Modern forklift trucks as a vital safety component in industrial installations
27 October 2017
Nowadays, explosion protection has an absolute priority in many areas of the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and petrochemical offshore industries. This is anything but surprising, because its neglect always bears the risk of severe damage to products, equipment and the loss of human life.
In order to equip ex-areas of any company, competent specialists are needed on the buyer side as well as on the supplier side, leaving nothing to chance in terms of product safety and quality.
Sichelschmidt material handling is one of these specialists on the supplier side, who internationally contribute to plant safety with the development and production of state-of-the-art explosion-proof forklift trucks. This challenge can only be met by constant innovation and high product reliability.
“Given the requirements of the international standards regarding construction and design, system functionality, as well as, on-site environmental challenges and varying application requirements, a successful manufacturer of ex-protected forklift trucks must above all have innovative power and flexibility”, explains Ralf Sichelschmidt, Managing Director of the company. Sichelschmidt engineers are continuously developing new solutions and often, due to high demand, these designs are added to the Sichelschmidt standard product range. During more than 100 years of company history, an extensive product range was developed for Ex zones 1 and 2 or 21 and 22, Ex IIC, Class 1 Division 1, as well as, a whole range of non-ex trucks and vehicles.
In addition to international standards for the ex-protection of forklifts, numerous other regulations may also have to be complied with, depending on the type of application. In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, a package of measures is used in GMP clean room class C environments, including among others, the use of isopropanol-resistant paint for the truck chassis and masts, as well as, the use of solvent resistant plastics. Additionally, the chassis are constructed based on aspects of "hygienic design". Trucks of such design are used in various applications throughout the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
However complex the requirements may seem – demands may become even more challenging. In offshore applications, corrosion protection under extreme conditions is an essential factor. Specifically for this type of application, Sichelschmidt has developed an offshore package, which includes explosion- and seawater protection. Isocyanide free paint with layer thickness greater than 330 µ, as well as stainless steel nuts, bolts and other stainless steel fastening elements are a major part of this package. All hydraulic pistons are chemically nickel- and chromium-plated, and the Safety Charging System allows battery charging in ex-hazardous areas, as non-hazardous areas are rarely available on offshore installations.
Various parameters must be taken into account during development and construction of ex-protected forklifts for international markets, in order to provide the customer with long-term product satisfaction and peace of mind. Innovative skills, experience and know-how are the essential tools for companies such as Sichelschmidt material handling, which are already working on the challenges of tomorrow. In close collaboration with the customers Sichelschmidt develops state-of-the-art forklift trucks that are characterized by low maintenance requirements, maximum safety and extreme durability – thus being their contribution to global plant safety.
For more information please visit www.sichelschmidt.de.
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