The Evolution Torque Safety Coupling is integrated into the drivetrain of the main hoist in ship-to-shore container cranes, where they help prevent catastrophic outcomes of snag events and protect the drivetrain and the structure of the crane from overloads.

The Evolution Torque Safety Coupling does so purely mechanically, without the need of hydraulics or electric circuitry. Malmedie says that alternative snag-prevention systems rely on signal analysis and processing “and therefore need order of magnitudes longer to react”.

“In a world of increasing automation, a mechanical snag-prevention-system is an important contribution to ensure safety while humans are supervising loading operations from afar or not at all.”

The company says that compared to previous designs, inertia is reduced by more than 45% and mass by about 20%.

Acceleration and deceleration of inertia are proportional to power consumption in drivetrains. Safety coupling is accelerated to top speed and decelerated to a full stop twice for each container being moved. “Energy savings are thus significant,” Malmedie claimed.

“Reducing inertia of the coupling means that all components in the powertrain will see smaller mechanical loads. Reducing the ‘mechanical footprint’ of the coupling will therefore help [in the choice of] other smaller components, saving initial investment cost and resulting in additional inertia-related energy savings.”

André Voßnacke, head of technology at Malmedie, said: “We looked at aviation to inspire our lightweight designs. We challenged our assumptions on what customers value. The team is proud of the result.”

Additional features in the Evolution Torque Safety Coupling include “easy maintenance access and low wear part count and cost”. The system needs to be serviced once every three years.

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