Story Plant recently invested over £1 million on new workshop facilities at its depot in Carlisle. As an essential part of the new facilities, the company purchased a set of four heavy-duty 10 tonne Stertil Koni Earthlift wireless mobile column lifts, type ST1100FWA.
“Our projects are intensive over the duration of an upgrade,” says Mark Bruce. “Various stages in a project require access to different areas of machines as they are stripped and reassembled. We generally have five ongoing projects at any one time taking an average of 15 weeks per project. However, where an unplanned repair is required, the Earthlifts give us immediate access to the underside of machines outside of planned activities if required.”
“Prior to purchasing the Stertil Koni Earthlifts, we relied upon workshop pits which restricted where and how works could take place,” says Mark Bruce, Head of Technical Development at Story Plant. “The Earthlifts now give us the opportunity and flexibility to work on machines anywhere in the workshop to maximise available space whilst having multiple projects ongoing at any one time.”
The investment allows Story Plant to upgrade and refurbish its fleet of road rail plant in line with Network Rail certification requirements. Additionally, the company has taken the opportunity to not only upgrade but also introduce improvements in performance, safety and reliability.
The Stertil Koni Earthlifts are used to raise wheeled excavator-based road rail vehicles with a future capability to raise tracked variants using a bespoke designed track carrier. Each Stertil Koni heavy-duty Earthlift provides a safe lifting capacity of 10 tonnes which, when used as a set of four, provides an overall lifting capacity of 40 tonnes.
A key factor in Story Plant’s decision to specify the Stertil Koni Earthlifts is the model’s unique Active Energy Retrieval System. The principle of this game-changing system is as brilliant as it is simple - to use the energy generated by the raised vehicle as it comes back down to recharge the batteries: in other words, to regain the gravitational energy. The new system increases the number of lifting cycles by about 35%, compared to a fully-charged set of wireless mobiles under maximum load. In addition to the reduction in power consumption, the Earthlift’s batteries need less recharging, thus increasing productivity and reducing costs.
As Mark Bruce says, “The combination of a reduced need for recharging, plus the harvesting of energy as the lift lowers, supports our drive towards sustainability. Consequently, the Active Energy Retrieval System was an important consideration when reaching our purchasing decision.”
The heavy-duty Earthlift also benefits from the incorporation of a wireless-mesh connectivity system that’s been specially developed for industrial applications. Featuring full-colour touch screen control consoles, the Earthlift’s eBright Smart Control System has been designed and developed to simplify operation by providing intuitive ease of use with maximum visual information about every lifting operation – all at the fingertips of the workshop technicians.
For added safety and performance, the eBright Smart Control System also shows how many columns in the set are being used and the battery status of each column. Safety is further enhanced by an independent mechanical locking system, incorporated into each column, which allows workshop technicians to securely lock the lift to prevent inadvertent lowering.
Thanks to the Earthlift’s special characteristics, including bio-degradable hydraulic oil, 98% of it can be recycled at the end of its long life. The combination of this, plus the Earthlift’s energy-saving features and Stertil Koni’s high production values, make it the world’s most advanced and sophisticated wireless mobile column lift.
As with all models in the Stertil Koni range, the Earthlift is supported by comprehensive after sales service options. These options have been designed to ensure that lifts are inspected and properly maintained and all required certificates are renewed annually in accordance with customer requirements. A nationwide network of factory-trained engineers operating from a fleet of fully-equipped vans, achieves a first-fix rate of over 90% utilising genuine Stertil Koni spare parts.