Precision PistenBully vehicle assembly with Erikkila cranes
Kässbohrer assembles its Pistenbully heavy utility vehicles on a new line using a sophisticated Finnish crane system
PistenBully vehicles have many uses: PistenBully snowploughs clear the way for unlimited skiing fun, offering power and agility, and can handle even the steepest terrain. These powerful machines are assembled in Laupheim, Germany. Since 2016, the assembly lines are supported by an innovative lifting and transportation system made by the Finnish crane specialist Erikkila. Founded in Finland over a century ago, the Helsinki-based company has specialised in crane systems for the past four decades. This long experience and enthusiasm for new technology are brought together in Erikkila’s ergonomic light crane systems and lifting gear, bridge and robot cranes, and the corresponding lifting and conveyor devices.
In collaborating with Erikkila, Kässbohrer’s primary goal was to progress from mass production to order-based production. For this reason, optimisation of the work processes for this new production format was essential. The positioning of all the parts, including the engine, support frame, driver’s cab, and the preparation of components for electric and hydraulic wiring must be supported by the crane system with exact precision. This is why Erikkila was the partner of choice.
Flexible systems for timely production
Flexible systems for timely production
In addition to other all-terrain vehicles, up to four PistenBully vehicles are completed at Kässbohrer’s factory in Laupheim, Germany. These large machines are no longer manufactured in large series, but are instead adapted to the needs of each customer.
This requires that the processes and equipment are highly flexible and modifiable. The modular design of Erikkila cranes were perfect for this purpose. At the new assembly line, lifting gear with a total of 200 metres of rails and 15 crane bridges smoothly helps the assembly operators on two levels. The operators always get the correct tools on the tool boards precisely delivered by Erikkila’s light aluminium cranes. The cranes can be manoeuvred in all directions, while securely staying in the selected position.
At the front of the line, where the operators assemble the PistenBully chasses, the steel and aluminium crane systems are mounted one above another. With Erikkila’s crane construction kit system, this layout was possible without any difficulty. And special solutions from other suppliers would have been far more costly, according to Kässbohrer experts involved in the project.
The steel cranes are electronically controlled. Two bridges with chain hoists can be seamlessly managed through only one control unit. The synchronous movement and smooth unloading greatly simplifies the positioning of the carriage. The carriages can now be unloaded in the correct position, without the swinging motions that were so disruptive with the Kässbohrer’s old boom-based system.
The clearly structured Kässbohrer PistenBully production line was made even more efficient with the innovative double crane system supplied by Erikkila. The aluminium and steel bridges work on two levels to supply all the components to the assembly operators. Loads of up to 750 kilos can be precisely placed using the rail and bridge system, and Erikkila adapts the working loads of its system to the static paramaters of the production hall and production needs.
With facilities in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and USA, the Kässbohrer brand accounts for 60 percent of all vehicles for building ski slopes, cross-country trails and fun parks. The global rise of Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG matches the strong growth in the recreation and tourism market.
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The main characteristics in the development of ERIKKILA are the realisation of opportunities, taking advantage of innovations and technical know-how. Today ERIKKILA is a dynamic manufacturer of light crane systems and importer of special products. Brand ERIKKILA tells about entrepreneurship, technical realization, engineering skills and persistence. ERIKKILA is a part of a worldwide KITO-group.