Material Handling

Cutting fuel consumption

Frequent downtime, high fuel consumption and excessive emissions are the bane of equipment operators in the material handling market. The total time interval between when a machine goes down to when it is fully operational can be financially crippling, especially when the downtime causes shipping delays and demurrage is charged in dollars. Increased fuel consumption can directly impact profit margins and elevated levels of pollution can compromise an equipment’s environmental performance.

Lenny Naidoo, Acting National Operations Manager for Heavy Lift, a division of CFAO Equipment SA that sells heavy forklifts to container handlers and the ports industry, says that for over 80 years, the Konecranes range of lift trucks has been the industry-leader in the lifting sector, offering reliable and resilient container lift trucks, reach stackers and forklift trucks for shipyard, port and terminal applications.

“From the start, we have invested in research and development to continually improve the safety, productivity and cost-effectiveness of equipment. The new technology enables us to give every one of our customers fit-for-purpose solutions for their own set of circumstances. Added to this, our service-minded attitude makes all the difference,” says Lenny.

Cutting costs and emissions

The Konecranes Lift Trucks Flow Drive concept not only significantly cuts down fuel consumption and emissions by up to 25%, but also enhances the driver experience and increases active operation time.

“Flow Drive, a Konecranes innovation, uses hydromechanical variable transmission (HVT) to limit power at low speed, lowering wear, fuel consumption and emissions on a heavy-duty engine that maintains full performance. With greater intervals between refuelling and less maintenance, it can significantly increase productivity. It’s a solution that brings concrete benefits to everyday operations and an increase in overall productivity,” Lenny explains.

Active preventive maintenance

Konecranes active preventive maintenance programme also plays a crucial role in improving productivity and safety. Since preventive maintenance can reduce downtime and increase reliability, Konecranes CheckApp for daily inspections is an easy-to-use app for crane users to quickly and easily record their findings when performing pre-shift and/or pre-lift inspections.

CheckApp allows for intuitive and reliable auditing of performed daily inspections. The easy-to-use mobile app assists with timely recognition of potential asset-specific safety or production risk issues. Furthermore, it can capture videos and photos for uploading to the cloud where it can be accessed by service personnel.

Inspection results can also help to identify potential asset-specific safety or production risk issues and identify workplace improvement opportunities and operator training needs.

“The most important reason to perform daily inspections is safety. Even with regular inspections and maintenance, issues can arise for a variety of reasons including continuous or heavy use, operator behaviour, overloads and more. A daily inspection helps to spot obvious damage, excessive wear or other deficiencies and enables operators to know whether the crane is working correctly before a load is lifted,” says Lenny.

Cabin design

Konecranes has carefully designed its cabins for driver comfort and safety. Controls, displays, ventilation, and seating work to boost driver productivity. There is excellent visibility in all directions. This is made possible by very large, lowered windows with no corner posts, thin but very strong roof crossmember, and curved panels. Sightlines to key working areas are clear in the front, to the sides, and to the rear.

Another safety consideration is that there is more space for operating the foot pedals. The positioning of the instrumentation improves operating ergonomics. With an excellent seat, powerful cabin heating and ventilation, and air conditioning, the driver is provided with every possible comfort. This aids in eliminating harsh braking and sudden stops. Konecranes also provides for its cabins to be customised for exact operational needs.

Remote monitoring 

The Truconnect remote monitoring service enables tracking of the real usage of the lift trucks. It collects condition, usage and operating data from control systems and sensors on a machine and provides alerts of certain anomalies. Remote monitoring data is used in maintenance planning and in predicting possible component or equipment failure.

Collected data typically covers condition and expected service life of critical components, running time, lifted loads, motor starts, work cycles and emergency stops. Safety alerts are delivered automatically by email or text message to notify designated contact personnel of selected safety risk events.

New or pre-owned?

The choice of new or used Konecranes equipment is dependent on affordability. There are also 60-month rental and cash outright options available from CFAO Equipment SA, which sells new and pre-owned units, rental options, and value-added services. A wide range of quality pre-owned equipment sourced from short to long-term rental fleets is available. All pre-owned equipment is inspected and repaired using genuine parts. Warranties and load test certificates are offered with all pre-owned equipment and service agreement are available on request.

Lenny concludes by saying, “Our after-sales service is our key selling point and differentiator in South Africa and the rest of Africa. Underpinned with a promise of Trusted Quality Service, we are committed to offering exceptional support, and providing quality service delivery and superior workmanship. This is aimed at reducing downtime and getting customers’ operations back on track as quickly as possible.

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