A transport from our factory hall to the factory hall of our customer – that was the order, Zippel GmbH, who is a leading manufacturer of equipment and machinery for industrial cleaning systems, placed with our project logistics experts at Karl Gross in Regensburg.
With a weight of 18 tons, the machine could be called rather “light weight”. The logistical challenge behind the project: the dimensions of the machine and its sensitivity. “According to the structural analysis, the machine had to be lifted on five exactly defined lifting points on each side absolutely simultaneously in order to avoid damaging”, Florian Strasser, who was in charge of the project at Karl Gross, says. Therefore, simply using the indoor crane available in the factory hall of the shipper to move the machine out of the workshop was not an option. Same applied to the loading of the machine for road transportation. “These requirements meant that the option to load the machine onto a flatbed trailer for road transportation by using a mobile crane was also ruled out.”
A special solution had to be found. “I visited our client’s location in advance to check the exact spatial conditions in and in front of the assembly hall”, Florian Strasser reports. “While evaluating the situation directly in front of the hall, we discovered that the space available was too small for the turning circle of a suitable semi-low flatbed trailer truck for loading.”
The transport out of the hall was realized on a SPMT.
“Due to the combination of technical requirements and local space conditions we needed come up with a highly individual solution: by erecting a special lifting frame inside the assembly hall to lift the machine on all the predetermined points simultaneously”, Florian Strasser explains the solution for the transport preparation within the factory hall. “To cope with the space problems in front of the hall we decided to handle the cargo by SPMT.” SPMT is short for Self-Propelled Modular Transporter – which is basically a remote-controlled platform with many individually steerable axles.
“So we lifted the machine with the lifting frame, moved it outside the hall by SPMT and then set the machine down on so-called ‘elephant feet’ on a closed-off road section. That way the SPMT was able to move out underneath the machine and the semi-low flatbed trailer could take over the machine for road transportation.”
This solution also came into effect at the location of the consignee. “When checking the local situation at the cargo’s destination in advance, we discovered identical spatial conditions. Again, the machine could not be discharged with an indoor or mobile crane, due to its special static properties. Therefore we had to apply the same procedure as we already had put into effect at the manufacturer – just the other way around”, Florian Strasser says.
As project supervisor, Florian Strasser supervised the entire handling procedures personally on-site – from setting up the lifting frame at the manufacturer up to disassembling the lifting frame at the consignee.
When asked about what is important to create such a logistical solution apart from the idea how to solve the challenges, Florian Strasser replies: “good preparation and coordination between all parties is essential to successfully realize such special solutions. Our task is not only to deliver suitable ideas and concepts to master logistical challenges, but also to act as a mediator between all parties involved to ensure that the solutions actually work out.”