Kion buys into energy management software maker

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Kion Group is acquiring a stake of just under 20 percent in ifesca GmbH, a specialist in software for the energy industry. The Group’s investment, totaling around €5 million, makes it the second-largest shareholder in ifesca.

Founded in 2016 in Ilmenau, Germany, ifesca specializes in digital energy management solutions. The company has developed ifesca.AIVA(R), forecasting software that uses artificial intelligence to help manage energy grids more efficiently in near-real time. This specialist software has been designed to predict how much energy will be consumed and generated – particularly from renewable sources – and to efficiently manage and optimize production based on the supply and use of energy.

The algorithm-based application learns more quickly the longer it is used, which means that it is continually improving the predictive power and quality of the data. The end result is that users are able to make better forecasts.

“Thanks to ifesca’s AI-based software, we will be able to offer our customers a complete solution for their energy management needs,” explains Stefan Prokosch, senior vice-president of brand management at Linde Material Handling, a subsidiary of the Kion Group.

“The platform’s ultra-precise forecasts will allow customers to plan the optimum operating times for their fleets of industrial trucks, to avoid peaks in loading and unloading, and in doing so to significantly reduce their energy costs. The platform also has open interfaces, which means it can be easily and flexibly integrated into existing energy management systems. This adds genuine value for our customers and therefore for us too.”

Under its Kion 2027 strategy, the Kion Group is placing particular emphasis on sustainable energy and energy efficiency. The Group’s global research and development activities are focused on drive technologies of the future.

Kion already produces numerous drive technologies, from internal combustion engines to lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, and fuel cells. Electric-powered industrial trucks already account for around 87 percent of order intake in the Group’s Industrial Trucks & Services segment.

In June of this year, Kion subsidiary Linde Material Handling unveiled new electric forklift truck models (Linde X20 – X35) with a load capacity of 2.5 to 3 tonnes whose power output is comparable with IC trucks driven by internal combustion engines.