E-Crane Offers Alternative to Offloading Bulk Materials

In small ports around the world, the ever increasing need to offload bulk materials such as coal and limestone at rates from 300 to 2,000 tons (272 to 1,814 t) per hour and do it as economically as possible calls for modern equipment with greater efficiency than can be provided by many of the older cranes still in operation today.

Most of these older cranes are at or near the end of their life cycle; cable replacement is a never ending ordeal; and highly skilled operators are required. Modern cable cranes have hydraulic winches, but are still cable operated. This means there is still cable wear, bucket sway and low bucket fill. Even the latest electronics cannot overcome these issues. Modified excavators are just that: modified excavators that cannot reach inside a vessel, have difficulties with down reach capacity and the ship’s changing draft. Continuous unloaders require a large infrastructure and are very expensive.

The E-Crane (equilibrium crane) is available in 5- to 50-ton (4.5 to 45 t) capacities with a reach of 66 to 164 ft. (20 to 50 m). The E-Cranes’s positive grab control provides operational precision and efficient overall productivity with very little clean up needed. Since the grab is hydraulically controlled, not cable suspended, it can be accurately positioned for material pickup and can provide push-down force at up to 50 percent of lift force to break up lumpy, sticky and frozen material. Hydraulic control of all machine movements provides short duty cycle times.

E-Cranes are successfully replacing lattice boom and other cable cranes, self-unloading barges, excavators and other devices in ports around the world. Designed for applications where high production of bulk materials is required, the E-Crane is especially well suited for heavy-duty production cycles and difficult working conditions. E-Crane can be mounted on any type of lower carriage to suit the client’s needs: pedestal, crawler, barge, and high portal rail gantry. E-Cranes feature modular construction; so each machine can be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the client.

Pivoting Counterweight

The E-Crane’s pivoting counterweight sets it apart from other material handlers. Actuated by hydraulic cylinders, the counterweight pivots on its axis. This movement is transmitted to the stick by means of a rigid connecting rod. As the stick (load) moves out, the counterweight moves back; so the E-Crane is nearly always in equilibrium throughout its working cycle. This provides several benefits.

The E-Crane is energy efficient, with reduced power consumption and operating costs. Since the pivoting counterweight keeps the boom and stick in balance, the counterweight compensates for the change in load moment. And since E-Cranes are electrically powered, there is no expensive fuel to buy, store or spill.

E-Crane hydraulics are controlled via EMM (Electronic Machine Management) and CAN BUS electronics. This means that the operator can program certain operating parameters, such as reach and height to avoid interference with a hopper. The EMM allows for remote diagnosis; the operating system can be polled remotely via GPRS. The crane can be diagnosed from anywhere in the world and the system can be upgraded and updated instantly. This can save E-Crane owners from expensive unexpected downtime and delays.

The roomy, quiet, air-conditioned cabin provides visibility and simple operation with two joysticks, thus reducing operator fatigue and increasing productivity. The E-Crane is much easier to operate than cable cranes and does not require special operator abilities or experience, according to the manufacturer.

Maintenance is simplified with a central lubrication system and accessible hydraulics. Only the grab has to be greased every shift. And only periodic filter changes are required.

For more information, call 419/468-0090 or visit www.ecrane-usa.com.

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