Mühlhäuser GmbH in Freienbach entered into a cooperation agreement with SMT Scharf GmbH in Hamm. Core of the strategic partnership is the exclusive sale of a jointly developed logistics solution for transports along the tunnel ceiling for tunnelling applications through Mühlhäuser around the world.
Markus Rechner, CEO of Mühlhäuser, explains: 'Through the cooperation with SMT Scharf we further expand our position as a global leader of logistics solutions for tunnel construction. In SMT Scharf we have a partner with many years of expertise in mining logistics. Combining the core competences of MÜHLHÄUSER and SMT Scharf we can enlarge our product portfolio by yet another interesting module. We expect the first order for a complete logistics system consisting of drive units and solutions for materials handling as well as corresponding rail systems and services in due course.'
SMT Scharf AG CEO Hans Joachim Theiß adds: 'Based on the SMT monorail transport system we have jointly developed a logistics solution which deploys the proven SMT technology - riding along the tunnel roof. The new top heading rail system is made to fit the transport requirements of tunnelling. While SMT Scharf supplies major elements of the transport equipment and contributes to their further development - Mühlhäuser advises interested customers, designs tunnel-specific logistics solutions and manages sales and service.
In 2014 MÜHLHÄUSER adopted an extended strategic direction and today is the only one-stop company worldwide which can design and supply different systems such as railbound transportation solutions (rolling stock, rails, switches), rubber tired solutions (MSVs), tunnel belt conveyor systems and pump solutions like component grouting plants along the upper ridge - as well as service the entire range with their technicians. Special attention was paid to reinforcing knowhow in the area of mechanized tunnelling. Today Mühlhäuser has at their disposal a large range of specialists with many years of experience in mechanized tunnelling, and cooperates with the TBM manufacturer NFM Technologies.
'Essentially, tunnelling logistics start right behind the shield - hence optimizing materials flow must begin in the TBM back-up system. We invite all tunnel construction providers to distinguish between shield and back-up - rather than considering this as a closed system - and to investigate the potential of optimizing back-up and supply logistics together with us.' says Rechner who gained his extensive experience in tunnelling construction in his capacity of Head of Plant and Equipment with Bilfinger (today Implenia) in Mannheim.
'Time is money - and this is especially true in tunnel construction' complements Rainer Oestreicher, CFO of Mühlhäuser. 'Good advance rates depend much more on supply and back-up logistics than on sheer cutting capacity. Economized logistics offer substantial cost savings potential with shorter and leaner back-up systems, reduced interfaces and personnel resources, reduced equipment and transport at site - and effectively result in higher performance. Potential savings are around 10-30% subject to an optimum logistics concept all the way from back-up and supply equipment right through to the interfaces outside the tunnel.'
'The driving along the ridge solution which has been developed together with SMT Scharf can further provide substantial advantages as it allows for simultaneous works along the upper and lower levels of the tunnel.'
'In close cooperation with our customers we focus on expanding our product and service portfolio. In line with our theme we are becoming the PARTNER for logistics solutions underground.' comments Oestreicher who previously managed strategical expansion programs at the competitor Herrenknecht.
Company profile: Mühlhäuser
MÜHLHÄUSER has a history of more than one hundred years and is one of the best known brands in tunnelling and mining construction world-wide with a leading position in transportation logistics, solutions for improvement and ground foundation.
Company profile: SMT Scharf
The SMT Scharf Group designs, manufacturers and services transport equipment for underground mining construction. Main products are de-rail safe rail systems - which are deployed globally, especially so in underground coal mines - as well as chair lifts.