These special positioners were developed, built and supplied by ADK Techniek.
In accordance with Dutch health and safety legislation, employees are at all times required to work safely and ergonomically in order to prevent physical injury. At the Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME) production plant in Amsterdam, we are very strict in ensuring that. The group has taken a major step in that respect with the commissioning of two positioners, where the large, heavy excavator booms are rotated so employees can work them at shoulder height from any side. These special positioners were developed, built and supplied by ADK Techniek.
The HCME plant at Amsterdam builds excavators and wheel loaders for the European market. The control components are supplied by Hitachi Construction Machinery in Japan, and the production of structural elements, coating and final assembly are done in Amsterdam. High finishing quality is one of the hallmarks of Hitachi. That's why all arms and booms for the machines are sanded and grounded in two steps prior to coating. Production Engineer Roeland Meijer: “This is a labour-intensive part of our production, with priority for employee safety and ergonomics. This implies that employees should be able to sand and ground all sides of the arms and booms at shoulder height, whether they are standing up or sitting down. The arms and the 2-piece boom are therefore suspended in positioners - only the heaviest booms were until recently just placed on the work floor. In order to prevent any complaints from arising, we searched for a supplier who would be able to supply the right positioners for our purposes.”
Not a standard solution
ADK Techniek, part of the Valk Welding Group, specialises in engineering and building custom machines for positioning, welding and cutting automation; for HCME they developed a set of custom-built positioners on a rail system, in which the booms, weighing 7 tons each, can be positioned. Henry van Schenkhof of ADK Techniek: “The booms are banana-shaped, so their centre of gravity is outside the centre. This places high demands on clamping and on the rotational torque. In addition, HCME required that the distance between the two positioners and the product support should be rapidly adjustable. The two positioners are therefore placed on a rail, with one positioner able to be moved manually. In addition, we created a set of rapidly exchangeable adapters for each model, so all models have optimal clamping.”
Roeland Meijer continues: “ADK came up with solutions, clear concepts and a properly elaborated proposal. It is clear that they have ample experience in building these custom positioners. After installation we were also given a full on-the-job training, after which we were able to work with the positioners ourselves. Our employees are very happy, and we now also need less time for the whole sanding and grounding process.”
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