THE new Caterpillar facility in Thailand has exclusively used Konecranes for the design, installation and servicing of more than 70 overhead and jib cranes. The new facility in Rayong has been operating since February 2013 and is used for assembly of medium-sized D5, D6, D7 and D8 tractors.

Konecranes are used throughout the new Caterpillar facility at Rayong.
Konecranes are used throughout the new Caterpillar facility at Rayong.

Caterpillar (Thailand) Ltd is a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc - a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives - and employs more than 300 people at the Rayong facility.

Konecranes supplied 54 overhead CXT cranes, seven jib cranes and nine XM cranes with CLX chain hoists. These are used for in-house fabrication of the tractors and lift parts anywhere between 7kg and 10 tonnes.

“Caterpillar has used Konecranes before in Indonesia and Singapore and they have a very good record. They are a well-known global company and their cranes have the highest level of safety, which is important to us,” says Caterpillar’s manufacturing engineering manager Phongphan Luanmang.

The cranes range from 2 to 10 tonnes, with the larger cranes towards the end of the production line, where heavier lifting is required. The 5 and 10 tonne cranes are fitted with sway control, which automatically prevents the load from swaying, allowing them to fit into tighter spaces, and operate more safely and efficiently.

Mr Luanmang says prior to equipping the new facility, Konecranes inspected every beam and gave instructions on how to modify the building to maximize the efficiency and performance of the cranes. “It was really helpful to get their expert input at this early stage, so that once the facility began operation, it was designed for the best levels of performance and efficiency.”

The facility is the second to be established in Rayong and Caterpillar plans to expand its workforce at the new facility to 3000 by 2018. “For us to meet our targets we need no downtime. Konecranes was able to provide this for us,” says Mr Luanmang.

Konecranes says the CXT cranes, with individual hoist capacities up to 80 tonnes - and complementary CXT wire rope hoists - are designed to be industry benchmarks of safety and ergonomics, with easy and effective load handling and optimum dimensions for space saving solutions. They have excellent hook approaches at both ends of the crane and the headroom requirement is minimal. They are designed to eliminate unused or under-utilized square metres because the crane can operate closer to the walls and lift the load higher.

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