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Springing into action

SKF ensures maximum comfort and quality of Ljungby loaders

In close cooperation with compatriot company SKF, Ljungby Maskin has developed an innovative cab suspension cylinder for wheel loaders which support a safe and comfortable ride-on experience. Complete with SKF seals, Ljungby Maskin now manufactures the cylinders at its own site. Industrial Seals Expert reveals a sealing success story.

Ljungby Maskin is synonymous with the name Rune Andersson. No stranger to innovation, it is through his ability to combine the best solutions from others with his and his team’s ingenuity that the manufacturing firm continues to go from strength to strength.

Cranking up cab comfort

His company, which can trace its origins back to the 1960s, is one of Europe’s most trusted manufacturers of wheel loaders. That said, Andersson is never completely satisfied and continually looks to improve upon his designs. Ljungby Maskin is also unique in its industry, as nearly all manufacturing processes occur on-site in Ljungby: that includes working and bending sheet metals, assembly processes, and finishing. This allows staff to tailor certain aspects of the machines it produces to its customers and innovate with extra flexibility.

Suspension solutions

Back in 2013, Ljungby Maskin’s customer feedback revealed that the cab seating in its loaders were not designed for optimal comfort. Foam-cushioned bank seating alone would not cut it. And, given that around 200 wheel loaders come off the production line every year and many customers rely on them, it was imperative the issue was remedied.

This resulted in an innovative comfort system for the seating cab. Ljungby introduced a technology, based on a hydraulic system, with four suspension cylinders that float or dampen pressure that is applied to the cab when the loader is in motion.

“Spring systems have been around forever. So, of course, we think that loaders – which run on everything from rough terrain to smooth asphalt – should have sprung suspension too.”

Rune Andersson, Managing Director, Ljungby Maskin

But in keeping with his keen eye for constant improvement, Andersson and his teams noticed that the cylinders that they were procuring back then did not quite fulfill his vision of designing the most comfortable seating cab possible. The positioning was sub-optimal, and the seals used would not prevent leakage. That is why Ljungby Maskin decided to produce their own cab suspension cylinders with the assistance of long-term partner SKF.

“If we can make loaders, we can make our own cab suspension cylinders.”

Rune Andersson, Managing Director, Ljungby Maskin

A shared vision of comfort and quality

“SKF were already the supplier of the majority of our seals, which was why it was entirely natural that we should turn to them,” recalls Daniel Wikman, a designer at Ljungby Maskin. Andreas Krantz led the SKF team at SKF Landskrona.

With full access to all the company’s application data, Krantz was able to develop a quick solution that included both standard seals and application-specific seals adapted to the application.

Mission accomplished

Following several feedback rounds and few minor adjustments, the new cylinder was ready after just four months. And today, the design works optimally, and the cab suspension cylinders are completely interchangeable with old cylinders, while at the same time providing the level of cab comfort that Rune Andersson had originally envisaged.