SSAB Introducing Hardox in Round Bars

When the going gets rough, Cerapid turns to Hardox Roundbar

Being tough has always been a profitable business for the company CerapidSerameko that makes equipment for excavators and other heavy construction machinery in Uddevalla, Sweden.

Combining hard and soft steel in parts that wear down on each other always leads to the soft steel being worn out faster, says Cerapids CEO Håkan Sahlin. Therefore he didn´t hesitate for a moment when the company had the chance to test the new Hardox Roundbar in Cerapids excavator buckets. 

We were already using Hardox 450 in nearly all of our products. By using Hardox Roundbar we achieve the same quality in our attachments as in the rest of the bucket and in the quick coupling. This gives us a sharp increase in quality that customers will definitely notice, says Håkan Sahlin.

The new material means that there is less wear and tear on the excavators and these can operate in longer periods between service overhauls. It also lessens the risk for unplanned work stoppages. 

Hardox Roundbar is part of SSABs well known range of steel grades for extreme wear resistance. It is about steel that has both good bendability and excellent weldabilty traits. With grades between 350-650 HB Hardox is sought after in areas where long product lifespan and wearablity is of great value. Mines and projects needing heavy construction equipment are all looking for steel grades that can manage extreme situations. 

Cerapid started manufacturing buckets for construction machinery 1988. Håkan Sahlin entered the company the same year and took it over 13 years later. Production was moved to Uddevalla 2001

Striving to be better 

Right from the start Cerapid focused on high quality and reliability. We want to exceed customer expectations for our products and supply a high standard of service in case anything should happen, says Håkan. Our goal is to do everything a little bit better. Therefore it was only natural that Cerapid was the first company to use Hardox Roundbar in a new bucket for excavators. 

We had been using Hardox 450 in our quick couplings for quite a while, explains Håkan. But so far no steel bar really lived up to our expectations. The standard products were too soft and harder steel grades tended to crack too easily. To make his point he takes us outside the factory and shows us a bucket where the round bar in the attachment is worn out. The hooks from the quick couple have left deep tracks in the steel.

Hard steel against soft steel parts is not a good combination, says Håkan. By using Hardox Roundbar we have hard steel versus hard steel, which guarantees less wear and tear. 

First bucket delivered 

The first bucket using the new Hardox Roundbar was delivered to Nätts Entreprenad that crushes rock into gravel in a quarry near Borås in southern Sweden. Cerapid has been supplying us with excavator buckets for many years, says Christer Nätt. I am very confident that their new products will be a better than earlier products. I expect Hardox Roundbar in the attachment to save us both labour and money in the future. 

Today an operator of an excavator has to keep a sharp eye on the quick coupling between the attachment and the bucket. If wearage creates too much slack the operator will have to get out his tools and fix it. Some of the wearage can be compensated by using shims. If the wearage is too far gone we have to change the attachment on the bucket, says Christer. Cerapids buckets are today reknown for having a long lifespan.

Profitable to renovate 

Both the construction and choice of material makes it profitable to renovate our products, says Håkan. Buckets that are used in tough environments like mines or quarries are exposed to a lot of wear and tear. In time most of the exposed parts are worn down. A newly renovated bucket can be seen at the factory in Udddevalla. Despite evidence of wear and tear there are still many hours of work left in the bucket after being renovated. Close by is a bucket with a grid bottom that has been renovated. In this case Håkan Sahlin have found a totally new way of using Hardox Roundbar: Parts of the rough grid at the bottom of the bucket were worn out and the sideplates had to be reinforced.

Advantages with Hardox Roundbar The round shape of the Hardox Roundbar has three definite advantages in this bucket, says Mika Stensson at SSAB Technical Support: 

1. The rounded profile does not wear out as fast since all wear and tear is distributed over a larger surface compared to conventional steel plates with the edge cut 90 degrees. 

2. Hardox Roundbar maintains all the good qualities of the material while the edge of the steel plate can be affected by the heat from the cutting. 

3. When the new profile is fitted one needs less filler material when welding the construction and it is easy to weld were the joint will not affect the strength of the design. 

Mika introduced Hardox Roundbar at Cerapid together with Dan Olsen, Regional Sales manager at SSAB in Oxelösund. 

Cooperation with SSAB 

We have a great cooperation with SSAB, says Håkan and our contacts are important as we always strive to be at the forefront of product development. The chain of innovation is also helped by our close contacts with our customers. 

Most of our products are custom-made for the customers. Even if most of our products are standardized customers are always asking for special tailor-made solutions for their needs. Cerapid was one of the first manufacturers to weld their own brand name on all their excavator buckets. 

We are proud of our products and so are our customers, says Håkan. We stopped welding our brand name on the buckets for a while but that only resulted in protests from our customers. The brand name sends a message of quality and at the same time makes it less likely for thieves to steal the buckets as they have to remove the welded trademark. The Serameko trademark also plays an important role in promoting the company

Happy customers good for promotions 
We don´t spend any money on promoting our products, says Håkan. Satisfied customers are our best form of promotions. We deliver equipment to large companies like Volvo and Caterpillar but also to many smaller contractors. They all expect the best possible quality from us. And we deliver on that promise. We also invest in steel that we believe in. Hardox Roundbar makes our Serameko excavator buckets even better.

About Cerapid-Serameko 

Cerapid-Serameko designs and manufactures excavator buckets and other equipment for construction machinery under the trademark Serameko. The products are developed in consultation with contractors, machine manufacturers and steel suppliers. Cerapid started 1949 when the company made boats for both work and recreation. 1998 production changed and focused on specialized equipment for construction machinery. Håkan Sahlin took over ownership of the company 2001 and the factory was moved to Uddevalla. 

The company is Hardox In My Body-licensed and ISO 9001-certified.
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