Entries for the IFOY Award are invited in eight categories. Besides the two traditional forklift categories "Counter Balanced Trucks up to 3.5 tons" and "over 3.5 tons", the "Special Vehicle" category awards the best special-purpose vehicles, container stackers, transportable forklifts or heavy-load forklifts with capacities of over eight tons. Both "Warehouse Truck highlifter" and "Warehouse Truck lowlifter" show the trucks with a lifting height below and above 6 meters. In addition, shuttle vehicles and driverless transport systems are admitted to the category "Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV)". The "Intralogistics Solutions" do not focus on the vehicles but on planning and implementation expertise. The competition is open to a successfully implemented integrated warehouse concept or intralogistics systems or software solutions, such as warehouse management systems, logistics software, forklift guidance, driver assistant or fleet management systems, always within the context of a specific application. Another feature is the category "Special of the Year" with the emphasis on outstanding technical details or components that significantly improve cost efficiency, sustainability or the physical or psychological conditions for the user. Examples include ergonomic innovations like driver cabins or control elements, safety assistant solutions, automation components or new drive technologies.
The decision on which trucks and integrated logistics solutions have the right to call themselves "Best of the Year" is made in a multi-phase selection process. In the first phase, an independent jury of trade journalists around the world nominates the most promising candidates from among all the entries. These vehicles then have to undergo a neutral test and the scientific IFOY Innovation Check on the trade fair grounds in Munich in March 2017.
The IFOY testing standard is formidable. To one, it is based on the Andersom Test developed by Dutch trade journalist Theo Egberts. Since 1988, hundreds of different forklift and warehouse trucks have undergone the Andersom Test. This has led to the creation of the biggest comparison database of independent test data anywhere in Europe and is considered the benchmark for the sector. The test assesses a number of criteria, including cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency, sustainability, safety, ergonomics and design.
The IFOY Innovation Check, to the other, focuses solely on the degree of innovation relative to the market. This test is performed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund as well as the Chair of Machine Elements and Technical Logistics at the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg. The check assesses market relevance, customer benefit, degree of novelty/innovation, functionality and type of implementation.
The two test series provide the jury with important information on which to base their decision. In addition, the jury members drive all nominated vehicles themselves, putting them through their paces during the IFOY test week. Decision-making in the competition of the world´s best trucks is the innovation. The jury, however, is keen-eyed on a high customer value and suitability of daily use.
Finally, there is another detail that makes IFOY one-of-a-kind: The names of the winners are traditionally a well-kept secret, and even the winners are kept in the dark until the last minute. This is only one of the reasons why there are major celebrations when the all-important words – "And the IFOY Award goes to …" is spoken at celebration.
The decision of the jury will be announced at the IFOY gala during the transport logistic in Munich in May 2017.
The sponsor of the IFOY Award, which enjoys the patronage of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, is the VDMA Materials Handling and Logistics Systems Sector Association. Partners are the Deutsche Messe with the leading international CeMAT trade fair for intralogistics in Hannover and the Messe München with transport logistic, bauma and IFAT. IFOY pallet partner is CHEP, the global market leader in pallet pooling, IFOY technology partner is battery charging specialist Fronius based in the Austrian town of Wels. The IFOY Award is powered by wuermser.communications.