New Hammar robots boost New Zealand sideloader production

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 6, 2019

A new automated robotic welding system installed at the Hammar factory in Sweden will help the sideloader company to also boost its production in New Zealand.

Registrations of new Hammarlifts in New Zealand last year (2018) formed only a portion of the total sales/orders received, and would have been greater but for limitations on production capacity. The new multimillion Euro investment in Sweden, along with investments in expanded production facilities in Auckland, will help cut delivery time.

A number of Hammar sideloaders destined for the New Zealand market will now be shipped with a fabricated chassis using the new robotic welding system, thereby reducing assembly time at the Auckland production plant. At the same time, the Auckland facility will continue to fabricate complete chassis as before.

The first five sideloaders manufactured by the new robotic welder recently landed in New Zealand and were completed and delivered in around half the usual assembly time.

Hammar New Zealand managing director Fred Sandberg said the robotic welding at the Swedish factory has many advantages for customers.

“It means that our products are made to even more precise and accurate tolerances. It also means that chassis fabricated in our Auckland factory have faced an upgrade in both design and quality.”

Each chassis fabricated on the robotic welding line in Sweden and destined for New Zealand is broken into two halves to fit into containers and reassembled upon arrival here.

Sandberg says the new welding method will help Hammar overcome a production bottleneck that has been hampering the high demand in New Zealand.

The Auckland factory at Takanini has been extended and given a new layout to make assembly operations flow better and faster. A separate workshop was opened nearby for assembly of new Hammarlifts and final testing, but Sandberg said even these moves have not been enough to keep up with burgeoning demand in recent years.

With the ready-made chassis from Sweden requiring less production time when they arrive, Sandberg said the local team would be able to complete each sideloader faster.