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Comblift Case Study

The Winning Formula

“The relationship that we’ve built with Air Products is very important to us. They are a major part of us being able to function as a business - without them we cannot work.

The fantastic customer service and no-nonsense attitude of the Air Products team has been key to our long-term relationship. We know there will always be a knowledgeable member of the Air Products team available to take our call. They know our business inside out. Air Products always works hard to make sure we have the latest technology and products, meeting our needs as we grow and expand.

Jonathan McKenna, Fabrication Manager at Combilift

Introduction

As the largest global manufacturer of multi-directional forklifts and a leader in long load handling solutions, Combilift transforms the way companies handle awkward loads, especially where space is limited.

Its substantial year on year growth is built on its ability to customise everything it manufactures, delivering a consistent and reliable service to its customers.

With a range of gases used in the manufacturing process, establishing a long-term, trusted relationship with one of the world’s leading industrial gas companies, Air Products, has been key to Combilift’s ability to grow and evolve as a business.

The challenge

Starting with just three employees, Combilift now employs 550 workers across the world and has a turnover of approximately €300 million. With the recent opening of its brand-new factory in Monaghan, Republic of Ireland, Combilift looks set to continue to grow, with projections of up to 750 employees in the next two years.

Air Products has been providing a reliable and consistent supply of cutting and welding gas to Combilift for over a decade. It has become a trusted partner, using its expertise and extensive knowledge of the business to evolve the type and mode of gas supply over the years, supporting Combilift’s continued growth.

The challenge has been to develop with the business, in order to:

The solution

Air Products’ review process has supported Combilift throughout its growth, with the team working to constantly improve the service and product it offers. This covers the type of gas, all the way through to the method of supply, including everything from bulk storage and piping to usage and materials.

From the outset, Air Products worked to improve the type of gas used, switching Combilift to its Ferromaxx® gas range. This offers several benefits - not only are the gases easy to use and tolerant to variations in weld parameter settings, they have also been developed to ensure low ozone exposure levels. The net result is improved weld quality, fewer rejects and a better working environment.

Combilift immediately noticed the increased quality and efficiency of the gas as Fabrication Manager, Jonathan McKenna, explains: “The quality of gas improved the quality of the weld. When we worked with Air Products to find the right gas mix, it made big improvements. Changing the type of gas, helped us produce the best quality weld. It made everything a lot easier.”

As Combilift grew and increased production, Air Products switched them from single gas cylinders, to a bulk onsite liquified gases storage tank solution, with on-site gas blending. This not only alleviated the need for multiple weekly deliveries of gas cylinders and additional storage space, it also reduced environmental impact, improved safety and supported cost savings. Eliminating the cylinder connection and the need for manual handling has also had a major impact on team downtime.

Most recently, at Combilift’s newest 46,500 sq metre factory in Monaghan, Republic of Ireland, Air Products has worked with the Combilift team to ensure the right tanks and pipelines are in place. They have also introduced their Gastrak® Service which allows Combilift to set and lock the optimal flow rate, monitor gas consumption.

Air Products has been providing a reliable and consistent supply of cutting and welding gas to Combilift for over a decade. It has become a trusted partner, using its expertise and extensive knowledge of the business to evolve the type and mode of gas supply over the years, supporting Combilift’s continued growth.

The outcome

The solutions Air Products has introduced over the years have offered a number of key benefits:

  • A reliable and consistent supply of cutting and welding gas that improves weld quality and rejects;
  • Cost savings and reduced downtime delivered by bulk gas supply;
  • The provision of valuable data and intelligence, via Air Products’ highly trained and experienced applications and commercial teams; and
  • Gas filling logistics controlled by dedicated systems, preventing gas from running out, reducing downtime and ensuring a consistent gas supply to respond to production demands.

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Overview of gas consumption saving options from Air Products