Test + video: Wave 60 with Lithium-Ion – Successful update

Successful update

Crown has given its popular WAV 60 Work Assist Vehicle, known as the Wave, an update with lithium-ion technology, enhancing driving pleasure and productivity. The new V-Force system gives the handy work assist vehicle almost unlimited endurance.

During the test, we will pick eight products at eight different picking heights up to four metres. We also bring back all 8 products, bringing the number of stops in the test to 16.

The Wave is a cross between a mini aerial work platform and a high-lift order picking truck. It is best compared to a mobile ladder, but more convenient and safer. The liftable platform reaches a height of 2,995 mm, which brings the maximum reach height to just under 5 metres. The model has been around since 1997 and has been improved in the meantime. In 2017, the Wave 60 came on the market. The DC system was then replaced by AC technology, plastic made way for robust steel parts and the Wave 60 was given higher travel and lift speeds. We tested it in 2017, but according to the manufacturer there is reason enough to repeat the test with the new lithium-ion model, which is said to improve performance and overall use. This time, our test vehicle features Crown’s V-Force 105Ah/24V lithium-ion compact battery with a corresponding 50A on-board charger.

New features

New to the 2022 Wave 60 model is the V-Force lithium-ion battery and charger technology from Crown. The truck is optionally available with one 105Ah/24V battery that is charged via the built-in 50 A charger. The charger can be plugged into any standard 230 V outlet. For greater autonomy, the Wave 60 is also available with two 105 Ah/24V lithium-ion batteries. This second unit replaces the built-in charger. For charging, one of the new V-Force 24 V external chargers of 50, 150 or 300 A can be used.

Also new is the additional safety function of the self-locking doors. The Wave 60 drives fastest when the platform is down and the doors are open. This may sound contradictory, but Crown explains it is not, because it’s safer to get quickly off the truck through the open gates in case of emergency than to create an additional obstacle with the closed gates. However, with the doors open you cannot lift higher than 500 mm. The gates must then remain closed and locked to prevent falls. The Wave is therefore equipped with an automatic locking system.

Learning curve operation

The 2022 model of the Crown Wave 60 offers practical storage space in the cabin. Compartments to accommodate the charging cable of the built-in charger are also available. An integrated retractable charging cable was not installed in the test truck, but it’s available as an option. On the fold-out front panel, the buttons for the external controls are also placed and rearranged.

The Wave 60 retains the quirky Crown design that is still modern after 25 years. The ride and handling are also unchanged. Anyone riding the Wave for the first time will have to get used to it. You control direction and speed by turning the right handle; with your left hand you operate a horizontal rocker switch to go left or right. You steer with the driven rear wheels, the swivel wheels at the front turn smoothly in the right direction.

Safety requires awareness

Crown has equipped the Wave 60 with three travel modes: P1, P2 and P3. The last one is the slowest and very suitable for inexperienced users. P1 is the fastest. Steering with the Wave has a learning curve, and this also applies to the release of the many safety aspects. The floor is equipped with two sensors which you must activate independently with both feet. During driving and lifting, both hands must be on the handles. Light sensors monitor this, but they are very sensitive. Occasionally, we have to reposition the hands to reactivate the truck functions which have been temporarily switched off. This could be done better and the same applies to the placement of the button to switch between rabbit and turtle speed. Sometimes, we unintentionally operate it with our left hand, which causes the truck to slow down.

Lithium-ion effects

After some time, when you have the Wave 60 well in hand, the truck works pleasantly, quietly, and smoothly. Depending on the working height, you close the safety gates or keep them open to be able to drive faster. With the safety gates closed, the Wave can reach a maximum speed of 5 km/h but slows down when you get to a higher level. With the gates open, we reach 8.4 km/hour. Compared to the previous model, the driving speeds are almost the same, but the sprint speeds have clearly changed. Both with gates open and closed, the Wave 60 now reacts much faster. It is an effect that we see in many other trucks that switch from conventional battery technology to lithium-ion batteries. The lifting speed of the platform is also higher.

Higher productivity, lower consumption

Adding up all the positive changes, the updated Wave 60 with its 105 Ah lithium-ion battery scores 16.1% more picks per hour on our test track at P1, 17.6% more at P2 and 10.6% more at P3. Energy consumption for 1,000 picks drops by 29%, 25% and 31%. This brings the practical operating time of the single lithium-ion battery to over 7.5 hours. Those who use the truck very intensively can always recharge the battery in the meantime via the built-in 50 A charger. We do this during two breaks of over a quarter of an hour and half an hour. The yield is roughly 1% per minute on the charger. The emptier the battery, the faster the charging. With the stronger external chargers of 150 and 300 A, charging is 3 to 6 times faster. With two lithium-ion batteries on board, even the heaviest daily operation can be done without intermediate charging.

Conclusion

With the update, Crown brings an improved version of its Wave 60 to the market. The lithium-ion batteries give the truck more power and responsiveness. This makes it finer and smoother to operate, resulting in a noticeable increase in performance. The V-Force lithium-ion technology also offers the choice of charging quickly with an external charger or conveniently with the built-in 230V charger. The design of the Wave 60 is still up to date and has become even more practical thanks to the revised storage compartments. The high degree of (American) safety demands a strict operating routine, but those who have learned to cope with this have found the Wave 60 to be a handy multi-purpose vehicle and order picker.  

Plusses:

  • Productivity
  • Energy Consumption
  • Design

For improvement:

  • Operating learning curve
  • Sensitivity of safety systems

(Text and photos: Andersom Testing, Theo Egberts and Mark Dohmen)

Tags:

Andersom test, Andersom testing, Crown, Crown Wave 60, Intralogistics, Lithium ion, Lithium-ion technology, Test, WAV 60 Work Assist Vehicle, Wave 60

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