Brunnhuber tests emergency hoist

2 May 2012

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Crane builder Brunnhuber has completed testing for the first of two 50t portal cranes for emergency work on the locks of the Moselle River.

The Water and Shipping Authority of Koblenz, Germany, operating the locks will use the crane.

The authority intends to use it for maintenance work on the aft gate in case it is put out of action, by a ship, for example.

It is to be stored in a depot 15km downriver and used for emergencies or for major maintenance scheduled every few years, when it will be transported on a ship to the lock.

The portal crane is capable of being erected, or dismantled, by a ship's crane, within 48 hours of an emergency.

The work used to be done with a mobile crane until the construction of a new lock chamber prevented access to the lock.

Brunnhuber, based in Augsburg, is capable of building cranes with three-figure lifting capacities, and building for power stations.

Reiner Frick, Brunnhuber's sales engineer, said, “The greatest challenge in this project was the available ship's crane, which can only lift 6t. None of the crane components was allowed to exceed this weight, and even now during erection the ship's crane was at its limit.”

The test erection was completed by water successfully without the use of work platforms work, according to Brunnhuber's planned erection concept.

Stahl CraneSystems from Künzelsau supplied the 50t hoist for the unit.

“The AS 7 wire rope hoist with its compact dimensions and robust construction was ideally suited for the lock crane,” said Frick.

He continued, “Thanks to all electrical connections being plug-in, connecting up the electrics too was a mere formality - apart from detailed photo-documented erection instructions, this is an important detail for enabling the crane to be recommissioned fast in an emergency.”

To equip the crane for outdoor use it was provided with a protective roof for the hoist, extra lighting and stainless steel panel boxes.

Space heaters were installed to prevent damage from cold or damp during long storage periods.

Crabs and undercarriages with frequency inverters installed on the crane were intended to ensure smooth starting and braking.

A second lock chamber under construction in Bruttig-Fankel, 50 km upriver from Koblenz, is to be commissioned in 2012.