Project: Safely and efficiently handling large steel plates

Konecranes Australia
Friday, 15 January, 2010

South Australian steel-profile cutter Ferrocut boosted both efficiency and operator safety when it recently installed Konecranes CXT overhead cranes at its new factory and warehouse complex in the Techport Australia industry hub near Adelaide.

Techport is the base for ASC, Australia’s largest defence shipbuilding organisation, which is delivering the Royal Australian Navy’s next-generation $8 billion Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers. The industry hub includes a 35-hectare supplier precinct for subcontractors such as Ferrocut to establish operations and develop efficient supply chains.

Ferrocut supplies cut steel plate from its facility to a range of industry customers, including engineering, infrastructure and mining groups as well as processing ship plate for the ASC. The company’s six new CXT cranes are used to lift and transport steel plates and cut steel parts.

Emile Ellens, Equipment Manager for Ferrocut, states: “It’s the first time we’ve used Konecranes overhead cranes. We chose them after speaking with other users and because of Konecranes’ reputation for quality.

“The dual hoists on the production cranes allow us to lift the steel plates from two points instead of one, which prevents the plates from rotating. We’re able to keep them all lined up the same way in the warehouse, resulting in safer and more efficient handling.

“The anti-sway feature, which we hadn’t experienced before, works very well. It prevents the load from swaying during travel, which is a big safety issue. Anti-sway takes some of the pressure off the crane operators, who don’t have to be so experienced.

“Two of the cranes have electro-magnets fitted, which make the cranes more efficient and increases our productivity, because chains are not needed to lift the plates.

“We’re quite happy with the service we’ve received from Konecranes for the supply and installation of these new cranes.”

Some of the safety options provided with the cranes were: radio remote control; stepless hoisting speed control; second disk brake on the hoist: ControlPro Lifetime system for hoist safety and performance control; calculation and monitoring of Safe Working Period; ControlPro Optic Interactive display in the pendant control for load monitoring; anti-collision protection; anti-sway systems; slack-rope detection; zone limit switches; warning devices for additional safety; and lockable hook block.

“CXT cranes, with individual hoist capacities up to 80 tonnes, are designed to be industry benchmarks of safety and ergonomics, with easy and effective load handling and optimum dimensions for maximising the hook travel,” says Konecranes’ National Sales and Marketing Manager, Warren Ashton. “Not only is the CXT hoist a forerunner in technological terms, the design has reduced the number of maintenance and wear items on the hoist, thus reducing the cost of ownership for the end user.

“While we recommend Konecranes as the service provider of choice, any service agent with basic crane knowledge and experience can effectively maintain a CXT hoist through its lifetime.”

The cranes have excellent hook approaches at both ends and the headroom requirement is minimal, thereby eliminating under-utilised floor space, because the crane can operate closer to the walls and lift the load higher.

Inverter control delivers safe and accurate load positioning, while smooth acceleration and deceleration reduce wear and mechanical stress on structures and minimise load sway. The ergonomic hook design makes rigging of the load safer, while the rope-drum-to-rope-diameter ratio is more than double that of conventional designs for added operational effectiveness. And the adjustment-free and dust-proof brakes are designed for high levels of safety and reliability.

To meet specific load-handling capacity and factory size requirements, CXT cranes are available in single- and double-girder construction with profile or box-girder design. Duty classification, speeds, control methods and other additional features are used to tailor the crane to meet exact operational and environmental application requirements.

“When involved in an ongoing basis in assisting with safety training and preventative maintenance, Konecranes uses the customer knowledge and expertise of its teams throughout Australasia to deliver locally the global resources of the Konecranes group,” adds Ashton.

Konecranes launched an audit service in Australasia drawing on its global CRS program to help industries determine whether their overhead lifting equipment achieves optimum reliability, performance and mandatory safety standards.

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