When Mertens Heftruck Service offered PSA - the world's largest harbour operator - to try the Easy Gripper 2160 at its Antwerp facility, PSA experienced a big drop in tyre mounting time on its straddle carriers by 70% - from 10 to approximately three minutes per tyre.
The company has evolved from only servicing forklifts for the different companies in Antwerp to being a specialised supplier and service partner for lifting equipment for Antwerp harbour.
Lately, the co-operation with SANY resulted in an order from PSA on three reach stackers.
“The next step will be that we move into the harbour area in a few months; only by being close can we also be the best service partner for our customers,” Jeroen Mertens explains.
Having recently delivered the reach stackers for PSA, it felt natural for Jeroen Mertens also to offer them a free test of the Just Easy Gripper 2160. Having mounted the tool on a forklift and delivered it at the harbour, he was to come by and see how the tyre changes were going some time the next morning.
“But only a few minutes after starting using it, they called me,” Jeroen explains. “'You have to come now if you want to see it in use' they said. They were working much faster than expected, so they were almost done with all the tyres only a little after 8 o’clock!”
In just 40 seconds, the driver had managed to pick up a lying tyre, placed it over the axle, and fitted it on the bolts, ready for the nuts to be fastened on the NOELL Straddle Carrier, which takes a couple of minutes. In total much faster than the 12-15 minutes it usually takes.
“The straddle carrier was the hardest test we could find for the Easy Gripper, as the bolts and the tight space around the tyres can be a little tricky to handle,” Jeroen continues. “But, naturally, it can be used for the other vehicles in the harbours - reach stackers, empty container handlers, and so on."
The Easy Gripper 2160 is not only designed to optimise the workflow – primarily it was designed to improve the working environment both when it comes to decrease the daily strains on the workers handling large tyres, as well as to minimise the risks of serious accidents.
It is developed to meet the ISO 13849 standards.
“This set of standards is so tough in terms of safety, that the implementation in most countries has been postponed to 2015,” engineer Karlo Brondbjerg from Just Easy Tools explains. “But we chose to work according to the toughest standards, as safety for the users was one of the prime concerns.”
VIDEO: watch the Easy Gripper 2160 in action: