The manufacturer, near Cologne, was expanding its storage area for steel mats and coils, which are used for the production of steel reinforcements, but its current crane runway had deteriorated due the external environment.

Here, Oliver Kempkes, MD, Kuli, tells Hoist how the client needed a crane which could react ‘intelligently’ to the respective temperature and weather conditions outside and so it custom-made and installed an electronic track guidance so the machine could effectively ‘float on rails’.



“We can serve a large outdoor area with this crane. The challenges were due to the crane track outside that was hampered by the outdoor temperature. We retrofitted an electronic track guidance system to work in tandem with the crane so that it does not need to be guided by rollers. It is perfectly aligned to a PLC (programmable logic controller) using ultrasonic sensors,” said Kempkes.

The customer also ordered various crane components and chain hoists with a 125kg load capacity and Kuli offered full training, servicing, maintenance, repairs, general overhauls and extensive retrofitting measures on existing systems as part of the deal.

The electronic track guidance is based on the defined wheel distances to the rail, which are constantly recorded by distance sensors. Countermeasures are already carried out in the event of a minimal deviation of the wheel distances from the nominal dimensions by a PLC in interaction with the existing frequency converters.

In this way, the crane remains perfectly centered on the track regardless of other influences on the guided side – without any contact and without wear and tear on the existing track guide rollers. The result is an almost noiseless driving behavior, as if the crane were floating over the rails.

Read more in our feature 'Nerves of Steel' here