With the slogan “A History of the Future” the Hamburg intralogistics company STILL celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. On 1st February, 1920, Hans Still opened his repair shop for electric motors – it was to be the beginning of a century long success story of inventive talent, customer focus and service orientation.
Beginnings to breakthrough
Only a few years after being founded as a repair workshop for electric motors, STILL presented their own products, such as the “Matador light station”, at the Leipzig Fair in 1924. The development and repair of electric motors, generators and transformers remained the core business for many years. After the end of the Second World War STILL introduces an innovative electric truck to the market – the EK 2000 – and thus achieved the breakthrough as a manufacturer of industrial trucks. This was followed by the first forklift truck made by STILL. The introduction of the EGS 1000 electric forklift truck marked the beginning of a new era.
STILL is massively pushing the possibilities of automation solutions and assistance systems in the new millennium. The OptiSpeed truck control concept profitably combines both trends. It ensures the best possible travel speed at all times depending on lift height, direction of travel and load. The result is an increase in handling performance of up to 20 percent. With its efficiency mode, the intelligent Blue-Q autopilot enables a reduction of energy costs by up to 20 percent – without any noticeable loss of performance. The automation project at Kuraray Trosifol wins the coveted International Forklift Truck of the Year Award (IFOY Award) in the category “Intralogistics Solutions” in 2015. With a sophisticated material flow concept, semi-automatic shuttle vehicles communicate with automated reach trucks in a channel storage system for the first time in this project. Only one year later STILL presents the world’s first autonomous order picker iGo neo CX 20 and is the first industrial truck manufacturer to use robotics in intralogistics as standard.
Focusing on customers and service as the key to success
Quality, service and customer orientation were the maxims of the company’s founder Hans Still and continue to be the main pillars of the company today. The introduction of digital service portals such as the STILLReport as a web-based fleet management tool or the web application STILL neXXt fleet, are only two examples of the innovative power in the service sector.
In recent years STILL also continually expanded their range of consulting services. In a time of complex warehouse worlds with networked vehicles, closely interlinked processes and the need for ever more efficient workflows, STILL realised that, more than ever, companies need experts at their side who can provide competent advice, analyse the warehouse processes professionally and then prudently optimise the warehouse infrastructure. This applies all the more to the rapidly increasing trend towards automation.
Innovations that shape the industry
Time and again STILL demonstrates a subtle understanding of their customers’ needs and converts this knowledge into new products: The introduction of the first clear-view mast in the nineteen-seventies, for example, significantly increases the safety of both driver and his surroundings. A further milestone is the introduction of the lateral battery change on the RX 20 and RX 60 electric forklift truck models, which significantly improves the trucks’ efficiency and once again defines the standards that have now become the industry norm.