Jaso Industrial Cranes is manufacturing two huge cranes for Tata Steel’s plant at Port Talbot, the largest steel factory in the UK.

The project includes the design, manufacture and installation of a 41m-long slab crane, and an EAF (electric arc furnace) charging and ladle handling crane with a capacity of over 500t, to produce molten steel. This represents the highest capacity of any industrial crane manufactured by Jaso, said the company.

The slab crane is an outdoor openwinch double-girder system with a capacity of 135t, and is being used to handle steel slabs from the EAF charging operation, and therefore has been designed to withstand temperatures of up to 800°C. To guarantee tighter control over the process and the product, the crane includes alternative rotating movement of the winch and an independent control cabin.

The ladle handling crane, which is currently being assembled and is expected to be in operation by early 2020, has a main lifting capacity of 500t and an auxiliary lifting capacity of 105t, four 23m girders, and an open-winch hoisting mechanism with two engines connected to a central planetary gearbox. This ensures that, if a component stops, the crane will still be able to move the load, at half the speed, but with the same FEM M8 classification. Jaso has also fitted the crane with a control cabin identical to the other cabins used at other Tata Steel plants, to assist operators.

The crane also features heat shields along the control area, two interconnected air conditioning systems to maintain the desired temperature, vibration gauge, and Ewon WiFi to manage and monitor the crane.

Both cranes have electrical equipment embedded in the main rafter—protected by individual electrical cabinets to guarantee that they are sealed—and regenerative variable frequency drives. The cranes also feature a spare drive, temperature sensors on the engines, anti-collision systems, and a fire detection system.

Peter Courtney, mechanical engineer at Tata Steel, said: “Due to an increase in steel production, we needed new cranes. We issued a request for offer that involved manufacturers from all over the world and after several months we placed our trust in Jaso because of their quality, flexibility, and work methods.”

The slab crane was brought to the UK from Jaso’s facility in Spain using a ro-ro system, where the truck carrying the crane boards the ship, to prevent additional handling. The EAF charging and ladle handling crane will require more than 40 trailers, and moble cranes with capacities up to 1,000t for transportation and assembly.