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April 17, 2013

Linde' Hydrogen Fueling Systems Enables BMW Double Its Material Handling Equipment



By using the hydrogen fueling systems from Linde North America, BMW Manufacturing’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina reportedly expanded its material handling equipment.

The Spartanburg plant makes extensive use of lifts and trucks to take the process parts to assembly machines. After realizing the inefficiency of lead acid batteries that powered its forklifts, the plant replaced those batteries with over 3,500 hydrogen fuel cells from Latham, N.Y.-based Plug Power (News - Alert) Inc. One of the notable advantages of fuel cell power units is that they maintain constant power at all times, keeping vehicles running at full speed for the entire shift.

Linde supplied over 230 fueling systems to the plant’s production and logistics functions and the plant is also claimed to be one of the largest fuel cell forklift sites in the world.

Mike Beckman, vice president of Linde’s U.S. hydrogen fueling team said that, “Linde is proud that BMW displayed the confidence in Linde to supply the hydrogen fueling systems for its expansion program. It proves that our technology can help advance sustainability and lower emissions while also helping to improve the bottom line. Hydrogen already is one of the most promising alternative fuels. Because of the way it is produced, the hydrogen we supply to BMW is truly green, with only a small carbon footprint incurred during shipping.”

Linde claimed that large distribution and manufacturing facilities are now equipping its forklift truck facilities with fuel cell power to enjoy a lot of benefits and some of them are: enhanced productivity; need not change, charge and manage lead-acid batteries; ease-of-use; frees up valuable workhouse space; fuel cells are safe, clean and efficient; simple and cost effective option for customers to adopt; and more.

Duncan Seaman, BMW Group America’s head of market operations said that, “BMW’s ongoing commitment to clean production is evident in our recent expansion of our hydrogen fuel cell program. We appreciate Linde’s partnership in supporting the expansion, making our entire operation more sustainable.”




Edited by Ashley Caputo

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