Foundry forklifts

03 September 2015

Ironworks EWM relies on tough fleet of materials handling equipment from Hyster.

After several years of testing, Eisenwerk Martinlamitz (EWM) now exclusively relies on Hyster forklifts for its iron and steel works. The specially-equipped forklift trucks can withstand the heat of the furnace in the plant and can be used where space is limited.

The company requires powerful and manoeuvrable forklift trucks that are capable of transporting cargo containing hot molten mass, with temperatures of up to 1,400 degrees in the 1.8 tonne ladles around its narrow factory halls. EWM uses Hyster Fortens H4.0-5.5FT series forklift trucks with a 5.5 tonne lifting capacity and a 600 millimetre load centre of gravity.

In order to withstand the high temperatures of the melting furnace, the forklift trucks required to operate in that area are equipped with an additional oil cooler and temperature-resistant hydraulic hoses. Additional filter systems reduce dust accumulation, prolonging the service life. Reduced maintenance and oil-immersed multi-disc brakes also increase the reliability of the Hyster material handling equipment. Special attachments, such as a rotating fork clamp that can handle loads of up to four tonnes, ensure reliable operation. With these special adaptions to the forklift trucks, the hot, molten mass can be transported directly from the oven to the mould casting facility where it is processed.

EWM has a fleet of 52 Hyster material handling vehicles. The entire logistics chain – from the delivery of goods and materials to the transport of the molten mass and castings within the plant, on to the loading of the finished parts – is all handled by Hyster forklift trucks. The fleet includes high-lift trucks with and without a platform, Hyster J1.5 -2.0XNT energy-efficient 3 wheel electric counterbalanced trucks with 1.5 to 1.6 tonnes of lifting capacity, Hyster J2.2 -3.5XN compact 4 wheel counterbalanced trucks with 3 to 3.5 tonnes of lifting capacity, and Hyster ICE forklift trucks with 1.6 to 5.5 tonnes of lifting capacity. All the forklift trucks feature a robust and compact chassis design, especially durable and reliable components, as well as low operating costs.

EWM primarily deploys Hyster electric forklift trucks for outside use. This is rather atypical. Usually electric forklift trucks are used for emission-free operation indoors. EWM took a different approach and first tested the use of the electric forklift trucks outdoors. The results showed that the Hyster electric forklift trucks are robust and meet EWM's tough demands even when used in outdoor areas for loading and unloading. In addition to this, the use of electric forklift trucks is financially viable despite the higher purchase costs. This is due to the electric forklift trucks having significantly lower operating costs and requiring less maintenance.

The robust Hyster forklift trucks are in service for approximately 18,000 operating hours in their 'first life' at EWM. Afterwards, they are refurbished and deployed in less demanding operating areas.