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News Release

Manitowoc stages special customer day to highlight improved factory processes and to present new Grove GMK6400

5/15/2012 Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Manitowoc welcomed close to 300 guests for a customer event at its factory in Wilhelmshaven, Germany to highlight the plant’s latest quality improvements. The event also provided visitors with the first opportunity to see Grove’s GMK6400 being put through its paces. The crane is the most powerful six-axle all-terrain crane on the market and visitors watched it make a series of impressive picks.

The Quality Days Forum took place on May 10 – 11, 2012, with crane owners from Europe, America, Canada and Australia attending.

Thomas Steuer, vice president of operations at the Wilhelmshaven factory, said the event emphasized Manitowoc’s commitment to building high-quality cranes.

“We want to be open and transparent with our customers and not just talk about our improvements but show people what those improvements are and tell them why they’re important,” he said. “Improving quality is a continuous process and our primary focus, but we never forget the importance of maintaining close relationships with our customers, through our sales organization and Manitowoc Crane Care service network. We closely monitor the feedback we get from every crane we deliver and this information helps us continually improve what we do.”

Manitowoc has focused on improving infrastructure at Wilhelmshaven over a period of several years, to refine all aspects of crane production. The quality improvements range from design and purchasing activities through to technical services, training, manufacturing and delivery.

One of the key changes has been our gradual shift to lean manufacturing. This is improving the supply chain process, reducing the number of components at the production line and focusing workers more efficiently. In addition, the shop floor has been reorganized and production inventories are kept to a minimum with deliveries occurring more frequently, leading to better crane shipment controls.

After a detailed factory tour, guests gathered close to the facility’s test pad for a working demonstration of the GMK6400. This new addition to the factory’s production line is a 400 t capacity all-terrain crane on a six-axle carrier, the strongest machine in its class. It offers a 60 m boom and self-rigging MegaWingLift capacity-enhancing attachment.

On the test pad, one GMK6400 demonstrated its strength by lifting a five-axle Grove GMK all-terrain crane, weighing 60 t. The GMK6400 made the lift with its 60 m main boom fully extended and the MegaWingLift attachment in place. A second GMK6400 then made an even more impressive pick, again rigged with the MegaWingLift. The crane lifted 8 t while rigged with a configuration of 55 m of main boom and 79 m of luffing jib – a pick that no other six-axle or seven-axle crane can currently manage.

Andreas Cremer, product manager for all-terrain cranes at Manitowoc, said the GMK6400 was a major highlight at the event.

“This is a market-leading machine that is impressive on paper but even more impressive when you see it working,” he said. “Our customers were very impressed by its capabilities and enjoyed the opportunity to climb aboard one of our flagship cranes.”

The GMK6400 is entering serial production with the first units due for delivery to customers in Germany, Italy, France and the US later this year. Other cranes on display included 15 GMK all-terrain models, showing the wide range of capacities and capabilities offered by Grove.

The unique GTK1100 was also demonstrated at the event. Its impressive capabilities mean it can lift 70 t loads at heights of over 120 m yet it can travel on as few as four or five trailers.

The Wilhelmshaven factory produces 10 models for the Grove all-terrain crane range, from the four-axle GMK4080-1 up to the seven-axle GMK7450. The GTK1100 is built nearby in its own dedicated facility, while Wilhelmshaven also directs manufacturing operations at Niella Tanaro where the two- and three-axle Grove GMK cranes are produced.

The Quality Days Forum highlighted Manitowoc’s latest achievements in delivering excellence in quality. The facility last staged such an event for customers in 2010.

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
Founded in 1902, The Manitowoc Company, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions with manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities in 20 countries. In the United States, the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain and Shuttlelift brands are sold and serviced by Grove US, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. In 2018, Manitowoc’s net sales totaled $1.8 billion, with over half generated outside the United States.
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