Teletruks are playing vital roles in the removal of production line robots for maintenance at Land Rover and Jaguar factories in the UK.
At Halewood Operations, Liverpool, home to the Jaguar X-Type and Land Rover Freelander 2, a TLT 35D fitted with a fork positioner is used to remove any robot if it fails. Previously Halewood had to hire in a crane or dismantle robots and repair them in-situ.
The Freelander 2 assembly line is located close to the Jaguar X-Type line. There are a host of access issues that the Teletruk can avoid thanks to its forwards reach, which makes it the ideal solution for automotive robot removal.
Maintenance staff can now quickly change one robot for another and repair the first one offline. It has been at the forefront of major repair work to the assembly lines. It is also used daily as part of routine maintenance work.
A Teletruk was chosen because of the extending boom and also because the machine's weight and size is within the plant's requirements. The 35D has forward reach of 2.43 metres, which allows it to lift 2100 kg at 2 metres forward extension. It can also lift its capacity 3.5 tonnes to a height of 4.4 metres. With no mast obscuring the view as on a traditional forklift truck, the operator has clear forward vision.
Able to get to 90 per cent of locations, the Teletruk's extending boom allows maintenance staff to reach under overhead systems. It is also used to reach over guard fences and provides a safe slinging point.
The side-shifting fork positioner moves forks left and right as a fixed pair, as well as closer together or wider apart, all lever-controlled from the cab.