Tower Cranes Competitive Advantages

Tower Cranes

Bigger projects, more stringent completion timelines, demand for higher productivity, safety, and cost management concerns, are driving tower crane manufacturers to bring more technically advanced features into their product lines. NBM Media takes a look.

India’s growing infrastructure development is transforming the landscape, with structures becoming taller, bigger and more complex. This is necessitating more efficient and faster construction activities, and the resultant utilization of tower cranes for lifting very heavy loads, and for erection and installation jobs.

To meet this demand, tower crane manufacturers are investing in product innovation and integrating new features in their cranes. They are developing higher load lifting capacity machines with enhanced performance in construction applications. They are also investing in R&D to bring technical advancements that will increase machine efficiency and productivity. The focus is also on developing eco-friendly equipment and reducing pollution levels.

Ensuring profitability to customers with reduced downtime of equipment is a challenge for manufacturers, as is curtailing cost of operation and ensuring safety, so much so that integrating digital interface for self-diagnosing problems in the machines is becoming an integral part of the companies’ technical support to their customers.

Notable players in the tower crane market, namely, Comansa, Liebherr, ACE, Schwing Stetter, Manitowoc, Alpha and Everest, share information on the technical advancements being made in their tower cranes to enhance productivity, cost-efficiency and safety.

Javier Militino, Marketing Manager, Comansa
Javier Militino, Marketing Manager, Comansa
Only robust and proven technology is implemented in our tower cranes with the aim of ensuring the highest performance, where availability is key to ensure maximum productivity in the jobsite. Services needed onsite are defined together with the customer in order to fulfil the real needs.

The latest developments at Comansa are focused on two different lines: One is the product line, where we’re launching our new 21LC1400 crane in September 2019 for serving the heavy lift requirements of different markets, especially where construction by pre-casting is becoming a market standard. Another development line is services, where we are focused on digitizing our cranes. Enabling connectivity will give visibility of the operation while easing troubleshooting and maintenance.

Keeping control during production is key to ensure the highest product quality and, as a strategy, our production is all under one roof. We have a very long experience in manufacturing, running a continuous improvement methodology in order to refine the process, and lean manufacturing to keep flexible and adaptable to customer’s needs.

Basically, we design electrically driven tower cranes, which can be equipped with surge protection systems that might be needed, depending on the quality of the power source. So, in this field, our product is adapted to the jobsite conditions. Our products are also eco-friendly as we are using only high efficiency motors and mechanisms, which dramatically reduce the power consumption, leading to cost savings during execution of the job.

Safety is becoming a higher priority for us and is a non-optional feature. A crane must be safe by design. Latest developments in this field have been focused on the adaption of some designs of accessing elements to specific requirements from customers working in special environments, which can bring now some of these ideas to the standard product. Training is fundamental too, so we’re working to develop new methods and content for training and keeping customers knowledgeable about the product.

Liebherr Tower Cranes

Krishna Kumar, Divisional Head - Tower Cranes, Liebherr India
Krishna Kumar, Divisional Head - Tower Cranes, Liebherr India
To meet demand in a fast-changing construction and infra development market like India, we undertake continuous R&D on our products, and apply the information that we glean from our customers (as in different windy regions) to develop the most suitable products. Liebherr TCS (Tower Cranes Solutions) undertakes technical feedback from customers for an understanding of the jobsite conditions and requirements, and accordingly submit a proposal on the cranes that would be most suitable for the application.

Considering the high costs involved in the production of high-quality tower cranes, we manufacture the core components in-house. This way, we control the quality of our cranes and ensure their reliability.

As a premium supplier of high-quality tower cranes, we are committed to building a long-term relationship with our customers. We have a wide network of channel partners and experienced engineers for prompt service and supply of spare parts. As part of our technical support to customers, we provide extensive training and familiarization to operators and maintenance personnel on the advanced machinery in our cranes. We also ensure reliable and timely supply of spare parts to ensure their uptime.

ACE Tower Cranes

Mr. Mayank Pundir - Country Head- Tower Cranes ACE
Mr. Mayank Pundir - Country Head- Tower Cranes ACE
In India, ACE offers the largest range of indigenously manufactured tower cranes. We provide mobile tower cranes from 1.6T to 25T capacity, which include tower cranes, travelling-type tower cranes, inner climbing tower cranes, etc. These cranes have maximum lifting height of 300 meters and a working radius of up to 70 meters.

A special grade of steel is used for making the mast and for other type of fabrications. The hardware is first tested by a third party and then in-house for ensuring the safety of our cranes. The welding joints are ultrasonic/NDT tested for longevity. The hoisting and slewing mechanism are equipped with VFD (variable frequency drive) for smooth, jerk free operation. The high-grade steel used for manufacturing enables the cranes to withstand winds of 160 kmph.

In fact, safety, productivity and easy maneuverability are the key features of ACE tower cranes. Our R&D division in Ballabgarh designs and develops innovative products with new features for improving safety, efficiency and reliability of our tower cranes, as per the market requirements. This enables us to capitalize the new market opportunities. In the recent past, we have added safety features like (SLI) Safe Load indicators, anemometers to check wind speed on skyscrapers, dynamic braking system to avoid free fall of loads during hoisting or brake failure, and an anti-collision device.

Tower Crane XGTT200 II (6022-10) of 3 nos working at Anantya project, Chembur

V.G. Sakthikumar, MD, Schwing Stetter India
V.G. Sakthikumar, MD, Schwing Stetter India
Our new S-series tower cranes are designed as per the working condition and structural grading and is based on safety in the design technology. The fatigue failure degree of each component is analyzed in detail and the safety coefficient of different levels are set precisely, so that the early fatigue condition of the structural parts of the crane can be controlled in time and the operation of the machine is made safer.

The performance of Schwing XCMG tower cranes is 16% higher than that of other cranes of the same tonnage. Our cranes are also more technically sound; their lightweight modular design in high-strength steel and intelligent control technology offer more advantages to the users.

All our new products have undergone 1.5 - 2 times overload intensification test. They work non-stop for 1440 hours, 60 days and 2 months without interruption. The rigorous test underlines their quality and safety.

The design of the cylindrical web rod helps to reduce wind resistance with sheet type standard section. The most important factor is that our tower cranes are fitted with complete safety devices including all-mechanism limiter, moment status display, and braking devices. The industry-leading safety device disassembly prevention technology ensures that our XCMG tower crane’s safety device is always in a controllable state. When abnormal conditions occur, the system automatically enters the safety compulsory control mode. Features like Safe Load Indicators (SLI), anemometer, trolley limit switches, moment limit switches, slewing limit systems, hoisting limit systems, etc help the operator to work within the stipulated area and avoid accidents due to misuse of the machine.

During the last 10 years, XCMG tower crane factory has adopted technologies like a complete robotic fabrication system, automatic shot ballasting and automatic paint booth. Increase in automation has increased our output efficiency. We have also integrated component suppliers with our ERP and production processes to bring greater efficiency and quality in our machines.

Today, all Schwing XCMG 8T and above models are controlled by full frequency conversion and equipped with proprietary energy-saving technology to give 6-10% more energy-saving than other make of cranes of similar tonnage. A highly integrated intelligent system for big data interaction (that takes data from all drives), load sensors, height sensor limit switches, and other features, help crane operators to analyze the rated load capacity of the machine and the lifted load (working status monitoring) which improves fault diagnosis by 90%.

Alpha Tower Cranes

Rishab R Gandhi GM-MKT, Alpha Tower Cranes
Rishab R Gandhi GM-MKT, Alpha Tower Cranes
We are one of the leading manufacturers of Tower Cranes and EOT & Gantry Cranes in the country. Our Tower Cranes are Flat Top with male-female combo of mast connect with Pins that facilitates faster installation. High grade tensile steel is used in manufacturing of these cranes.

The cranes are manufactured in technical collaboration with SOIMA of Portugal - With its modern technology and design, matching a growing demand for bigger, heavier and sophisticated tower cranes where lifting capacity ranges between 1.25 tons up to 10 tons, jibs from 45 to 60m however our principle supplies upto 80 m jib and 20 ton capacity. Maximum heights as per customer request.

Further to enhance the quality and performance of equipment, it is incorporated with world class European mechatronics. There are VVVF drives for all three operations, as standard, to ensure smooth and jerk free movement. We also use sealed slew-gear with automated greasing system to avoid periodical greasing. These cranes are fitted with AC operator’s cabin as a standard supply and the power consumption of the crane is least in its class. The equipment are supplied with option of fixed/base frame/travelling.

We also manufacture Self-Erecting Mobile Tower Cranes with different capacities ranging from 500 kg to 2000 kg and the jib from 18 m to 30 m, height ranges from 15.5 m and 39 m. This category is also equipped with German geared motors with VVVF drives for jerk free operation and longevity of the equipment.

We are over three decades old company and our strength lies in its competitive designs and manufacturing capabilities, including fabrication, welding, painting and testing in our two facilities in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. We have a dealer network covering PAN India taking care of sales, service and spares.

NBM&CW September 2019

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