Lift trucks upgraded for aluminum smelter in Bahrain

Starting as a 120,000 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) smelter in 1971, Alba, today is one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters with a production output of more than 1.561 million mtpa (2021). The company’s products are exported to more than 240 global customers, and it employs over 3,100 people across its facilities covering more than 2.8 million square meters.

Two trucks fully dedicated to aluminum

A constant flow of aluminum products must follow a tight production schedule to satisfy demanding customer requirements. So Alba has two Konecranes SMV 50-1200C forklift trucks dedicated to moving 30-ton aluminum slabs from the production area to storage, and on to delivery. A wheelbase of 6,000 mm provides the stability they need to lift large blocks of metal. In addition, these two trucks feature steer-by-wire with a rotating seat, a special option that gives a smoother drive with better maneuverability and safety as well as less need for maintenance.

Konecranes makes lift trucks to last, but constant operation in a demanding environment strains any machinery. The time came to upgrade both forklifts and Konecranes added the latest available steer-by-wire technology. Each truck received a new steering valve to alleviate wear and tear, a hydraulic pressure accumulator for shock absorption in the sometimes unpredictable foundry environment, and new alarm reporting software for the touch screen control panel to boost overall safety.

“We were very impressed with the efficiency of the Konecranes technicians, with forklift downtime lasting only two days,” says A. Aziz Haji Abbas, Vehicle Maintenance Superintendent for Alba. “The technical solution they provided was exactly what we required. We could see improvements in performance immediately through higher productivity, reliability, and safety levels.”

Specialized technology and service

Alba demands high-quality equipment supported by excellent service and Konecranes has been able to deliver both. The company has been operating Konecranes forklifts in its aluminum production facilities for several years. With a large customer list to satisfy, the most important feature of every piece of equipment in the production chain is its reliability. Timely maintenance and upgrades provide exactly that: advanced technology combined with good technical support ensure long-term efficiency and minimal downtime.

“We always pay careful attention to customers’ needs,” says Kamal Ali, Product Support Manager, Konecranes Lift Trucks. “Metals production is a highly demanding work environment, but we have the right technology and a solid track record in the industry. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Alba as we work with them into the future.

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