E-Crane staff and guests visit AEP Amos Plant to see and experience the 1500 Series E-Crane in action and meet with plant personnel.
On May 24 the entire E-Crane/Galion staff plus several guests visited American Electric Power’s Amos Plant on the Kanawha River at Charleston, WV to see the new 1500 Series E-Crane being installed there. The Galion visitors plus the E-Crane installation crew totaled 15 people. The Galion group also had lunch with plant executives and operations personnel, who were lavish in their praise of E-Crane quality and professionalism.
The new E-Crane was operational the day of the visit; so everyone was able to see it up close and in action, as well as have a tour of the crane at all levels and actually experience it in operation from the operator’s perspective.
The E-Crane replaces an existing material-handler type crane by a competitive manufacturer that had been purchased new in 2008 to unload barges of limestone used for FGD purposes. There had been a lot of problems with that crane. In the three years Amos owned it, it had given about one year of actual service. Finally on September 18, 2010, it experienced a structural failure, and was very much in danger of toppling into the river. At that point, the crane was shut down until the cause of the problem could be determined and fixed.
Unable to get any response to his calls for help to the manufacturer, the project manager called Steve Suter, who heads up installation and maintenance for E-Crane International USA in Galion, OH. E-Crane had performed maintenance procedures on the troublesome crane when the manufacturer had not provided suitable service. Suter arrived within four or five hours of the emergency call (without a written or verbal order—just a consuming desire to help) on a Saturday and had a series of steel cable guy lines installed within a day or two to stabilize the precarious crane.
Rather than wait six months for the crane manufacturer to fix the problem—and because the manufacturer either would not or could not say what the problem was—Amos scrapped the old crane and replaced it with a new 1500 Series E-Crane built for a similar AEP-affiliated power plant that didn’t need it immediately and could wait for E-Crane to build them another one. From time of order in mid-March, it took only about two months for E-Crane to ship in the new 1500 and have it installed and operational.
The Amos Plant is the largest coal-powered electric power plant east of the Mississippi. This was the first time some of the E-Crane staff had visited a facility using E-Crane equipment and had actually witnessed an E-Crane in operation.
“It was interesting and educational, to say the least,” observed one staff member. “And everybody had a lot of fun, too.”