Good service is everything!


MIFA concluded a full service contract with Stöcklin to that their fleet of stackers remains failsafe and available in the long term. This fleet management implemented at the Frenkendorf location focuses on maintenance, repair and supply of spare parts. Based on the results of a prior application analysis, it was possible to reduce the number of machines incorporated into the material flow by over ten percent. These savings are very notable, particular in terms of the maintenance costs.

In combination with the Mibelle Group belonging to the Retail Company Migros, the third largest supplier of its own brand on the European market, MIFA is the competency center for production of detergents and cooking fats. At the location in Frenkendorf near Basel, this Swiss market leader operates state-of-the-art production facilities, subject to the stringent rules of “Good Manufacturing Practice” (GMP). In the “Personal & Home Care” division 17 production lines and 12 packaging lines for powder and liquids have an output of 224 tons per day or 205,000 units. The “Nutrition” division is served by five production lines and nine packaging lines. Here 42 tons or 76,000 units of butter and fat products are produced daily.

Systematic optimization of fleet

The requirements for availability of each stacker in use are accordingly high. Stöcklin’s initial task was to determine the actual requirements for vehicles and types of equipment. This was associated with the prospect of action-relevant information for reducing the operating and maintenance costs.

“In the course of the subsequent potential analysis, we came to the conclusion, that the required productivity can also be achieved with a significantly lower number of floor handling equipment”

said Markus Stohler, Head of Regional Sales for Northwest Switzerland, Floor Handling Equipment Division of Stöcklin Logistik AG. This will require some repair work, modernization of the stacker fleet and efficient use of resources tailored to meet requirements.

No sooner said than done. Based on the fleet management concept, it was possible to reduce the number of vehicles from initially 66 to 55. Stöcklin overhauled and partially repaired 29 vehicles and replaced 26 with new vehicles. This customer tailored fleet includes electric lift trucks, electric high lift trucks, electric double tier units, cross-seat and 3-wheel stackers. Within the scope of the six year, full service contract Stöcklin will take over all maintenance, service and repair work as well as supply the replacement parts.

This overall package, which also includes safety aspects as well as continuous transport optimization, ensures that each individual machine is always ready for operation, thus guaranteeing continuous availability of the entire stacker fleet. The amount monthly for this full service is based on the results of the application analysis. The partners assume an average of 6,600 hours of operation per vehicle per year.

“Such a fixed price agreement makes the cost structures transparent and provides a reliable basis for calculation for the next few years”

continued Markus Stohler.

Model series integrated harmoniously

New at MIFA are, for example, ten Stöcklin EDP 20 electric lift forks with a load capacity of up to 2,000 kg These are used primarily for loading and unloading work on the ramps, while also temporarily taking over assignments in the area of supplying material to and picking up products in production. Moreover and EDP 2001-P with driver control platform and side bars as well as five electric high lift trucks form the EDI 14 series in use in the warehouses at the Frenkendorf location. The latter are laid out for an elevating height of 2,800 mm and a load capacity of 1,400 kg. Moreover EDD 12 model electric double tier units from the Swiss brand name manufacturer of floor handling equipment are in operation primarily in the production environment. The central task is provision of raw material for further processing. This requires moving load with weights of up to 2,000 kg.

Due to the minimum dimensions and compact design, these robust machines have proven themselves particularly for use in comparatively close quarters in the area of production and logistics. The design principle with the drawbar located at the side ensures that the operator of the EDI 14 always has a free view when picking up and setting down the goods. The other models are equipped with a center mounted drawbar. The primary advantages of this solution are maximum freedom of motion and increased maneuverability. All drawbar heads are designed according to ergonomic principles and can be operated sensitively even with work gloves. The large rocker switches allow finely controlled, proportional lifting and lowering.

Moreover the machines are distinguished by state-of-the-art, energy saving AC travel drives and speed regulated DC elevating motors. The lateral drive with lateral support rollers and center drive with two spring loaded, shock absorber mounted support rollers provide maximum operating stability and traction for handling goods. The integrated LOS system (Limited Operating Strategy) ensures that the stackers are not completely unmaneuverable in the event of a defect and can still be operated for a certain time in spite of limitations.

The contract partners have decided in favor of an EFI 1600 cross seat stacker with elevating height of 2,800 mm and load capacity of up to 2,000 kg for storing and retrieving goods in/from the deep freeze storage facilities. With a width of 800 mm and stem length of only 920 mm, this is also an extremely space-saving version of the vehicle, which, nevertheless satisfies highest quality requirements. The multi-function handle ensures easy operation. The human engineering standards also include electric steering, an adjustable shock-cushioning seat, padded armrests, stowage compartments and floor platform with adjustable height. ESI 1250 cross-seat/console stackers with mast travel of 1,800 m are used in the loading zone. Lateral drive and one lateral support roller guarantee optimum traction and operating stability in combination with the terrain compensation integrated into the initial stroke.

Full service mode, also includes other brands of equipment

The fleet of vehicles integrated into the processes is completed by six, 3-wheel counter-weight stackers. These machines are from the new 15BT-9 series produced by the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai, for whom Stöcklin has served as the Swiss sales representative since 2013, and also provides services in the areas of service and maintenance as well as stocking and supply of parts. Thanks to a width of only 1,074 mm and turning radius of 1.540 mm, these electric stackers are also suited for use in the narrow aisles in the halls. Five of the six vehicles are equipped with adjustable telescopic fork tines, allowing adjustment as required between 800 and 1,200 mm to allow Euro pallets carrying raw materials or finished products to also be picked up in the crosswise direction depending on the space requirements.

Within the scope of the six year, full service contract Stöcklin Logistics will take over all service, repair, preventative maintenance and, if necessary, overhaul work - for vehicles produced themselves as well as the Hyundai equipment.

“With the selected full service mode we guarantee MIFA continuous availability and reliability in operating the stacker fleet and assume the responsibility for observance of all legal regulations”

emphasized Markus Stohler. This relieves the customer of work, which does not contribute primarily to added product value and saves them money besides.

Maintenance of value ensures added value

“Stöcklin has already introduced their experience in the floor handling equipment sector profitably for other companies in the M industry, who have also decided in favor of integrated fleet management. This is why we gratefully accepted this offer, and are very satisfied with what has been achieved, even after a short period of time, in monetary terms as well as with regard to functional and operational reliability and safety.

Said Marc Ursprung, Logistics Manager at MIFA AG. This traditional Swiss company can now concentrate on its strategic challenges and core competencies.

This performance guarantee from the Swiss forklift manufacturer represents an “all round carefree package” for companies operating fleets whether small or large. It can be subdivided into a number of processes consisting of analysis, optimization and implementation with the objective of providing transparency for all equipment in use as well as organizing intra-plant transport more safely, efficiently and sustainably.

Author: Urs Grütter