage location, compares them with the specifications of the WMS and marks correct and incorrect compartments in colour as the vehicle passes. Acknowledgement is made at the steering wheel. Although the individual technologies are not new in themselves, “the combination in this exemplary implementation is to be regarded as highly innovative”, according to the jury’s verdict.
Jungheinrich also took home a second trophy. Flexible, fast, efficient: with the Powercube, Jungheinrich secured the win in the “Intralogistics Robot” category. In this automated compact tote storage system, access is possible from below, allowing for easier maintenance and variable ceiling heights. The jury highlighted several innovations, including the tote loading weight of 50 kilograms and a quick-charge function for round-the-clock operation of the robots without downtime.
Intralogistics supplier Still won one of the coveted awards for the EXH 16 in the ‘Warehouse Truck lowlifter’ category. The truck is part of the EXH 14-20 Plus series – hand-guided lowlifters and derivatives with additional lift for order-picking applications. The compact design together with the new functional tiller head and the resulting improvements in terms of operation and driving characteristics are classified as “undoubtedly new” by the Ifoy Innovation Check. The EXH thus shows that innovations have not yet found their end in this vehicle class.
The Ifoy Award honours the most innovative intralogistics products and solutions of the year. It has established itself as an indicator of cost-effectiveness and innovation and is regarded as the outstanding international innovation award in intralogistics due to its technical expertise. The basis of the decision is the three-stage audit – consisting of the Ifoy test protocol comprising around 80 criteria, the scientific Ifoy Innovation Check and the jury test. The decisive factor is that the nominees are not compared with each other, but with their competitor devices on the market.
During the Ifoy Test Days on the occasion of the Test Camp Intralogistics in Dortmund in March, all nominees went through the Ifoy audit. For the fourth year in a row, numerous potential buyers were once again on hand at the Test Camp Intralogistics. The winners of the Ifoy Award are chosen annually by an international jury of trade journalists.
The application phase for the Ifoy Award 2024 starts on 1 August 2023.