In the specialist arena of ground engaging tools, ConMech are a leading light.
Established in 1949, the business has over 60 years of experience, ensuring the performance and productivity of loading and excavating machines remain at peak efficiency through high quality components.
The ground engaging tools often represent one of the highest ongoing expenditures on earthmoving equipment, encompassing cutting edges and wear parts.
ConMech Engineers manufacture these vital components for leading OEMs and replacement parts for leading brands including Caterpillar, Komatsu, Liebherr, Volvo and others. All blades are manufactured from either Heat Treated Boron Steel or Carbon Steel depending on customer requirements.
It’s a highly specialised process. The heat treatment facilities and expertise developed over the years has led ConMech to offer the facility to third parties, proudly pointing to the high degree of specification. The larger furnaces can take parts up to 6.3 metres long, giving them the capabilities to take on some major projects and there are both water and polymer quench facilities.
It doesn’t stop there. Substantial stockholding of steel sections enables the business to manufacture less common and non standard parts quickly, ensuring replacement down time is kept to an absolute minimum.
With such engineering heritage and expertise at their fingertips, a supplier of materials handling equipment could be forgiven for feeling a little under pressure, but Windsor’s local partnership approach means they have been able to strike up an easy friendship with this impressive customer.
Describing Windsor Materials Handling as ‘very professional and friendly’ and offering ‘excellent attention to detail’, heat treatment director Bob Beetham almost induces a blush in the, not-altogether-bashful regional manager, Stuart Dawson. Perhaps like a man preparing for a punchline that doesn’t come, Stuart remains somewhat hesitant.
However, Windsor’s performance has had a big impact on the ConMech business. Stepping in at the end of another supplier’s contract, they were able to offer not only a competitive price but a reliable service. “We need a prompt response to breakdowns,” says Bob. “Being efficient is exactly what our business needs.”
When deciding on which trucks to recommend, Windsor demonstrated the cost savings associated with LPG models, together with the environmental benefits over diesel. Now the forklift fleet is not only more cost-effective, Bob describes it as ‘clean, efficient, versatile and manoeuvrable’. Ten Doosan G30E-5 trucks are now in service, replacing equipment that was previously kept on the sidelines awaiting repair and servicing. What was a very expensive process is now one less problem to think about, as Bob explains:
“In our business when we are handling hundreds of tonnes of steel each week, of various shapes and sizes, it is imperative that we have a reliable forklift fleet and a supplier that can respond quickly.”
Stuart Dawson also points to other simple ways in which the company could save money. Said Stuart: “Fitting speed limiters to the trucks has reduced the amount of fuel used and also assists with improved health & safety on site.”
“There’s also the engine shut down system, when the operator leaves the truck, the engine will shut down automatically after 30 seconds, resulting in more fuel savings and protects the engine from unnecessary overheating. Finally we recommended a bulk gas supplier, instead of the operators having to change LPG bottles, the trucks have refillable bottles, a very quick and efficient way of refuelling.”
The long term benefits are improved site health and safety, and fuel savings. Benefits that have clearly not been lost on Bob: “Downtime costs us money and has a massive impact on the business. Windsor not only remedied the situation, they recommended innovative solutions on fuel saving and have delivered on all fronts. We regard them as part of our production team.”
“We are very pleased with the equipment and the service. We know that equipment has to be maintained correctly and all equipment is prone to breakdowns when it is worked as hard as we work the equipment in our fleet, but our experience has been excellent and the performance of Windsor to date fills us with confidence for the future.”
Heat Treatment Division
Heat treatment is very often described as a ‘Black Art’. In reality heat treatment is a very exact and precise science and if all the variables of the heat treatment process are firstly identified and then controlled to their upper limits then perfect heat treatment can be performed every time.
Con Mech’s philosophy is that in the whole history and life span of a component of steel from being smelted at the blast furnace to being drawn, forged or cast and eventually being machined to size as a finished component, probably the most important minutes of it’s life is the transfer and Quench cycle during the heat treatment process.