UK crane manufacturers Pelloby Ltd. are no strangers to designing complex lifting systems for bespoke applications, but a recent project they were commissioned to undertake by approved specialist project integrator, Foster Industrial for Siemens AG, required a particularly creative solution.
A Siemens facility in Port Harcourt, Nigeria responsible for the overhaul of compressors for the oil and gas industry required a method of unloading heavy duty equipment from wagons at an external location and then transporting these items into an adjacent warehouse. While this might sound simple enough, the requirement becomes more complex due to the building’s limited height which meant the new crane needed to be able to pass under a low-lying door and then extend to a greater height once outside in order to access the equipment from above.
Pelloby’s solution was a bespoke travelling telescopic gantry crane, which stood at 5.7 metres when retracted to pass underneath the doorframe, but could extend to just over 7.5 metres in order to unload goods from the wagon. Supporting safe working loads of up to 20 tonnes, the upper crane structure can be raised into position by a rack and pinon system where it is then locked in place before hoisting can begin.
This radio controlled telescopic crane features eight rubber gantry wheels which are housed in special end carriages in order to traverse the workplace. Steering options include circular turning on a point (zero steer), crab steer and true circle four-wheel-steer, while the 4.5 metre span allows the system to comfortably straddle the lorry during the unloading process.
More impressive still is that this system can also negotiate gradients of up to 7°, letting the team at Siemens move the telescopic gantry crane along a sloped surface between the inside of the facility and the loading area. The transition between the flat and angled gradients is accommodated seamlessly thanks to an innovative end carriage system that allows a small degree of articulation in the wheel bogie assemblies.
The heavy duty rope hoist guide system crab is able to traverse the gantry beam at 2-10 m/min speeds, however it must be positioned centrally during ascent or descent of a slope while the crane faces straight on to maintain safe use of the system. Similarly, floor travel speeds must be limited to five m/min while on a slope, while otherwise reaching 10 m/min.
Pelloby also fitted additional safety features to the system including four amber flashing beacons to signify to nearby staff when it’s in use and four emergency stop buttons to guarantee operator safety.
This innovative telescopic travelling gantry crane is another example of Pelloby’s advanced design and manufacturing capabilities for finding solutions to complex lifting challenges.