Genie recently hosted members of the construction- and rental-industry trade press at its Oklahoma City, Okla., manufacturing and training center to discuss market trends, product innovation, and standards harmonization in the mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) industry.
Matt Fearon, Genie president, Terex AWP, told those assembled that John Garrison, president and CEO of Terex since November 2015, has initiated a “focus, simplify, and execute-to-win” strategy that concentrates on core products (cranes, telehandlers, and MEWPs), streamlines the global manufacturing process, and devotes the required engineering, marketing, and product-support resources to best serve customers.
“Genie’s global manufacturing strategy involves duplicating manufacturing systems and managing supply chains around the world,” said Fearon, “and further involves maintaining identical product designs, managing engineering changes, and controlling production rates—all of which require the expertise of many skilled, experienced people.”
Competition in the MEWP industry has never been greater, said Fearon, citing Chinese manufacturers finding their way into the North American market, the entrance of JCB into the aerial-space market, and Aichi (a Toyota Industries company) reintroducing product into North America. In addition, said Fearon, significant currency swings have, in some instances, changed the dynamics of the MEWP market, as has the continued consolidation of rental companies.
Fearon said also that the new North American MEWP standards, already published in Canada and pending in the United States, are long overdue and will bring global harmonization to the way MEWPs are designed and used, as well to the manner in which users are trained to operate MEWPs with optimum safety. The new standards, he said, will have a significant effect on how MEWP customers work and a significant effect on how MEWP suppliers work with end users.
Fearon also noted recent technical innovation in the Genie MEWP product range:
- Fuel-Electric (FE) Hybrid System: Used in the Z-60/37 articulated-boom model, the FE system incorporates a small diesel engine, motor-generator, and battery pack. In hybrid mode, the system senses battery-charge level and automatically starts the engine for recharging. Should the batteries completely discharge when not working in hybrid mode, the machine can operate any function on engine power while batteries charge. For extra performance, the engine/generator system and the battery system can work together. A regenerative-braking system sends energy back to the batteries.
- X Chassis: Used in certain of the company’s boom models, the X Chassis provides an optimum footprint and optimum operational efficiency, while eliminating the telescoping system for axle extension.
- Xtra Capacity (XC) Concept (pictured, right): The XC design allows an unrestricted platform capacity of 660 pounds and a restricted capacity of 1,000 pounds for larger telescopic-boom models and for the new Z-45 XC articulated-boom model.
- Lift Power System: The Lift Power System is new generation of hydraulically powered generators (available with 3, 7-, and 12-kW ratings) that are driven via a separate hydraulic circuit (independent of drive and lift circuits) and available in welder-ready and turn-key configurations, the latter with either Lincoln or Miller Electric units.
- Tech Pro System: Currently for use with CAN-enabled control systems on mid-sized telescopic XC models, the Tech Pro System is a hand-held diagnostic tool that allows monitoring machine sensors, calibrating the machine, making speed adjustments during pre-operation inspections, and receiving fault codes.
“The Tech Pro System is a means to maximize the rental company’s rROI [rental return on investment],” said Fearon, “allowing the technician to figure out what’s going on with the machine and to quickly address the situation. The overall objective is to bring down the total cost of ownership for the customer.”
Fearon also explained that the Oklahoma City facility has become the “center of excellence” for manufacturing the Genie telehandler product line, as well as the center for refurbishing MEWPs, a process that restores machines to original factory specifications.