Hiab-Moffett glass lifter

Innovation has always been a part of the Miglas ethos. Specialising in the design and supply of composite double glazed windows for the residential housing market, Miglas has risen to success through continuous research and development of its products. That commitment also translates into optimising its delivery services, which is where load handling equipment specialist, Hiab Australia, comes into the picture.

Recently, Melbourne-based Miglas purchased a new Moffett M825.3PL truck-mounted forklift, supplied by Hiab, to help enhance its delivery service.

“This the first time we are investing in Hiab equipment, which was highly recommended by my father and Managing Director of Miglas, Anatol,” says Kurt Miglas, Business Development Manager. “We pride ourselves on maintaining a high level of service for our customers and the new Moffett forklift has been specifically customised to our requirements.”

According to Miglas, the Moffett project took 18 months to complete and involved a fact-finding mission to Europe in 2014 to see if the proposed new concept could be built. “The success of Miglas is borne from our ability to think outside the box, which is why Anatol went to Germany to attend a machinery exhibition,” Kurt recalls. “He saw the Moffett forklift at the Hiab stand and was intrigued by the unit’s multi-directional and reach functions, which can extend to a maximum reach of two metres.”

Following the show, Anatol organised a meet and greet with the Moffett team, which took place several days later at a Moffett factory in Ireland. There, Anatol was given a first-hand demonstration of the Moffett M825.3PL and even got to operate the forklift on the facility’s purpose-built test track.

“We liked the fact that the Moffett has three wheels, enabling the operator to pick up the load from the truck, back up and turn sideways in either direction to move it to its drop-off point,” Kurt says. “In addition to being able to stow the forklift at the rear of truck when bringing it to different sites, the Moffett’s tyres and axle and suspension system means it can operate on any terrain.”

Having found the ideal Moffett forklift, the concept was just two-thirds complete. Finding a suitable attachment to lift the windows from its stillages – which are pallet-like blocks used to hold the windows – was another challenge, according to Miglas. “Once the operator lifts the stillages from the truck using the forklift, we would need to remove the fork and then fit a vacuum suction attachment to latch onto the glass,” Kurt explains.

“The idea behind this attachment is to use the Moffett to place the windows, which can weigh between 400 and 800kg, straight into position on the building itself. This was a function that we didn’t have previously, but Anatol spent months designing the concept.”

Thanks to Hiab and German vacuum equipment specialist, Pannkoke, Miglas can now interchange between the fork and two glass lifting attachments in a matter of minutes. “The vacuum attachments, which include a two-point suction attachment and a four-point attachment, enables Miglas to chop and change depending on if the windows are in the 400kg to 800kg bracket,” Kurt says, revealing that the glass lifting attachment can also rotate the window slightly to meet the angle where it needs to be installed.

“The attachments also mean we need just two people to install windows now – the operator and the window fitter – instead of having four to five people to carry and hold the window in place, which at times was a struggle and time consuming. Now, the Moffett does all the heavy lifting.”

According to Kurt, Pannkoke had its glass lifting attachment transported to Hiab’s Melbourne factory where the rest of the Moffett M825.3PL forklift was assembled. In July 2016, Miglas took delivery of Anatol’s completed concept and it was immediately put into service.

“It took more than a year and several flights halfway across the world to complete the final product, but it was worth the journey,” Kurt says. “Thanks to the ingenuity and willingness of Hiab, Pannkoke and Scania for providing the rigid curtain-sider that carries the Moffett, we now have the technology to take on any job in an efficient and safe manner. The final product has exceeded our expectations and could lead to more purchases in future.

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