Hammerglass AB is now launching a new system with unbreakable screens for Volvo’s wheel loaders and excavators, developed to give maximum driver protection in tough environments.
Safe in an explosion
During blasting work, for example in roadbuilding, it is not uncommon for machine operators to encounter undetonated explosive among the broken rocks. Frequently, so-called ‘duds’ are discovered in time, and the driver can continue dealing carefully with the rock piles. Should a dud explode, this poses a danger to life for all those in the vicinity. In the same way, large rocks, trees, logs and sharp objects have the potential for injuring a machine driver involved in an accident.
Hammerglass AB is the market leader in unbreakable glass solutions for construction machinery and employs its own staff of designers who are continuously producing new, safe cab solutions. The new 5-part frame for Volvo’s wheel loader has a 12 mm Hammerglass screen bolted securely into a sturdy steel frame. This system has undergone rigorous testing at SP (Technical Research Institute of Sweden) and SMP (Swedish Machinery Testing Institute), and meets all the requirements set out in the RABS classification.
RABS – the new safety class
For the last year there has been a new industry standard for safety screens for construction machinery. The RABS class is actually an assemblage of tests based on the risks that a machine driver might be exposed to. Among other things the screen should withstand 3 kg TNT being detonated at a distance of 3 metres, a 1 kg heavy projectile propelled at a speed of 450 km/h and over 70 axe blows – with all blows falling on the same spot. If the screen passes all tests, it is allowed to bear the RABS mark. Until now, Hammerglass AB has been the only company which has succeeded in achieving the RABS standard.
Sold through general agents
– Driver safety is a global problem, says Anders Bergsten, Export Manager at Hammerglass Automotive. We reckon on selling both this frame and our other glass solutions in a large number of countries around the world. As building contractors – with SKANSKA, among others, leading the way – are beginning to assume greater responsibility for safety, and perceive this responsibility as part of their brand, machine drivers are getting an ever safer work environment. In the same way, machine manufacturers are working more and more purposefully on safety solutions and are also happy to see this as part of their image. My job involves meeting these needs, Anders concludes.
In Sweden and Germany Hammerglass AB has central agreements with Volvo distributor Swecon. The new screen can be fitted in existing machines or can be selected as an option when purchasing a new machine. Replacement can be carried out at any of Swecon’s service workshops. Compared with the armoured glass screens previously available for Volvo wheel loaders, the Hammerglass frame is a whole lot cheaper. And what is more, installation takes around half the time.
For more information please contact Ingrid Timmermans on 0046 706-30 65 50.
Hammerglass Automotive continues its journey in the European construction world and the next stop on the road towards safer driving environments and better operating economy is Germany.
Swedish glassmaker Hammerglass is now continuing its expansion and has during the early autumn established itself with subsidiaries in Germany. Hammerglass Automotive, which is the market leader in the construction machinery segment, already exists with its own companies in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and included within the expansion plans are additional countries in Europe and the rest of the world.
Responsible for the business development in Germany will be Oliver Afsah, who left his position at the company Thyssenkrupp in early September to land at Hammerglass GmbH's Nuremberg office. Already today, Hammerglass is established in Germany as a product, but without its own sales organization. Although Hammerglass glass systems are available for most brands and models, there are still gaps in the range.
– Hammerglass' goal is to be available to all machine manufacturers shortly - either as an option when the customer buys a new machine, or in the aftermarket when a screen is broken or if you need to secure the machine for tougher workouts, says Oliver about the investment in Germany.
Oliver will be responsible for the German operations and is currently in an intensive phase of product training and marketing planning. Oliver will put a lot of energy into building relationships with Hammerglass partners and as a German speaker, communication will be easier.
– It will be a great advantage that I am both where the customer is geographically and also has the language as a mother tongue, says Oliver.
What are your biggest challenges with Hammerglass Automotive in Germany?
– To make the market aware that there are no alternatives to Hammerglass, Oliver concludes with a smile.
Around Europe, a lot is happening on the driver's safety front. Earlier this spring, the Norwegian State Roads Agency introduced new tough rules for the protection standard that applies to the construction machinery used on their construction sites. More countries are expected to follow in the same tracks as risks in the machinists' work environment are at the center. The protection standard used in Norway and Sweden is called Protection Class 3 - RABS and is a collection standard consisting of several different European sub-standards and standards. Nothing new then, just a new combination requirement. Hammerglass is one of the few companies that meets the tough requirements and that welcomes more standards in the field.
Bengt Nilsson, CEO of Hammerglass AB comments on the RABS requirements:
– It is good for the industry if there are clear requirements and standards that regulate what is the right protection. This makes it easier for contracting companies to create a safe working environment”, says Bengt Nilsson.
In addition to Safety Class 3 - RABS being a protection for the individual machine driver, Hammerglass protection solutions also offer several financial advantages for construction machine owners. With Hammerglass in the cab, downtime in production is limited or avoided as window replacements are made less frequently. Machines that do not run in high-risk environments also benefit from the Hammerglass system, especially with an add-on Sacrificial Screen. When the sacrificial screen is worn by gravel wear and propelling stone chips, it is replaced without having to make more in-depth window replacements in the cab. The savings with replacing a sacrificial screen many times greater than replacing an ordinary windscreen.
Hammerglass AB has landed the company’s biggest order in years with a request for bullet-proof and explosion-proof windows and doors worth 1.8 million EUR. The order was received by Hammerglass Property and confirms the company’s leading position within the area of security glass.
– Unfortunately, the very strict secrecy requirements mean that we cannot disclose the identity of either the customer or the risk object, but I can confirm that installation will be carried out during Q3 and Q4 this year, and that it involves upgrading a property in Sweden, says the Head of Hammerglass Property, Torbjörn Timmermans.
– We have for a long time offered ballistic-resistant solutions which, thanks to the characteristics of Hammerglass, are much thinner and lighter than traditional bullet-proof panels. Because we are also able to manufacture bullet-proof insulating glass, a lower weight and thinner glass package are of extra significance.- Besides supplying complete window and door systems, we can also handle everything from fixing solutions to turnkey installation. In consultation with the customer we establish the relevant threat level, make a thorough risk assessment of the risk object (Security Assessment) and finally present the customer with a solution.
– There are still many that believe it is enough just to have a protective film on the inside of the pane in order to withstand terror attacks. Unfortunately, both experience and testing demonstrate that not even films of the right protection class can help to any significant extent. What is more, in 9 out of 10 cases it is not possible to attach the film to the window frame in the correct way, which means that the entire glass package is forced into the room in a violent attack. We live in a world where the risk of terrorist attacks is constantly on the rise, and more and more understand the importance of having the right type of protection in case anything should happen.
Bengt Nilsson, MD of Hammerglass AB in Förslöv, now sees that further investment is needed in both production equipment and personnel in order to cope with the increased demand.
– We increased our turnover by 80% from 2016 to 2017 and by the end of February this year we had already reached our projected turnover for 2018, says Bengt Nilsson. This is of course extremely gratifying, but we’ve been laying the groundwork for this over many years and that is what has made our current market presence and volume increase possible. Exports account for around 40% of the turnover, and even though our business in Sweden is growing, we can still see that the primary potential for increases in sales of our products lies in exports. And we are not just active in the Property division, but also in Infrastructure and Automotive. These, too, are showing excellent growth, which means that the question of taking on new staff will arise during the year, says Bengt Nilsson in conclusion.