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Customer cases

Read about our customers' success when using Hardox

SSAB Hardox steel earthmover

Built-in quality - Giorgio Novara

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Built-in quality - Giorgio Novara

For Italian machine part manufacturer Giorgio Novara, nothing is more crucial than quality. That is why the team always chooses Hardox from SSAB when they need a steel material for one of their products.

Based in Turin, and with a further four sites across Italy, Giorgio Novara produces and distributes wear parts for earth-moving machines. The machines are mainly used in quarries and the construction industry. One Giorgio Novara’s top sellers is its earth-moving bucket, which is typically purchased by either distributors or end users looking to replace the existing buckets on their excavators, wheel loaders and dozers.

The Giorgio Novara bucket is made from SSAB Hardox steel, with grades ranging from Hardox 400 to Hardox 600. Some buckets also have three Hardox 450 round bars welded to them – an innovative solution that adds stiffness and wear resistance to the structure, while the round shape improves the ability of the material to slide. According to Ferruccio Novara, President of Giorgio Novara, his company’s replacement bucket generally offers better quality than the original bucket on the machine.

“Customers choose the earth-moving bucket from Giorgio Novara because it’s made of Hardox, which is the best steel on the market,” says Novara. “The Giorgio Novara bucket also offers significant benefits as it’s stronger, lighter and has a longer product life cycle.”

“The name Hardox means it comes with built-in quality guaranteed,” he adds.

Novara explains that Giorgio Novara developed the bucket from scratch using Hardox 400/450 in 1995. He says that the material choice was an easy one to make, as Hardox not only reduced the weight of the bucket, but also extended its product life, making it 20-40 percent more durable compared with similar products made from other materials.

For the last few years, Giorgio Novara has also been increasingly involved in the recycling market where it sells products made from SSAB’s Toolox brand.

“We always buy the best material that’s available. That means that if we want steel, we buy Hardox from SSAB because it’s the best-quality product on the market,” Novara adds.

About Giorgio Novara

Founded in Turin in 1958, Giorgio Novara is a leading Italian producer of machine part components. Its products are produced at its sites in Tuscany, Liguria, Emilia Romagna and Sicily and used by Italian engineering companies across Italy, as well as in Asia, Africa and South America – in mines, construction sites and cement plants.

Hardox benefits for Giorgio Novara

  • Extended product life cycle by up to 40 percent
  • More robust, durable material reduces need for maintenance, thereby maximizing uptime
  • 20-30 percent weight reduction for increased efficiency and load

By Isabelle Kliger
Photo: Giorgio Novara

This article has been published on SSAB World magazine’s issue 2/2016.

The biggest wheel loader bucket in China

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The biggest wheel loader bucket in China

XCMG, one of China’s biggest construction machinery manufacturers, is a long standing customer of SSAB. They recently manufactured the biggest wheel loader bucket in China, with a capacity of 17 m3. Use of Hardox plate and Strenx performance steel has increased the overall bucket lifetime by 70%.

The first bucket is being used with one of Joy Global’s wheel loaders in the Eastern Open Pit Mine in Shuozhou, Shanxi, which is the biggest coal producing area of China. As the strategic partner and bucket supplier of the end-user, XCMG knew that to meet the end-user’s requirement and to have better performance in the coal mine, a bucket must stand up to tough working conditions and have maximum lifetime.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z_P-oGcOCo

“The original bucket had worn out and the end-user needed a reliable replacement. We have been using Hardox wear plate and Strenx high strength steel for years, but it’s the first time that we worked together with SSAB’s K1 service center in Kunshan. After having the design drawings of the bucket, K1 developed the entire solution recommending steel grades, thicknesses and welding procedures. We welded based on all the ready-made components provided by K1,“ says After-Market Service Engineer Cai Tuo of the Earthmoving Division of XCMG.

The benefits – better wear life

The first bucket with Hardox 450 in the main body, Hardox 400 in the side bars and Strenx 700 in the structural part of the main body has been used in the coal mine for 3 months (2,000 working hours). The measuring result showed the wear loss to be 2 mm, when the original thickness of the edge plate was 80 mm. The service life was expected to exceed 5 years, compared to 3 years for the previous bucket.

“The stable quality of Hardox wear plate and Strenx performance steel, together with the great service of SSAB Shape, brought superior wear performance to the product,” continues Cai Tuo.

The clear customer benefit was an increase of 70% in overall bucket lifetime using Hardox wear plate and Strenx performance steel. All bucket components were made in SSAB’s K1 service center in Kunshan and the components were welded in XCMG’s own factory. XCMG is one of China’s biggest construction machinery manufacturers and the world’s 5th largest. Joy Global Inc. is a worldwide leader in high-productivity mining solutions.

SSAB saves LKAB time and money with Hardox 600

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SSAB saves LKAB time and money with Hardox®600

LKAB’s experience with Hardox® wear plate, a wear-resistant steel, goes back several years, but recently the company’s requirements for service life and more advanced solutions have become more acute. The higher volumes being unloaded have led to increased wear and fewer opportunities for maintenance. In this context, Hardox® wear plate, in specific Hardox® 600 has contributed to improved operations.

- “What we were looking for was a material which could maintain a uniform quality over a long service life,” says Evert Nilsfors from LKAB, Narvik, Norway. “Hardox® 600 has proved equal to all our strictest requirements.”

One material which can match these requirements is SSAB’s most advanced wear-resistant steel: Hardox® 600. This is extremely hard, not just on the surface, but throughout its entire thickness, meaning that wear will not vary over time.

- “Our cooperation with LKAB has a long history, so it is gratifying that we have now arrived at a business solution,” says Jakob Stenström, Sales Manager Scandinavia, SSAB Special Steels

Higher demands on all parties

Hardox® 600 is no ordinary wear-resistant material, and taking advantage of its properties requires all involved parties understanding what is necessary, from plate production, to the shops where the material is cut, drilled and welded - to maintenance personnel on site. Stud welding of wear plates is a cost-effective method, permitting quick and simple assembly, and thereby prolonging replacement intervals.

- “It has been a great benefit that we can now plan our maintenance. Previously, shutdowns were unplanned, and that increased costs,” Nilsfors says.

Optimizing the wear-resistant material

LKAB did not just want a hard-wearing material, but also had an ambition for the whole solution to be as cost-effective as possible.

- “Wear is rarely evenly distributed in an application. Instead there are areas of heavier wear in which thicker plate needs to be used. But on the other hand, there is no point using the thicker material in low-wear areas,” says Jonas Allebert, wear specialist at SSAB.

By careful analysis of drawings and flows, an optimum solution for the whole chute has been designed. The result is that the whole chute has the same service life, with maximum benefit from the wear-resistant material.

Stud welding of Hardox® wear plate


Jonas Allebert, SSAB and Evert Nilsfors, LKAB

Ernsts Express: 100 tons of CO2 saved per truck

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Ernsts Express: 100 tons of CO2 saved per truck

Swedish trucking company Ernsts Express has applied SSAB EcoUpgraded to its fleet, as part of its long-standing commitment to sustainability. The recent upgrade of its hook lift containers with high-strength steel has resulted in a 700-kg weight reduction per container and a fuel savings of close to 3,000 liters per year for the current truck-trailer vehicle.

In the last decade, Ernsts Express has carried out a number of projects to upgrade its containers using high-strength steel in order to reduce weight and extend service life. The most recent project targeted the company’s 35-cubic-meter hook lift containers, which were upgraded with SSAB’s Hardox 450, replacing the previous 355 MPa standard steel.

Christer Steingruber is the chairman of the board of Ernsts Express and the son of the company’s founder, Ernst Steingruber. He admits that he is impressed with the weight reduction that has been achieved.

“The upgrade of our hook lift containers to Hardox reduced the weight of each container by 700 kg. For an entire rig, which is made up of three containers, the weight reduction – and thereby the payload capacity increase – is 2,100 kg,” he says.

This allows for more payload per trip and also reduces the fuel consumption of the empty vehicle. The removal of stiffeners on the sides has also resulted in less wind drag, which has further reduced the fuel consumption.

“Our calculations show that applying SSAB EcoUpgraded on Ernsts Express’ hook lift containers will save more than 100 tons of CO2 during the lifespan of one truck with a set of three containers,” adds SSAB’s Jonas Larsson, director of environmental affairs. “The main reason is the reduced fuel consumption – which adds up to about 35,000 liters of fuel saved over 12 years – while another contributing factor is the reduced amount of steel needed to produce the containers.”

According to Ernst Express’ CEO, Roger Blom, the company’s sustainable profile is good for business too.

“We’re facing tougher environmental demands, both from a legislative point of view and in the tender requests we receive from customers. SSAB EcoUpgraded allows us to strengthen our offering using environmental arguments,” he says, adding that he would encourage other companies to participate in the SSAB EcoUpgraded program.

“If you have the opportunity to join this initiative, you really have nothing to lose. SSAB provides all the necessary support, as well as backing with sales arguments and data samples to demonstrate the CO2 savings,” concludes Blom.

About Ernsts Express

Ernsts Express is a privately owned Swedish trucking company that has been in business for more than 60 years. Founded in 1955 in Avesta, north of Stockholm, the company has grown from a one-man operation to one of the Sweden’s 10 largest trucking companies. It currently employs around 160 people and operates more than 100 heavy vehicles. The company prides itself on its sustainability profile and is constantly seeking new ways to increase capacity, improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact.www.ernstsexpress.se

By Isabelle KligerPhoto: Henrik Hansson

This article has been published on SSAB World magazine’s issue 1/2017.

radmanso schakt

KH-KIPPER - tipper body unbeatable in mines

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Using elastic properties of Hardox steel, KH-KIPPER designed a new W1M tipper body for transportation in difficult exploitation conditions in mines.

The kinetic energy of the impact, even of rocks with considerable fraction, is perfectly absorbed.  Vehicles equipped with such a body are a perfect solution for repetitive transport cycles of the load from the place of extraction to e.g the crusher.  A new type of tipper bodies meets the requirements of customers who expect light but strong vehicles.

KH-KIPPER is the leading Polish manufacturer of tipper bodies on chassis over 12 t GVW. KH-KIPPER has been cooperating closely with SSAB for years and is an active member of HARDOX IN MY BODY program. In 2015 as one of first three companies in the world, it joined another program - MY INNER STRENX. 

„The best materials such as high-strength steels that we use helped us to optimize products in terms of strength and lightness, and membership in SSAB’s brand programs enables us to improve production processes. Nearly all new KH-KIPPER products are almost completely made of Hardox and Strenx steels. Both steel types ensure strength and stiffness of structures with the use of thinner steel sheets. Our tipper bodies have reduced weight but improved performance, safety and durability. Many improvements would not be possible without strong and professional technical support from SSAB. We have access to the latest product know-how, workshop processes and innovative designs with the use of Hardox and Strenx. There are regular meetings and trainings related to welding and other steel processing techniques, where our employees from different departments can gain practical knowledge but also share our experience with SSAB’s experts. SSAB is one of our major and best suppliers and business partners”, says Andrzej Kamionka, the president of KH-KIPPER. 

A new tipper body design made with the use of wear-resistant steel Hardox enabled to reduce the body’s weight and thus increased the tipper’s payload. A reinforced sandwich type floor is made of several millimeter Hardox plate on top, shock-absorbing rubber layer and a third special construction layer with numerous vertical profiles withstanding the impacts of big rocks. Therefore it is possible to eliminate most of the additional elements stiffening the floor. Hardox was selected also due to easy cutting, forming and welding with the use of traditional methods.

MEGA – production with passion

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MEGA company from Nysa, Poland, is one of the youngest Polish manufacturers of transportation vehicles; it has been established in 2004. From the very beginning, the company’s strength has lied in people – the team is well prepared to weld and assemble various steel structures. Therefore, a new company, which could not compete right away with the biggest companies in this branch, has focused on a small scale production tailored to the customer needs. Currently MEGA produces around 800 vehicles a year; its portfolio includes tipper bodies, trailers, low-floor vehicles, agricultural machines, wood transportation vehicles, etc. Main customers are in Poland, Russia and Western Europe.

One of the growth directions in MEGA was to reduce the weight of vehicles and in order to reach this target the company has started to use high-strength and wear-resistant steels. From the beginning, the main supplier was SSAB. SSAB steels require to follow special technological procedures related to e.g. welding temperature for Hardox steels and weld sequence in case of Domex, so there would be no welding deformations. With technical support provided by SSAB, new procedures were smoothly and quickly implemented and today welding quality speaks for itself. 

Mega transportation vehicles

Practically, each vehicle manufactured in MEGA is different. Even if a tipper body looks like the last one made for the same customer, meantime there are often some new ideas to change thickness or height of side walls. It turned out that the best material to implement such changes is wear-resistant steel Hardox from SSAB. This type of production requires however advanced machinery but also this problem was successfully solved. Instead of investing in expensive machines and equipment, MEGA orders long elements made of Hardox sheets from SSAB Shape centre in Oborniki. In practice, 100% of elements made of Hardox is delivered from Oborniki, always just in time and with high accuracy.

Besides tipper bodies, MEGA manufactures also low-floor trailers and semi-trailers designed for transportation of construction machines. Their long elements are currently made of Strenx steels from SSAB. Strenx replaced  S355 steels what resulted in weight reduction by 850 kg. At the same time strength was increased to such an extent that technical payload is now higher by 9000 kg. Strenx is also used in the production of axes. Own axes are a distinguishing mark for MEGA’s vehicles and their parts are made of SSAB’s high-strength steel. 

 „When it comes to the weight of vehicles, there is a huge gap between S355 steels and special steels. Taking into account a frame only, we can save few hundred kilograms, increasing strength at the same time”, says Wojciech Machowski, engineering and design department manager. „Strenx steels are much easier to bend with small radiuses, they do not crack, enabling thus structure optimization. And tipper bodies must have Hardox logo, customers do not accept anything else”, adds Wojciech Konstanty, production manager in MEGA.

Mega transportation vehicles
Better wear plate helps mining company

Dexing Copper Mine - better wear plate helps mining company extract longer life and bigger profits

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HCRDI - less maintenance, longer lifespan in cement production

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Gjerstad - ahead of competitors thanks to design and Hardox 500

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Antech Attachments - excavation equipment loses weight, gains better image

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Excavation equipment loses weight, gains better image

Pacific Shredder - a smashing success with HiTuf

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HiTuf a smashing success at Pacific Shredder

Containerbau Hameln - Hardox in garbage trucks proves to be worth its weight

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Ingenio de Atencingo - Hardox knives help sugar plant reap sweet rewards

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Ellermann - upgrade to SSAB's steel for better containers

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Corazza - Hardox contributes to underground revolution in pipe laying

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MosKomMash - Russian garbage trucks go from refuse to return on investment

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Intermix - the company with the world’s first Hardox concrete mixer

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Longmei Engineering - lighter truck bodies drive profits

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Labrie Environmental Group - thinner plate helps garbage trucks shed weight and waste

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VERCO - Hardox helps to supply equipment for extreme mining

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Cooperative testing strengthens product development and customer-supplier relationship

Bergauer - cooperative testing strengthens product development and customer-supplier relationship

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Shanghai Peiner - it’s all about the efficiency and lifetime

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Shanghai Peiner

Betonstar - a concrete solution for light, durable and smart pumps

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A concrete solution for light, durable and smart pumps

When Turkish pump manufacturer Betonstar wanted to introduce new innovations in design and technology for its concrete pumps, it turned to SSAB. And in addition to Betonstar’s innovative mindset, they refused to compromise on raw materials or quality. That’s why they decided to use Hardox© and Strenx™ steels to produce lighter, more durable machines that they could show for the first time to an international market at the Bauma Trade Show.

Betonstar’s history with SSAB goes back a long way, to 1998. They were the first company in Turkey to use Hardox tubing in the manufacture of concrete pumps. This helps them differentiate themselves from other brands on the market that use SD52 and double-walled pipe.

The company has a 15% share of the Turkish concrete pump market, and uses Hardox and Strenx steels in its new generation of concrete pumps.

“We can manufacture concrete pumps that are both light and durable using SSAB’s products,” says Oğuz Diken, general manager of Betonstar. “As a result of the R&D work that we began in 2014, we have brought technical innovations and improved durability and weight savings to our pumps.”

In 2016, they began to implement these machine innovations in terms of both design and technology.

Innovative R&D pays off in a smart way

“In studies conducted in cooperation with TÜBİTAK, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, the malfunctions caused by sensors during a change of direction were completely resolved. As a result of the R&D work we conducted, our engineers completed our Smartstar application, which makes the concrete pumps smarter,” Diken says. This Smartstar application enables the machines themselves to identify and resolve any malfunctions in the pumps. It represents a significant step towards manufacturing “smart” concrete pumps.


Quality products and technical support

Betonstar prides itself on being highly selective when it comes to the raw materials it uses to manufacture its concrete pumps. Diken explains that they have requirements regarding origin and quality for the products they purchase and that they only procure construction steel pipe from SSAB.

A long-time customer, Betonstar has collaborated with SSAB since 1998 and has long experience of using primarily Strenx 700, Strenx 900 and Hardox Tube 500.

“SSAB is a brand that has proven itself around the world in the manufacture of high-strength steel. And the company has supported us in every area from day one. We know we can get any kind of assistance from SSAB anytime we want, starting with technical personnel support,” he concludes.

Arslan Damper - custom orders and problem-free production with Hardox steel

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Custom orders and problem-free production with Hardox steel

Arslan Damper believes that quality raw materials and rigorous supplier testing help to keep its trucks rolling. It uses both Hardox and Strenx steels from SSAB to custom manufacture dumptruck bodies for high-profile brands like Man, Ford Otosan, Renault and Mercedes Benz.

A multifaceted manufacturer of machinery and equipment, the company primarily builds custom bodies for dumptrucks but has also begun to manufacture salt-spreading equipment, water tankers and scrap trailers. Founded in Soma, Turkey, in 1981, Arslan Damper has production at a 35,000-square-meter factory in Aliağa Izmir on the western coast of Turkey.

The company holds a strong market position in the Aegean region in dumptruck bodies and trailers and is also a supplier to the State Supply Office, Turkey’s main government procurement agency, which has awarded roughly 250 contracts each year to the company.

General Manager Engin Arslan says, “We have approved contracts with companies that manufacture chassis, including Ford Otosan, Mercedes Benz, Man, Temsa Mitsubishi and Otokar. These brands are sold both domestically and abroad.”

Choosing the best materials crucial for custom manufacture

Because Arslan Damper manufactures custom dumper bodies and not standard ones, direct communication with the customer is a key aspect of their business. In 2015 they filled 710 special orders, and in 2016 they exceeded their goal of 750 bodies.

“In our business, the materials being hauled by the customer are critical. The hardness of the material, the weight per cubic meter, the distance the materials will be transported, and how many trips the vehicle make per day are all criteria we take into account during the manufacture. Our aim is to find out this information and manufacture the product accordingly,” Arslan says.

Worksite conditions play a key role in determining the level of quality needed, and the choice of materials is critical to quality production. The company carefully selects the raw materials used and always keeps inventory on hand to meet product delivery deadlines. Arslan explains that it’s important for them to work in the most organized way possible to meet their daily goal of starting and completing three dumper bodies each day. “Working this way makes it possible for us to satisfy our customers’ needs and acquire large jobs. We don’t want the customer to lose money because they are waiting around,” he points out.

Keeping quality objective on the right track

The company has created a defect tracking system that records feedback from customers in order to improve the customer experience and to be able to review the equipment or materials used. Product development is then conducted based on this feedback. Arslan says, “We are one of the top two companies in our class in Turkey. We pride ourselves on doing custom manufacturing and tracking every single product we make. And we have service points throughout the country.”

Arslan Damper has a different approach to service that many of its peers in the region. The company has on-site intervention contracts, mainly with hydraulic system suppliers, for parts that they use, and they work with companies that have an extensive service network.

A preventive, personalized approach to service

The company is currently working on adopting lean manufacturing, and it operates according to a simple principle: Don’t deliver or receive defective materials. Once a week, the engineers and foremen gather to examine the finished product, and identify and note defects so that they can prevent them. The companies they do business with have different kinds of requests for service. “When companies that have our vehicles request service from us, we send out a team,” he says. “The team prepares a materials list and gives it to the company. When it is approved, we send a team of electricians and hydraulic experts to do all of the maintenance on the vehicles.”

Different steel types for different applications

In addition to bodies and trailers, Arslan Damper manufactures hook lifts, which use both Hardox and Strenx steels from SSAB. Because these steels are lightweight yet sturdy, they make a good fit for hook-lift production. The company also uses 3-millimeter Hardox wear plate in the containers they manufacture for the hook lifts.

Hardox wear plate also makes an appearance in many other products Arslan Damper produces – from sanitary equipment to snowplows and scrap trailers. The 54-cubic-meter scrap trailers made with Hardox are traditional 14-tonne trailers but can be manufactured to weigh 10.5 tonnes with a capacity of 40 cubic meters.

Products and people you can trust

Arslan explains that they have worked with SSAB ever since Hardox wear plates were introduced to Turkey and that they have never been let down by SSAB’s commitment to quality products and support. Arslan says, “We use both Hardox and Strenx steels and haven’t had any complaints from our customers yet. For us, this is an important benchmark – we have large-volume production and we’ve got to avoid getting complaints from customers.”

Arslan Damper has used Hardox 450 in thicknesses ranging from 4 mm to 12 mm, and prefers Strenx 700 MC up to 5 mm. In addition to buying steel from SSAB, the company receives technical support for some of its products. “One of the important things for us is being able to procure the raw materials we need immediately,” he says. “In this regard we have confidence in SSAB, and so far we have always been able to obtain materials when we need them.”

EcoUpgraded cases

Together with our customers, SSAB continually upgrades steel and equipment designs. SSAB EcoUpgraded saves CO2 both in steel production and during the full lifetime of the machine.

From the CO2 payback time and onwards, every extra hour brings additional savings.