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Global leader with superior logistics and top speeds of 400 km/h


China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) is the world’s largest rolling stock manufacturer and one of China’s most successful exporters. Its high-speed trains have become a hallmark of China’s engineering prowess. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the world’s fastest train line can be found in China itself: CRH2 whizzes between Shanghai and Beijing at speeds of up to 350 km/h, needing just 4.5 hours to cover 1,320 kilometers (820 miles). CRRC is already working on the next generation of ultra-rapid trains, which will reach speeds of up to 400 km/h (or 248 mph). The new high-speed trains are expected to be ready to go by 2020. The KION Group plays its part as an intralogistics specialist, helping to ensure that CRRC’s process operations run smoothly.

A look behind the scenes at this industry giant reveals a highly focused and disciplined work ethic. In the production facility for high-speed trains at Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. (CRRC Changchun), engineers test two trains from the Fuxing model series that are due to come off the production line today. The Fuxing series, which translates as ‘awakening’, ‘renewal’, or ‘rebirth’, went into operation in 2017. It has made China a global leader in high-speed trains and has embedded mobility in Chinese lifestyles.

High demands, rigorous testing

“We are now China’s largest research, manufacturing and export site for rail passenger cars and suburban trains. We currently have the capacity to produce up to 200 multiple-unit trains and 4,000 rail cars for suburban trains annually,” says Huang Zhiyuan, deputy manager of Materials Management at CRRC Changchun, with pride. In manufacturing, the test conditions for warehousing, logistics and distribution are generally very tough. The individuals responsible at CRRC Changchun were faced with the challenge of ensuring efficient logistics and the utmost safety conditions. To satisfy these requirements, the company turned to its longtime partner, Linde Material Handling, a subsidiary of the KION Group. The two companies have been working together for over a decade.

Our cooperation with KION brand Linde Material Handling has achieved ‘win-win’ results for both parties. We really trust their performance.

Huang Zhiyuan, Deputy Manager Materials Management, CRRC

Chinese proverb: “A good horse deserves a good saddle”

At the warehouse in the high-speed center for logistics and distribution management, everything is designed to create optimum workflows. And high-quality processes necessitate high-performance trucks. The respective industrial trucks from Linde MH stand ready at the entrance to each efficiently laid out rack, ensuring employees can go about their work easily and safely.

Huang Zhiyuan understands better than anyone else the importance of support from the team operating behind the scenes. His task is to manage the team so that materials are supplied to the production lines quickly and reliably. “We have to transport the relevant parts for each order to the factory floor within four hours,” he explains, adding, “The warehouse in the high-speed center covers a total area of 28,000 m2 and currently contains more than 50,000 stock items. Over the last ten years, we have transported and dispatched over 30 million packages for use in the manufacturing of high-speed trains.”

Given this heavy workload, safety and accuracy are paramount. Thus, Linde MH’s dual-purpose combination trucks are used in the warehouse. Huang is a huge fan of the trucks. “Magnetic control ensures that the forklift trucks don’t veer off course in the aisles. We also use automated navigation to reach the stock items, increasing efficiency. And we’ve had hardly any problems with the trucks.”

CRRC and Linde MH share more than a partnership: At both companies, the user’s operating experience is crucial. “When it comes to manufacturing rail cars, people’s safety is as important as driving comfort. Linde’s forklift trucks are ergonomically designed, offer precise control and have flexible steering. It allows our logistics team to work efficiently, with the maximum possible safety and a perfect operating experience.”

Setting a course for the future

According to data from the Chinese Association for Logistics and Procurement, the total value of goods handled in logistics operations in China in 2018 was CNY 283 trillion (USD 42 trillion), a year-on-year increase of 6.4 percent. The volume is set to continue growing due to changing lifestyles, increased travel and new social attitudes that will boost demand in China. And this creates new challenges for (intra)logistics at the Changchun site. In view of the global trend for ever smarter systems, CRRC Changchun is planning to switch to even more intelligent warehouse logistics processes.

To this end, CRRC will continue partnering with KION and plans to expand their relationship. The basis for closer collaboration could not be better: While one partner is tirelessly working to achieve its vision of ‘Connecting the world’, the other is dedicated to its mission of ‘Keeping the world moving’.