The Mecafi group, set up in 1993, is a leading player in high precision mechanics for applications in aerospace and industry. Mecafi mainly operates in France, where its employees of approximately 650 work at Châtellerault in the Vienne administrative department (Nouvelle Aquitaine region) at the HQ / R&D centre and 3 production plants.
Since it was set up, Mecafi has heavily invested systematically, in terms of both material and human resources, for reasons of innovation in leading edge techniques in the area of high-speed precision machining and specialized processes. 2015 marked the year of the building of its 3rd MECAFI Eolia plant, a turbine parts specialist causing the group to consult Sodileve, Verlinde’s partner and authorized distributor, for the installation of all the hoisting, lifting and ergonomical elements in the plant.
Sodileve (Société de Distribution et d’Installation de Matériel de Levage [lifting equipment distributor and installer]) had already carried out an operation at Mecafi for the installation of two new jib cranes at the first production plant at Châtellerault, which was already fitted out with Verlinde’s competitors’ lifting equipment. Following this operation and in view of the quality of the EUROCHAIN service and products, Mecafi requested Sodileve’s support for the time of the construction of their new Eolia plant. The audit was carried out in conjunction with Verlinde. The joint operation was launched in 2015 and delivery took place three years later. It involved fitting out an 8,700 m2 plant under construction with lifting solutions for the loading of cast aluminium machines while integrating the ergonomics of stations. A part of the machine pool had already been installed, so from the start the equipment had to be adapted to fit the available space. As the project progressed, requirements were revised upwards.
Ergonomic lifting equipment aligned to the requirements of each application
The whole range of Verlinde’s EUROSYSTEM overhead handling and EUROSTYLE jib crane systems was deployed at Mecafi, all fitted with EUROCHAIN hoists: EUROSYSTEM STD (steel) and ALD (aluminium) hollow section girders, inverted jib cranes or triangulated beam section arms, etc. The aluminium systems were chosen at spots where station ergonomics was essential: lightness of tracks enables users to manipulate loads, easily and almost effortlessly, even heavy and cumbersome ones. The steel systems made the moving of heavy loads easy thanks to the excellent rolling coefficient. Stress is kept to a minimum on the bearing structure by the pendular design of the system. The EUROCHAIN electric chain hoists are the result of innovative technology: their materials, concepts of operation and style offers them power and user-friendliness. They can be adapted for specific requirements.
The most powerful hoisting element installed at Mecafi can lift 3.2 tonnes while the smallest, 125 kg. In all, 32 hoisting systems with 32 Verlinde EUROCHAIN hoists were installed and commissioned by Sodileve, including 3 at the company’s first plant.
Continuity of service
Sodileve also signed an exclusive preventive maintenance and repair contract with Mecafi, this time for the whole pool of lifting machinery, 80% of which was Verlinde equipment as the company’s first plant had already been equipped by other makers. Since 2015, the installations have been problem-free apart from normal wear and changing a few spare parts.
Since the delivery of the plant in 2019, Sodileve has carried out further operations involving the installation of additional jib cranes in order to enhance the operating convenience of certain stations. Sodileve has also upgraded some installations with lifting beams and girder clamps of its own design in order to optimise processes and increase productivity.
Jean Guichard, CEO of Sodileve, points out: ” Mecafi was very appreciative, over and above the delivered works and follow-up, of the advisory service we were able to offer the company. Our business involves trust that goes hand in hand with a label of quality applicable to our operations and advisory service.
Mecafi is entirely satisfied with its installations and equipment and declares its readiness to continue its working relationship with Sodileve and Verlinde.
For more information, visit www.verlinde.com.