Manitowoc Model 888 crawler crane undergoing remanufacturing at H&E’s Birmingham facility

Manitowoc Model 888 crawler crane undergoing remanufacturing at H&E’s Birmingham facility

In the USA Manitowoc is moving its remanufacturing services to dealers across the country under a major new programme.

The EnCore Partners programme for dealers in the Americas was launched by Manitowoc at the beginning of January 2011. Under the plans, Manitowoc Crane Care will partner with interested dealers that pass rigorous capabilities assessments to provide crane remanufacturing and major repair services.

Gilberto Ferreira has been appointed director of EnCore Americas, Manitowoc Crane Care's remanufacturing programme. Ferreira joined Manitowoc in 1997 and has been based in Sao Paulo, Brazil since 2007. He has held a number of positions at the company, most recently as the director of Manitowoc Crane Care in Latin America.

Under the partnership dealers will receive commercial, technical and retail financing support from Manitowoc Crane Care and Manitowoc Finance. "We are approaching this from a different perspective, and we are trying to encourage all the dealers to develop their own remanufacturing facilities and skills," says Ferreira.

Construction equipment giant and Manitowoc dealer H&E Equipment, based in the USA, is the manufacturer's first US partner.

Ferreira explains that the days of transporting cranes to its own remanufacturing facilities are numbered. "What we are doing is regionalising that because transport cost is high, both coming and going on larger machines. This way if we can get the dealers, in close location to the customers, and we support them through Manitowoc Crane Care, then we can make it a better value proposition - bringing all the customers' cranes to Manitowoc is a high cost that we cannot support today."

The manufacturer will not only help set up remanufacturing facilities but provide access to engineering resources and tools they may not have. The partnership will include training the dealers' existing personnel and providing Manitowoc's experienced staff with in depth knowledge, for example, of welding procedures and the remanufactured crane's original specifications.

H&E is already experienced in carrying out this type of work, making it an ideal partner. "We have stopped our focus on repairing cranes in our facilities. So our facilities will mainly focus on repairing booms, small components, repairing gear boxes and repairing transmissions," says Ferreira. "We are stepping back a little bit and allowing dealers to go to the customer but it is not about one taking over responsibility from the other, it's really a partnership."

So far three H&E facilities have been appointed to the programme: Birmingham, Alabama; Bell Chasse, Louisiana; and Houston, Texas. At its PP&E Birmingham facility the company has nearly completed the refurbishment of a Manitowoc Model 888 crawler crane. It will be shown at Manitowoc's ConExpo booth in March.

Frank Arthur, H&E Birmingham branch manager, says the Model 888 is very popular in the US market. "It is, for us, an excellent machine to select for remanufacture. One of the reasons is that the buyer has invested heavily in attachments. They can't just go out and buy another 230 US ton crane because they would lose all their attachments."

Over a three month period the Model 888 will have been completely stripped down, blasted and inspected. "All the welds are checked and we have a very stringent repair procedure to follow that Manitowoc provides for us in remanufacturing. All electronics and hydraulics are replaced. The pumps and motors are completely remanufactured through Manitowoc. All the planetaries are rebuilt to Manitowoc guidelines. We have a book list detailing the scope of work and we are following that form," Arthur explains.

According to H&E the complete remanufacturing of a crane will cost about half the amount of buying a new machine. "We have relied on Manitowoc to come in periodically and monitor the work we are doing and offer any suggestions or input and be sure we are following the punch list. If we have any structural repairs that have to be made, their engineers come down to us with the procedure," says Arthur.

"We are telling our customers, if we undertake a project of this magnitude, and we go through the machine top-to-bottom, we are giving you a machine back that is capable of another lifecycle. Whether that be 15 or 20 years, depends on maintenance and how it's been maintained."

He adds, "There is no reason why we cannot remanufacture any crane Manitowoc makes and have the same financial angle to it and the same extended life."

So far Manitowoc has approved six dealers, with up to nine facilities. In total there are 15 dealers requesting to set up a partnership, says Ferreira. "For the last three months we have been visiting them to try and approve them. Some of them will be approved, while others will not be approved because they do not have the minimum requirements. But, so far, we have seven facilities in the USA that can refurbish Manitowoc or Grove products."

The programme is also spreading to South America, where the manufacturer is working with Tracsa in Mexico, a Grove dealer. "They have a rebuild facility, so they have asked to be part of the programme. - they are already working on Grove products."

"I hope these plans extend into Europe. The dealers have approached the programmes with a lot of enthusiasm. So we are confident as soon as we have set the foundations of the programme in America, we will extend it to Europe."

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