As Hyster celebrates the production of the 1000th Hyster ReachStacker, international journalists visited the NMHG factory in the Netherlands to see how the giant container handling machines are made.
"A dedication to quality runs through every aspect of designing, manufacturing, and delivering all Hyster® products," says Peter van Sommeren, Manufacturing Operations Manager at the NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG) factory in Nijmegen, the Netherlands as the 1000th Hyster ReachStacker flows along the production line.
Peter explains that from concept to launch, every new Hyster product follows a carefully structured development process. "Prototype trucks are proven in application before going into production. The 1000th Hyster ReachStacker is an excellent example and testimony to our promise to proof message."
The latest Hyster ReachStacker gives exceptional fuel savings of up to 25pc when compared to previous Hyster models and some competitor models. It took many years of development, life-cycle simulation and testing to develop this unique machine which has class leading lift speeds and combined motions of lift and boom extension while driving.
"We had the first test trucks running back in May 2012 and have since collected thousands of validation hours in real life applications," he confirms, explaining that the 1000th ReachStacker is one of the first Tier 4 final / Stage IV trucks to leave the factory.
In January 2015, International press were invited to see how the new Hyster Reach Stacker is built on the production line at the factory in Nijmegen.
“Changes made at the Nijmegen plant in recent years help to ensure that the design and manufacturing processes meet stringent quality standards and have enabled us to optimise costs, product quality, parts availability and speed of resolution of problems both in production and in operation,” says Peter.
At the event, journalists followed the journey of a ReachStacker from when the frame is first brought onto the production line and dressed with hydraulic hoses and cables. They witnessed the strict Total Quality Control (TQC), as operators fitted the axles, Cummins engine, transmission and cab to prescribed and proven build processes.
"Operators at each station on the assembly line double check the work of the previous," says Peter, explaining that the skilled operators use Digital Torque Control and have a first time right culture. "We also have strict quality controls on each individual component used to ensure maximum reliability in the most intense and time critical port operations."
After the boom and spreader is fitted, the quality team conducts a full functional test of each ReachStacker with laden containers in the test centre.
Like all Hyster manufacturing sites, the Nijmegen factory is ISO certified and employs world class manufacturing technology and state of the art processes. It was, however, the first Hyster manufacturing operation outside the US, first opening in 1952. Today the factory produces all Hyster Big Trucks from 8-52 tonne capacity for use globally.
The plant's exceptional standards were recognised in 2013 when it achieved the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Recognised for Excellence 4 Star level. Also that year the factory was awarded a Dutch environmental award, Milieuprijs Westenweurt, for being the most environmentally friendly company in the industrial area of the east Netherlands.
“Evidence of the Hyster quality culture can be found everywhere, from product design to aftersales support and maintenance,” says Peter. “It is equally important in the management of supply chain relationships and in the provision of training and support to distributors and to ensure end customers can keep their operations moving."
The build of the 1000th Hyster ReachStacker was tracked at the start of the production line, and Hyster shared photos and videos at key stages of the build on social media https://twitter.com/hystereurope
. Hyster will be reporting on the 1000th ReachStacker as it begins operation at PCH at the Port of Hamburg.