Safety in­spec­tions and ef­fi­cient cranes slash down­time

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - TECHNOLOGY -

KONECRANES’ SAFETY in­spec­tions and its lat­est crane tech­nol­ogy have helped BHP Bil­li­ton cut down­time and min­imise pro­duc­tion losses as they re­place ag­ing cranes at their Olympic Dam poly-metal­lic mine in South Aus­tralia, says the crane maker.

The Olympic Dam mine, which is the fourth largest cop­per de­posit and the largest known sin­gle de­posit of ura­nium in the world, re­lies on over­head cranes for lif ting dif­fer­ent reagents as part of their pro­duc­tion process, as well as per­form­ing vi­tal main­te­nance tasks.

Cranes are vi­tal for pro­duc­tion pro­cesses at Olympic Dam, which is set to ben­e­fit from BHP’s in­vest­ment of more than AUD600 mil­lion over FY2018 on a range of im­por­tant pro­gramme of work.

Ac­cord­ing to BHP’s As­set Pres­i­dent, Olympic Dam, Jac­qui McGill, this is the most sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment BHP has ever made in South Aus­tralia and it will help build the foun­da­tions for long term, safe, sta­ble and sus­tain­able growth at Olympic Dam.

Scott Mont­gomerie, BHP Su­per­vi­sor, Floats Main­te­nance Ex­e­cu­tion, Olympic Dam, Min­er­als Aus­tralia, said the com­pany had four cranes ap­proach­ing end- of-life and Konecranes gave it sev­eral good op­tions with quick turn­around times. The old cranes were getting near their end- oflife – about 25 years old – so were break­ing down fre­quently and caus­ing down­time and pro­duc­tion losses.

Konecranes is pro­vid­ing BHP Bil­li­ton with five new cranes, rang­ing from 1t to 3.5t lif ting ca­pac­ity. They are a mix­ture of CLX chain hoists and CXT wire rope hoists, de­signed to op­ti­mise ef­fi­ciency, safety and reli­a­bil­ity at Olympic Dam.

“The new cranes have a range of ad­vanced fea­tures to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity, ef­fi­ciency and safety, which will help us fur­ther re­duce down­time and keep op­er­a­tions run­ning smoothly,” said Mont­gomerie.


Konecranes safety in­spec­tions are de­signed to as­sess the re­main­ing life of cranes, and de­ter­mine whether it is safer and more cost­ef­fec­tive to re­place a crane, re­pair it, or per­form a mod­erni­sa­tion.

“In ad­di­tion to safety and com­pli­ance, our in­spec­tions can also iden­tify ar­eas where gains in

pro­duc­tiv­ity can be re­alised,” says Jee­van Pat­tian, North­west Ser­vice, Konecranes Aus­tralia and New Zealand. Pat­tian was re­spon­si­ble for over­sight of the BHP Olympic Dam in­spec­tions and new crane delivery pro­cesses.

“Our team al­ways works to find so­lu­tions tai­lored to in­di­vid­ual cus­tomer needs. We ap­pre­ci­ate that not all cranes are used in the same way, and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ ap­proach sim­ply won’t ap­ply to our di­verse range of cus­tomers,” he said.


The lat­est Konecranes CLX chain hoists, of the type spec­i­fied by BHP for Olympic dam, in­cor­po­rate a longer life­time, with up to 1600 hours on most mod­els with a full load, and a durable alu­minium con­struc­tion.

Dura­bil­ity of the lif t chain was a key el­e­ment in the CLX’s de­sign for out­stand­ing ser­vice, states Konecranes. The patented chain sprocket dra­mat­i­cally im­proves the dura­bil­ity of the chain, says the man­u­fac­turer and the oil lu­bri­ca­tion­based trans­mis­sion re­duces the op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture, en­abling in­creased power. Fur­ther­more, the new trans­mis­sion is main­te­nance-free and quiet to op­er­ate.

The CLX’s trans­mis­sion in­creases the speed ra­tio be­tween low and fast speeds. The new 6:1 speed ra­tio en­ables a safe and ac­cu­rate in­stal­la­tion speed and an ex­tremely fast move­ment speed. The wider speed range makes the CLX chain hoist 25 per­cent faster than its pre­de­ces­sor, which helps speed up the work cy­cle and im­proves work ef­fi­ciency.

Safety func­tions have been in­te­grated into the stan­dard char­ac­ter­is­tics of the hoist. For ex­am­ple, the brake and the clutch have been in­stalled on the same axle, which pre­vents the load from drop­ping even if the clutch breaks down.


CXT wire rope hoist cranes, of the type also be­ing in­stalled at Olympic Dam, are de­signed to be in­dus­try bench­marks of safety and er­gonomics, with easy and ef­fec­tive load han­dling and op­ti­mum di­men­sions for space sav­ing so­lu­tions.

Konecranes CXT wire rope hoist cranes utilise the lat­est tech­nol­ogy for im­proved load ac­cu­racy, ver­sa­til­ity and ease of use – mak­ing them the in­dus­try leader in medi­umheavy in­door cranes.

Key fea­tures that con­trib­ute to their suc­cess in­clude:

Space ef­fi­ciency – In an in­dus­try where floor space util­i­sa­tion is dif­fi­cult but vi­tal, the com­pact de­sign of the CXT al­lows them to op­er­ate closer to the walls, lif t loads high and ul­ti­mately save valu­able space.

This en­ables busi­nesses to op­ti­mise their valu­able floor space. Strength – De­pend­ing on the model, CXT can lif t up to 80 met­ric tonnes. The new rope reev­ing sys­tem also ex­tends the life­time of the ropes by as much as 40 per­cent – hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on main­te­nance costs.

Safety – In an in­dus­trial set­ting, op­er­a­tors must be able to rely on the safe per­for­mance of the crane. Konecranes de­sign, man­u­fac­ture, and as­sem­ble all of the key com­po­nents to en­sure a qual­ity wire rope hoist crane. High qual­ity com­po­nents and pre­cise man­u­fac­tur­ing based on years of ex­pe­ri­ence en­able en­hanced dura­bil­ity of the hoist.

Konecranes’ says its prod­uct de­vel­op­ment has in­vested in speed­ing up and ex­tend­ing hoist oper­a­tion cy­cles, and in crane safety and dura­bil­ity. Fea­tures that have re­sulted from this re­search and de­vel­op­ment in­clude:

Speed – The lat­est CXT wire rope hoists are avail­able with adap­tive speed ranges which im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity and save en­ergy con­sump­tion Adap­tive Speed Range (ASR) – a step­less hoist­ing move­ment con­trol method. It al­lows very slow speeds which are im­por­tant in mo­ment of load lif t- off and low­er­ing. It also has the abil­ity to lif t up to 50 per­cent faster than tra­di­tional hoist­ing con­trol. ASR is typ­i­cally used in light to medium lif ting. Ex­tended Speed Range (ESR) – this is an ex­ten­sion of the ASR that al­lows even slower speeds. ESR is typ­i­cally used in heavy to very heavy lif ting. When more per­for­mance is needed out of the hoist, ESR is the choice.

Po­si­tion­ing and area con­trol – This fea­ture is de­signed to as­sist the op­er­a­tor in po­si­tion­ing the load more ef­fi­ciently and ac­cu­rately. This al­lows the crane’s work­ing area to be adapted to the vary­ing phys­i­cal lay­out of in­di­vid­ual fa­cil­i­ties and pro­duc­tion lines.

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