Saturday, June 1, 2013

Container Shipping Crane Supplier Invests for the Future and Continues to Win Orders

New Production Hall Fights as Irish Plant Fights off Eastern Competitors
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND – PERU - WORLDWIDE – In recent years many Western companies have suffered the twin blows from a dawdling economy coupled with cheaper completion from Asia, but one company specialising in cargo handling solutions for ports as well as for the shipping and offshore industry, Liebherr Container Cranes, which has made on-going capital investments in its Irish production facility since 1999, has announced a further €50 million will go to extend its production facilities there.

Continued demand over recent years means that production output at Liebherr Container Cranes is already at an all-time high and a decade of continued investment has seen staff numbers increase accordingly. Now, as part of its on-going development of its facilities in Ireland, Liebherr Container Cranes, part of the Swiss based Liebherr industrial equipment supply group has recently commenced building work on a 16,400 m2 new production hall at its Killarney plant, first established in 1958. The new production hall will include state of the art production equipment with a keen focus on automation.

When complete, the new production hall will deliver a substantial increase in capacity at Liebherr Container Cranes whilst a purpose built machining hall, commissioned last year, houses a state of the art CNC boring and milling machine which takes its instructions directly from 3D design tools allowing the largest parts of a Liebherr Crane to be machined in a single set up with unprecedented precision. An ultra-modern IGM welding robot has also been recently installed which guarantees precision welding and optimum weld quality. Speaking about the recent developments Liebherr’s managing director Pat O’Leary commented.

“This is an exciting time at Liebherr. Demand for our container handling products continues to increase year on year, even though market demand overall has reduced. Liebherr cranes are renowned for quality and therefore each step of the production process has numerous quality checks in place. The result is quality cranes that are built to last.

“Liebherr Container Cranes has a team of highly experienced engineers, designers and production personnel who have been with Liebherr for many years. By providing the latest tools, technology and training, this potent mix of people and processes has secured our status as a manufacturer of premium quality equipment. The new production hall will be up and running later this year. It will include the latest in technology and will be staffed by experienced personnel allowing us to meet the increased demand for quality container cranes.”

Evidence of Liebherr’s continuing success in securing sales right across the globe come with news of yet another order for the company, this time from South America. Terminales Portuarios Euroandinos in Paita, Peru has contracted for the delivery of 1 Super Post Panamax ship to shore crane and 2 rubber tyre gantry cranes both due for delivery at the end of this year.

The ship to shore crane has a safe working load of 55 tonnes under a twin lift spreader, an outreach of 51 metres and lifting height above the rail of 36 metres whilst the RTG’s are capable of stacking 1 over 5 high and span 7 containers and a truck lane. Like all Liebherr STS and RMG cranes, the RTG is designed to allow simultaneous motion of all drives and is capable of long travel ‘inching’ thus eliminating the need for side shift on the spreader and the gantry align steering eliminates crabbing when travelling along the stack, just two of the features Liebherr claims delivers container handling rates of up to 40% greater than other manufacturers models.

These cranes are the first Liebherr STS and RTG cranes to be delivered to Peru and will join a pair of Liebherr Mobile Harbour Cranes (LHM 550) that have recently been delivered to the port. The addition of the STS and RTG cranes and indeed the LHM 550 cranes will allow the port to offer its clients substantially improved services for both container and bulk handling than has been possible previously at the terminal.

Photo: Manufacturing facilities for the giant cranes have in turn to be big themselves. The scale of the new production hall in Killarney can be judged by how it dwarfs the crane actually involved in the construction.