Plug Power has announced Dietz & Watson, Inc. as a new Plug Power GenKey customer.

Dietz & Watson will deploy GenDrive fuel cells in its entire fleet of class-2 and class-3 lift trucks for its new warehouse building under a full GenKey agreement.

Dietz & Watson, a family owned business for more than 75 years, is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of premium deli meats, artisan cheeses, and related products in North America.

In their newly constructed facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dietz & Watson will be using the GenDrive, GenFuel and GenCare solutions provided through GenKey. The 200,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center is located on 20 acres next to the company’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania headquarters and manufacturing plant.

This new facility will distribute Dietz & Watson products to supermarket retailers, food service suppliers, and medium and small delicatessens throughout the United States.

“After an extensive analysis of our options to operate our lift truck fleet in the most efficient manner, Plug Power offered a cost effective solution with significant potential labor savings. We are pleased to join other food industry distribution leaders such as Walmart and Wegmans Food Markets in implementing this solution,” said John Tsigounis, Vice President of Logistics for Dietz & Watson.

Plug Power’s GenDrive customers continuously tout the increased productivity achieved by their lift truck fleets, as the GenDrive fuel cells operate at maximum performance for an entire shift.

When fuel cell units needs to be refueled, lift truck operators can perform this task in as little as 60 seconds. Additionally, fuel cells help customers better utilize facility space and reduce operational costs. The replacement of lead-acid batteries with hydrogen-powered fuel cells eliminates the need for large battery storage and charging rooms. This space is better allocated to productive business activities.

Previously, Plug Power customers typically saw positive economic value with large-scale lift truck fleets, upwards of 50 trucks. Now, however, due to technology improvements and streamlined supply chain management within the GenDrive and GenFuel product lines, Plug Power customers with as few as 20 lift and reach trucks are able to achieve positive payback.

“Dietz & Watson joins other customers like FreezPak and Uline as a new Plug Power clients.” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “Plug Power’s investment in the GenFuel business is showing great progress in the material handling market, and we’re now able to provide economically viable solutions to a diverse customer-base in the material handling market.”