18/12/2012 - 10:35 am

Orlaco provides vision for Combilift trucks at U.S. steel mill


Combilift dealer Calumet Lift Truck Service Company opted for Dutch firm Orlaco Products' vision system on Combilift C8000 trucks for use at a Chicago-based steel mill.

The system was required to solve vision issues in the front and the rear of the truck, while holding up to an extreme industrial environment.

"We had heard about Orlaco’s systems through Combilift," said Jason Meyer, fleet service manager for Calumet. "They are a factory option at the Combilift factory in Ireland, so we were familiar with their quality products."

Meyer added that Calumet had found out the "hard way" that wireless systems are not practical. "Originally the truck had been fitted with a wireless system from another company that had so many problems with signal interference and battery issue that it was essentially unusable. When looking at a wired system, the most obvious weak point to me was the cable," he said.

"Other systems use a standard electrical cable that would put strain on the conductors, while Orlaco uses a cable with braiding that takes all the strain from moving through the mast."

Orlaco’s mast cable is specially designed to withstand continuous bending, twisting and torque in tight spaces, with a rating of over 1,000,000 cycles. This makes the cable ideal in forklift applications where it is run through the mast over pulleys, back to a monitor in the cab.

"Reliability is probably the most important aspect of the system," said Meyer.  "Since Orlaco’s systems are designed to be used in industrial applications, we have no worries. The steel mill is probably one of the harshest environments that it could be in, and the Orlaco system has been working since early 2011 without any issues."

Greg Aloia, general manager, Calumet, admitted that Orlaco's location in Holland initially raised concerns over customer support and service but added: "The support that they have provided at time of purchase and since has dispelled any concerns. From now on, it doesn’t matter what the piece of equipment is or where it will be used, Orlaco is the only system we will install."

Orlaco, with several sales offices worldwide, develops and produces camera systems for a wide variety of industrial applications.

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