12 December 2012
Custom builds open doors for Jungheinrich and are a key part of its strategy - good news for managers with unusual requirements According to Dr Rolf Halbeich, general manager at Jungheinrich's specials factory in Lue
According to Dr Rolf Halbeich, general manager at Jungheinrich's specials factory in Lueneburg, Germany the ability to provide bespoke trucks to suit a client's distinct handling needs is proving pivotal to the company's long-term growth strategy.
"The materials handling industry is evolving," he says. "Twenty years ago the hand pallet truck was a 'door opener' that would allow manufacturers to develop a relationship with a client. These days we find that those companies who approach us for our special build capabilities often become users of products in our standard range." Dr Haelbich believes that Jungheinrich's commitment to special build projects and its ability to develop products that meet a user's exact requirements, make it one of the very few truck manufacturers that can claim to be a full line supplier.
One example is the supply of over 40 reach trucks with 12.5m lift masts for use at a leading third party logistics service provider's facility in South Yorkshire. The masts on the trucks were so high that part of the Lueneburg factory roof had to be removed to allow testing to be carried out. Engineers at Lueneburg are currently working on a design for a reach truck that can lift an even heavier load to the same height.
While build times vary depending on the complexity of the work involved, a special build project usually takes between 12 and 18 weeks from the receipt of an order to delivery.
2010 marks the 20th anniversary of the special build truck plant in Lueneburg. The facility was established to meet the needs of those companies that store or handle unusually shaped goods or have to manoeuvre products in and around complicated or confined spaces.
The factory employs a workforce of nearly 200 and, despite the fact that the Jungheinrich Group offers over 600 forklift models in its standard range, demand for the kind of uniquely engineered products designed and built at the Lueneburg facility is increasing.
Dr Haelbich concludes: "The type of products we are capable of producing here at Lueneburg means we can truly offer the right machine for every application - no matter how unusual it might be. There is nothing we cannot supply."