Male worker lifts car wheels with TAWI vacuum lifter

Elevating production efficiency with vacuum lifters

Continental Tires adopted vacuum lifting technology, tailored to the unique challenges of handling tires and wheels and improved their operational efficiency.

Male worker lifts car wheels with TAWI vacuum lifter
Our everyday life has become very different compared to how it was before. We used to lift manually and always got very tired during the day since we lifted so many kilos. Now we don't have to lift manually any more. It's really fantastic!

Roger Tangen

Production Worker

Increased operational efficiency and employee satisfaction at Continental Tires

In the fast-paced realm of automotive parts logistics, production managers encounter numerous hurdles, ranging from prioritizing employee safety to maximizing efficiency. Continental Tires in Norway, led by Trygve Gjessing, showcases a proactive strategy in conquering these challenges by embracing TAWI vacuum lifters.

Overview: Continental Tires Norway manages a central warehouse, which includes a wheel assembly facility for new vehicles in Norway. With an annual production output ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 wheels, and up to 1,000 wheels produced on peak days, the workload for employees is substantial. The transition to electric vehicles has led to larger wheel sizes and increased weight, with the average wheel weighing 28 kg—exceeding recommended limits for both individual and daily lifting.

Operational efficiency challenges:Male production worker lifts tire with TAWI vacuum lifter

  • Heightened physical stress: The introduction of larger and heavier wheels for electric vehicles imposed a considerable physical burden on employees, increasing the risk of injuries and absenteeism.
  • Ergonomic and safety considerations: The manual lifting of these hefty components surpassed the recommended thresholds established by workplace safety regulations. This prompted a reassessment of lifting protocols.
  • Operational bottlenecks: Traditional lifting methods were not sustainable for the volume and weight of wheels being handled, impacting overall production efficiency.

Operational efficiency solution: TAWI vacuum lifters

Upon acknowledging these difficulties, Continental Tires explored multiple lifting options, ultimately incorporating TAWI vacuum lifters into their operations. A tailored vacuum tool was devised to enable employees to manage the wheels efficiently and ergonomically. This innovation resulted in a significant decrease in physical lifting demands. Material handling plummeted from around 900 kg per wheel set to less than 30 kg in total process lifting weight.

“We have team members who have worked in assembly for several decades and it’s evident that such long-term commitments take a physical toll. Our objective is to substantially improve the workplace environment and create a more efficient production process” says Trygve Gjessing, Head of Nordic Supply chain design and complete wheels, Subregion Nordics.

Man standing in Continental tires warehouseKey efficiency benefits:

  • Substantial alleviation of physical stress: The adoption of vacuum lifters has notably relieved the physical burden on employees, fostering a safer and more inclusive workplace environment.
  • Improved safety and ergonomics: Through the reduction of manual lifting, there has been an enhancement in safety, mitigating the risk of injuries and ensuring compliance with safety regulations. This fosters a healthier work environment.
  • Expanded workforce inclusion: With diminished reliance on physical strength, there’s a broader scope for workforce diversity, potentially decreasing absenteeism resulting from injuries.
  • Long-term employee well-being: With some employees having decades of service, the focus has shifted towards ensuring their health and longevity in the workforce.

Outcomes: Enhanced operational effectiveness and employee contentment

The relocation to a new warehouse in 2010 presented a chance to rethink lifting and handling procedures. Inspired by TAWI’s successful solutions observed in various industries, Continental Tires embraced vacuum lifting technology customized to address the specific challenges associated with handling tires and wheels.

This adaptation has not only transformed their operational capabilities but has also been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from employees. Production worker Roger Tangen, highlights the stark difference in daily work life and the elimination of heavy manual lifting.

“We have received good lifting equipment, really great. Our everyday life has become very different compared to how it was before. We used to lift manually and always got very tired during the day since we lifted so many kilos. Now we don’t have to lift manually any more! It’s really fantastic”, says Roger Tangen, Production Worker at Continental Tires, Norway.


A safer, more inclusive and efficient workplace with vacuum lifters

For production managers navigating the intricacies of contemporary manufacturing and logistics, the experience of Continental Tires in Norway offers a prime illustration of how inventive lifting solutions can effectively tackle ergonomic, safety, and efficiency obstacles.

By adopting TAWI vacuum lifters, Continental has not only improved its operational capabilities. The company has also taken significant strides towards creating a safer, more inclusive, and efficient workplace.

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