Swedish Steel Prize 2009 goes to Canada

Labrie Environmental Group, the Canadian manufacturer of equipment for the solid waste industry, is this year’s winner of the Swedish Steel Prize. The company won the prize with its new vehicle model – the Wittke Starlight. According to the jury, this entry puts to most evident use the breadth and opportunities offered by high strength steels, due to the precise optimization of all parts of the vehicle, which are made mainly of high strength steel sheet.

"Labrie has come very far in the use of high strength steels," explains Martin Lindqvist, Chairman of the Swedish Steel Prize jury. "Their winning entry consists almost entirely of high strength steels. The designers have been successful in optimizing the design in order to reduce weight, but without compromising on strength and functionality."

The Wittke Starlight – the name given by Labrie to the new truck – is a front-loader refuse collection truck that has around 700 kg higher payload capacity than earlier models. In addition to being lighter, the new vehicle is also built to achieve higher compaction of the refuse in the container. This has resulted in a more efficient vehicle that contributes to fewer transport journeys and thus reduced environmental impact.

Inspires to new design philosophy

"Energy saving measures are growing in importance around the world," continues Martin Lindqvist. "By using high strength steel in their design, Labrie has demonstrated that energy saving measures can readily be achieved. Switching over to high strength steels is often a simple measure for creating more energy-efficient products, while also improving competitiveness."

The Swedish Steel Prize was founded in 1999 and is being awarded this year for the eleventh time. The use of high strength steels is growing steadily, and the Prize is considered to have contributed to this development.

"The objective of the Prize is to use good examples for illustrating the opportunities offered by high strength steels," explains Martin Lindqvist. "It is intended to inspire to new design philosophy."

Noha Mandour
Corporate Communications Manager
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