Trailer Magazine

Global operation, local know-how

  • From the April 2018 issue.
Global operation, local know-how

With an ongoing commitment in Australia for local engineering, service and sales support, a new state-of-the-art facility for trailer builder, CIMC Vehicle Australia, is close to completion in Melbourne.

CIMC Vehicle Australia, Part of the global CIMC Vehicles Group, is developing a new purpose-built facility on a 63,000m² site, incorporating a 12,000m² undercover factory and a 600m² service and repair centre followed by a sales and operations office and many semi-trailer parking bays.

Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to providing quality trailer manufacturing services, CIMC has also launched several design improvements across its 2018-model trailers. One key improvement is the introduction of a standardised bolt-on type twist lock to secure the container onto the trailer, which comes after a series of discussions with customers and research.

“Earlier, various types of twist locks were used across various models of trailers” says CIMC Vehicle Australia. “On a skeletal trailer, twist locks can be damaged quite easily and therefore are regularly replaced. We’ve changed the design so we no longer weld the twist lock onto the beam, making it easier to replace, and the new design has also reduced several types of twist locks being used to only ‘two types’. From an operational point of view this is something we have identified as a main problem customers were experiencing with this type connection,” CIMC says – adding to the list of improvements are changes to the wiring loom to help prevent any malfunction of the electrical system while on the road. “The wiring loom is now protected by a conduit and secured by a wiring rod which prevents it from rubbing against the trailer’s steel surface. Applying the protective cover prevents all wiring on the trailers from any damage.”

On the 2018-model retractable trailer, CIMC has also introduced a new locking pin position suitable to carry a 20-foot heavy container in the middle of the trailer. “We have also added extra reinforcement on the chassis; and have also used ultra-high molecular weight polyurethane (UMWHPE) for guiding surfaces in lieu of stainless steel, as polyurethane  has less friction  and is easier to replace,” CIMC says. “While these are small improvements, they address customer feedback and make our product more durable, improving its service life.”

These changes to the 2018 product range follow a series of changes throughout the CIMC Vehicle Australia team. Since late 2016, the business has restructured with new management and direction to product standardisation and improvements. The main focus by the new management team was to strengthen the CIMC product range to be in-line with market trend and demand. In this new direction, CIMC Vehicle Australia has also introduced several new members to the CIMC family, from sales, engineering to production. CIMC understands that introducing new key members plays a big part of their business growth, so CIMC have searched and employed the very best in the transport field with wealth of experience and expertise in the commercial transport industry.

Recognising the benefits of utilising its global network, CIMC now begins the production process of each of its trailers in the digitalised factory called the ‘Light Tower’ factories, which is one of four new purpose-built built semi-automated production factories located in China. Key components are then sourced from all around the world. The business has moved from the traditional labour-intensive manufacturing model to a technology-intensive manufacturing model; abiding by the principles of cross-ocean manufacturing, local engineering and global supply chain.

CIMC is the first semi-trailer manufacturer in Australia to use Catophoretic Painting (KTL) on an entire trailer. At the Light Tower factory, CIMC has invested millions of dollars purely on painting processes to allow the entire length of the chassis to be dipped in multiple pools, ensuring the whole steel frame is perfectly covered. This method provides consistent paint quality, superior rust protection and is also environmentally friendly as the majority of water that is used can be recycled.

Green manufacturing was high on the agenda with the development of the new facility. As such, the Light Tower factory has adopted some of the most advanced equipment and technology to discharge wasted gas, water and residue. By building a sewage treatment station, 66 per cent of wasted water can be reused. A weld fume collection device has also been set up, reducing the emission of weld fumes by 80 per cent.

By adapting the most advanced equipment and processes in Light Tower factories along with the new premises in Melbourne, CIMC Vehicle Australia can deliver its customers exceptional products and service.

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