Whether this upturn will continue remains to be seen, with some commentators pointing out that factors such as increasing debt and low interest rate "traps", especially for US consumers, resulting in a sector that could be less healthy than it appears.

Our writer Adrian Greeman comments in this issue, the advent of robotised production lines in automotive is increasingly found at the start of lines for the heavy work moving massive steel coils and for the presses where it is moulded for panels.

But equipment for lift and move operations is still needed on many production lines and major suppliers offer both large overhead cranes and smaller equipment along the production sequence. In the February issue of Hoist, we look at the radio remote controls sector, an area that been characterised by upgrades, improvements and updates over the last year.

As there can be no "one-size-fits-all" approach for end users, this has resulted in a raft of developments across the board from manufacturers such as Tele Radio, Magnetek and Scanreco.

We also take the opportunity to burgeoning use of lifting equipment in challenging and hazardous environments, some of the factors driving end user demand and the latest products manufacturers have to cater for them.

Elsewhere in this issue, we talk to Lifting equipment manufacturer Verlinde, which is playing an integral role in both the maintenance and service of four Puma helicopters at a French air force base.

The 2000sqm facility houses two powered gantry cranes that are fitted with Verlinde Eurobloc VT hoists, which have a capacity for lifting 1.5 metric tonne loads.

The lifting technology has been employed at the base that services the Puma helicopters, which are medium lift capacity machines used by French military forces during both tactical and logistical transportation operations.

We also have news of from international lifting equipment firm Lloyds British Testing [LBT], which has secured a prestigious three-year inspection and certification contract with the National Grid, covering all electricity and gas sites across the company’s entire regional network.

Until next time, enjoy the issue.