Ace provided the 201-ft. span cranes for an aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company. A third-party consultant provided the failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) to specified NASA standards.

The cranes, weighing one million pounds each, are operated by radio remote control, and will work independently and in tandem to lift a variety of loads, as required by the site’s assembly operations. Ace was also responsible for installation of 1,000 linear feet of 175-lb. crane rail and electrification power bar for the 500 ft.-long runways.

“The cranes are single failure proof and include redundant wire rope reeving and emergency caliper wire rope drum brakes. The cranes can also communicate wirelessly between each other to work as one. They have a micro speed in all directions [hoist, bridge and trolley] to as low as six inches per minute,” said Kevin Beavers, executive VP, Ace World Companies.

Ace, which provided all machinery and structural elements for the project, alongside Siemens (controls) and Pintsch Bubenzer (brakes), among others to complete the work. The customer required the cranes to have two coats of epoxy safety yellow paint and an additional coat of safety yellow urethane. Ace was able to meet other rigid requirements of the tender (issued by a contractor) including the importance of timely delivery; it took 24 trucks to transport both cranes to the jobsite. Both cranes took a year to manufacture.

The cranes have a Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) Class C duty rating, which classifies them for moderate service. The user will also benefit from a Class 1, Div 1, Hazardous Area, SIL2, ProfiNET HBC-radiomatic radio system, complete with diagnostic feedback and weight measurement monitoring on the belly boxes. The controls are AC line regenerative in common DC bus arrangement for maximum power savings.