The Two Towers

8 December 2017

Two specially-adapted Potain tower cranes manufactured by Manitowoc are being used as permanent handling equipment in a steel yard in Italy.

The MD 1100 and MD 1600 cranes were supplied by Manitowoc Lift Solutions, in collaboration with Bergamo-based Potain distributor Techind, to the steel yard in Vallese di Oppeano which is managed by Ecoenergy and owned by one of Russia’s largest steel companies.

The cranes have been assembled at heights of 11m, and configured with 31m of jib, mounted on a fixed-angle base. The MD 1100 has a capacity of 60t and is being used to lift steel slabs weighing between 15–20t. The MD 1600 has the same capacity but can handle the maximum load at a wider radius, and is used for lifter smaller, but heavier, slabs of up to 50t.

The cranes are not fitted with hooks, but instead use steel cross-beams to hold magnets that pick up the steel slabs, to be placed on trucks for transport.

Manitowoc Lift Solutions provided customised software to Ecoenergy to gather data on the crane operations, including the working hours for each hoist; the number of working cycles; the average lifting load; the geo position of the jib and trolley. Ecoenergy is using the information to refine its material handling programme.

“The information about each crane’s performance is invaluable in helping us do our job more quickly and efficiently,” said Marco Bellini, CEO at Ecoenergy.

The cranes have been designed to operate 36,000 cycles a year, and to remain at the steel yard for the next ten years.

Sabino Riefoli, export sales and key account manager at Manitowoc, said: “This is a new approach for a project in the industrial field, and for cranes as big as the MD 1100 and the MD 1600, which are normally found on construction projects. But it’s great to see another example of our sales teams and Lift Solutions department meeting the needs of customers when faced with challenging projects.”