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Rock at Rolls

Rolls Royce OperatorIn 2004, one of the world’s most prestigious names in engineering, Rolls-Royce, was on the lookout for new forklifts. Five years later, when the task came round again, the solution was close at hand.

It’s almost impossible to overstate the power and prestige associated with the name Rolls-Royce.

One of the most famous names in engineering throughout the world, today Rolls-Royce is a global power systems company providing power for land, sea and air, with leading positions in civil aerospace, defence, marine and energy markets.

 Located on the western cost of Norway, the Bergen engine factory site was established in 1946 and is one of the biggest in the country.

 Supplying the engine factory is the adjacent iron foundry. Providing 70 tonnes a day of cylinder heads, flywheels and huge engine blocks for the Bergen factory, the foundry remains one of the most modern in Europe, with extensive safety and air filtration systems helping it to achieve ISO 9002 and ISO 14001 quality accreditation.

 A highly skilled workforce, regularly handling metals in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius produce top-quality castings for marine engines, wharf bollards and hydraulic winches.

 In amongst the giant furnaces, grinding and polishing bays, sandblasting units and spray booths are a variety of new Doosan forklifts.

 Diesel trucks from 3.5 to 13 tonnes and electric 3.5 tonnes trucks are used inside and out, in a 24 hour 3-shift system that runs 5 days a week.

 “When we were originally here, says Tore Bjølverud, of Doosan dealer, Scanlift, “we made note that dust and debris from the castings were inevitably going to impact upon the truck performance, and yet the trucks survived where a raft of competitor trucks failed.”

 It’s that reliability that’s largely responsible for us returning to the factory once again and immediately two things seem to have changed little over the years – the weather, and charismatic maintenance supervisor, Lars Jørgen Sandal.

 In 2004, Lars too (or Sandal as he’s known to his friends!) was mindful of the tough environment: “It’s easy for the dust to destroy the truck controls where there are too many electrical components,” he said back then. “The trucks are simple, but good. I think that toughness and price were the main arguments in their favour.”

Today those arguments remain true, but there’s an added confidence that the years of experience has fostered.

 “We now have five years’ experience of these forklifts and we know these are good machines. They do the job, are easy to use for the operators and… well, we chose five years, and now we choose five new years!”

 Key components, such as the rugged powertrain and sealed oil cooled disk brakes have obviously contributed to the success of the machines, but over the years, Doosan has continued to refine and improve the models. The latest Pro-5 series feature even better engines, more operator comfort and the Operator Sensing System to provide added safety. Adding a sideshifting fork positioner on the electric machine also adds further comfort and satisfaction for the operators, whilst reducing the risk of damage.

 All in all, Sandal is more than happy with the latest fleet, and even confidently predicts a third visit in 2014! Whilst our photographer contemplates coming out of retirement for that trip, our host flashes a trademark smile as he sums up what the foundry does best.

 “We produce the best castings in the world. Quality is very important. It means everything. Quality means the customer comes back and we need always the best tools for the job, and that’s why we choose Doosan.”

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Doosan Industrial Vehicle Europe
Division France

ZAC de la Clef Saint Pierre – Buroplus 2
1a avenue Jean d’Alembert
78990 Elancourt - France
T : +33 (0)1 30 16 21 51
F : +33 (0)1 30 16 21 55

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