In the European Union major contracts have to be won in an open pan-European competitive tender. Norway, however, is not part of the EU, so the developers of the new international airport at Gardermoen, north east of Oslo, were free to maximise the input of domestic Norwegian engineering expertise. All contracts for electric overhead travelling cranes and hoists were awarded to Munck Cranes of Bergen.

Rune Abildgaard, Munck’s sales manager in the special cranes division, negotiated and secured different contracts totalling Nok 12m ($1.7m). The overall supply includes lightweight systems, standard cranes and specially engineered cranes.

Munck was founded in 1924 by Sverre Munck, initially as a trading company. Gradually the company moved into manufacturing and has become an international force in the production of electric wire rope hoists and electrically operated overhead cranes. This year sees it celebrate its 75th anniversary.

For Gardermoen airport, Munck supplied Scandinavian Airlines, for its various facilities, 10 cranes of top and underslung construction with capacities from 1t to 10t safe working load. Two of these units were for the general maintenance facility, one for the jet engine store, three for the aircraft hangar and four for the maintenance hangar.

In the two hangars the cranes were installed on crane runways at two different levels. This meant special anti-collision systems had to be installed to protect against damage to expensive equipment and aircraft components.

Another safety feature prevents cranes from colliding with aircraft tail fin.

The longest span of cranes installed within the hangars is 41m and is specially designed to take into account the light construction of the roof to which the crane runways are attached. The lightweight roof deflects when heavily loaded with snow so the crane bridge girders are designed as individual girders linked together and suspended from three end trucks. While Munck engineers had designed these types of cranes before, it was a challenge to meet all of the loading criteria demanded by the specification.

A further contract valued at Nok 3.2m ($450,000) for installation at Gardermoen was awarded by the Ministry of Defence for six underslung cranes. One crane was supplied with a working platform with wire rope reeving from the hoist unit to ensure that the platform is stable and level at all times. Some of the cranes, used for maintenance of Norwegian Airforce fighter aircraft, had to be explosion proof.

Under a third contract at the airport, valued at a further Nok 1m ($140,000), Munck supplied four underslung cranes with lifting capacities from 1t to 10t plus 11 lightweight crane systems with capacities up to 2t.

Finally, in conjunction with the supplier of the hangar doors, Munck was contracted to design and install control systems to operate the massive doors. The system included a 180O laser scanner together with photo cells to detect any obstruction during the opening or closing of the doors.