Everything was in full swing at the Pletschacher Group in Dasing, Bayern: In August, 44 trailer trucks left the tent builder's premises daily to make sure that everything was ready for when Oktoberfest 2018 starts. The company builds nearly all of the large party tents and stands for the world's largest folk festival in Munich. A specially designed heavy-duty forklift, a double-girder bridge crane and electric chain hoists from Konecranes help to make sure that everything that is important reaches the festival grounds on time.
The party tents at the Munich Oktoberfest could shelter the inhabitants of an entire city - they have room for at least 119,000 people. Quite an effort is required each year to erect these and many smaller stands on the festival grounds. Pletschacher, one of Germany's largest tent builders, was in charge of this once again in 2018. Everything must go according to plan when storing and loading components, from heavy wooden beams to tarpaulins, planks, and wall elements and all the way to huge beer mugs, so its critical to ensure that everything is in place for the opening in Munich on September 22. To transport the tent elements quickly, safely, and reliably, Konecranes designed a double-girder bridge crane with 2 x 5 tonnes capacity, electric chain hoists, as well as a 10-tonne heavy-duty forklift for the Pletschacher Group.
The new equipment is used in the new storage area of Pletschacher in Dasing. All elements that are needed for the Oktoberfest tents and a lot more, are stored there in four halls on a total surface area of 16,500 sqm. Approximately 1,500 container loads fit inside the halls, and there is room for 500 additional containers outside. Pletschacher started in 1948 as a one-person operation. Today, it builds almost all of the large party tents and a majority of the smaller stands at the Oktoberfest event. The company, with headquarters in Dasing near Augsburg, also supplies other large folk festivals, such as the Gäubodenfest in Straubing, the Cannstatter Wasen, and other Oktoberfest events.
In addition to building party tents, Pletschacher is also involved in commercial, retail, and office construction, from the roof structure to the interior design.
Double-girder bridge crane - fast and sensitive
Pletschacher uses the four new halls to store material on Euro-pallets as well as in skeleton containers and up to 5-meter-long transport boxes. The loads, which weigh between 100 kilograms and 5 tonnes, must be moved and loaded inside the hall with speed and precision. "Any delay costs Pletschacher and its customers a lot of money. On days like this one, just before the Oktoberfest, the work pretty much never stops," says Walter Fischer, Sales Manager at Konecranes. The new Pletschacher crane must, therefore, be able to lift quickly and continuously, must be easy to operate, and must be able to load large wooden elements with precision. For this reason, Konecranes designed a customized double-girder bridge crane and electric chain hoists for Pletschacher. The crane has a span width of 18.5 meters and transports loads of up to 10 tonnes inside the hall. In order to be able to move bulky components, there is a distance of 3 meters between its two hoists, and it is equipped with Synchro-Hoisting hoist synchronization. It ensures identical hoisting speeds even in the case of different loads.
Furthermore, the hoisting and travel speeds of the crane can be adjusted continuously. The system can be controlled remotely with precision via joystick. Konecranes Service ensures high levels of availability. "We manage globally approximately 740,000 assets, always with the goal of improving the safety and productivity of our customers," says Walter Fischer. "On the basis of this comprehensive know-how, we have developed an individual service concept for Pletschacher, consisting of accident prevention checks, service, and maintenance."
Heavy-duty forklift - agile, compact, and powerful
Pletschacher stores large quantities of material also outside the new halls - and these must be moved securely. "As a rule, we stack up to three containers on top of each other and place them close to each other in order to save space," explains Ulrich Pletschacher, managing director of the Pletschacher Group. "When designing a heavy-duty forklift for these tasks, the focus is on maximum performance with a compact size," underlines Uwe Höß, Sales Manager at Konecranes Lifttrucks. Konecranes has made a heavy-duty forklift especially for this demanding environment. The SMV 10-1200 C lifts up to 10 tonnes with a load center of 1.2 meters. With its wheelbase of 3 metres, it is approximately 25 centimeters shorter than normal -
for a smaller turn radius. This means the driver is also able to maneuver it in narrow circumstances.
Safety thanks to height sensor and solid rubber tires
The exceptional safety of the forklift is ensured by a height sensor that automatically warns via acoustic signal in the cabin if the load is lifted at a height that exceeds 2.8 meters. Uwe Höß: "It is possible to lift loads at a height of up to 6.5 meters, but the Pletschacher hall entries are significantly lower. Thanks to the height sensor, the driver can be sure of always reaching the right height for the gate entry." An accumulator in the hydraulics systems also ensures a very gentle ride. The air suspension dampens bumps. This protects the goods being transported and the lifting system of the heavy-duty forklift from damage and wear. The solid rubber tires are also very durable. "You never know when there is a metal piece or a screw lying around," says Uwe Höß. "Solid rubber tires aren't affected by these and last a lot longer than pneumatic tires."