Hubtex industrial trucks for new flat glass factory

A fleet of seven custom-made industrial trucks made by Hubtex is in use at f l glass, a new flat glass factory in Osterweddingen near Magdeburg. These agile and always available vehicles ensure the sa…

A fleet of seven custom-made industrial trucks made by Hubtex is in use at f l glass, a new flat glass factory in Osterweddingen near Magdeburg. These agile and always available vehicles ensure the safe transport of the glass from the cold end of the warehouse to the vehicles of the forwarding agencies. A flat glass factory with most modern technology – that was the plan of f l glass, a joint venture between Scheuten and Interpane. After only 15 months, the first production batch of glass left the production line in September 2009. The daily production output is planned to amount to approximately 700 tonnes of flat glass, and the service life of the furnace is designed for a period of at least 15 years. Clear and white glass for the solar production, but above all 3 to 19 mm thick building glass is manufactured. The glass sizes range from 1.20 x 2.60 m to 3 x 3.35 m. The large sizes are 2.60 to 3.35 m wide and up to 10 m long. The number of the necessary industrial trucks is determined by the daily production output and the turnover cycles required by the warehouse which is 68,000 sq.m. in size: three GTR 330 glass transporters, three M 150 electric multidirectional sideloaders for large sizes and one M 60 for small sizes. Behind the cutting line at the cold end, the individual panes are automatically stacked onto L-stillages. From there, the GTR glass transporters take over the stillages and transport them to the warehouse. The M 150 electric multidirectional sideloaders pick up the glass packs from the L-stillages and load them into the fixed stillages of the warehouse or the intermediate storage in order to increase the storage density and capacity. They arrange the glass packs on frames in accordance with customers“ requirements. Afterwards these are picked up by the GTR and transported to the dispatch area. The M 150 sideloaders transport the large sizes weighing up to 14 tonnes, and the M 60 the split sizes weighing up to 6 tonnes. Norbert Rschenkemper, manager of the cold area, expresses his satisfaction with the vehicles and the advice provided by Hubtex: “The promised delivery periods have been met, and the vehicles run perfectly, as expected. He lists his criteria for the selection of the industrial trucks: “Reliability, most comfortable handling possible, good price and service. In this regard, Hubtex has the best package on the market. However, vehicle availability has top priority. To ensure this, we need redundancies to a certain extent.” The factory service with its short reaction time offered by Hubtex has allowed us to reduce the safety buffer regarding the number of our vehicles. Thus, we have been able to save redundancies. At an early stage in the run-up to the vehicle purchase, f l glass decided against a fixed crane system and therefore saved investment costs. Rschenkemper says: “We are more flexible with our solution. Rapid handling is especially important when it comes to white and solar glass. By applying the Hubtex industrial trucks, we make use of this competitive advantage every day. We maintain a “chaotic” storage system, arrange products in a variable manner, move individual stacks and can aspirate individual sheets. Due to this concept, we record less breakage compared to a crane system. Nevertheless, if breakage occurs it can be removed more easily and safely. An advantage with regard to the staff is the fact that the machine is operated by one person, and not by two or more persons. The complete system was planned by the DTEC engineering office. Its project engineer Manfred Grabowski, graduate engineer, says: “We have known and appreciated the Hubtex vehicles for quite some time. For their use at f l glass, we have even been able to make some joint detail improvements. Hubtex customer consultant Juan Cantalejo gives some examples: “We have achieved compatibility of the batteries. Without increasing the overall vehicle size, glass panes which are up to 8 metres in size can be picked up by means of the vacuum cups which are laterally foldable by 90. The operating desks have been adjusted to the application, and optimized. The people at f l glass appreciate, above all, the new and more ergonomic positioning of the spacers. Their holding device can now be folded down and is therefore more easily accessible for the driver. Rschenkemper concludes as follows: ” Hubtex is a company that knows what matters when it comes to glass transport. We expected that everything would run smoothly. And this was precisely the case. We appreciate the reliability of Hubtex as well as the ability to react quickly in the case of inquiries. The company“s design engineering, sales and service capacities allow them to react flexibly to our needs at any time. All of the 20 drivers and their shift supervisors are very pleased with their new working equipment, as well. Although they have been familiar with standard forklifts, the operation of large-size vehicles has been new for them. Shift supervisor Guido Mller says: “After a training and exercise phase carried out by Hubtex, our drivers have familiarized themselves very quickly with the new vehicles. The respect for the large dimensions of the new vehicles has quickly turned into enthusiasm for the sensitive and amazingly agile operation of these vehicles.