Plant & Works Engineering

Linde celebrate 500,000th truck at schaffenburg plant

Published:  18 June, 2007

PWE recently attended a ceremony to mark the 500,000th truck to roll off Linde Material Handling's assembly line at its Aschaffenburg plant in Germany, and to officially open its new development centre.

The company has been manufacturing forklift trucks at its Aschaffenburg site since 1958.

Georg Silbermann, managing director sales and marketing at Linde Material Handling, presented the jubilee vehicle - a H35 T LPG truck with 3.5 tons lifting capacity – to Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke AG, represented by Hartmut Kleine-Doepke, fleet manager for the Ruhr-Westphalia region and Meinhard Maurer, fleet manager for the southern Bavaria region.

According to the machine manufacturer, its success is based on two main factors: Linde Material Handling combines its truck manufacturing with its own development and production of hydrostatic and electric drive units under one roof. These conditions, according to the manufacturer, give Linde trucks technical advantages such as robustness, comfort, maintenance friendliness and sensitive handling. The second success factor explains Linde, is manufacturing expertise that has enabled many ideas and innovations to be implemented and still forms to this day the basis for the comparatively high level of vertical integration.

Diesel and LPG trucks of the 351 series, with a lifting capacity of 2.0 to 3.5 tons, which were produced in Aschaffenburg from 1984 to 2003, form the largest share of the 500,000 forklift trucks manufactured in Germany.

Although it has taken almost fifty years for the first half million vehicles to be produced at the Aschaffenburg plant, the second half is expected to be completed much quicker. According to current development and plans, it could take less than ten years.

Commenting on the opening of the new development centre at Aschaffenburg, Dr Stefan Rinck, spokesperson for the management of Linde Material Handling, said: "The building would be a future source of success for the company.”

Linde Material Handling has invested around €10m in three new buildings and the integration of an existing one. After just under one and half year's construction, employees moved into the new premises at the end of 2006. The buildings provide around 10,000m² of space for offices, test stands, workshops, assembly shops and the prototype workshop.

Linde Material Handling says it intends to extend its position as leading provider of technical solutions for increasing economic efficiency with the largest single investment since the comprehensive modernisation and reorganisation of its production and assembly facilities between 2000 and 2002. At the same time, the company is preparing for an extension of its product range in order to comply further with the requirements of the growing North American, Asian and Eastern European markets.