European commercial airliner manufacturer Airbus Deutschland has ordered five special crane systems from Künz for a third final production line as part of its programme to increase output.

Airliner types A318, A319 and A321 will undergo final assembly using the Künz equipment in a new assembly hall, 263m long and 65m wide, in Hamburg Finkenwerder, Germany.

The order, worth around Euro 3m, includes the design, manufacture, supply and installation of: • two four-point support suspension crane systems, each with a span of 65m and four freely movable lifting units for the transport of aircraft fuselages • two two-point support wing transport cranes, each with a span of 30m and three movable lifting units • a crane for the assembly of the lateral tail unit.

A particular challenge for the crane manufacturer is the high positioning accuracy of 20mm which the cranes will have to achieve in automatic mode.

Künz said that it won the order on the strength of its experience of constructing sophisticated cranes, including fully automatic crane systems, and on its depth of in-house manufacturing.

The first Airbus assembled with the help of Künz cranes is scheduled to leave the new hall around the middle of 2002.

Airbus Deutschland, which last year had a turnover of DM7.5bn, is part of the integrated Airbus company.