1000ºC calls for tough trucks Kalmar FLTs fit the bill for Uddeholms Tooling
Kalmar Industries has completed delivery of six diesel forklift trucks to leading steel producer Uddeholms Tooling. The DCE160-12 diesel trucks, from Kalmar new medium-weight range, have been designed with the emphasis on hardy reliability – a quality vital to their effective operations at Uddeholms’ steelworks in Hagfors, Sweden.
Every year 65,000 tonnes of steel are produced and transported at the Hagfors steelworks. Since such a job calls for strong, reliable trucks, the Kalmar DCE160-12s are all built for intensive handling in tough environments. Moreover, three of the trucks, which are to work on transporting the steel between the smelting furnaces, are specially equipped to cope with extremely high temperatures.
Bengt Eriksson, responsible for Uddeholm transport operations, explains that the machines’ durability combined with Kalmar direct approach to business clinched the deal:
"We compared the various machines on the market and found that Kalmar trucks best met out requirements and needs with regard to performance, safety and ergonomics. The fact that Kalmar approach and commitment was also top-class from the very first meeting also contributed towards our overall impression of the company and our ultimate decision. Fast and straightforward decisions are the be all and end all of a good relationship."
Uddeholm Tooling is one of the world leading manufacturers of tool steel of various grades and with a range of properties. The company has a 300-year tradition in the field of steel manufacture and is part of the listed Austrian group Böhler-Uddeholm AG. About 90% of the steel produce is exported to customers in over 100 countries. To cope with production and internal transportation, Uddeholm Tooling transport department has at its disposal around 70 machines with lifting capacities ranging from one to 32 tonnes.
1000º C calls for special heat protection
Having to transport steel between the furnaces, where the thermometer readings can be around the 1000ºC mark, is extremely hot and heavy work for the trucks.
To protect the driver and the sensitive parts of the machine against the heat and any splashes of liquid iron, three of the trucks are equipped with additional heat protection features. These include protection of the driving wheel, the lighting and the heat-reflecting panes as well as the cylinders, hoses and hydraulics. The wheels are also equipped to deal with excessive heat. Two of the three trucks will also be used outdoors and feature a 180° rotating driver seat.
With a five-shift system covering continuous operations, the Hagfors steelworks places extremely high demands on both equipment and staff. To ensure that Uddeholm made the best possible choice of equipment in terms of both performance and safety, a group of drivers was involved in the decision-making process. The group drew up specification requirements and actively participated in the dialogue with Kalmar.
Mr Eriksson comments:
"With its Spirit Delta cabin Kalmar is well-known for its excellent and well thought out driver environment. The field of vision in the new DCE model is absolutely without peer."
It becomes clear just how high up on the agenda safety is for Uddeholm Tooling when Mr Eriksson mentions the film made by the company some years ago.
"We wanted to teach drivers how they could perceive various situations from their cabin and make it clear to them that we all have individual responsibility for safety. The film was shown to all employees and was in such demand that we sold it to around 500 other Swedish companies."
Higher availability and lower costs
Three years ago Uddeholm Tooling reviewed its entire fleet of machines and its future logistical requirements. The result was to switch to a leasing agreement as the machines are replaced and renewed. Daily servicing is taken care of by the drivers themselves whilst an outside company looks after major regular services. Says Mr Eriksson:
"Kalmar set-up gives us flexibility. The costs are related to performance and we have less capital tied up in the machines. With the six new machines’ extended servicing intervals, operational costs are lower whilst we simultaneously achieve higher availability."
Notes to editors:
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Kalmar is a global provider of heavy duty materials handling equipment and services to ports, intermodal traffic, terminals and demanding industrial customers. Kalmar focuses on supplying handling solutions that enable customers to operate with a high level of efficiency and reliability. Every fourth container or trailer transfer at terminals around the world is handled by a Kalmar machine.
Kalmar provides a large range of value-added services such as maintenance contracts and fleet management. Manufacturing plants are situated in Sweden (as is the head office), Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Malaysia, China and the USA.
For Swedish and German version of this release or for further information:
Lotta Sundström, Communications Manager
Tel: +46 372 261 38