Impact of using PEM Forklifts on Manufacturing Layouts


The popularity of forklifts that use fuel cells based on proton exchange membranes (PEMs) has steadily increased with time in manufacturing industries and distribution centers. Because they potentially reduce our dependence on fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide while generating energy, they have certain environmental benefits in comparison to forklifts driven by lead-acid batteries that are typically charged using regular sources of energy. In this paper, we study the impact of using PEM forklifts on material-handling costs and lead times, which are commonly used in measuring the cost-effectiveness of a manufacturing system's layout. We report some initial findings in this paper. In general, we find that layouts designed for PEM forklifts tend to have lower material-handling costs, improved closeness ratings, and higher area utilization, while the shop-floor lead times tend to be shorter, leading to lower inventory and higher flexibility in responding to fluctuations in customer demand. Overall, PEM forklifts may hence improve the health of the supply chain of the product by making it more flexible and cost-effective.

Meeting Name

ASME/ISCIE International Symposium on Flexible Automation (2012: Jun. 18-20, St. Louis, MO)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Carbon Dioxide; Charging (Batteries); Cost Effectiveness; Manufacture; Materials Handling; Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC); Supply Chains; Area Utilization; Customer Demands; Distribution Centers; Environmental Benefits; Manufacturing Industries; Shop Floor; Sources Of Energy; Materials Handling Equipment

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2012 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.