E-Crane: well-balanced in the bulk market

E-Crane International USA Inc. (ECI-USA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Indusign N.V., a Belgian engineering company. ECI-USA is the exclusive provider of marketing, sales, engineering, product support, and spare parts for the E-Craneproduct line in North and South America.

Product Line

The standard E-Crane product line consists of five series of balanced hydraulic cranes (E-Cranes): 700 Series, 1000 Series, 1500 Series, 2000 Series, and 3000 Series. E-Crane also offers a line of material handling machines: MH900 and MH1200. The E-Crane is a truly revolutionary material handling machine as its main design feature is a parallelogram-style boom configuration which allows the machine to be in near perfect balance throughout the duty cycle. Custom-built lowers range from stationary pedestal (fixed or free standing) to travelling (either rail gantry or crawler), and even custom floating platforms are available.

Commodities Handled

The E-Crane is a truly versatile machine in that any dry bulk or scrap commodities can be handled. From coal to limestone to fertilizer to scrap steel; the E-Crane’s versatility is of great value to any port or offloading terminal.

Major Clients

In bulk handling, E-Crane’s major clients are in the power generation sector. These clients typically unload their coal and/or other materials from barges or ships directly to the plant. The E-Crane is designed for these ‘mission critical’ applications where downtime must be minimal as these facilities operate around the clock. Other clients are ports or terminals where various bulk commodities need to be offloaded. The E-Crane represents a low cost, reliable solution for unloading that has the versatility to switch easily between materials. For ship unloading, E-Crane competes with more traditional

mobile harbour cranes manufacturers as well as dedicated continuous ship unloading structures. The simple parallelogram design lends itself to a lower capital investment without compromising reliability or productivity. In fact, for the price of one continuous unloader, two or more E-Cranes can be installed, adding reliability and redundancy to the site. The balanced ECrane is also easily adaptable to existing dock structures as the loads resolved to the foundation are kept to a minimum.

Advantages Offered by the E-Crane

The E-Crane has some very distinct advantages for ship unloading. The unique boom configuration allows the E-Crane to reach underneath hatch covers to get material that cable cranes cannot reach. E-Crane also offers many different models with outreach capable of unloading up to Panamax-sized vessels. Another advantage of the E-Crane is the installation process is that the crane can be delivered to ports fully or partially assembled, keeping downtime due to installation minimal. The simple E-Crane design combines the best of both worlds by meeting production rates of continuous structures with the capacities of mobile harbour cranes all while giving its clients increased reliability on their docks.

Recent Installation

E-Crane installed a 2000 Series rail-mounted E-Crane for Nova Scotia Power at its Pt. Tupper facility. The balanced design of the E-Crane allowed engineers to keep the dock size as small as possible, as the cost of construction in the deep waters of the Straight of Canso — between Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia, Canada — was a limiting factor for the project. The crane was delivered fully assembled and lifted onto the dock in one piece to further optimize the installation process. The E-Crane unloads coal from Panamax vessels for the 160MW generating facility.

E-Crane has just given Dry Cargo International details of two recent European mobile harbour crane projects.

Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (Marseille FOS Port Authority)

The 1500B Series E-Crane, Model 9359B-GAE pictured above will be unloading peat and grain from ships at GPMM’s grain terminal near Marseille, for silo storage or for transfer from river barges to sea going vessels. The crane was delivered with a mobile hopper, attached to the E-Crane with a tow bar, and two hydraulic grabs. The hopper will feed two conveyor belts that will transport the grain to the silos. The E-Crane is equipped with a quick change device, allowing the operators to quickly change grabs or switch to hook mode, and with the EMM (Electronic Machine Management) system, a remote access equipment for advanced troubleshooting and diagnostics.

Wiener Hafen

This E-Crane (pictured below) was installed on site at the end of 2008, for all kinds of bulk and scrap handling purposes: coils, round timber, lumber, pallets, big bag, slings, crates, general cargo, gravel, alumina, ore, soda, fertilizer and more. To handle this wide variety of commodities, the E-Crane was delivered with two hydraulic clamshell grabs and one orange peel grab.

African Adventure for E-Crane

E-Crane has recently installed a 1500 Series E-Crane for Seaboard Corp. on a custom fitted crane barge for the Midema grain terminal in Matadi, Democratic Republic of Congo. The floating system is designed to unload up to Handymax vessels ship-toquay or ship-to-ship transloading. E-Crane has emerged as not just a supplier of unloading cranes but also as a turnkey firm utilizing its experiences in ports across the globe to provide the best solutions for its clients.

The E-Crane design team worked in close cooperation to provide Seaboard with an unloading solution to overcome some of the major bottlenecks of this African port such as lack of reliable dockside equipment and port congestion. The E-Crane floating terminal Mama Mobokoli is a self sustaining platform complete with electric genset.

However, the system can also easily be attached to shore power through built in switch gear. The balanced E-Crane results in very low tipping moments which means less barge movement and a more stable work platform. The barge also came equipped with a winching system that allows the platform to shuttle alongside the ship for full access to each of the ship’s holds.

Installation of the system on site at the port was quick and easy as the entire platform was erected and tested at the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium.

From there, a dedicated tow transported the platform to its final destination in the DRC where unloading could being immediately; a big advantage for Seaboard since the logistics of marine construction locally would have been very difficult and costly.

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