Heat, humidity, dust, abrasion – producing soft, hygienic paper is tough business and having equipment that can perform continuously in this environment is crucial to maintaining productivity. The Kimberly-Clark factory in Switzerland exclusively trusts trucks supplied by Yale® dealer, Avesco. From heavy duty forklifts to platform pallet trucks, the Yale equipment onsite operates round-the-clock and continues to impress with its ergonomics and reliability.
Andreas Nussbaum is not easily impressed. The facility manager at the Kimberly-Clark Group operation in Niederbipp has seen many different materials handling providers come and go. Almost every brand has attempted at some time to prove their worth in the Swiss paper factory.
For six years, this producer of Kleenex® and Hakle® hygiene products has used only Yale trucks. In Andreas’ opinion, that’s how it should stay, because he and the other 47 drivers appreciate the equipment’s durability. “The trucks are robust and there is very little damage – that’s great for our operations here,” says Andreas.
42,000 employees, 175 countries and brands like Huggies® and Kleenex® make Kimberly-Clark the world leader in hygienic papers. At its plant in Niederbipp, in the Swiss canton of Bern, 320 Kimberly-Clark staff produce products primarly for the local market. Paper production is not child’s play: it’s hot, it’s humid, there’s dust everywhere and production is a 24-hour a day operation. “Our work environment places very high demands on the vehicles in our factory,” says Andreas. At the same time, it is necessary to move large quantities: the paper machines have an almost insatiable appetite for waste paper and pulp – the two key raw materials in paper making.
The Kimberly-Clark fleet of 23 Yale trucks work accordingly hard: six diesel engine forklifts, from the GDP35VX to the GDP60VX, operate in the outside yard keeping the raw materials flowing and five electric trucks focus on logistics in the warehouses.
They have impressively long service lives, with the ERP16/18 VF series trucks clocking up over 8,000 hours in five years onsite and one GDP35VX registering 14,750 hours in just 65 months. “The trucks are used intensively, also in terms of operating hours,” says Andreas.