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12.03.2024

A real challenge

HANSA-FLEX is a Zeppelin service partner for Cat construction machinery and engines

  • Construction

Slowly, the dump truck weighing over a hundred tonnes starts to move. The construction machine for surface mining has impressive dimensions. The letters “CAT” are emblazoned on its side. They stand for Caterpillar, manufacturer of construction machinery and engines. Zeppelin is the German authorised dealer of the American company and, in addition to sales and conversions, also takes care of maintenance and service. Since numerous hydraulic components are used in the attachments of the complex construction machines and the engines, the company has relied on HANSA‑FLEX as a supplier and service partner for around ten years.

 

Caterpillar´s product range includes far more than just the steel giants for the mining industry. Its range even includes micro excavators for gardening and landscaping work. With their attachments, the machines can be put to almost any use. As contractual distributor, Zeppelin sells some 150 different types of machinery for the construction, agriculture and forestry sectors as well as industry. All the machines have one thing in common: they have complex hydraulics. The same applies to their attachments, such as quick-change systems, concrete shears, hydraulic hammers or concrete pulverisers. “Over the last few years, hydraulics in the field of attachments have become increasingly more complex and powerful. The quality requirements to be met by the peripheral hydraulic components such as hose lines and couplings have correspondingly increased”, explains Thomas Steimer, Service Product Manager. “We chose HANSA‑FLEX as a partner because it consistently fulfils these requirements.”

 

 

Attachment maintenance

In the tough operating environments in which construction machinery is used, ongoing inspections and, where necessary, hydraulic line replacements are essential for ensuring the optimum availability and efficiency of the attachments. As Zeppelin also has a rental division, and therefore not only sells but also leases the machines and their attachments, a greater amount of coordination work is required. “We need partners that are represented nationwide, like HANSA‑FLEX”, comments Martin Sebestyén, Head of Rental and Fleet Management at Zeppelin Rental. The hydraulic specialist supplies the Zeppelin workshops with hose lines, couplings, screw fittings and attachment materials to enable it to service the attachments in line with the required intervals. “If the original parts on the attachment equipment have already been replaced with our hose lines, the individual components can be uniquely identified via the X-CODE and easily re-ordered via Zeppelin”, comments Marco Jedrzejek, Key Account Manager at HANSA‑FLEX.

Speedy responses

If major damage, such as a torn hose line, occurs to an attachment, speed is of the essence. After all, if a key construction machine fails, the entire construction site gradually grinds to a halt. In this regard, it is of great benefit that both HANSA‑FLEX and Zeppelin have tight-knit service networks throughout Germany and beyond. The mobile hydraulic service team can get to sites quickly and rectify the damage. The HANSA‑FLEX service technicians who work for Zeppelin are specially trained in relation to construction machinery and their mobile hydraulics, enabling them to quickly and reliably find the causes of defects.

Whether a scheduled inspection or a problem with pressurised and return lines on the attachments: the availability of the hydraulic components is a real challenge for HANSA‑FLEX as Zeppelin is responsible for thousands of machines and the volume of materials that has to be delivered for the customer-specific attachment equipment is correspondingly large. Furthermore, the machines are built in line with American standards and use connections that are somewhat rare in Europe. HANSA‑FLEX stores the appropriate components at its branches so that they are available all over if required.

Original equipment manufacturer for engines

A further Zeppelin division also uses HANSA‑FLEX’s support: the Power Systems division. This is an official Caterpillar partner for Cat and MaK engines and a leading provider of drive and energy systems. The Caterpillar division acquires the engines and modifies them in line with the specific requirements of its customers, who come from industry, the oil and gas sector and the marine sector. The engines are also used for rail vehicles as well as to generate electricity and heat. The desired modifications and challenges for the service team are as diverse as the customers themselves. HANSA‑FLEX also works as an original equipment manufacturer in this division as the engines are modified ready for use with partially complex attachments such as radiators. As the areas of use differ greatly, so too do the requirements. For example, hose lines on ships have to be certified in accordance with the specifications of various classification companies, such as Germanischer Lloyd, whereas hose lines for rail vehicles have to comply with the new standard EN 45545-2. HANSA‑FLEX has the appropriate materials and certificates for all of these requirements. The hydraulic specialist supplies industrial and hydraulic hoses, couplings, fittings and connections for system solutions that are already complete. In the case of newly developed solutions, HANSA‑FLEX also offers advice on the optimum design of the hose lines.

Flexible service

HANSA‑FLEX is also an important partner for Zeppelin Power Systems with regard to the servicing of engines: “We have to offer our customers quick and flexible services in the event of hydraulic issues”, explains Petra Widmer, Head of Purchasing at Zeppelin Power Systems. In the case of ships, for instance, there is only a very narrow window for servicing work to be conducted while ships are in a harbour. “HANSA‑FLEX has never yet disappointed us when it comes to flexibility and speed: they always get to our customers with the right products and at the right time, whatever their location.”

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