Still riding the end of the boom

High throughput grab unloaders serve a specific and relatively small market, focusing more on expansion and new terminal proiects than replacement, but automation may change this approach.


Replacement market

At the other end of the market, there is a significant replacement market potential for fixed arm grab cranes as older jib type level luffing cranes age and reach a stage where maintenance costs to keep them up to regulation standards start to become prohibitively high.

While cranes based on excavator components are proving popular, they are limited in outreach and capacity. The E-crane design, however, does not have such restrictions with the larger machines able to handle Panamax bulkers.

The E-Crane design is based on a parallelogram boom configuration that provides a direct mechanical connection between the counterweight and the load. This four bar mechanism system, which is similar in principle to a level luffing crane design, ensures that the E-Crane remains in near perfect balance throughout its working range.

Compared to conventional hydraulic arm cranes that require as much as 80% of their available energy to move the boom, stick, and grab, the E-Crane employs gravity to reduce horsepower requirements and power consumption by up to 50% and significantly reducing maintenance and operating costs.

The E-Crane series offers models with up to 50t duty cycle capacity due to their movable counterweight and fixed parallelogram linkage as well as up to 150ft/50m of horizontal and up to 100ft/30m reach below grade. Its modular design allows each E-Crane to be tailor made to the client’s specific requirements.

In and out

The Port of Kokkola has acquired a rail-mounted 2000 Series E-Crane for unloading iron ore, zinc concentrate, and coal. The crane has a maximum outreach of 35m and a duty cycle capacity of 21 t and can reach capacities of up to 1,300tph with a cycle time of 40sec. Equipped with a 7.5m hydraulic clamshell bucket grab, it has a net payload between 14t to 16t, and peak offloading capacities in the 1,150 — 1,300tph range (zinc concentrate).

Strategic expansion

The E-Crane Group of Companies has acquired the Polish company Famaba, which gives it a strategic supplier of high grade steel constructions for the crane industry. The existing co-operation between E-Crane and Famaba will be intensified and it is thought that in the short-term this will result in a substantial increase in the capacity for assembling harbour cranes at its main plant in Adegem, Belgium, as well as important savings in several logistics processes.

Source: Bulk Materials International, September/October 2012


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