Continental operates its central tyre logistic centre for Switzerland in Neuendorf. In the warehouse near Basel, almost all the tyres sold in Switzerland are received from the European production locations and distributed from there to the Continental sales points. A latest-generation KAUP tyre clamp has been used there for several months.
More than just rubber
“The latest tyres” is how Continental advertised its car tyres for a long time. Today it uses a different slogan, but that changes nothing about the self-image of the Hanover tyre producer. A major difference to the past: today, the range of tyres is more varied than ever. Practically every vehicle has its own individual sizes. You will notice that as soon as you enter the tyre logistics centre near Basel. Shelves of tyres everywhere. Large and small. Narrow and wide. For cars, commercial vehicles and tractors. A total of over 250,000 items. A selection that overwhelms and exudes the typical tyre smell into the 15,000 m² hall. And causes hard-working activity. This increases when new tyre versions come in when the range changes in summer and winter. Then the numerous forklifts and tugger trains used here start moving around a bit faster. Truck horns are sounded in the warehouse a bit more.
But it is in a more peaceful area of the warehouse that the reason for the visit can be found: a rotating roll clamp from KAUP. The 2T458B is the second roll clamp from the Aschaffenburg engineering company in use at Continental. But there is a decisive difference between the two attachments: age. The sister model has now been in use for a quarter of a century. Ivan Lafranchi, Warehouse Manager in Neuendorf, comments on the long period of use, which will not end any time soon, with a “that’s quality”. The new roll clamp can pick up rolls and tyres of up to 2,100 mm diameter and is not intended to replace the current tyre clamp. It has a different purpose. With it, particularly large tyres are transported. Tyres like the ones used for quarrying vehicles or tractors.
Attachment “saves” five workers and brings safety
All tyres have the same logistics: they are delivered from various Continental tyre-production sites throughout Europe to the central warehouse and from here distributed throughout Switzerland. The big difference, however: the dimensions and thus the weight. While it is possible to transport multiple car tyres at the same time – in bundles, boxes, etc. – the largest tyres always have to be handled individually. In individual cases it is also possible in pairs.
“Earlier, we manually loaded and unloaded the lorries at the loading bay with six or seven people” says fork-lift driver Kristjan Preni, explaining the process, “and that naturally took time.” In addition, this process was difficult and in places also dangerous for the warehouse workers. Today, Kristjan Preni and his colleagues do it on their own. For the same work, they only need one Jungheinrich fork-lift truck with rotating KAUP roll clamp. And this combination needs fewer than 30 minutes for loading and unloading horizontal or upright tyres. An enormous time-saving. But not just that. At the same time there is an increase in transport and operational safety.
A further aspect: sensitiveness
“At the beginning, we were thinking about a simple clamp with fork tines”, says Ivan Lafranchi, “but we quickly rejected this line of thought.” The up to 800 kg heavy tyres may appear to be solid, but they have to be clamped very carefully and sensitively in order to prevent damage. “And that is only possible with a tyre clamp”, explains Ivan Lafranchi the decision process. “This sensitivity of the handling is missing, however, with normal clamps and the danger of crushing for the tyres is too great.” An understandable aspect. Because even minor damage is enough to make the hundreds of Euros worth of tyre unusable.
Continental Suisse S.A. has been distributing the products of tyre manufacturer Continental in Switzerland for over 40 years. With a high-performance logistics centre in Neuendorf SO and its own fleet of trucks, the company can supply dealers in all regions of Switzerland with tyres of all sizes flexibly and promptly.