India's Tallest Tower Crane

The restricted and limited availability of construction area in metro, non-metro cities and peripheral areas is resulting in increased proliferation of vertical constructions. P.P. Basistha takes a look at the solutions, equipment manufacturers have on offer to the growing demand of high-rise projects in residential and commercial real estate.

New design approaches for real estate projects are based on optimization of construction space. Taking cognizance, project developers and contractors developing real estate projects in prime urban areas are leaving no stone unturned to explore new design options for high-rise projects. Synchronizing with the design requirements and the construction methodology being adopted for setting up the high-rise construction projects, equipment manufacturers across the verticals of concrete placement, tower cranes and mast climbers are going beyond offering conventional product solutions. In many cases, the solutions on offer are being dovetailed with critical knowledge support to contractors enabling safe utilization of the equipment for smooth project execution and finally completion. Not the least, saving on costs.

Supertech Highrise Construtcion

Tower Cranes Lifting High

Anil Mudgil Action Construction Equipment
"Based on the emerging requirements for high-rise construction, we offer tower cranes with internal climbing and external anchorage options. The range of our tower crane varied between 5- to-20 tons with jib lengths varying from 25mtr to 70mtrs to cover large radius. We have supplied tower cranes for various prestigious projects undertaken by top contactors and developers like Ahluwalia, Ajnara, Amrapali, Ansals, B L Kashyap, Capacite, Jaiprakash, NBCC, L&T, Pratibha, Supertech, Unitech, etc. to name a few," mentions Mr. Anil Mudgil, Head Sales, Tower Cranes, Action Construction Equipments.

He adds, "Considering the layout design of the high-rise construction and the dimension of the lift shaft, we suggest and subsequently design the crane either for inner climbing or for external installation. Factors, such as whether the proposed high-rise is coming within clusters or in vacinity of other buildings are also studied by our trained engineers. This study is vital for easier erection and dismantling of the cranes. In accordance with this, we examine the options and suggest the appropriate solution. Locations of other structures at a closer distance might hinder erection and quicker dismantling of the cranes."

RG Luxury Homes

According to Mr. Mudgil, "High rise construction projects, looking for inner climbing tower cranes, demand more than standard hardware. Based on our prolonged expertise, we take into consideration other critical factors, like wind pressure where the tower crane is working, and ground bearing pressure, if the crane has to be fitted internally or externally, is thoroughly examined, followed by supplying the appropriate cranes."

Sheetal Malik ECEL
Superior steel structurals, software and electrical engineering attributes, claims Escorts Construction Equipment Limited (ECEL) make its Comansa tower cranes suitable for highrise building projects. Mr. Sheetal Malik, GM, Sales, ECEL says, "Comansa tower cranes are manufactured as per respective DIN & European standards to provide the best technology at competitive prices. The crane hoist winch are specially designed according to the length of wire rope & speed to meet productivity during the construction of highrise building. Comansa tower crane steel structure follows EN10025 & EN10083-1 standard strong design, without alternating stresses in the jib. This virtually eliminates fatigue in the structure. Comansa mast panels are manufactured to tolerances that permit the weight of the crane to rest on the corner angles of the mast, rather than on the pins. This ensures long-life and particular advantage for high rise tower crane."

Comansa Jie Tower Crane

Mr. Malik explains, "Comansa tower cranes have advanced safety features enabling safer lifting and slewing of loads, making them ideal for highrise projects. The cranes have safety features like trolley limiter, hoisting limiter, load limiter, moment limiter, reeving change and rotation limiter along with safe load indicator that displays working radius and corresponding safe working load and gives audible alarm and visual warning when the working load or working radius is unsafe. In case of power cut or load is free falling, the fail safe brake automatically applied. One of the most vital features of the cranes is that they are lighter, with small and lighter individual modules.

Comansa flattop tower crane are available between 5 T – 64 T max load with jib length of up to 80 M. Comansa luffing tower crane having range 8 T to 24 T capacity comes with jib length of up to 65 m. The cranes are equipped with patented, Fastest 4/2 fall interchange, Removable Jacking Cage, Modular Mast Sections of 5.5m Length, Short counter jib, Step less frequency control in Hoisting & Luffing movement with low power consumption.

ECEL has supplied Comansa flat top tower cranes for North Eye project having height up to 150M in Noida, near Delhi. A unit of Comansa luffing type tower crane was also supplied for the Park project with height up to 280M in Mumbai.

Tushar Mehandale
Beyond making available products solutions, knowledge and technical support is offered by Electromech for the Zoomlion range of tower cranes working in highrise construction projects. Mr. Tushar Mehandale, Managing Director, ElectroMech Material Handling Systems (I) Pvt. Ltd. says, "A major detriment in making the internal tower cranes adopted in high rise projects is the much varied size of the lift shafts. Taking note that Indian lift shafts are typically smaller, we have developed a made for India inner climbing tower crane, the TC 5013-5G, with a 1.2 m x 1.2 m mast section to cater to Indian site conditions. There are other challenges for high-rise constructions. This may include inaccessibility to the site for mobile cranes to erect and disassemble the tower cranes, strong wind conditions. To bypass the constraint, we offer supervision to our customers for safe erection during first time installation."

Amrapali Highrise

"We also provide the dismantling and re erection services or supervision on chargeable basis for later dismantling and relocation." He adds, "Trained operators are vital for safe operation of a tower crane in high rise projects. Not only safety, but even the efficiency of a job site is impacted if the operator is not adequately trained. Zoomlion ElectroMech conducts oper- ator training programs for its clients. This covers safe operations as well as preventive maintenance to ensure longevity and safety of the cranes we supply to high-rise projects."

Mr. Mehandale informs, "For working on highrise projects, Zoomlion offers flat top cranes ranging from 4t to 25t. These are designed for safe and reliable performance while ensuring high cost-efficiency. These cranes are efficient, quick to erect, can self-dismantle, and have low operational costs. The flat top design is most suited where multiple cranes are being used in close proximity. These cranes are available with spans up to 80m."

He continues, "For high-rise projects, we also offer hammer head cranes ranging from 5t to 25t. The cranes from this series satisfy diverse construction requirements of different users. Safety devices, robust structure and specially developed PLC electronic control technology enable the tower cranes to be safer and more reliable. These cranes are available with spans up to 80m."

"In our stable, we have a wide range of luffing jib tower cranes as well ranging from 8t to 25t. The technical parameters and performance of these cranes are ideal for special and high rise construction requirements. They feature large lifting capacity, derricking with load, small swing radius and require little operating room. Luffing jib tower cranes are much suitable for narrow spaces in urban areas and multiple tower project construction, they are the best choice for high rise projects in crowded cities. These cranes are available with spans up to 60m," says Mr. Mehandale.

He adds, "Zoomlion tower cranes are much suitable for high-rise construction projects as they are equipped with vital operational and safety features. This includes, parameter monitoring system that ensures all movements remain within the safe programmed limits. Other features include, self-climbing mechanism with anti-drop device for safe jacking operation, climbing frame with platform for easy and quick self-erection, limit switches for hoisting, slewing and trolley movement, and anti-twist device for wire rope. Trolley with safety features such as wire rope breakage protection, axle breakage protection, and wire rope guide." Zoomlion tower cranes supplied by Electromech for a few high-rise projects, which includes Raheja Viviera, Mumbai, height 220m; Supertech Golf Homes, National Capital Region, 90m; Amrapali Dream Valley, Noida, 102m; Sobha, Bangalore, 150m; and Lodha, New Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, 250 m.

Anupam Industries Tower Crane

S K Malve
Mr. S.K. Malve, Head, Tower Cranes sales, Anupam Industries, says, "Our 5-6 tons, Anupam-Alfa cranes come with 45 hp hoisting capacities making them suitable for high-rise constructions such as HUH, more than 55 storeys building. Higher hoisting capacities are vital features of tower cranes working at high-rise projects as they have to lift loads at greater heights." Anupam Alfa has supplied tower cranes to Gammon India for its highrise construction projects in Mumbai.

He adds, "Made according to European standards, Anupam-Alfa tower cranes score higher on safety and performance and have longer service life, making them much suitable to real estate developers in Delhi-NCR with higher job volumes in hand." Anupam manufactures 5-6 tons tower cranes under technical collaboration with Alfa of Italy.

A D Bhosale
Technical attributes are counted by Universal for its tower cranes, making them suitable for utilization in high-rise building projects. "Our single 5 tons, Universal-Useter, flattop tower cranes can be utilized for both outside and inner installation at high-rise projects having space constraints. The masts of the cranes are available with 1.2x1.2x 3 meters and 1.6x1.6x2.5 meters," says Mr. A.D. Bhosale, Vice President, Vertical Material Handling Division, Universal Construction Machinery & Equipment India Ltd.

He adds, "The crane provides flexibility of operation as its jib can be adjusted at 55 meters and also at 20 meters. Further, the cranes can easily be assembled and disassembled, making them suitable to work on high-rise projects taking place in clusters." He cites an example of a high-rise project in Mumbai, which was quite inaccessible. However, based on their expertise, the cranes could easily be disassembled. Universal manufactures tower cranes under technical collaboration with European owned Useter based in China. Universal has recently installed two units of tower cranes to Rustomji and to a residential project in Mumbai of 120 meters and 80 meters lifting capacities respectively.

Universal Tower Crane

Rajiv Kumar
"Dismantling of the tower cranes working at greater heights in real estate projects is a major challenge. The contractors have to take the brunt of bearing additional high costs of hiring separate mobile cranes for dismantling the sections of the tower cranes. However, our YONGMAO tower cranes come with a unique engineering distinction of having self jib dismantling technology which can dismantle the crane by itself," mentions Mr. Rajiv Kumar, CEO, DCS Techno Services Pvt Ltd.

FM Guru Tower Crane
DCS Techno is an exclusive distributor of 5-200 tons lifting capacity and world' top 10 brand Yangmao and premium European FM-Gru 5-40 tons tower cranes for the Indian market. It also markets 5-12 tons KRHI Chinese flattop tower cranes for real estate construction. The company has recently supplied one KRHI tower crane to Supreme Infrastructure for its 180 meters residential project in Gurgaon and another for 300 meters project in Mumbai.

High-rise Concrete Solutions

VG SakthiKumar
Array of valued concrete placement solutions are on offer for high-rise projects. "Commissioning of the new plant in Chennai facility with components of high grade steel and specially trained welders from Germany is a reflection of our business commitment. We have always continued our investments to strengthen our production systems and consequently incorporate value in our products for high-rise construction and other projects. The ongoing initiative enables our customers to curtail equipment owning and operating costs," says Mr. V.G. Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter Sales and Services Pvt. Ltd.

He adds, "The introduction of new solution for different application areas for high-rise construction has also been our focus areas and will continue with the strategy in 2015 and beyond." Schwing has introduced its Separate Placing Booms for high-rise construction. The boom placers portfolio comprises SPB-25, SPB- 32 and SPB-35. Mr. Kumar mentions, "Irrespective of the heights, the placers are well engineered to pump the appropriate volumes of concrete at right pressure. Ensuring the consistency of concrete is a prime challenge for high-rise construction. However, we provide the requisite knowledge support to the contractors through our experienced engineers to study the strength of the concrete and also offer training to operators working at high-rise construction projects at our training facility in Chennai."

Schwing Highrise Construtction

Mr. Kumar informed, "We will keep making investments to support our 35,000 units working in high-rise construction and other parts of the concrete value chain, through our 26 service branches, 8 service centers, and 250 service engineers across the country."

Parminder Gabri
According to Mr. Parminder Gabri, Director Sales, Putzmeister India, "We are now completely positioned to offer a wider range of concrete pumping solutions with our new eSmart series, according to the desired applications of the Indian customers. The range includes, 20-36-42 meters truck mounted boom pumps, trailer mounted stationary pumps of 20-100 cum for 30-600 meters pumping height requirements and mobile line pumps of 50-70 cum."

He elaborates, "Our articulated Stationary boom working in high-rise construction projects are lighter and can quickly be erected and brought down. The Placer ensures fast distribution of concrete at a height and covers building area very efficiently where the human reach is difficult. We have our own dedicated concrete project division which provides vital support to the contractors working in high-rise projects, long distance pumping and where special concrete is used. It also provides knowledge support to the contractors on different grade of concrete which is used for the high rise projects. Further, evaluation support is provided on the power that will be required to ensure the right flow for uniformly placing the concrete. Apart from these, support is provided in deciding location of Placer to ensure maximum coverage of concrete placement with minimum un-covered spots."

Putzmeister Stationary Boom

He mentions, "We also provide various solutions on operation and maintenance of machines, based on the requirements of the customers. Further, we also completely refurbish the machines to enhance working life of the pumps." The company has supplied boom placers for high-rise construction projects to L&T, and Billimoria in Mumbai.

Putzmeister has 150 resident service engineers and service centers across five regions of the country. It markets its pumps through its own channels.

Mast Climbers Add Value

Value to high-rise construction projects is being added by mast climber manufacturers and dealers. Generally, used for carrying out external plastering work, mast climbers are more suitable to work in high-rise construction than the conventional scaffolding techniques.

According to Mr. A.D. Bhosale, "Mast climbers score over the conventional techniques as they can carry both men and materials at greater heights, besides ensuring safety to work. Additionally, it is less on owning, assembling and disassembling costs. Not to mention retention of higher inventories."

Universal offers variants of mast climbers which include triangular mast, square mast of 1 ton capacity for 120, 200 meters high construction projects and 2 tons of 300 meters. He says, "We offer the climbers with single masts of 10 meters and double masts of 22 meters in length. Both the masts can be coupled for synchronized operation and enhancing the length." Universal manufactures the three models of its XYGO series of mast climbers at its Shivare plant near Pune. The platform with a size of 10 x 1.2 mtr can take maximum load of 1000kg. Mast section is a square of 700 x 1508 mm and can take load up to 2000 kg and height to 300 meter. Mast of the platform is designed to accommodate the Rack and Pinion Passenger Material Lift. Thus one can either use platform or passenger hoist on same mast reducing the cost of erection and dismantling and saving on mast cost.

He says, "Our mast climbers are made heavy duty round tube, provided with male and female joints that make their erection easier for high-rise construction. Further, the accurately machined rack and pinion gives smooth operation, which ensures safety and durability of the platform. The guide rollers maintain accurate tolerance in the movement of the platforms on the mast. Heavy duty chassis with jacks facilitates free standing upto six meters above and that anchoring has to be made at an interval of every three meters. One of the prominent safety features that comprise in our climbers is anti free fall safety device."

Mast Climber

Universal's main clients are rental companies. It has supplied around 80 works platforms to contractors like JMC projects, DSK, Pune Sahara Projects, ETA Bangalore, Rajdeep Builders and Jackson Housing for residential and commercial housing projects. The company also manufactures rope suspended platforms for external plastering, painting, aluminum and glass cladding, and cleaning of high-rise building structures. The platforms are suspended along the building façade through wire ropes. They move up and down with the help of electric motor through the suspended mechanism installed at the top of the building.

Universal's other solutions for vertical construction include, rope suspended platforms and material hoists. Mr. Bhosale mentions, "We manufacture different models of suspended rope platforms: UHP 200 with maximum height of 100 mtr, rated load of 200 kg and platform of 1.5 mtr, UHP 800 with a maximum height of 150 mtr, rated load of 800kg and platform of 2.5/5/7.5 mtr and UHP 1000 with a maximum height of 150 mtr, rated load of 1000kg and platform of 5 mtr. Universal has developed special model to reach the surface below projected canopy or chajjah's."

He continues, "Universal has successfully developed wire rope with friction roller as well as rack and pinion type material hoist. The hoist has various attachments of buckets like rebar carrying (up 12 meter long), concrete carrying and sand brick carrying buckets. Hoist is easy in installation and operation. They are available in various capacities like 500 kg to 2000 kg and height from 20 meter to 200 meter. Remote operation with VFD gives jerk free travel. The machines have been extremely popular with highrise project contractors. Amrapali, New Delhi has installed more than 35 units on single project and set an example of selection of appropriate machine."

Rack & pinion, passenger cum material lifts is Universal's another solution for high rise projects. Mr. Bhosale says, "We have more than 900 installations of these units in India and abroad. Universal has various speedo models in rack and pinion lift. It is available in standard, medium and high speed with single cage and twin cage with capacity to 3000 kg and can be erected to 300 meter tall structure. Speedo super model is made available for low rise building ranging from 5th floor. Our advanced robotics manufacturing facility gives more accuracy and strength to the structural components. Among our key customer for rack and pinions are Hiranandani, DLF, JMC project, Shapoorji Pallonji, Simplex, Tata project, Gammon, B G Shirke."

Mr. Bhosale says, "To meet short-term requirements of clients, we provide machine on hire through their channel partners. Many clients wish to sale the machine once project gets over. Universal provides buy back arrangement also to them."

Vikram Mehta
To fulfill the requirements of high-rise projects' contractors, manufacturers of mast climbers and suspended rope platforms have been carrying out customization of their solutions by adding features along with introducing newer products. According to Mr. Vikram Mehta, MD, Spartan Engineering Pvt. Ltd, "based on needs of higher productivity, there are emerging requirements of hoists which carry more materials, more people, at faster speed and to greater heights. Added to this, there are requirements of machines, which are safe to operate. Being pioneers in the industry, we launch newer products that fulfil higher productivity and safety criteria. Last year, we launched 6 products in just passenger hoist segment and added 1 more product in our much in demand multi-functional hoist portfolio. Going ahead, our new and upgraded first of its kind 2 ton Passenger hoist is in pipeline to be launched this year. Standard machine can go upto 150 meters height, which can be extended further more upto 350 meters and above, with little or no modification. We are revamping our 1 ton, 1.2 ton and 1.5 ton passenger hoist portfolio."

Spartan Material Hoist
Mr. Mehta adds, "Special Human Interface display (HMI display) detects faults in the machine and thereby supports the operator to handle the equipment safely. Specially designed mast structures of our hoists has highest power to weight ratio which a crucial factor needed for high rise buildings. It means the mast has higher load carrying capacity with less self weight. Six module rack and pinion combination ensure that the travel is smooth and jerk-free. This also contributes hugely in reduction of wear and tear, thus further reducing the maintenance cost of the equipment. Safety is well assured in our hoists being equipped with electrical components sourced from Nord, Schneider, Polycab."

He continues, "Looking at the high rise projects, we are now offering speed of 30, 54, or 60 meter per min hoists. Our hoists are designed and tested to take on high wind speeds at greater heights. Adding on value, vital components and panels in our hoists are given special power coatings to neutralize the impact of high humidity in cities like Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata."

P V Ramdev
Advanced safety features are claimed to be offered by GJJ mast climbers, distributed by Everest Engineering in India. According to Mr. P.V. Ramdev, MD, Everest Engineering, "GJJ SCP230/9D and SCP 200/1D single mast and twin mast platforms distributed by us are well suited to work in high- rise construction projects based on the advanced safety features, like ability to withstand ​high ​wind pressures. The platforms come with automatic balancing ​safety cut off​and are equipped with special gear box mechanism​,​​specifically designed by NORD Germany for GJJ,​ that can prevent freefall by bringing the climbers ​@​6 meter per minute ​speed even thecase of any​ ​breakdown."

Everest Engg GJJ Mast Climbers

Everest offers both single ​(​10.5 meters​ length)​and twin ​​variants mast climbers which can be coupled to achieve a length of 24 meters. The mast climbers have carrying capacities of ​2300Kgs for Single and 4000Kgs for twin​. It has supplied around 60 mast climbers to Indian construction majors like L&T, JMC Projects for their high-rise construction projects. The company is targeting to sell ​60-8​0 units during 2015.

Better Coordination Needed

Optimum and safe utilization of the equipment for high-rise construction on offer will be ensured through proper coordination between the contractors and the equipment manufacturers. This will call for sharing of vital data by the civil engineering team to the equipment suppliers, which in many cases manufacturers point out is deficient. Data on soil bearing capacity, if the crane has to be placed internally, and strength of the building, if the crane has to be anchored, will be vital for safe operation of tower cranes. Data of related nature will also require to be shared to other equipment solutions providers for high-rise construction projects.
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