Wind Energy event blows away all records

The Australian Wind Energy 2024 Convention and Exhibition (AuWE2024) took place last week with numerous crane companies, lifting gear providers and energy and infrastructure companies showcasing their latest products and services to a packed Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC),

Compared with last year’s event, the exhibition space had doubled, and attendee numbers topped 5000, ensuring the two-day convention is recognised as the largest wind event in Australia and the APAC region.

Immediately upon entry, visitors and delegates were exposed to over 100 exhibiting companies including leading crane rental and hire companies such as Boom Logistics and JYC, crane OEM’s including XCMG and associated equipment suppliers including Ranger Lifting along with numerous energy and other infrastructure brands.

The exhibition floor was packed with exhibits offering various product samples, dioramas of wind turbines being moved by trucks and specialised trailers through to specialised oil filters; the event had it all.

Networking was a key objective for the event with exhibitors interacting with delegates and each other discussing all things wind related.

Attendees were seen networking and visiting the eclectic group of exhibits
Image: Prime Creative Media

Key features of AuWE2024 included:

  • Cutting-edge insights: Attendees immersed themselves in the pulse of sustainable energy as they explored Australia’s wind power roadmap, offshore wind deployment, investment and the latest technical innovations.
  • Innovation Showcase: Unpacking the AuWE2024 Exhibition, where the latest advancements took centre stage, showcasing the future of wind energy.
  • Unparalleled Networking: Attendees were able to connect with representatives from Australia’s federal and state governments, domestic and international investors, developers, network providers, financiers, EPCs, and world class equipment suppliers and solution providers.
  • Synergistic Opportunities: Co-located with Connecting Green Hydrogen APAC 2025, the event fostered powerful synergies between two leading sustainable energy gatherings.

XCMG experience at AuWE2024

General Manager of XCGM Australia and New Zealand, Stephen Broomfield spoke about the benefits of exhibiting and attending AuWE2024.

“We came here specifically to tell the Wind Industry that, yes, we design, engineer and manufacture cranes specifically for wind farms which can lift 200 tonne and reach 200m and they can be ordered today,” he said.

“The decision to exhibit at AuWE2024 was educated, calculated and commercially focused. We know the industry is going to need cranes to lift the blades and turbines. It turns out that every visitor to the stand had the same question, ‘Can you lift 200t and reach 200m? And our answer was “We are doing it every day in China and other parts of the world.”

A further look around.

The BOOM Logistics ‘coffee networking station’ provided an ideal destination for exhibitors and delegates and there were plenty of conversations promoting renewable energy promoting discussion about how critical it is for the various industries involved to bring their ‘A Game’ to the table if the ambitious renewable targets to achieved.

Over 100 exhibitors showcased their latest products at AuWE2024
Image: Prime Creative Media

The panel discussions

System Methodology to Achieve Low Levelised Cost and High – efficiency of Hydrogen Value Chain Production, Operation and Supply – Panel discussion.
Image: Prime Creative Media

When asked about the importance of crane and lifting technologies, in relation to hydrogen energy goals.

Andrew McCluskey, Executive General Manager Hydrogen Siemens Ltd AU NZ had this to say.

“From our perspective, there are issues that need to be addressed relating to the transportation, lifting and construction of this infrastructure particularly when it comes to offshore wind farms,” said Andrew.

Panellists from a wide range of companies involved in the construction and maintenance of wind farms addressed the uncertainty around the viability of offshore wind farms.

After two days of constructive industry conversation, if there is one ‘take out’ from AuWE2024, it is that the numerous industries have significant roles to play as the Wind Energy Industry continues to emerge as an alternative and sustainable energy supplier, and there needs to be a coordinated approach from all stakeholders to ensure this important energy transition is as seamless as possible.

“Better Together”, Brisbane to host annual CICA Diversity Breakfast

Each year, the popular CICA Diversity breakfast brings industry professionals together, whereby they learn tricks of the trade off others and further expand their network to create greater outcomes for their businesses.

This year, held in Brisbane, the theme of diversity will drive the motto of “Better Together”.

Guest speakers will present, panel discussions with Q&A session with industry experts will occur, all in and around a delicious plated breakfast.

Don’t miss out on securing your spot at the August event:

Tickets available here 

Date: 23/08/2024
Time: 10am
Venue: Waters Edge Wedding & Events, 39 Hercules Street, Level 2, Hamilton QLD 4007

 

Visual Dispatch clears McIntosh’s muddy waters

Manager at McIntosh Cranes, Scott McIntosh, discusses how the Visual Dispatch Software has helped streamline the New Zealand crane hire company’s quoting, scheduling, invoicing and utilisation of its assets.

Muddy papers fresh back from the site, illegible handwriting, crumpled up pieces of important information – you name it, and Scott McIntosh has probably seen it when it comes to administrative paperwork.

Throughout his career in the family business, Scott has consistently sought out opportunities for growth and development. Starting out as an equipment operator, he progressed through various roles, including dispatch and operations. In his current position, Scott is constantly striving to optimise processes and enhance efficiency. His commitment to continuous improvement drives him to explore innovative solutions and adopt best practices to elevate the company’s performance and exceed customer expectations.

Across its more than 70 years of experience in the crane hire and transport industries, McIntosh Cranes has accumulated a vast fleet of cranes, hiabs and truck and trailer units to uphold its operations. Now into its third generation of family ownership under the eye of Scott, the business has been steadily expanding both its fleet and industries serviced, with the company almost doubling its fleet capacity since 2017 to expand its operations in – among others – precast concrete and steel work and wind farm maintenance.

As of today, the company possesses a diverse fleet of around 30 assets, with its crane hire fleet spanning from a TIDD PC25 pick and carry crane through to a Liebherr LR 1300, before capping out at a Grove GMK6400. As mentioned, the company possesses a range of Hiab cranes and transport machinery that, in all, is operated and serviced by 26 employees.

What it doesn’t have, however, is the intensive paperwork flow brought on by administrative procedures. Aligning with Scott’s move to fleet management and dispatching, the company has been using Visual Dispatch’s crane scheduling and allocation software since 2017. According to Scott, McIntosh Cranes’ back-of-house procedures have been made so much simpler and effective since the implementation of the software that was developed especially for the crane industry – and, since updating and moving to a newer version of the software in November 2023, everything has gotten even better.

“We’ve moved to e-tickets for all our operations team, all our invoicing is done through the program, and everything can easily be controlled by opening a new job and monitoring everything within that job,” says Scott. “Before we implanted the system, we would use a big pad to allocate everything. Now, we use Visual Dispatch to streamline the entire package for employees, and scheduling everything, for every bit all our machinery, from quoting through to invoicing.”

As mentioned, the story of Visual Dispatch is symbiotic with the crane industry. Developed specifically for the industry in the mid-90s, the software optimises the quoting process, the crane and support equipment scheduling and dispatching process, and the invoicing process. Within the software, companies can add new jobs to equipment and employee schedules to ensure resource allocation and scheduling is as efficient and effective as possible. Intuition and practicality were at front of mind when developing the system that is accessible via mobile phone, tablet, computer – anything electronic, essentially – with the process for opening a new project made extremely simple.

To undertake the process, companies start with a quote or a rental/booking within the software; from that point on, the information is permanently maintained meaning less time wasted by duplicating or copying information between systems/process and also consistent across what the customer receives (Quote, eTicket and Invoice) until it is closed, information is never lost – whether that be job hours worked by a machine or employee, or equipment allocation and distribution. For Scott, Visual Dispatch’s intertwined nature with the crane industry was the major selling point for McIntosh Cranes, saying the New Zealand crane hire company felt comfortable using a software that was so immersed in the industry.

“With the quoting system including the ability to prebuild crane and resource packages, we knew that the software was designed for the cranes and heavy lifting industry,” he says. “For us, the software is holistic, comprehensive, detailed and has solved a lot of our issues as we look to continue growing our fleet and operations.”

Naturally, for Scott, a major aspect of Visual Dispatch is the software system, its integration, its practicality of use, and how it has streamlined the company’s administrative procedures. What he and McIntosh Cranes have also been taken by, however, is the responsiveness and willingness to help provided by the Visual Dispatch team, headed up in Australia and New Zealand by Daniel McBride, the manager for the ANZ region with an extensive history in the crane industry as operations manager.

“When we implemented the latest version of Visual Dispatch back in November 2023, Daniel ensured he was over here with us, walking us through the processes and training everyone in the team to ensure we all understood how to effectively utilise the system,” says Scott. “Since working with Visual Dispatch, we’ve consistently had a responsive team backing us for any questions, queries or issues that we’ve had, and the system has helped us streamline our entire administration process.”

LiftEx 2024 Logo

Manufacturing diversity in focus at LiftEx 2024

 

Australia’s manufacturing industry is experiencing substantial growth in what is arguably one of the tightest labour markets in its history.

This is leading to manufacturers to diversify their workforce, to ensure they remain competitive and become market leaders.

The Queensland Government’s Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water has developed a guide for local manufacturers to arm them with the tools, skills, and funding to ensure they can stay ahead of the curve.

At LiftEx Gold Coast, the Department will present a free-to-attend session for manufacturers, delivering the Women in Manufacturing Diversity, Equity & inclusion Toolkit, which will guide them to reimagine the workforce, rethink recruitment practices and programmes and give greater value to diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.

Registration is now open and to attend this session for free, secure your place now at: events.leeaint.com/liftex-gold-coast/visit.

The presentation is one of many complimentary sessions taking place during LiftEx Gold Coast, the pinnacle event of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) – which will bring together leading lifting and height safety equipment suppliers with end-users who are engaged in operating, inspecting, and testing lifting equipment in manufacturing and other key sectors.

Visitors to much-anticipated two-day exhibition and conference will have the chance to view the latest lifting equipment solutions for manufacturing in the exhibition, as well as hearing case studies and insights into the advancements and best practices to boost safety and efficiency in the speaker program.

Access to all speaker sessions is complimentary, and the program will include:

  • Vertical-market case studies presenting examples of real-world challenges in the mining, construction, renewables and oil & gas sectors, offering attendees solutions and actionable takeaways.
  • Technical updates, including standards development and challenges that can be addressed during their development.
  • Professional development training workshops offered by Tower Crane Training  (LEEA’s Licensed Training Centre) for pre-use inspection of lifting equipment. Valued at over $600.
  • A session on LEEA’s Military Transition Scheme will detail how LEEA is connecting skilled and experienced individuals transitioning from the armed forces into civilian life and potential employment.
  • An appearance by Beaconsfield Mining Survivor Brant Webb, who will talk about how his experience has given him a unique perspective on safety, resilience, and the human capacity to endure. His story is a stark reminder of the importance of safety protocols and procedures in high-risk environments.

LiftEx is set to be held on 12-13 September at the Event Centre, Star Hotel on Australia’s Gold Coast. For the full speaker program and to register, visit: events.leeaint.com/liftex-gold-coast/speaker-programme.

Sany global key account summit a major success

Global manufacturer Sany showcased 36 flagship products to over 400 customers and interested parties at the annual Sany Crane Global Key Account Summit.

Sany and Tutt Bryant Equipment recently organised a customer tour to Sany’s state of the art manufacturing facilities. Customers were, once again, seriously impressed with what they saw. Philip White, Sany’s International Sales Company Sales Manager was on the tour.

Held across two days in late May, visitors from across the world gathered in Huzhou, Zhejiang province to witness the manufacturer’s showcase that included its SAC2500E, SAC600E, SAC700E, SRC1200T, STC1600T7, SCE1350A-EV, SCE1500TB and SCC3200T, among which 15 units have been sold outside of China, according to Sany.

Yuan Yue, President of Sany Heavy Crane Business Group, expressed a welcome and appreciation to the visiting partners and customers from across the globe.

“We attach great importance to our partnership,” he said, “and it is your valuable advice and trust that shape our high-quality and robust products.”

In front of the onlookers, the manufacturer showcased the the performance and capabilities of its cranes through a series of live operations.. These included unloading and loading counterweight with one button, changing outrigger span flexibly – and enhancing lifting capacity by 20 per cent, as well as the extending and retracting of the boom with one button – an “industry-first” technology, according to Sany, that realises the intelligent cooperation between the telescopic boom and winch, ensuring that the height of the hook from the ground is always controlled within the safety range.

Also of note in the event was a speech given by Tom Liu, General Manager of the Overseas Marketing of Sany Crane. Discussing the “growth, progress, value, and win-win” approach of Sany in the global layout, Liu also expressed his confidence in the global market.

“Sany’s manufacturing facilities are seriously impressive. Customers were amazed to see the focus Sany has on maintaining efficiencies throughout the manufacturing processes to keep overall prices down without losing quality in the products.

“They were also impressed with the total quality control Sany maintains by manufacturing all their own components and not being reliant on external manufacturers to supply parts,” said Philip.

Customers were impressed with the implementation of automation and robotic technology throughout the factories the group visited – both in the work done and in the factory itself.

Sany builds the same factory over and over, calling the enormous facilities ‘Lighthouse Factories’ because they feature a lot of glass. Inside, 80 per cent of the welds completed by robots, with the machines picking, placing and cutting the steel before it is transported on automated trolleys to the next station. It’s picked up by another robot, and welded by another, or dual robots if they need to weld at the same time to prevent distortion.

“The quality of the welding is unbelievable. In the middle of the ‘Lighthouse Factory’, there is a large strip of grass, and it is good to see a bit of nature in amongst all the mechanical automation and robots. It wasn’t just one factory, we would have seen four or five factories that were clones of each other,” said Philip.

The customers who joined the trip were “blown away” with the efficiencies on display, Philip added.

“Customers were amazed and seriously impressed with what they saw, and there is no doubt there were high levels of confidence within the group around the purchase of Sany equipment. We took 14 customers from Australia but there were over 400 customers from all over the world. It was a significant showcase event for Sany,” said Philip.

Philip started his career in cranes in February 2012.

“I started my journey in the crane industry with Tadano. After 5 years I then moved to TRT where I was selling TIDD pick and carry cranes and Grove All-Terrains before joining Sany in January 2024.

“My role as Sany’s International Sales Company Sales Manager will basically entail continuing the momentum Tutt Bryant Equipment and Sany have built over the last few years.

“I will be responsible for selling tower cranes direct to customers and I will be directly supporting customers for all types of Sany cranes. I will be responsible for the research and development of Sany all terrains and I will be supporting sales and generating leads for the team at Tutt Bryant Equipment,” said Philip.

“Sany has come a long in terms of the quality of their products and is widely regarded as the best value for money crane on the market. A key element of my role will be to educate the crane industry regarding the entire range of Sany cranes, focusing on promoting our all-terrain cranes and introducing Sany tower cranes to the Australian market.

“As I’ve said, customer support will be a key focus as well as overseeing the introduction of new models and relaying customer feedback directly back to the technicians and engineering teams in the factory,” said Philip.

Franna performance elevated by OM engine

Penske Australia and Franna recently reached a new agreement for the supply of OM936 engines to power Franna’s pick-and-carry crane.

Seriously powerful, the OM936 engine delivered by Penske is the only dual-certified Stage V and Tier 4 EPA- labelled engine on the Australian market.

The 7.7L six-cylinder industrial OM936 off-highway engine is specifically designed and certified for special-purpose vehicles such as Franna cranes, delivering a bespoke power solution.

A highly efficient and low- emission off-highway product, the OM936 meets the stringent Australian Design Rule (ADR) 80/04 regulation in addition to the Tier 4 US EPA requirements, the most stringent engine emission regulation globally.

“The USA and Europe appoint far more rigorous standards than we do locally in Australia,” said Lloyd Dilger, Diversified Products National Sales Manager at Penske Australia.

“The US currently requires Tier 4 standards for off-highway vehicles. Europe complies with Euro 6 standards for on-highway vehicles and Stage V for off-highway vehicles.

“The OM936 engine complies with both the rigorous European off-highway standards and the strict US standards.

“Rated to an impressive 300 kW brake power and boasting long maintenance intervals, the OM936 is the ultimate solution for cranes in terms of emissions, power and customisation for the off- highway market.”

ADR 80/04 will come into effect for newly approved heavy vehicles from November 1, 2024. ADR 80/04 aims to decrease emissions from heavy vehicles and is based on the European Union Stage VI emissions standards, with which the OM936 complies.

“With the OM936, we are able to future-proof power solutions for the off- highway market,”Dilger said.

“Franna can confidently count on a power solution that will deliver for years to come.”

Franna customers can count on Penske’s extensive national footprint across the country, delivering support where and when customers need it. Furthermore, in addition to the

OM936 engine, Penske also supplies OM engines rated between 170kW and 460kW for various applications, including agriculture, industrial, rail, and mining.

The mtu engine range, also represented by Penske, is rated up to 650kW and is ideal for powering cranes, haul trucks, industrial mining equipment and forestry machinery.

AllCrane delivers largest Fassi knuckleboom

AllCrane Sales and Service recently delivered the largest capacity standard registered knuckle boom in New Zealand. The crane was delivered to long standing customer KT Cartage. Allcrane’s Karl Leonard Technical Manager and Mobile Crane Sales explains more.

“We delivered the Fassi F1150RA.2.27 which had a few modifications to suit our customer, KT Cartage’s requirements. These modifications include a low subbase for lower mounting points and integration of the local subframe and the outriggers were offset to the cab which helps to increase stability to a greater angle forward of the outriggers,” said Karl.

The FASSI F1150 RA.2.27 features seven hydraulic boom extensions to 4730kg @17.55m and two manual extensions to 2500kg @ 22.5m. It also features V20 2000kg linepull winch with three parts of line to the hook and V20 was chosen for lighter weight. Three parts of line give a maximum lift of 6000kg @ 11m.

KT Cartage is a family business run by husband and wife team Kelvin and Emily Fitzpatrick. The business specialises in truck mounted loader cranes.

“We use a well-known and trusted range of hydraulic lifting equipment such as Fassi, and we offer lifting, loading and transport solutions for small mum and dad type lifts through to large commercial projects,” said Kelvin.

Allcrane Sales and Service has represented the FASSI range of products since 2017.

The range includes FASSI knucklebooms, Jecko mini crawler cranes, large glass handling attachments and also the Marrel hooklift product.

“We represent a range of quality products with the Fassi range and also Tadano. Having a broad range of products is important for the business as we are able to offer a number of lifting solutions to meet the specific requirements of our customers. We have had huge success with the Fassi product which has allowed us to become a top player in the NZ market,” said Karl.

The new FASSI features the FX900 Fassi V7S radio remote control system which displays on a colour screen all the relevant information as to how the crane is performing. The Internet of Cranes (IOC) allows remote access to the crane and all data points can be monitored. Service scheduling can be checked, and the parameters of the crane can be modified by Allcrane Sales and Service.

In case of a sensor failure/damage there is a sensor shut off to which allows the crane to pack up safely. If a part is supplied, it can be programmed remotely by a technician without the need for a callout.

If an issue arises during a job, an Allcrane technician can login to the crane (only with the permission and activation of the owner) and monitor the crane, providing advice and assistance in real time. The ACF feature for automatic unfold and folding of the crane is managed with one lever.

KT Cartage is a significant customer for Allcranes Sales and Service confirms Karl.

“Kelvin and Emily have been working with Allcrane since 2016 when they purchased a Cormach 275000E8. Because of the support and service we provided for that product, they have continued the relationship and gone on to purchase a Fassi F185A.2.25, F710RA.2.26, F120B.2.23 which are all new crane purchases,” said Karl.

Product support is a major focus for the entire Allcrane Sales and Service organisation.

All Crane Sales and Service’s Karl Leonard and KT Cartage’s Kelvin Fitzerpatrick.
Image: Allcrane Sales and Service

Celebrating 45 years of lifting

When it comes to cranes and lifting, Ian Roebuck has been there and done that. 2024 sees him celebrate 45 years in the industry. Ian and daughter Tania discuss the history of Ian Roebuck Crane Hire.

Ian began his career as an apprentice mechanic in Taranaki, a small town on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. He worked his way up to be in charge of the garage, before moving to the family business, Roebuck Construction. This move began his love affair with cranes.

“I joined the family business in the mid 60’s and worked there for 14 years. My first experience of owning a crane came when the family business bought a Michigan TLD T20 which was an ex-Ministry of Works machine which we bought as a wreck. It had been underwater for three days before we brought it back to life. It used to lift seven tonne at 30 feet,” said Ian.

Ian decided to venture out on his own in 1979 and bought his first crane, a Grove TMS 180 with a capacity of 18 tonne.

“That crane was assembled in New Zealand on a New Zealand built carrier. I was very lucky, the person I bought it off, he did a deal with me, whereby, I was able to buy the crane and have enough money in the bank to last me three months.

“I drove into town the next morning letting everyone know I was in business. The next day a chap rang to say the local meat works had burnt down three days earlier and so for the first eight months of my life with that crane and business, we worked 7 days a week. Some days I was wheeling concrete, others I was helping the welders and others I was driving the crane, but I was there every day and that’s how the business started.

“It was at that point I recognized we needed a second crane and the same company had a little 12 tonne pedestal crane, so they mounted that on an old Readymix concrete truck and that gave us two cranes,” said Ian.

The business grew in terms of staff and Ian found niches for his business that were very lucrative.

“There was a big oil and gas industry and we found work shifting drilling rigs. We had two cranes on each site and the work was taking up a lot each month. Each rig shift would be every four to six days, so it was quite a lucrative setup. And in between times, I’d bought a new 40 tonne Grove and that’s how it all started,” he said.

Tania explains there are two crane hire businesses operating in Taranaki but Ian has a reputation for taking on the difficult work.

There are two crane companies in town, us and Titans. We are friends and we help each other out but Ian has a reputation for taking on work which needs ‘out of the box’ solutions.

“Where there’s a lot involved, he isn’t scared to take it on and work out the methodology and engineer solutions with lift plans and other tools at his disposal, but mainly through his years of experience,” said Tania.

“There’s an old saying in life and that is, “never worry worry until worry, worries you”. The time to worry is the day before you do the job, too much worry during the preparation beforehand, will see you end up with ulcers and I’ve got to this age ulcer free, I hope,” said Ian.

Tania joined Ian in the business 15 years ago.

“I left a job I’d been in for 20 years because I felt the need to help Dad out and try and get him to ease back a little but that kind of hasn’t worked out too well. He loves to come in every morning and that’s what we like to see, it’s his baby and empire that he has built up solely on his own.

“I work on the allocation and crane dispatch as well as a bit of the HR Health and Safety, although when it’s above my head we do have others to help out. Ian deals with all the financial side of the business and we have a very good Transport Manager who looks after the Trucks and Hiabs. Before we had our current government in place and they stopped all the oil and gas workings, we had up to 22 cranes here in New Plymouth,” said Tania.

Ian runs through the fleet.

“At the smallest crane is a Unic mini crawler which will drive through a household door and lift two and a half ton. And the largest one is the 250t capacity Liebherr. That was the biggest crane, bought into New Zealand in its time. The first big crane that came to New Zealand was an 80t Kato, which I bought and then my opposition bought a 120t.

“I had to eat humble pie for a couple of years. And then I bought 150t crane and we were down in South Taranaki with it up in there showing all the clients what we could do and couldn’t do. And we got a call from a dairy factory in Hamilton that had had an explosion. So we packed up the crane that night and went up to Hamilton and we worked on that site, from memory, for about four or five months,” said Ian.

“Over the lifespan of the business, we have conducted 14 marine salvagers. The biggest one of those was 95 ton displacement, which we had to build a road for and we walked it 40 kms into the port to put it back in the water. There’s nothing at this stage that’s beaten us.

“A few statistics; we’ve completed over 190 bridge replacements in Taranaki, that’s on farm bridges and main bridges. We’ve managed 14 marine salvages of significance. We’ve completed nearly 350 heavy salvages, trucks over banks and out of rivers. There’s a different challenge every week,” he said.

Tania highlights how hands on Ian has been with the business.

“Just north of New Plymouth there is a massive gorge which you have to navigate to get to Auckland. A lot of trucks come to grief in the area, and we are the first port of call for the police when trucks go over the bank or go over on their side blocking the entire road. You might be up in the middle of the night and moving a truck loaded with food or whatever it may be and getting that road open quickly is the priority.

“Up until last year until I stopped him from doing it, Ian would be in a wet suit in the water hooking up chains and slings and goodness knows what else. He is the essence of the business and has always been very hands on. Although he might cut back his hours in the business and spend more time fishing, Dad will never completely let go, and that’s a good thing,” said Tania.

Ian hasn’t been scared to take it on and work out the methodology and engineer solutions with lift plans and other tools at his disposal.
Image: Ian Roebuck Crane Hire