Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  16 Dec 2009

MATERIALS HANDLING: Linde Beats Recession Woes


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE Western Cape regional office of Linde Materials Handling (LMH) sees its customer care and service excellence as paramount to surviving the current adverse economic slump.

Says Shelldon Uys, branch manager of the regional office at Airport Industria in Cape Town; “About a year ago we embarked on a project to beef up customer service. Whilst it is an area where the company will continue to strive for improvement, we believe that a greatly improved level of customer satisfaction has already been achieved.”

Uys’s assessment seems to be borne out by LMH’s recent securing of a new contracts; one with a major cement supplier and another with a prominent liquor producer in the Western Cape.

LMH, a major forklift truck supplier, streamlined its business and took steps that ensured a “more painless adaptation to the economic challenges that reached our shores some 14 months ago,” according to Uys.

The company, a fully fledged subsidiary of Germany’s Kion Group of companies, specialises in forklift trucks with hydrostatic transmissions. These have less moving parts, hydrostatic direct drives (which provides a combination of extreme sensitivity and power in their operation, thereby assuring controlled performance) and hydraulic motors without reduction gearboxes. This in turn means the wheels are driven directly.

LMH forklifts also boast speed and travel direction that are controlled by oil flow, electronic control of the hydrostatic and a working hydraulic system that optimizes driving characteristics and a range of benefits such as minimized fixed costs.

Uys says the product offering is one of the widest ranges available in the global market.

We work closely with our counterparts in Germany to ensure we manufacture technology that works. For instance, when it comes to hydrostatic transmission that eliminates the torque converter, differential, drive shafts, drum or oil immersed brakes (found in a conventional or ordinary forklifts) the transmission in the Linde hydrostatic machine only directs the flow of oil to forward or reverse. This means the constant direction changing (shuttling) that requires a conventional machine to stop before changing direction and ultimately gives rise to excess shear stress and damage, does not happen with the Linde. “

Uys claims that Linde provides 50% more operating hours before the tyres need replacement because the controlled acceleration and deceleration of the hydrostatic system eliminates drive wheel tyres from spinning and skidding.

Due to various technical improvements, the power train of the hydrostatic system lasts much longer than in the case of conventional machines and the unit uses up to 30% less fuel.”

He says the hydrostatic transmission is also the breaking system, a feat that enables LMH to give a lifetime guarantee on brakes as zero failure is anticipated on these machines.

This in turn permits the Linde to be the safest in operation, either with or without a load. When left unattended with the engine on or off, on level ground or gradient, the machine cannot roll away.“

Another unique feat is the fact that the engine has no radiator or water while a typical Linde fleet is always 20% smaller than other fleets.”

Considering the lesser head count, the Linde fleet is consistently the most cost-effective,” according to Uys.

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