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          Major Project For Automotive Industry Completed! 2020-07-06

          At the end of June, EdmoLift shipped away the last 4 bespoke ALT 3000 armlifts to Volvo Cars factory in Olofström, Sweden, in a project that has stretched over 5 years. The result is 48 delivered armlifts, an improved material handling process and, above all, an implemented overall solution that creates healthy ergonomics and working conditions for operators.


          An exciting start

          When EdmoLift’s Mikael Fernlund, sales manager for the Nordic countries, was contacted during the fall of 2014 he quickly understood that it was going to be a challenging task, yet highly rewarding if it succeeded.

          ”I had started my position at EdmoLift quite recently and had realized that the Scandinavian automotive industry was a customer segment that we, to some extent, were inadequately represented within. Historically, industrial environments are just where our smart lifting solutions have been mostly sought after and had a significant impact.  Hence, this was a golden opportunity for us to gain a better insight into- and learn a lot about one of Scandinavia’s most important industrial sectors, and of course start to build trust and relationships,” explains Mikael Fernlund and continues,

          ”The big challenge when we started to look at this project was the fact that the factory in Olofström, along with all of the other machines, was already in place, installed and up and running. However, they had not taken the aspects of sound ergonomics into account in the factory layout. In other cases when we have been doing projects of this magnitude we are usually involved in the planning of the factory’s working conditions and process flows. Now, we had to be perhaps a little bit more creative in order to meet all of the customer’s needs in a very limited space.”


          Challenging conditions

          At the factory in Olofström they produce sheet metal components like reinforcement beams, doors, hoods, and roofs for Volvo Cars automobiles. In their revolutionary pressure hardening line they create high strength sheet metal details. An important step in the process are the 12 units of 3D-laser cutting machines that are used to precisely cut out the sheet metal details after the sheet metal forming and hardening. But to get the sheet metal in to- and out of the laser cutting machines included a troublesome task of material handling for the operators. They had to bend down and manually lift the sheet metal pieces from the baskets into the laser cutting machines, and back into the baskets. At Volvo Cars, they soon became aware that from the perspective of ergonomics, this way of working was unsustainable as repetitive lifts in bent over positions often leads to massive wear and tear on muscles and joints in the neck, back, shoulders and arms.

          On beforehand it seemed to be a perfect case for EdmoLift’s wide range of smart lifting solutions. But with the very limited physical space, it was a highly complicated task for the joint project group consisting of people from both Volvo Cars and EdmoLift, to find a solution that met all of the requirements. 

          “EdmoLift’s engineers are the best problem-solvers in the business, and that’s just that. I am very grateful that EdmoLift’s Joakim Edberg was part of this project and highly impressed over the end product that he was able to produce. It is a lot of hard work and late nights that lies behind this solution, and we are extremely proud of what we have delivered,” says Mikael Fernlund.


          The end result

          The first batch out of the 48 units of bespoke armlifts of the model ALT 3000 was delivered in April of 2015. An armlift has both a lift- and tilt function while being very compact in its closed position. This is highly useful for operators in material handling processes since it drastically improves the ergonomics, but also the efficiency, in the process flows. The armlifts are installed in pits in the factory floor, which places the armlifts’ lift platforms level to the floor while being in their closed positions and out of the way when they are not being used.

          What is so special with these armlifts’ lift platforms is the increased dimensions that allows the handling of the large sheet metal panels in the process. The lift capacity of these armlifts are 1600 kgs, and they have a lift stroke of 0,82 m. The lift platforms are also reinforced and equipped with additional load restraint which makes it exceptionally safe for the operator to handle the load on the armlift in all positions. At every laser cutting machine armlifts are placed in groups of 4. The armlifts are paired 2 and 2 with serial coupled safety frames which means that if one of the armlift’s safety frame is pushed in so the table stops, also the other connected armlift in the pair stops.

           

          In recent years the Scandinavian automotive industry has become one of EdmoLift’s most important customer segments

          ”This project has of course been a contributing factor as to why we have increased our market share in this part of the industry. We have now completed multiple projects within this sector and been able to continuously prove that we have the right solutions, competence, and deep understanding regarding industrial ergonomics, intralogistics, and material handling processes. Organizations that invest in working environments with sound ergonomics for human beings is directly investing in increasing their productivity, just as in this project,” concludes Mikael Fernlund.