Tower Cranes Manufacturers Think Big
New emerging construction methods and newer application areas are making tower cranes manufacturers in India depart from manufacturing and distributing standard products. The new demand order brought by further mechanization of construction activities, is putting requirement of tower cranes that are able to lift heavier loads and yet be more productive and affordable to own and operate. Manufacturers see the transitional development as much positive for business to grow as demand for lighter and medium capacity cranes have been slowing down in the recent years.
Comansa globally has a prominent position as a supplier of Flat Top and Luffing jib tower cranes. The range of Comansa cranes distributed in India comprises 5-64 tons. One of the prominent productive features of the Comansa cranes is its ability to self-dismantle the jib, piece by piece from astronomical heights without bringing the crane down on the ground. "In this way, the construction cost is neutralized to a big extent as the contractor will not require a separate crane to dismantle the jib. Getting a separate crane at job sites can be cumbersome and expensive, especially if the site is crammed, uneven and difficult to access," says Mr.Malik. ECEL is the exclusive distributor of Linden Comansa and Comansa Jie range of tower cranes in India. Comansa cranes can be made available upto a free standing height of 100 metres. ECEL has made a target to sell 25-30 numbers of Comansa Cranes during 2012 as compared to 12 (18 tons-12 tons-8 tons) units sold previous year. These numbers are expected to go up if there is a recovery of Indian economy which as per Mr. Malik is expected after Oct 2012. Comansa cranes marketed in India are sourced either from Comansa Jie facility in China or their flagship facility in Spain depending upon the requirements of the customers.
DSC exclusively distributes 5-45 tons of FM Gru tower cranes in India. There are four different ranges of products: RBI Series – Hydraulically operated Mobile crane up to 40 mtr Jib and lifting capacity up to 1.5tn at tip; TLX Series – Flat top cranes 1 – 45 tn lifting capacity; TCK Series – 50 – 80 mtr Jib with up to 45 tn lifting capacity and lastly LK series – luffing cranes with 60 mtr Jib and 45 tn lifting capacity.
FM Gru engineers can design cranes according to the client requirement. FM Gru is a world wide company in production of tower cranes – established in 1926.
FM gru construction cranes, are of standard range and normally modified in many ways to suit the particular application and customer requirements, different from case to case, and can be easily inserted in both new and already existing industrial plants and operating circles.
Quality complies with the main international directives (ISO, IEC, DIN, CNR, UNI, FEM). Strong, sturdy and well sized mechanisms allow the structural characteristic of a well defined products to be used in the best possible way.
Mr. Kumar says, "FM Gru high capacity cranes are most applicable to power projects for lifting and erecting pre-fabricated parts of the buildings. But moreover, the cranes are affordable to own and operate given its features to undertake preventive maintenance aided by the black box. The black box stores the data on the performance of the crane which can be then evaluated to undertake preventive maintenance. The cranes are equipped with digital display control systems. For feasibility of the cranes to function in uneven power projects and industrial sites, five different foundations options are provided for the units. Foundations options are also provided according to the frequency of shifting of the cranes during the course of the projects. Besides, the cranes come with self-dismantling mechanism for the jib at a height of 100 and 200 metres to cut down on operating expenses and they require lesser number of trailers to transport the jib and masts."
FM Gru has sold 8 number tower cranes ever since it entered into indian market.
New Demand From Power Build
Now, according to the demand situation, the construction component of a typical 2X 660 subcritical unit consists of setting up of turbine generator (TG) building, boilers plant, electrostatic precipitators unit, transformers and switch yards which connects the station to the main grid. High capacity tower cranes are used for erecting the casing in which the generators are inserted. The weight of the casing and generators are approximately 300 tons. The cranes on certain occasions, based on requirement tower cranes are used for tandem lifting. The TG building is divided into two bays A-B bay and B-C bay. The A-B bay has a height of 17 meters housing the ground floor, mezzanine floor and operating floor (housing the structures for the generators) while the B-C bay has a height of 32 metres. Tower cranes are used for erecting the structures apart from lifting the turbines and generators. The distance between both the bays being small tower cranes are used for making construction viable. However, according to Mr. Suvendu Basak, Senior Design Engineer, Lanco "different mobile variants may also be used depending upon the requirement of the client. Tower cranes may be used in other areas of the project as well based on the lifting plan for erection in between the sites where distance is less." Tower cranes are also used to erect the electrostatic precipitators having a height of 20-35 metres housing the ash chambers.
Mr. Basak a veteran in power plant design points out, "though the tower cranes can be used in giving viability to the project construction. However, there are not much agreed construction norms practiced in India, as of now where pre- feasibility on the nature of tower cranes or other nature of cranes to be used in the projects are precisely evaluated for the plant construction. One of the major reasons behind the same is the practice of undertaking modular design has not evolved in a big way for power projects as practiced in advanced countries." However, he notes, "with engineering and investment optimization in focus for setting up super critical plants by putting up 2 number of generators and other supporting operating units for per 660 and above capacities (2x660) or 2x700 configuration, tower cranes have been found to value to the construction."
Heavier capacity tower cranes for power projects and also for precast construction projects, cement plants and shipbuilding are supplied by Liebherr in India. The units are imported from Liebherr's European factories. According to Mr. David Griffin, Representative Director, Liebherr India, "we note growing demand for heavier machines with pre-cast projects becoming prevalent. In this segment, we typicallyproject our 16 &20 tons machines. Power station projects are one of the major areas that demand heavy duty towercranes."
On economy in assembling and dismantling the cranes, Mr. Griffin comments, "efficiency and compactnessfor transport is integral in our design. We strive to make as many parts as possible to accommodate in a single container, evenwith respect tothe larger cranes. This is in order to reduce transportation costs and to expedite the faster transport. Safety is also a derivative of our design."
Realty Gets Taller & Wider
Tower cranes for wider site coverage have also been supplied by European crane manufacturing major Liebherr. According to Mr. David Griffin, "we are supplying such cranes in internal and external climbing configurations with 1–1.3 ton tip loads at 50m radius. We have supplied these cranes for projects around India with projects in Mumbai and Delhi of particular note,featuring end hook heights up to 210m in respect of the internal climbing variation. In fact, our 71 EC-Bi and 85EC-Bi cranes are equipped with hoist gear to attain up to 278m end hook height." He adds, "we see a continued large demand for flat top tower cranes in 5 ton capacity category in India for real estate construction." The 5 ton 71 EC-Bi 5 and the 85 EC-Bi 5 cranes are beinglocalised by Liebherr at its Pune plant.
Mentioning further Mr. Griffin says, "we have even supplied several 10 ton capacity machines to projects inMumbaiwith internal climbing configuration which will reach end hook heights of up to 360m. These projects are for real estate and commercial developments and feature both the 202EC-B 10 Litronic and 200EC-H 10 FR.tronic crane models in internal climbing configuration."
Based on the newer construction requirements for heavier lifting, demand of higher capacities of tower cranes is relatively new development in India. The trend is quite encouraging as it is well likely to make construction viable.