Production of the new Hyster® Reach Truck will take place at the NMHG production plant in Masate, Italy. International journalists joined the production team at a recent launch event in Masate to get the inside story on design, quality and the new Hyster world of warehousing.
“The new Hyster Reach Truck is an extremely tough and reliable product, delivering high performance with an exceptional mast design offering enhanced lift and lowering speeds” says Masate Plant Manager, Michele Corini. “It is a very stable truck, with a major focus of the design on the ergonomics for the operator, from the easy access step and dedicated handles to the mini-lever controls and strong, adjustable steering console.”
The NMHG warehouse business in Europe has averaged 14% annual growth since 1996 and the new reach truck is an important milestone for the business. To prepare for production of the new Reach Truck, the Masate plant closed for four weeks during the summer of 2013 to plan and set up the technologies and layout of the new assembly line.
“About 20,000 units are manufactured here in Masate each year,” says Michele Corini. The 35,000 square metre Masate site, near Milan, has over 250 permanent employees and the capacity to build 85 trucks per day. “We are pleased to bring the most advanced Hyster Reach Truck into production following many years of design and relentless customer testing.”
From concept through to launch, each new Hyster product follows a carefully structured development process, including steps confirming that the product design will deliver all the intended benefits to its users.
Hyster Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) machines are also produced in Masate together with High, Medium and Low Level Order Pickers, Stackers and Powered Pallet Trucks. Facilities include a product development centre and an extensive testing area.
Stringent testing and life-cycle simulation verify the dependability of the truck design, while close cooperation between manufacturing, marketing and service functions ensures that new products can be built and supported to consistently high quality standards.
“All Hyster manufacturing sites are ISO certified and employ world class manufacturing technology and state of the art processes,” Michele Corini says. “The Hyster quality process is adhered to at every stage of the manufacturing process for every piece of equipment.”
Product testing is an important part of the production process. A 50 metre test track at Masate enables equipment, for example the new Hyster Reach Trucks, to be tested to their full capabilities. Tests include energy efficiency, lift and travel speeds, productivity, and stability. Class III products are tested using a ‘rolling road’ which is controlled and tested automatically, rather than manually.
“One of our key messages is that we deliver ‘from Promise to Proof’” says Michele Corini. “Through strict quality testing, we develop products that we know will deliver reliability, dependability and a low total cost of ownership. To support the testing we carry out during development, we also follow up with customers to gather results from real life applications, which is the ‘proof’ we provide to the rest of the world.”
Further proof of the quality processes is the number of awards the NMHG Masate Plant has received over the years. These include DFT certification for the company-wide Demand Flow Technology system, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification and three Regional Training Awards. In 2013 the plant also received OHSAS 18001 Certification.
As well as Europe, the Masate plant serves the global market for Hyster warehouse equipment, shipping trucks to the Middle East, Africa, Brazil, Asia Pacific and China.
Michele Corini joined NMHG as a Manufacturing Engineer in 2000 and became Plant Manager of Masate in March 2010.