CHINA: Volvo CE has developed mobile service stations for its customers in far-flung places
In a country the size of China, it is not always easy for customers in remote areas to get instant access to machine service and spare parts. An appeal to Volvo CE from the general manager of the Volvo dealer in Guangxi Province to help a major client with a rapidly growing fleet of Volvo machines led to the development of mobile service stations in modified sea-freight containers.
The ‘yellow box’ service station was the brainchild of Volvo CE vice president Wang Yefeng, responsible for after-market and customer solutions, who came up with the idea in May 2015. With no time to waste, the project was launched in July.
The container was first shipped to Guangxi Province, a region in South China bordering Vietnam where the rainy season can last for four to five months. It was put through its paces at the Guangxi Pingguo Aluminum Company, a major aluminum-ore mining company with the largest aluminum oxide production in the region, producing up to 400,000 tonnes annually.
Having first bought eight Volvo articulated haulers in 2002, Volvo CE quickly became the construction equipment supplier of choice for GPAC.
“The Volvo haulers can work around the clock in all weathers and deliver outstanding performance in terms of efficiency and fuel consumption,” says GPAC deputy manager Zhou Zhiqiang.
Currently operating 64 Volvo articulated haulers, eight crawler excavators and eight wheel loaders, GPAC is faced with fleet maintenance and assuring machine availability in harsh conditions on a daily basis, without losing productivity.
Zhou approached dealer Guangxi Zhongnan Huaxing Machinery Co Ltd for a solution to reduce machine downtime.
“After several visits to GPAC, we got to know the problem,” says Mo Chunyun, general manager of Zhongnan Huaxing. The result is the mobile service station, which is also a warehouse so that spare parts and lubricants can be stored on-site.
“In the past, we had to wait for the parts which were delivered from the Shanghai warehouse to Nanning City [Guangxi Province capital] and then to our workshop, which took about one week,” explains Zhou.
Delays resulted in financial loss for the company. But with parts stored in the container near the job site, the mobile service station means Volvo CE can provide a 24-hour on-site service and parts supply.
“Equipment is checked over in a timely manner and equipment failure can be nipped in the bud, avoiding the prospect of escalation,” says a delighted Zhou. “This is of great significance for our sustainable development because this station has dramatically increased the availability of Volvo equipment and reduced our parts inventory and management pressure.”
In addition to cutting ownership costs, the initiative is environmentally friendly and is easily installed at the start of a project then removed upon completion. Proving popular with customers, the innovative yellow box is being rolled out across the country, in demand at remote mines and work sites to provide customers with full service and parts in the shortest possible time.