International Construction's APEX powered access exhibition preview
By Maria Hadlow19 July 2011
The Apex aerial platform exhibition in September 2011 is perfectly timed for a recovery in the access equipment market after several years of low investment by rental companies and end users.
Major rental companies and contractors have been extending the lives of their fleets, but machine replacement will become an economic necessity for many buyers over the coming 12 months.
At the same time as demand starts to return in developed access markets in Western Europe and North America, Apex will also attract buyers from the fast growing new access markets such as the Middle East, Eastern and central Europe and countries like India and Brazil.
Many manufacturers are waiting until Apex to reveal important new launches, however there is much talk that products will fall into one of two camps - either inexpensive or cheap to own, or niche with high rental return.
The challenge of supplying the market with versions of popular models which have been re-engineered to be lower cost to the customer has been discussed, and it is possible that some of the larger manufacturers may take advantage of the Apex audience to introduce the first of these machines. Visitors to the show should expect three new products in this vein from Manitou.
Addressing cost from another angle is the school of thought which believes that a machine must be "cheap to own", by which they mean a larger up-front costs to ensure a robust machine which will withstand the rigors of the rental market, require very low maintenance and have a long working life. This is the philosophy of French manufacturer ATN, which has launched a 12 m and 15 m working height narrow scissor lift. These will be on show at Apex, perhaps with a 20 m version too, although the market will probably have to wait to see the 18 m version of the company's Zebra articulated boom.
In the second category are niche machines, which can command good rates in rental fleets. PB Lifttechnik will show modifications to its specialist scissor lift range - although were unwilling to share just what these might be - and Holland Lift's range of high reach 1.2 m wide electric scissor lifts that are suited to warehousing and high bay applications will also be exhibited.
Innovative safety features
Niftylift, the UK company which specialises in low weight machines, has carried out innovative work on safety with its overhead crush-protection sustainable involuntary operation prevention system (SiOPS). Visitors will also be able to see Niftylift's environmentally sensitive hybrid power systems in the form of the HR17 Hybrid 4x4 and the HR21 Hybrid AWD - 14 m and 21 m working height articulated booms.
Low environmental impact is also claimed for Italian manufacturer Airo's new A12JE and A15JE boom lifts. These are 12 m and 15 m working height machines with 7.5 m and 8.6 m outreach respectively, and are compact and electrically powered. The motor which powers drive and lift is designed to improve positioning precision and a variable displacement pump allows more movements to be carried out simultaneously increasing the speed to work site.
Spider platforms fall into the niche category, but while it is known that German manufacturer Teupen will have new machines, the company is remaining tight lipped about what the developments will be for now.
There are also a number of scissor lifts on show from Italian manufacturers. Oil & Steel has its Octopussy Evo 1800 18 m tracked platform, while CTE will show its 17 m Traccess 170 m and 23 m Traccess 230. CMC says it will show the Spider 24, a 24 m working height machine which was developed during the early part of the year.
There will be a wealth of exhibits from truck mounted manufacturers. Bronto Skylift has revealed that it will be showing a new 50 m truck mounted platform at Apex. The new machine is reported to have, "unrivalled outreach performance," but the company is keeping other details confidential until the exhibition.
Palfinger Platforms and Ruthmann will also have some big machines on show. Palfinger Platform's WT 530 has a working height of 53 m and the maximum outreach is 39 m with a cage capacity of 700 kg on a three axel chassis, while Ruthmann will show its T580 58 m working height machine with 40 m outreach.
Also new from Palfinger Platforms are models for 3.5 tonne and 7.5 tonne chassis, although further details are not yet available. A little more is known about Ruthmann's new T330 - it is a
33 m model mounted on a 7.5 tonne chassis with a 21 m outreach.
Italian manufacturer, Multitel Pagliero, meanwhile, is celebrating 100 years in business this year. Renzo Pagliero managing director of the family run and owned company says that alongside the new machines already shown - the HX 195 19.5 m working height machine mounted on a 3.5 tonne chassis and the 29 m working height MX290 mounted on a 7.5 tonne model - at least two more new machines will be launched this year, with at least one of these on show at Apex.
Another Italian manufacturer with a number of launches rolling out this year is Socage.
Visitors to Apex can look forward to a 20 m working height A314 boom mounted on an all electric vehicle from TAAM an Italian electric vehicle specialist.
At the Samoter exhibition in Verona, Palazzani sales manager Severino Zatti said that he hoped to show one of the company's new truck mounted machines at Apex - the first 32 m machine - marking a return for the company to the truck mounted sector.
Meanwhile, the Italian manufacturers continue to innovate. Oil & Steel will show the Snake 2311 Compact REL for the first time at Apex and Imer will have its new range of truck mounted platforms on display at the exhibition.
Award winning machines
Visitors can also see first-hand the winner from this year's International Awards for Powered Access (IAPAs) in the product of the year in the truck mounted category - CTE's B-Lift 20:13.
Isoli will have two new machines in the 3.5 tonne class, both designed with compact footprint and rapid set up. CMC will be concentrating on the innovations it has made during the year and showing its 3.5 tonne chassis mounted range.
And new products will be on show from outside Europe as well - visitors to Apex can look forward to seeing equipment from China on the stands of Beijing Jingcheng Heavy Industry, Jingcheng, Sinoboom and Zhejiang Dingli Machinery.
Of course the North American manufacturers will not disappoint either, and Skyjack has revealed that it expects to show the long awaited SJ16 vertical mast machine at Apex, by which time, according to sales and engineering manager Brad Boehler, the company will be "absolutely entirely happy with it".
Apex 2011 is attracting the cream of the world's access manufacturers, established major buyers and a wide range of new potential customers and exhibitors. The event, which is organised by IPI (Industrial Promotions International) and officially sponsored by KHL's Access International magazine, will be taking place for the seventh time and three years after it was last held in September, 2008.
Tony Kenter, managing director of IPI, said, "This Apex show is selling fast. The global access market shows a high interest in booking stand space and Apex 2011 promises to be a very successful event."
The show will again be supported by IPAF (International Powered Access Federation). Tim Whiteman, IPAF's managing director, said, "Apex 2011 will be one of the most important events for the industry. IPAF is going to be present and will again organise a series of meetings during and around the show for its worldwide membership."
For more information, visit www.apexshow.com