Consistent performance

23 November 2020

New technologies and partnerships are improving maintenance and inspection in our industry. Daniel Searle reports.

RHC Lifting Limited, based in Bristol, UK, is a dealer of SWF Krantechnik products. The German crane manufacturer does not directly offer maintenance and servicing, explains RHC’s marketing manager Gary Crawford, instead selling equipment to official partners and supporting those partners with materials such as user manuals; details of the requirements, steps and intervals for maintenance and servicing; in-depth service manuals for dealers; a spare parts department; and comprehensive product training.

RHC is the only UK certified company that can provide official SWF Krantechnik general overhaul maintenance on wire rope hoists, says Crawford. “A general overhaul is recommended on a hoist when the remaining Safe Working Period (SWP) is less than 10%, or after approximately ten years (a special assessment should be carried out to determine if the hoist is a candidate for an overhaul). This general overhaul offers a cost-effective alternative to hoist replacement. The overhaul includes the inspection and replacement of key components and can re-life the hoist to ensure safe and compliant operation for a prolonged period.”

Recent developments have had different effects on how servicing and maintenance is carried out. Firstly, there’s Covid-19, which has had only a limited impact on RHC’s ability to carry out servicing and maintenance, says Crawford: “In actual fact some customers have taken the time during the reduced output to carry out maintenance or repairs which weren’t possible before.”

More positively, there have been advances in technology. RHC uses the X-Link app, developed to work with SWF Krantechnik’s NovaMaster hoist monitoring system.

“The app clearly visualises all parameters monitored by the NovaMaster system on the user’s mobile phone at factory floor level,” says Crawford. “Furthermore, all NovaMaster parameters can be exported in various formats and sent by email.

This facilitates cooperation with the service technicians onsite prior to regular maintenance inspections; reading out and evaluating the parameters with SWF X-Link before the regular maintenance inspections supports the service technicians prior to onsite servicing. On the day of the hoist service, the NovaMaster data is read out, archived and can be at any time compared with data from previous onsite services.” The app is available for download at the AppStore or the Google Play Store, and extensions of the app are planned. The NovaMaster system, explains Crawford, simply needs to be equipped with a hardware module with antenna for wireless transmission and an adapter cable. The user then uses their mobile phone to connect to the NovaMaster via wireless communication technology.

RHC Lifting also now uses a custom-built inspection and servicing phone or tablet app that allows the engineer to report and photograph all maintenance issues, adds Crawford. This information is stored and can be sent to the customer to highlight any issues with their equipment, and maintenance can be quoted to ensure any necessary works are completed.

Meanwhile, SWF Krantechnik is expanding its global reach with a new sales partner programme, which is open to all existing and new partners of the German manufacturer. The programme is based on four partner levels, says the company: “At every partner level, SWF Krantechnik makes sure that the partner has all the relevant tools and incentives to achieve a successful business development. Partners also have the opportunity to develop further in the partner network. For this purpose, SWF Krantechnik offers holistic service and value-added packages that are constantly being developed further. They consist, among other things, of a mix of marketing services, training and digital solutions that are tailored to the individual requirements of the partners.

“Besides the four partner levels, the partners can additionally qualify and be awarded in the first step with quality seals in the product areas of explosion protection, electric wire rope hoists and chain hoists as well as in the subject areas of electrical engineering and general overhaul.”


Sparrows Group has become the first authorised external service provider for Dana Incorporated’s Brevini range of winch and hoisting products in the US.

The agreement, which will see engineering and equipment specialist Sparrows sell and service Dana’s hydraulic and winch product lines, represents part of Sparrows’s long-term growth strategy in the industrial and marine sectors, said the company.

Drive and motion technologies specialist Dana currently operates in 34 countries, with 149 major facilities globally. The company’s Brevini brand designs and manufactures a range of gearboxes and hydraulic and electric components which are used in plants, ports and vessels across the world.

Sparrows’s workshop, based in Slidell, Louisiana, secured the authorised service provider status after demonstrating it could meet Dana’s strict conditions of service and quality, added the company. The facility will provide repairs, servicing and warranty services on Brevini winch and hoist products for customers based in the US Gulf Coast area. This will include fluid power equipment such as pumps and motors, and planetary gearboxes for winch applications.

Stewart Mitchell, chief executive officer of Sparrows, said: “It’s a key milestone in our growth strategy for us to achieve authorised service provider status with Dana’s Brevini and it is a testament to the high quality of work and strict safety standards we continue to demonstrate. “Having worked for marine customers for many years, we know there is a large installed base of Brevini components on vessels in the US. Our new status gives vessel owners assurance that work is being carried out to OEM standards, so we are confident that it will stimulate further growth in the sector.

“As part of our ongoing diversification strategy, we have been supplying key services to the US industrial market since 2017. Successful projects include work in manufacturing plants, steel and aluminium mills, bulk and liquids terminals, refineries, and so forth. Our expertise in the oil and gas sector means we’re ideally placed to support the lifting, inspection and maintenance needs of the US industrial market where many customers are operating using Dana’s Brevini products. This latest development will create key opportunities for us to continue our expansion in this sector and beyond.”

Michael Unrein, general manager USA SAC for Dana, said: “Sparrows has a strong reputation for delivering excellent customer service across the energy industry.

They can deliver a fast turnaround while maintaining the highest standards of safety and quality. As an authorised service centre for Brevini fluid power and winch products in the US Gulf Coast region we look forward to working closely with the team going forward.”


Industrial lubricants specialist Rocol has launched Tuflube Extreme, a heavyduty grease designed for crane boom maintenance regimes.

The product is particularly suitable for the lubrication of exposed and sliding surfaces and open gear assemblies, making it compatible with winches, davit cranes and jib cranes.

Developed in response to customer and industry feedback, says Rocol, the lubricant is designed to work in wet and corrosive conditions, as well as across a wide temperature range of -50oC up to 160OC. The grease is also white, which makes safety inspections easier.

Tuflube Extreme offers mechanical and chemical protection against pitting and corrosion, as well as a tough, self-repairing film that makes it ideal for sliding surfaces such as telescopic booms and open gears, says Rocol. It also offer a high load carrying capacity and protection against metal wear, adds the company.

David Westwood, engineering manager at Rocol, said: “We are always looking at developing our product range in response to market needs and working closely with end users allows us to respond quickly. The new Tuflube Extreme grease is a great example of this approach to product evolution.

“Its ability to operate across wider temperature ranges makes it ideal for onshore and offshore applications in locations ranging from the high northern hemisphere to Middle Eastern climates.”