ABUS cranes—important for quality at MFO S.A.
MFO S.A. (www.mfo.pl) is a Polish manufacturer of steel profile sections used in window construction and PVC systems. The company also produces special profiles for industries active in the construction, automobile, installation, and air conditioning sectors as well as plasterboard sections for building and installation industries.
Through the years MFO acquired a strong position on the world market. At present MFO’s products are on offer in over fifty countries spread over five continents. The company was founded in 2000. Soon MFO became the market leader for cold-formed steel profiles in Poland with the aim to reach market leadership in Europe also. MFO processes between 500 and 700 tonnes of steel on a daily basis and holds several patents for products and production technology.
The core of the company philosophy is to satisfy the customer with high quality products. The production at MFO is aligned with European standards. The quality is audited by an independent research and certification institute. Independent auditors from Switzerland and from the UK make sure the internal quality objectives are put into practice by auditing the company regularly.
The Polish manufacturer is able to keep high standards by carefully selecting their suppliers. This applies to the use of tools and machinery with high demands on reliability and safety but also includes cultivation of working culture. All these criteria contributed to MFO deciding for crane systems made by the company ABUS after comparing different offers for these crane systems.
During the period between 2008 and 2019 ABUS supplied MFO with a total of 21 EOT cranes with SWLs ranging between 5 and 16 tonnes and spans varying between 7 and 19 metres. EOT cranes supplied included double girder cranes (ABUS type ZLK); single girder cranes of the ELV type (girders made of double T shaped rolled steel sections) as well as type ELK with girders made from welded torsion-resistant boxes. Some of these cranes feature raised-up connections between end carriages and main girders in order to satisfy MFO’s requirements. Cranes built in this way make it possible to maximise lifting heights and to make optimal use of the available space of the building.
Production: flexible, optimised, high-quality
The production process in the MFO plants includes two phases. The first preparatory phase sees the primary material made into semi-finished products. The material—consisting of extremely heavy steel coils—is stored in the storage area. The storage section fills half of the building where the production process begins. Two ABUS cranes work in the logistics area: one in the lorry unloading zone; the second crane takes the coils to be processed further where the coil is slit into steel strips of various dimensions. In the second phase the steel strips are formed in several successive work stations until the final profile is reached. Starting material and end product are quite different as to weight and shape. Steel coils present as toroidal cores with each one weighing as much as 24 tonnes whereas the steel profiles may reach lengths of 8 to 12 meters yet are relatively lightweight. This had to be taken into consideration when designing the cranes.
During the first years of MFO’s production forklift trucks were far more prominent in the production processes than they are today. Each forklift driver has to be experienced and qualified to transport these loads safely in demanding conditions. Later on the use of wheeled vehicles at ground level was reduced in favour of track bed vehicles in the upper part of the building that features the ABUS crane system. This has resulted in better logistics on the production floor itself and in an optimised used of the building. Work safety of the machinery operators improved as well. The use of ABUS crane systems made it possible to concentrate the potential of the forklift truck fleet in the loading and unloading zone.
Investment in quality
Another production plant was inaugurated in March 2019. There are 11 ABUS cranes installed in this plant. MFO plans to ramp up production capacity by over 57,000 tonnes annually in the near future. ABUS cranes are reliable assistants for further investments of the Polish manufacturer who values high quality. ABUS Crane Systems Polska sp. z o. o. (www.abuscranes.pl), the Polish daughter company of ABUS, assisted MFO with their choice of cranes and also carried out installation and commissioning.