VELOCITY VIDEO CASE HISTORY
Hot and heavy
FORKLIFTS ARE CATEGORIZED AS “INDUSTRIAL
trucks.” But let’s face it. The forklifts that work in a
nice clean warehouse do not need to be nearly as tough
as vehicles that toil in an industrial foundry. Picking up
thousands of pounds of aluminum while working in tight
spaces around furnaces that reach a blistering 1,300 degrees
Fahrenheit requires very rugged forklifts. That’s why managers
at Madison-Kipp Corporation chose the forklifts with the industry’s
best warranty, UniCarriers, for their heavy lifting.
Founded in 1898, Madison-Kipp operates three foundries in and
around Madison, Wisconsin—including one in the
suburb of Sun Prairie. The company produces lightweight aluminum die castings, precision machined
components, and system subassemblies for manufacturers of automobiles, motorcycles, lawn and
garden equipment, recreational vehicles, and other
industrial goods. Its products include transmission
housings, oil pan covers, and a variety of engine
Eleven UniCarriers trucks work at the Sun Prairie
facility. It’s a harsh environment for any forklift.
It can be hot and dusty, and the factory floor is
uneven. The three-shift operation requires forklifts to work continuously.
They must be dependable and rugged enough to perform the operation’s many lifts of heavy aluminum materials and work-in-process while
still providing drivers with comfort that lasts their entire shift.
Madison-Kipp tried several brands of forklifts before choosing
UniCarriers as its sole supplier.
“We don’t always have a perfect environment for the trucks to be in,
but they handle it extremely well,” says Scott McNeil, manufacturing
support manager at Madison-Kipp. “The normal day-to-day, wear and
tear use—these machines just eat it up.”
A range of UniCarriers forklifts perform transporting and lifting tasks at
the Sun Prairie facility. Smaller, 3,000-pound-capacity units unload solid
aluminum pieces weighing up to 1,800 pounds from inbound supply
trucks. Several 7,000-pound UniCarriers Platinum II vehicles load the raw
aluminum as well as large bins filled with scrap aluminum left over from
processing into the open doors of hot furnaces.
“Because we are trying to keep the furnaces’ doors closed as much as
possible, [the vehicle] has to be a heavy enough piece of equipment to
load that all in one shot,” explains McNeil.
The furnaces melt the aluminum into liquid form that is next transferred into large ladles. Nomad forklifts equipped with rotator attachments then pick up the ladles to take them to holding furnaces and casting machines. Upon arrival, the lift trucks hoist the
heavy ladles up to the top of large holding furnaces.
The loads are rotated so that the ladles can pour the
liquid aluminum into top receiving ports for holding
until it’s fed to the casting process.
The facility also has a machining area. Several
5,000-pound-capacity forklifts take products
to and from the various work cells. And finally,
3,000-pound-capacity vehicles load finished goods
onto outbound trucks at the facility’s shipping docks.
A TRUSTED PARTNER
Madison-Kipp works with its local UniCarriers dealer, Capital Equipment
& Handling, to lease its fleet of forklifts, which now number 31 units
across the three plants.
“We have a 24-hour-a-day operation here. So, the trucks build up their
use time very quickly,” notes McNeil. “Working with our representative,
Paul Croissant, we’ve established that three to four years is a fair use of
these trucks to be able to say we want to turn around and freshen up
our fleet. And it has worked out well for us.”
McNeil adds that Capital Equipment & Handling also performs mainte-
nance and repairs on the fleet vehicles. “They do a great job of servicing,
and it keeps us in operation,” he says. “We’ve looked at a number of
brand names. For different reasons, whether it is cost or efficiency of
operation of the equipment, UniCarriers has become our choice. They
are just very solid pieces of equipment for us.”
To see a video of the UniCarriers forklifts in action at Madison-Kipp’s facility in
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, go to dcvtv.com and click on the Velocity Video on Channel 2.
For information on UniCarriers, please visit www.unicarriersamericas.com.
A DC VELOCITY SPEED CHALLENGE
Need to lift several thousand pounds of molten aluminum?
No problem for these rugged and reliable forklifts.