Fuel cell in logistics
With Schaeffler joining the Clean Intralogistics Net (CIN), 14 companies with a total turnover of around 500 billion euros and one million employees are now organized in the industry network. Among other things, CIN is committed to fuel cell technology in intralogistics.
“Industry clusters like the CIN are of enormous importance in global competition – for the industry and for Germany as a location. In the field of mobility, the cards are currently being reshuffled. The field of intralogistics can already provide the blueprint for many questions of future mobility today,” explains Wolfgang Axthammer, Managing Director of NOW and initiator of the CIN. The goal of the network, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure , is the market introduction and penetration of industrial trucks and airport apron tugs with fuel cells as well as the associated hydrogen infrastructure. According to CIN, the key to success is a constant exchange of experience between the partners in the network and joint activities such as the organization of regular user symposia. In North America, many more warehouses, storage facilities and production plants operate with fuel cell-powered industrial trucks than in Europe. Germany is still in the top league in terms of technology. “With the addition of Schaeffler and the existing expertise of the CIN partners in the areas of fuel cell systems, components, hydrogen infrastructure and industrial trucks, we can advance the topic quite decisively along the entire value chain,” says Axthammer.
Co-founder of the “Hydrogen Alliance of Bavaria
The automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler has been a steering member of the global Hydrogen Council since January 2020. The initiative consists of 81 companies from the energy, transport and industrial sectors and aims to drive hydrogen technology further towards industrialization. Schaeffler is also a co-founder of the “Hydrogen Alliance of Bavaria”. The alliance, founded in the fall of 2019 together with Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder, aims to unite climate protection, energy, mobility and technological innovation on a regional basis – in order to better exploit the potential of hydrogen technology as the energy carrier of the future. “Alternative energy carriers such as green hydrogen, which is not only emission-free but also an essential building block for defossilizing other industrial sectors, will play an important role in a future sustainable energy system,” explains Stefan Gossens, program manager for energy storage and converters in Schaeffler’s innovation division. Among other things, the company develops metallic bipolar plates with the aim of large-scale industrial production and thus key components for fuel cell stacks. With 77 production plants, Schaeffler is also a potential user of fuel cell-powered industrial trucks. The company employs around 89,000 people worldwide and generated sales of around 14.2 billion euros last year. (jhn)