2022-07-13

KION Group Upgrades Jinan Plant to Enhance Customer Experience

A new Intelligent Experience Center was unveiled in June by Ching Pong Quek, Board Member of the KION Group and President of KION Asia Pacific and Americas, and the KION China management team. More than 100 guests, including customers, dealers, media representatives, and KION employees, attended the event to witness this important moment.

As one of the leading global suppliers of industrial vehicles and supply chain solutions, the KION Group is clearly committed to the future-defining topics of digitalization, mobile automation, robotics, and energy with its 2027 strategy and is working on the targeted expansion of its product range. The Chinese market is an important strategic market for the KION Group. According to the ‘World Industrial Truck Statistics’ (WITS), the Chinese economy made up roughly 40 percent of the global market for industrial trucks in 2020.

In order to meet the diversified needs of its customers in the Chinese market, KION brands Linde and Baoli have launched high-quality intelligent intralogistics products and solutions such as lithium and hydrogen fuel cells, AGVs, and digital fleet management systems in China. "The opening of the Intelligent Experience Center represents an upgrade to the Jinan plant and underlines the KION Group's commitment to the Chinese market and aims to enhance the customer experience with our technologies, products, and solutions," said Ching Pong Quek in his speech at the opening ceremony.

Automation, Digitalization, and New Energy

He then invited the guests to visit the Intelligent Experience Center, whose three exhibition areas—Automation, Digitalization, and New Energy—showcase the new achievements of KION China in these three important areas. The Automation exhibition area simulates eight typical industrial working environments for applications and shows the fully automated intelligent warehousing and logistics process from goods-in through to goods-out and goods-to person picking. The Digitalization exhibition area shows how to achieve effective collaboration among people, equipment, logistics, and networks through technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence to increase efficiency and speed for logistics and warehousing. Here, visitors can experience digital products and services such as Linde Fleet Management System, remote driving, advanced assisted driving, and shared rental, as well as smart driving and connectivity. In the New Energy exhibition area, visitors can learn about KION’s new energy products such as lithium battery forklifts and hydrogen forklifts, as well as the advanced KION self-developed “three electric technologies”, i.e., motor, electric control, and BMS battery management systems.

These "three electric technologies" are also applied to the latest generation of Linde and Baoli new energy counterbalanced forklifts, which were released at the event. These two forklifts are the first lithium-electric forklifts produced in KION’s Jinan factory. "Energy and energy efficiency are important aspects in the development of KION's 2027 strategy. The KION Group has always focused on green technologies and is committed to the evolution and transformation of energy," said Wang Shengyan, Director of KION China New Energy Business, at the launch ceremony. "This time we have combined German experience and standards with Chinese technology and the Chinese industry chain to create a new generation of Linde and Baoli new energy forklifts to meet customers’ diversified needs and to bring them cutting-edge experiences in new energy."

Besides products, KION’s Jinan factory is also devoted to providing more value-added services to customers, such as through the new Customer Options Workshop, which was officially opened at the event. The workshop will provide customers with more options for forklifts and more agile and flexible customized logistics solutions through the development, design, and production of a wide range of forklift options and tailor-made models.

Customer-centricity is at the heart of the KION Group’s business. With sufficient capacity supply, new product ranges and upgraded customer experiences and services, KION’s Jinan plant will support more customers in the Chinese market to achieve more efficient intralogistics. Jinan is the KION Group’s fifth-largest production site in China. Since end of 2021, industrial trucks from KION’s Linde Material Handling and Baoli brands have been manufactured in an area covering around 2,400,000 square feet, equivalent to over 31 soccer pitches. This is expected to create more than 1000 new jobs in Jinan in the medium-term.

The Next Chapter of a Long Success Story

The brands of the KION Group have had a presence in China for many years. Today, based on annual turnover, the intralogistics group is the leading foreign forklift truck and warehouse technology provider in China and the third-largest supplier in the country overall. The KION subsidiary Linde Material Handling launched its Chinese production arm in Xiamen, Fujian province, almost 30 years ago. In the spring of 2020, the KION Group opened a second plant for warehouse technology—mainly for the Linde MH brand—near its location in Xiamen. Baoli has been part of the KION Group since 2009 and manufactures industrial trucks at its site in Jingjiang, Jiangsu province. Dematic, the youngest member of the KION Group to date, is one of the world’s leading providers of intelligent supply chain, software, and automation solutions. The company has had production facilities in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, for the Chinese and Asian market since 2006.

Dematic in China on a clear path of growth

Linde MH and Dematic work hand-in-hand to supply Chinese supermarkets with fresh products