Martin McVicar, managing director, Combilift; Paul Curtiss, Siemens Gamesa; Michael Woods, Head of Offshore Equipment Operations at Siemens Gamesa and Josh Moffett - Heavy Equipment Manager at Combilift with the new Combi LC Blade.

Combilift launches new product to help develop offshore wind farms

GOAL €50M sales target by 2026 in segment

Combilift, the largest global manufacturer of multidirectional, articulated forklifts and straddle carriers, today announced its move into offshore wind sector with the launch of a new product designed to meet the load handling demands of largescale offshore wind manufacturers.

It follows almost two years of research and development for the Monaghan based facility, which is celebrating 25 years in business.

The scale of the requirements of those developing offshore wind equipment has driven the need for bespoke handling solutions across the supply chain. The blades being moved for example are currently up to 115m long - that’s longer than the Aviva Stadium football pitch, and weigh around 70t.

The Combi-LC, for which the design patent is pending, allows for the movement of wind turbine blades and towers through production stages, and to storage locations – which can sometimes be as far as 5km apart. The equipment involves two vehicles working in tandem, communicating and operating simultaneously to secure the load at both ends, and move it safely to another location.

Siemens Gamesa, one of the world’s largest offshore wind suppliers, has become the first company to leverage the new technology by signing a multi-million order for a number of the bespoke load carriers, and Combilift is in discussions with other offshore wind companies.

Combilift hopes to generate over €50m in revenue per year in this market segment by 2026.

Speaking at Combilift’s 25th anniversary event, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, said: “Over the past 25 years, Combilift has made an enormous positive impact on people’s lives - as a major employer in Monaghan, employing 800 people here at your impressive manufacturing plant.

"That has made a very important impact to the Irish economy – through employment and spend in our local communities. Combilift is a visionary company in every sense and I’m delighted that the Irish government, through Enterprise Ireland, has supported Combilift through its incredible 25-year journey."

Minister Humphreys congratulated the team at Combilift and wished them every success for the future.

Josh Moffett, Heavy Equipment Manager at Combilift, commented on the company’s move into the offshore wind sector.

"The scale of offshore wind projects around the world leads to a very unique set of challenges, one of which being the ability to transport the very large components that make up a wind turbine. We recognised this and used our expertise in load handling to develop a solution to support those in the industry.”

Additionally, Combilift also launched two other new products - the Combi-AGT, and Combi-Connect.

Already in operation at a number of leading steel service centres in the United States, Combilift’s Autonomous Guided Truck (Combi-AGT), designed specifically for the automated handling of long loads, boasts dual-control capability, enabling manual operation when necessary – a world first.

Combi-Connect, meanwhile, is a telematic software product that provides its customers with greater levels of insight into fleet management and utilisation, providing real-time data on fleet performance, including location tracking, usage analytics, and maintenance alerts. With this information at their fingertips, businesses can optimise operations.

Enterprise Ireland supported the projects during key stages of progression.

Martin McVicar, managing director of Combilift, said the company has a track record of innovation and is looking forward to the next 25 years in business.

"We invest seven per cent of our revenue annually in R&D and today is the culmination of many years’ hard work. We are delighted to be continuing this tradition of innovation 25 years on."

Other speakers at the event included Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland and Michael Woods, Head of Offshore Equipment Operations at Siemens Gamesa.