Food manufacturer chooses hydrogen for lift trucks

by MM&D Online Staff

LATHAM, New York—A manufacturer and distributor  of premium deli meats, artisan cheeses, Dietz & Watson, will deploy Plug Power Inc’s hydrogen GenDrive fuel cells in its entire fleet of class-2 and class-3 lift trucks for its new warehouse building under a full GenKey agreement.

In their newly constructed facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dietz & Watson will be using the GenDrive, GenFuel and GenCare solutions provided through GenKey. The 200,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution centre is located on 20 acres next to the company’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania headquarters and manufacturing plant. This new facility will distribute Dietz & Watson products to supermarket retailers, food service suppliers, and medium and small delicatessens throughout the US.

“After an extensive analysis of our options to operate our lift truck fleet in the most efficient manner, Plug Power offered a cost effective solution with significant potential labour savings. We are pleased to join other food industry distribution leaders such as Walmart and Wegmans Food Markets in implementing this solution,” said John Tsigounis, Vice President of Logistics for Dietz & Watson.

GenDrive fuel cells operate at maximum performance for an entire shift. When fuel cell units needs to be refueled, lift truck operators can perform this task in as little as 60 seconds. Additionally, fuel cells help customers better utilize facility space and reduce operational costs. The replacement of lead-acid batteries with hydrogen-powered fuel cells eliminates the need for large battery storage and charging rooms. This space is better allocated to productive business activities.

Previously, Plug Power customers typically saw positive economic value with large-scale lift truck fleets, upwards of 50 trucks. Now, however, due to technology improvements and streamlined supply chain management within the GenDrive and GenFuel product lines, Plug Power customers with as few as 20 lift and reach trucks are able to achieve positive payback.