Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Crane in Spain Stays Mainly on the Grain

After Two Years Spanish Group Reviews How Their Big Investment Has Paid Off
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN - In 2011, Liebherr delivered an LHM 550 mobile harbour crane to Galigrain S.A., in the port of Marín, located on the west coast of Spain. The equipment was needed principally to handle the group’s bulk materials which includes various types of cereals and bulk products from vessels up to Panamax size. For such an operation it is necessary that the port infrastructure builds a common entity. Investing in an advanced mobile harbour crane is probably just one piece of the puzzle as the whole cargo handling chain needs to be adjusted to achieve maximum efficiency, otherwise the material throughput is limited to the capacity of the weakest link of the chain and parameters to adjust may include truck capacity, hopper position or size of the grab.

The crane is also versatile having a maximum lifting capacity of 144 tonnes and an outreach of up to 54 metres meaning it is also perfectly suitable for general cargo operation, just by an easy exchange of the lifting attachment. The investment needed to obtain this optimum efficiency is considerable, both in financial and executive terms and Galigrain decided to equip the new crane with an innovative Pactronic® hybrid power booster in order to benefit from its performance-enhancing characteristics. The hybrid drive system allows for more turnover and less fuel consumption at the same time, both improving in the region of 30%.

Now reviewing supply chain efficiency improvements the Spanish port reveals that the crane's capabilities have increased its attractiveness for shipping lines with Galigrain’s Managing Director Mr Ceferino Nogueira García, saying:

“The LHM 550 has enlarged the capacity and performance of our terminals and fits perfectly into our efforts towards more efficient and environmentally friendly operations. A detailed analysis of the crane data, carried out by Liebherr’s engineers, also helped us to optimize operational parameters. The performance of the crane exceeded by far our expectations, we are reaching frequently a peak turnover of 1,800 tonnes per hour.”

Liebherr says it believes that it is necessary to offer the support it does to its customers to get the best from cutting-edge port equipment with innovative features, by providing valuable services including detailed analyses of the relevant factors. In Marín, Liebherr engineers analysed the port infrastructure and the logistics processes in detail in order to increase speed of bulk transportation throughout the port. As a result of the harmonisation of Galigrain’s bulk transportation chain, the full utilisation of the crane's capacity has significantly improved efficiency leading to new turnover peaks.

In engineering terms by adding an accumulator as a secondary energy source instead of a bigger or additional prime mover, the Pactronic® system is regenerating the reverse power while lowering the load. In addition, the surplus power of the primary energy source is also used for charging the accumulator. The stored energy is transferred back to the system when the crane requires peak power during hoisting. In terms of turnover capacity, that means a plus of 30% compared to a conventional machine with equal power rating of the primary energy source.

Additionally, Pactronic® leads to a reduction of fuel/energy consumption (litre/tonne) as well as CO2 and exhaust emissions in the range of 30% depending on the operation. The hybrid drive system is virtually maintenance free as it just needs visible inspection every 10 years. 100% recyclability as well as less noise exposure are additional eco-friendly benefits of this advanced system.