Energy efficient bulk material handling solution
The E-Crane excels when it comes to bulk material handling applications requiring heavy-duty production cycles. Specifically designed for barge unloading processes, anything from fertilizer to coal to limestone to grain to scrap steel can be handled. The E-Crane is a truly versatile machine in that it can easily switch between commodities and still offer the high production required at many ports and industrial facilities.
Built for 24/7 duty cycle operation, E-Cranes have unprecedented life cycles, high efficiency, and low maintenance costs. The standard E-Crane product line consists of five series of balanced hydraulic cranes (Equilibrium Cranes): 700 Series, 1000 Series, 1500 Series, 2000 Series, and 3000 Series. E-Cranes provide longer outreach and higher duty cycle capacities than typical material handlers. Outreach ranges from 24.8 to 47.8 meters (82 to 157 feet) and duty cycle capacity ranges from 5.5 to 39 metric tons (6 to 42.9 US tons).
Equilibrium Design — The Green Alternative
The E-Crane is a truly unique and revolutionary machine with the lowest power consumption cost in the industry. The E-Crane runs on clean electric energy, saving customers huge amounts of money when compared to diesel powered equipment. E-Cranes also have very low associated maintenance costs due to E-Crane’s innate design. The ‘E’ in E-Crane stands for equilibrium. The key to the E-Cranes’ efficiency is the parallelogram design linking the stick to the moving counterweight. This unique fourbar mechanism ensures that the E-Crane remains in near perfect balance throughout its working range. Compared with conventional cranes that require as much as 80% of their available energy just to move the boom, stick, and grab, the E-Crane allows gravity to work for you instead of against you, reducing horsepower requirements and power consumption by up to 50%, cutting maintenance and operating costs.
Case Study: KinderMorgan Port Sutton
Kinder Morgan replaced an old, diesel powered cable crane with a 1500 Series E-Crane that runs on clean electric energy at its Port Sutton dry bulk fertilizer terminal in Tampa, Florida. This replacement increased ship-unloading capability and efficiency dramatically and helped cut down maintenance time and costs. The installation of the E-Crane also virtually eliminated unplanned downtime, according to project manager Robert Desselles.
Limited with outdated equipment
“Our old cable crane presented various operational and maintenance issues,” Desselles said. “For one thing, we used an extensive amount of expensive diesel fuel. The E-Crane uses very little electric power. So we’ve gained a major cost saving there. Also, the maintenance of the old crane was beginning to interfere with our production, and the repairs were often very expensive.”
Port Sutton terminal manager, Scott Stevens, also mentioned that parts became harder and harder to get for the old cable crane. “Eventually new parts were not available at all, and used parts were very scarce, often requiring that a part be fabricated. In addition, we were replacing the cables after unloading every ship. You can imagine what that was costing us in time and dollars.”
Time for change
It was obvious that the Port Sutton Terminal needed to make a change. “Refurbishing the old crane was obviously out of the question,” Desselles said. So Port Sutton began looking for an alternative solution. “We got a great response from E-Crane.” Desselles also emphasized that E-Crane was very accommodating in meeting the specifications, working with Kinder Morgan and its engineering firm, making recommendations, and providing it all on a timely basis. E-Crane provided the complete, detailed drawings for the project with everything well thought-out and clear.
The 1500 Series E-Crane met the needs at Port Sutton. They were able to justify maintenance procedures and costs which were simpler and more economical with E-Crane, making E-Crane the obvious choice for a solution. The E-Crane was fabricated and delivered on time and E-Crane service technicians handled the installation and erection. E-Crane engineers also optimized the main boom pivot height so that the operator can see into the hopper and has great visibility overall.
Higher efficiency and capacity with the new E-Crane
Shortly after the installation, Port Sutton began to see results. The first ship unloaded by the E-Crane was an ‘average sized’ vessel, and offloading went well. The second ship unloaded by the E-Crane was a 50,000dwt vessel that Desselles said was very large for the Port Sutton facility. Offloading went smoothly, just as if it were a 30,000–35,000dwt vessel. “We could not have unloaded the 50,000dwt ship with the old crane,” Scott Stevens explained. “It just didn’t have sufficient reach. But we had no problems at all with our new E-Crane. And the clamshell grab gives excellent penetration into the fertilizer, affords maximum fill, and eliminates spills and carryback.”
E-Crane meets all needs
Desselles said in summation, “We have been extremely pleased with E-Crane equipment and E-Crane people right from the get-go, through all phases of the
project, and in our present relationship with them.” Stevens emphasized that the E-Crane balance is “remarkable” and provides smooth, efficient operation. “The balance is so good that I don’t think the E-Crane would shift or tip even if it were not so securely bolted down.” Kinder Morgan’s 1500 Series E-Crane has 105ft outreach, 15.4-tonne duty cycle capacity, and 17.1-tonne lift capacity.
Source: Dry Cargo International, November 2012