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Industrial Trucks Forklift Trucks in Non-Ferrous Metal and Forming Businesses

Author / Editor: Hartmut Wolf* / MA Alexander Stark

Reliability is one of the trademarks of Braunmetall based in Graben-Neudorf, Germany. The medium-sized family business relies on logistics solutions from Hyster Europe. In comparison to forklift truck models from other manufacturers, the industrial trucks from this supplier are particularly reliable and robust.

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Hyster forklifts move the coils directly to the forming machines.
Hyster forklifts move the coils directly to the forming machines.
(Source: Hyster)

Braunmetall was founded by Klaus Braun as early as 1992 and started as a conventional non-ferrous metal trading company for the roofing business. The company has remained true to these roots to this day. Dealing with sheets and strips of copper, zinc and aluminum for the roofing industry is still the main pillar of Braun Metall Vertriebs GmbH. Copper, for example, is still used as root protection in bitumen membranes for flat roofs.

Stamping and Forming are the Strengths of the Company

Braunmetall's second mainstay is the foil and embossing technology sector. The aluminum and stainless-steel foils are mainly used by the automotive industry - for example to dissipate engine or exhaust heat. But composite films "made by Braunmetall" are also used in household appliances such as refrigerators or washing machines. Depending on the application, the company produces foils and thin strips made of aluminum, copper and stainless steel in a wide variety of composite variants up to a thickness of 0.5 mm. Major customers rely on punctual delivery just in time.


Carsten Braun cannot afford long downtimes for his industrial trucks. The owner and managing director of Braunmetall in Graben-Neudorf near Karlsruhe attaches great importance to quality and service. That includes delivery on time. If one of the 13 Hyster forklifts, order pickers or pedestrian controlled trucks fails over a longer period of time, the operational sequence would be impaired very much. Reliability is one of the reasons why Braun chose Hyster industrial trucks. “Apart from simple operation, handling and fast spare parts supply, the most important thing for us is operational readiness," says Braun. "Compared to other models, Hyster trucks suffer less downtime and require less repair," explains Hyster dealer Michael Pfalzgraf, Managing Director of SVS Stapler Vertrieb und Service GmbH in Rheinstetten near Karlsruhe. "We were even able to significantly reduce provisions for repairs. Additionally, the spare parts supply of Hyster Europe from the central warehouse in Nijmegen, Netherlands, runs smoothly."

Service for Forklifts of All Classes

Since its foundation 20 years ago, SVS has been one of the most efficient and experienced providers in the region. The company, which specializes in the service and sale of forklift trucks, currently employs 15 people. These include nine experienced service technicians with many years of experience in the forklift business. “With our comprehensive service for forklifts of all classes and our high quality standards, we have made a name for ourselves in the region," says Pfalzgraf, who focuses above all on teamwork. In addition to service, sales and forklift truck rental, the company also conducts regular training courses, e.g. for the forklift license, and offers various safety tests.

Hyster Electric Forklift in Continuous Operation

A total of five Hyster electric forklifts of the J2.0XNT and J3.5XN series are used primarily for loading and unloading trucks and for transporting coils to the warehouse and production lines. The robust and energy-efficient J2.0XNT four-wheel electric counterbalanced trucks are characterized above all by their maneuverability and the lowest energy consumption in their class. The trucks with a load capacity of 2 tons feature a zero turning circle steering axle, which ensures a narrow turning circle and enables the truck to be used even in narrow aisles and on busy loading and unloading ramps.

The reliable J3.5XN electric forklift trucks are used by Braunmetall for indoor and outdoor tasks. Thanks to the three-phase motor technology for drive and lifting mechanism, the trucks are particularly suitable for demanding applications during long shifts. Easily accessible components and on-board diagnostics help reduce downtime.

Braunmetall also Produces Small Series

Braunmetall employs around 100 people. Among them are six to eight employees of the Lebenshilfe charity for handicapped people, who work in production on a daily basis. Many employees have already been working in the company for 20 years and have an enormous wealth of experience. "The special thing about us is that we also produce small series," says Braun. "No matter whether five or 5,000 pieces are required." The employees emboss and cut the metal foils on a total area of 5500 m² including warehousing areas. With currently 13 tool surfaces, Braunmetall forms components from smooth, embossed and perforated foils and thin strips. The maximum clamping frame for a tool is 1800 mm × 1200 mm.

Braunmetall uses six S1.6 pedestrian operated forklifts to cut the embossed composite foils to size. The Hyster devices can be controlled by the employees via remote control. Depending on how many foils are to be loaded onto the pallet, the employee lowers the forks.

Reach Truck Ensures Efficient Operation

The forklift is connected to an information system that is equipped with a tablet that shows the driver where the goods are located in the warehouse. In this way, the coils required for production can be found quickly. Braunmetall prefers to use the R2.5 reach truck in the warehouse, which will soon be replaced by a new model with a newly developed lift frame. The ergonomic driver's cab enables efficient operation via touch screen and joystick as well as an adjustable steering column. "In the future," says Braun, "it is conceivable that some processes could be automated. We are currently examining the possibilities."

This article was first published by MM MaschinenMarkt.

Original by Bernd Maienschein / Translation by Alexander Stark

* Hartmut Wolf is owner of the agency Lupin PR in 60320 Frankfurt/Main, Tel. (0 69) 24 00 56 60, info@lupinpr.de

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