Cutting coal handling costs with E-Crane

E-Crane continuously holds a strong position in the coal handling industry. This is no wonder, because their equilibrium balanced cranes were the very first of their kind. After 25 years of manufacturing, adding new features and further specializing, the E-Crane has evolved into what it is today. More than 100 E-Cranes are operating on all continents, handling all sorts of various bulk material. The coal industry in particular benefits from all of the advantages the E-Crane has to offer.

Custom engineered to suit any coal facility

When an E-Crane is purchased for a project, it all begins with the initial design. E-Crane engineers visit each facility to inspect the location and to get an understanding of the project requirements and possibilities for the site. If the coal facility requires specific needs, E-Crane engineers custom build the E-Crane to meet these requirements. They help with the entire facility design including hoppers and barge haul systems which are sometimes required at coal handling facilities. The modular design of the machine enables custom solutions with off-the-shelf components and pricing and allows for minimal time between order and commissioning. Coal can be a difficult material to handle depending on the situation. In order to eliminate spills and carry-back, E-Cranes are delivered with a clamshell grab that utilizes a powerful closing force. This gives the bucket excellent penetration and affords maximum fill, which can also be a time and cost saver for a coal handling facility.

With a maximum outreach of 156.8ft (47,8m), the E-Crane is capable of unloading up to Panamax-sized vessels. E-Cranes are also capable of unloading any type of barge or ship with minimal cleanup. Minimizing cleanup reduces the total unloading time saving money on the overall operation. This also leads to a faster turnaround of ships and barges due to greater efficiency.


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[frame link=”” linking=”lightbox” lightbox_group=”beelman” align=”left” type=”simple”]Grab of 2000 Series E-Crane at Beelman River Terminals[/frame]



[frame link=”” linking=”lightbox” lightbox_group=”beelman” align=”left” type=”simple”]2000 Series E-Crane at Beelman River Terminals[/frame]


State-of-the-art Technology

Operating and controlling an E-Crane is easy due to its simple, ergonomic and intuitive design. Operators with little experience handling large equipment become skilled E-Crane operators in no time! The simple control system builds operator confidence, allowing for reduced cycle times to maximize productivity. The innovative, balanced design of the E-Crane contains fewer moving parts than typical material handlers making it easy to maintain. The inherent design of the machine means less wear and tear on main components, providing longer service life with greater availability and reliability for mission critical unloading. The “pit-stop” preventive maintenance for the E-Crane is fast and simple so that the E-Crane runs continuously in a cost effective, “race car” style operation. This eliminates costly maintenance downtime. E-Crane’s now come with the reliable and user-friendly control system called the EMM, or Electronic Machine Manager. This built in system is a huge innovation in data collection technology, and allows for real time data collection of things such as running time, how many times the E-Crane hits a fault while in operation, whether there is an overload or overheat, and more. Some even stream live, real time video of the E-Crane while in operation.

Turnkey terminal solutions

A successful operation does not just stop with the E-Crane or material hander itself. Other equipment is necessary to work alongside the material handler or crane to efficiently handle the coal. E-Crane engineers assist in making these decisions for most of their customers. Engineers work with the customer to help them choose the right hoppers, barge haul systems, and E-Crane undercarriage required for an efficient operation. E-Crane has over 25 years of experience in the coal industry and are the original manufacturers of the equilibrium crane. This invaluable experience and knowledge along with the benefits of the E-Crane prove to be the ideal solution for coal handling terminals.

[frame link=”” linking=”lightbox” lightbox_group=”beelman” align=”left” type=”simple”]2000 Series E-Crane at Beelman River Terminals[/frame]

Case Study: Beelman River Terminals

Series2000 Series
Type15317 PD-E
LocationVenice, Illinois, IL, USA
ApplicationOffloading Coal/Coke direct to trucks
MountFixed pedestal
Lift Capacity22 UStons/20 Mtons
Reach104 ft / 31,7 m
Attachment19 yd³ / 15 m³ Hydraulic Grab
Power Source600-hp / 450 kW electric motor

Custom engineered for the facility

[frame link=”” linking=”lightbox” lightbox_group=”beelman” align=”right” type=”simple”]2000 Series E-Crane at Beelman River Terminals[/frame]

Beelman River Terminals conducts coal offloading operations at their new terminal in Venice, IL., situated on the east bank of the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis. The crane was engineered specifically for the Beelman facility and is mounted on a 4-legged pedestal directly on the dock. The receiving hopper is barge mounted and captive between dolphins. This arrangement allows for a full fluctuation of water levels without affecting the unloading cycle time. At the time of installation, the full facility and infrastructure at the Venice facility was not completed. The E-Crane was originally working every day offloading coal directly to trucks. Even with five trucks making continuous round trips, the E-Crane was outpacing them.

Operator Friendly

The operator, who was new to operating heavy equipment prior to the E-Crane installation, quickly became very productive with the new E-Crane. In less than three months, the operator was already offloading full 1800 ton barges in less than two hours, including clean-up. According to the E-Crane operator, “The machine is great! Very comfortable to operate.” It was also reported that, “The E-Crane does a great job at the bottom, leaving little material in the barge, making clean-up quick and simple. The powered rotator on the grab makes cleaning the corners quick.” The E-Crane at Beelman River Terminals continues to prove itself as an efficient and cost effective solution to the coal handling operation.

Source: Dry Cargo International, February 2013


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