Konecranes has supplied a material handling system, incorporating an S-series crane, at ABB Limited’s Drives Service Workshop (DSW) in Coalville, Leicestershire. The contract represents the first installation of the new generation S-series model in the UK.
The system supplied comprises a 16.1 m span overhead single girder gantry and a 3.29 t SWL S-series electric rope hoist. The crane has cross and long travel speeds of up to 20 m/min and a hoisting speed of up to 3.1 m/min, with a 4.29 m height of lift. The crane is operated via a radio remote controller.
ABB is a worldwide leader in the fields of electrification, robotics, automation and motion technology, with an emphasis on energy saving and sustainability. Its UK operation employs 1,800 people, operating from 15 locations and supplies £0.5 billion of innovative solutions, products and services to a broad range of market sectors. The DSW provides reconditioning, preventative maintenance, service, repairs, genuine spare parts and cleaning for low voltage variable speed drives and drive modules, which cannot be undertaken in the field. The company identified the need for a material handling system for the safe, ergonomic and efficient movement of drives within the workshop.
Initially, ABB’s engineers had been considering a lightweight crane system, but the fact that an increasing number of large and heavy drives were being serviced prompted a rethink. The company specified the S-series crane on the grounds that its features are particularly suited to the DSW’s maintenance operations. The S-series crane uses synthetic rope, which requires no lubrication, eliminating the possibility of delicate electronic components within the drive units being contaminated with oil. Smooth movement and accurate load positioning, which are critical factors for the workshop’s processes, are assured by the crane’s infinite and stepless speed control. Other features of the crane design are its tilted drum and off-set reeving, which also ensure smooth and accurate load handling, whilst eliminating peak rope forces to reduce the wear on reeving components. The remote radio control allows the operator to use the crane from anywhere within the workshop for increased safety and operational freedom. The compact nature of the crane met ABB’s requirement for a heavy-duty lifting solution, which did not take up too much room in the workshop.
Neil Rayns, ABB’s drives workshop engineer, reports that several lifting equipment providers were invited to tender for the project:
“There were a number of options on the table, but the Konecranes’ proposal was the most appropriate for our requirements, representing the best engineered solution and value for money. Konecranes’ worldwide reputation for product quality, reliability and after sales support also gave us confidence that we were making the correct decision.”