Factory completes the circle of life

Having helped create thousands of machines over 175 years, the old Volvo Construction Equipment hardening plant in Sweden has been demolished using Volvo machinery.

Munktellstaden is centrally located in the Swedish town of Eskilstuna, overlooking quaint streams and bridges. The area – made up of small islands – offers visitors a variety of restaurants, hotels, museums and sporting events. The area is named after entrepreneur Johan Theofron Munktell, who began producing tools, steam engines and other mechanical equipment in the town in the early 1880s. He is also the father of Volvo Construction Equipment.
Volvo Construction Equipment’s (Volvo CE) hardening plant was built 175 years ago, and in its heyday used to harden 3,000 tonnes of steel a year. Operations came to an end in 2006 when the company invested nearly SEK 1.1 billion to extend and modernize its main factory campus on the outskirts of the town. Since then, the old building has been mothballed and demolition of the site was ordered in 2013.
Demolition company AF Decom AB, began to cut out the interior and empty the structure using a Volvo EC460C-Series high reach excavator. About 10 tonnes of material was transported to Vafab Miljö in Västerås – a company that takes care of waste through safe and environmentally friendly methods.
“We have emptied the inside and taken care of the old materials,” says Peter Löwenhamn, project manager at AF Decom. “Our 85 tonne 27 meter-high Volvo EC460C-Series high reach excavator was rolled into the city and slowly drove up to the back of the building to start the work.”
An inconspicuous presence
“The building was so close to the Badminton Center we needed to get the outside wall to fall inward,” says Löwenhamn. “Safety is the most important thing and over the years our employees haven’t had a single day of sick leave because of a work injury. The building was close to schools and other buildings but you didn’t even notice the work was being done unless you looked directly at the site. The Volvo machine has great control and we were careful not to make a disturbance.”
AF Decom AB is part of the AF Group and one of Europe’s largest demolition companies, employing 350 workers in total. It specializes in internal demolition and dismantling in connection with renovation and restoration work. AF Decom was established in Sweden in 2008 and now has about 35 employees. Headquartered in Gothenburg, it also has sites in Mälardalen and Stockholm. The company recycles at least 97% of all demolition materials and ensures that waste is collected and disposed of by approved operators.
Cut down to size
Volvo’s Ultra High Reach (HR) excavators have booms from 17-32 meters, high visibility cabs and smooth, confident hydraulics. Equipped with tools from 2 to 3.5 tonne, they quickly cut demolition challenges down to size.
The standard hydraulically tilting cabin tilts up to 30 degrees – enhancing visibility and reducing operator fatigue and neck strain on high-reach jobs. The machines offer stability and safety due to a long undercarriage, extra modular counterweight, boom and arm holding valves, optional slew-reduction control and a Total Moment Indicator that warns the operator if the machine approaches the maximum safe working load. Productivity-enhancing features and options include viscous-mounted and sound-dampened cab, forward and rear-view cameras, a reversible fan to purge the coolers of dust and debris, and optional hydraulically variable undercarriage width for both easier transport (when retracted) and optimal stability (when extended).
The building’s old concrete blocks and bricks were sorted and transported for shipment – ready to be used in other construction purposes. The project is due for completion in February this year.
AF Decom is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified and has high standards regarding quality, the environment, occupational health and safety, in line with Volvo CE’s vision and values.
Source: Volvo CE