Georg Fischer and HUBTEX have developed a new high-lift truck for foundries
New high-lift truck with telescopic arm replaces the conventional high-lift truck with mast
The automotive supplier Georg Fischer incurred comparatively high repair costs due to the standard fork-lift trucks used in the factory. The rough and especially demanding operating conditions with converters heavily impacted the fork-lift truck components which are difficult to protect against flying sparks and splatters of molten iron. For this reason, the company has developed a completely new type of heavy duty high-lift truck in cooperation with HUBTEX.
The construction principle of this high-lift truck has been exactly adjusted to the production and application conditions in a foundry. Apart from transportation, the task of this high-lift truck weighing 40 tonnes is to turn a converter around its own axis so that molten iron and magnesium are mixed in it. Since autumn 2009 the first industrial truck will go into service at the Mettmann location; another four industrial trucks will follow until the end of the year.
Apart from the reduction of the total cost of ownership, the development aimed at the following:
- Protection of parts susceptible to failure: “The ergonomic design of the new high-lift truck with telescopic arm ensures that only lowest amounts of molten iron can deposit on the surface of the industrial truck. The entire drive and control technology is placed completely inside the industrial truck”, according to Harald Göb who is responsible for distribution and development of the new industrial truck at HUBTEX.
- Better visibility conditions: The logical consequence of this improvement was to do without a broad front mast and to use a telescopic arm instead.
- Lower axle loads: “By lowering the axle
- Loads, we succeeded in reducing the load impact on individual spots of the building ceilings as planned”, Thorsten Kutsch, Head of the Foundry at the Georg-Fischer location in Mettmann, explains.
“Moreover, we intended to bring the locations together from the logistic and conceptual aspect, not only with regard to the mentioned technical improvements but also in respect of the service and the spare parts procurement”, Ralf Lauer, Lead Buyer for Capital Equipment and Strategic Purchasing at Georg Fischer, says. At the beginning of the planning stage, one still assumed that five different types of industrial trucks would be employed at the locations. Due to the well-directed standardization – which also comprised the production conditions – one succeeded in reducing the types of industrial trucks to two. These two types share up to 95 percent of the components which is advantageous to service and spares pooling. A desired side effect is that these high-lift trucks can be used in all company locations.
Lauer: “We amortize the initially higher investment costs by means of the running expenses and the strongly improved performance.“ Beyond that, we intend to disclose the technology to third parties. Thus, the amortization conditions will be further enhanced.