Balanced cranes enjoying a timely lift
E-Crane Worldwide with base in Adegem, Belgium, and E-Crane International USA in Ohio is riding the crest of a sales wave. Not only its name becoming more widely known around the globe each year, says E-Crane International President, Mark Osborne, but 2013 is looking like setting a record for sales for his part of the E-Crane empire. So far this year on the American side of E-Crane’s business. Osborne and his team have commissioned 10 balanced cranes alone and the parts and service side of the business is also ‘expanding nicely’.
The sentiments also ring true for E-Crane Worldwide International Sales Manager, Bas Tolhuizen, in the Belgium head office. The E-Crane spread of business was most active in South America in countries such as Brazile and Argentina with more and more new inquiries, according to Osborne. For Tolhuizen, there was also growth in Asia as well as Eastern Europe with E-Crane Worldwide delivering its first two machines into Russia as well as two others for a steel mill in Romania.
The “E” in E-Crane, for example, stands for Equilibrium, a key feature of the parallelogram style boom that provides a direct mechanical link between the stick and the rear counterweight. There are no steel winches or cables to be seen in the design and the concept pivots on the counterweight continuoulsy balancing the total weight of the steel structure along with half of the operational load.E-Crane explains that as the lifting radius is varied and the change in the load moment is automatically equalized by moving the counterweight.
Contrast that with traditional cranes which can require 80% of available energy just to move the crane boom, stick and grab. The balanced crane concept allows gravity to do much of the work, reducing horsepower requirements and power needs by up to 50%, while also significantly reducing maintenance and operating costs.
E-Crane is known for being a small but flexible company that reacts according to customer input, says Osborne. “For example, if a client wants an alternative air intake or alternate handrail design we are able to easily accommodate them unlike a larger or more rigid company.” And E-Cranes have always been environmentally friendly and “green” in comparison to traditional fixed counterweight, diesel-driven, material handlers, says Osborne. Typically, an E-Crane will mean lower equipment costs and the machine will last well beyond 40,000 operating hours.
For E-Crane the electric utility business is strong for sales in North America for unloading barges on the thousands of kilometers of inland waterways and in South America there has been growth in the agri bulk industry. in Asia coal handling and the cement industry remain strong customers as 2013 winds down. Contract successes from the record-breaking North American office of E-Crane have included two barge-mounted E-Cranes supporting a major tunneling project in the northwest USA; a stationary machine feeding a new shredder in a major Texas scrapyard; another stationary E-Crane for unloading bulk materials to rail cars; a barge-mounted dredger in North Carolina; a pedestal mounted E-Crane for unloading soya beans and various other grains on the Parana River near Rosario in Argentina; a pedestal-mounted 1000 series E-Crane with a 32 metre outreach in a Harsco scrapyard in Piracicaba, Brazil, feeding a shredder, shear, and pre-shredder; a barge-mounted crane for unloading rad base in Queensland, Australia; and a crawler-mounted E-Crane handling green petroleum coke at a refinery. The Europen E-Crane successes have included a barge-mounted machine for sand handling in Russia; two rail-mounted E-Cranes with 32m outreach for a Romanian steel mill; and several new machines serving the cement industry throughout Asia.
In a new development E-Crane has witnessed its first ever machine completely installed by a dealer. Normally, an E-Crane sale is followed by a specialised E-Crane installation team to ensure the heavy weight components are assembled correctly and safely. But, in Bangladesh in October, dealer Maple Leaf took up the challenge and successfully installed an E-Crane for Shun Shing Cement Mills Ltd at its Seen Circle Bangladesh Ltd cement grinding plant on the Rupsha River south of Khulna. An E-Crane team from Europa later joined Maple leaf for final testing, tuning and commissioning for the breakthrough intsallation.
Source: World Port Development, November/December 2013