Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Materials Handling News from Fork Lift Truck and Maritime Crane Makers  

New Energy Saving Options and Tale of a Massive Floating Hoist Project

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Shipping News Feature FINLAND – NETHERLANDS – News from two of Europe's largest materials handling equipment manufacturers as Finnish group Konecranes reveals it latest product, designed to improve a fork lift truck users environmental performance, whilst Swiss based Liebherr tells of the adaptation it had to make to one of its largest offshore cranes in the field to suit the expanding wind turbine market.

First those fork lift trucks, Konecranes has introduced a concept, Ecolifting, including three separate driveline solutions for lift trucks: Power Drive, offering up to 15% fuel savings; Flow Drive, with up to 25% fuel savings; and the pioneering Hybrid Drive, offering up to 40% fuel savings. The company says Power Drive is the most cost-efficient way to start reducing emissions and fuel expenses, due to its very short payback time. The system is designed to save on fuel and cost, yet retain the same power.

Flow Drive cuts down fuel consumption and emissions while increasing the time spent on active operations with what the manufacturer says is a minimal financial investment. The solution aims to offer a precise, smooth ride, reduced noise and less cabin vibration, coupled with a significant increase in overall productivity.

Probably the most interesting of the three is the evolution of what Konecranes claim is world’s first Hybrid Reach Stacker. This lift truck, fitted with innovative, cutting-edge technology, has been fully tested in over 10,000 hours of commercial operation and cuts down fuel consumption by up to 40%, to the benefit of benefits business, users, processes and the environment.

Liebherr meanwhile, as our picture shows, needed a delicate operation to fit a modified boom extension of almost 20 metres on one of its BOS 45000 slewing bearing cranes on board self-propelled DP2 jack-up vessel Seafox 5. The modification gives the crane an optimised outreach of over 96 metres and a handling capacity at the maximum outreach of 800 tonnes. This enables the unit, originally fitted out in Singapore in 2012, to install higher wind turbines than previously.

The idea behind fitting this additional intermediate section was to adapt the boom length rapidly and efficiently with a minimum effort. This allows Seafox 5 to either shorten or extend the boom depending on specific project requirements. The planning of the project took nine months of talks between Liebherr and Seafox BV, which owns the vessel. Alexander Eijgenraam, rig manager of Seafox 5, explains:

“The market for wind turbines made the decision to enlarge the boom. It became necessary because of the height of the towers for wind turbines which is continuously increasing. Without this extension we could not execute our current and future projects in the North Sea. Depending on the future market we also might look into more possibilities for our crane.”

To bring the project to a successful conclusion teams from the two companies had to cooperate and arrive at a cost effective solution. After a study by Liebherr engineers to establish load parameters the resulting solution was designing and building a hoisting gear that was especially created to meet the project related needs of the customer. Evert Kistemaker, Seafox project engineer and coordinator, commented:

“Fitting in the lengthening of the boom next to the maintenance area of the pivot section of the boom, the exchange of all outside hoses, the weather conditions and the coordination of all parties working on the crane were major challenges during this project. But due to the outstanding effort of Liebherr, EuroRope, de Gier, Damen Verolme (which modified the boom at its Rotterdam yard), FluiConnecto as well as Seafox and their cooperation, this project has become a success. The execution of the service and the support made by Liebherr has been [both] very satisfactory and valuable.”

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