Konecranes supplies Chinese automotive manufacturer

14 May 2019

Konecranes has installed two open winch cranes at the new Nanjing Maxus factory of China’s largest automotive manufacturer SAIC Motor.

The Smarton cranes, which comprise a 50t/20t double-hook crane and a 50t single-hook crane, are being used at the facility’s stamping area to move moulds of automotive component parts, and are designed to optimise safety, reliability and efficiency at the operation.

Mr Wang Ying, ME chief engineer and SV51 project director of SAIC Maxus Automotive said: “For SAIC Motor, safety, quality and efficiency mean everything.

“Through our experience at our SAIC’s plant in Shanghai, we have a deep understanding of how important safe and reliable cranes are to manufacturing processes. Even a single incident means dies may break down, and more significantly, people may get hurt. That’s why we rely on Konecranes to provide us with cranes with first-class safety, efficiency and reliability.

“The new plant is strategically important for SAIC Motor and we had challenging delivery times. Konecranes provided us with outstanding support throughout the entire process and found innovative solutions to optimise the crane production process, shorten lead times and help us meet our tight deadlines.

“Throughout the design, installation and commissioning process, the Konecranes team provided us with professional, prompt and highly experienced service, which was key to us keeping the whole project on schedule.”

Wang also commented on the smart features of the Konecranes cranes, which incorporate the manufacturer’s Truconnect technology for gathering and analysing performance data in real-time.

“Automatic features can open more opportunities for Konecranes in the near future,” said Wang.

“We use Konecranes for production-critical tasks such as die transfer and material transfer. The cranes are reliable and help to minimise downtime. But Industry 4.0 is the way of the future, and we want to be at the forefront of automation.

“We like the smart features such as the sway control, protected areas and synchronisation of hoisting, as it gives us total control over our material handling and helps us to improve operator safety and reduce load cycle times.

“Paving the way to becoming a technology-focused company is very important to us. And now that manufacturing is very strong in China, we have the technical means to further train our employees to become experts in this area.”

SAIC Motor produced almost 7m cars in 2017, and is also China’s leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles.

The cranes will be essential in the manufacturing of new models that respond to trends in China and globally, such as larger vehicles as China’s one-child policy is lifted and the population increases, as well as new energy vehicles in response to China’s strong sustainability and green energy initiatives.

Wang said: “Our strategic department identified a trend towards vehicles with five or more seats. In response to this trend, our current projects are focusing on two models: the multipurpose vehicle (MPV), which is a five-seater, and the SUV, which is a seven-seater. The MPV will start production at the end of this year, and the SUV will begin production in June 2019. And we will require safe and reliable new Konecranes units cranes to meet those demands.

“We are looking forward to working with Konecranes as the demand for larger cars in China increases. Our shared focus on safety makes our relationship with Konecranes one that is highly valuable over the long term.

“We are the biggest new energy automotive company in China. This year, we sold approximately 200,000 hybrid electric vehicles. China is ranked third in the new energy market across the world, and we’ve seen an increase of 30-40% in sales of these vehicles.

“Nowadays, people are more conscious about having a greener, healthier world, and our government is sharply focused on preserving our clean air and water. Forward-thinking companies like SAIC are conscious of the need to shift their manufacturing to greener, more sustainable methods.”