News, Technology

Is your lifting equipment fit for the future it faces?

Asia-Pacific industries emerging tentatively from the shutdowns and supply disruptions of COVID-19 face a future far different from before the virus emerged.

Companies across the industrial spectrum are all having to re-learn how well equipped they are to handle a future where issues such as health, safety and digitalisation of service and maintenance have become fundamental to their agility in responding to rapid change.

“Time has been compressed by COVID. Change that might previously have trickled through over decades has rushed through in just a few years. Digitalisation of service and maintenance of cranes, for example, has gone from being a desirable objective, to an essential methodology for companies wanting to predict equipment capabilities – so they can spring back in response to market opportunities with the reliability and safety to meet the needs,” says Konecranes, which is the world’s largest crane service organisation, Konecranes.

Despite the uncertainties created by COVID, the Asia-Pacific is still poised to deliver high GDP growth by world standards in 2022, with the Asian Development Bank predicting 5.1 per cent in SE Asia and 4.7 per cent for the Pacific, as economies are expected to continue easing overall restrictions and reviving economic activities. Deloitte Asia-Pacific says SE Asian infrastructure development – as well as that  already under way in Australasia – is expected to lead the economic recovery from COVID-19, with the first phase of the work being to minimise disruption from the virus by filling urgent infrastructure gaps, including logistics.

“Cranes will be critical in filling the infrastructure gaps as the economies’ recovery, because just about everything that needs to be manufactured, moved and maintained depends on cranes. If your cranes stop, your production stops,” says Konecranes, which services all brands of cranes globally and s the original service provider for both Konecranes and Demag equipment.

Konecranes has than 600,000 items of lifting equipment under contract worldwide, ranging from smaller cranes and jib, hoist and gantry types, to the largest electric overhead beam cranes used to feed production lines in automotive, metals, manufacturing and food and beverage processing industries, to lifting generators, crushers, transformers, and heavy machinery and output of items essential to industries such as bulk materials handling, energy, waste to energy, oil and gas, mining, ports and container handling, pulp and paper, and multi-modal distribution including rail, plus maintaining essential public services including power and water. Konecranes expertise in service includes digitisation to enhance safety and efficiency and enhancing efficiencies of single cranes or entire fleets.

“The adaptation of existing machinery to new demands will throw safety and reliability into sharp relief over the year ahead,” says Konecranes “Electric overhead travelling cranes (EOTs) and jib cranes – of which there are tens of thousands in South Asia and Australasia – will be called on to do heavier and faster lifting tasks with levels of safety, automation and reliability,

“Given our experience in servicing literally millions of cranes over the past decades, we can see major duty of care needs emerging post-Covid to ensure ageing crane fleets, in particular,  are up to the mark in terms of safety and reliability,” said Konecranes.

Is your current lifting equipment fit for future production needs?

One way to independently determine machinery’s suitability to meet expanding demands upon it is a Crane Reliability Study (CRS) engineering assessment that provides information for planning the future of lifting operations, says Mr Koh.

Addressing issues in advance helps prevent unplanned downtime and can enhance safety, with a CRS offering a deeper insight into the condition, safety and efficiency of lifting equipment, thus delivering valuable information to better predict and control the total cost of ownership.

The Crane Reliability Study provides an exhaustive analysis and comprehensive report for all makes and models of overhead lifting equipment, outlining the condition of the crane and its current operating capacity. In addition, a CRS report contains recommendations for the future actions needed to maximize the use of the equipment, thereby enhancing safety, improving performance and increasing reliability.

“The results of a CRS allow informed decisions to be made on how to maximize the use of equipment and to devise a modernization schedule as required to increase equipment uptime and improve material handling productivity. In this market, CRS is a unique service package that allows modernisation to be handled cost-efficiently on a prioritised step-by-step basis, or as a complete package,” says Konecranes. The CRS is performed by a team of trained and experienced Konecranes specialists who provide a comprehensive report and expert consultation with a plan for the current and future use of the lifting equipment.

A CRS can also determine whether the most cost-efficient option would be to replace cranes that may fail under rapidly expanded production pressure, or whether the equipment is fundamentally structurally sound but would benefit most from digital upgrades to bring it up to 2020s standards of performance, safety and compliance.

Crane modernisation with the latest TRUCONNECT® digital technology

Konecranes crane modernisation services encompass a progressive range of cost-efficient modernisations extending up to TRUCONNECT Remote Monitoring — one of the biggest advances in crane safety and cost-efficient management over the past decade, says Konecranes.

TRUCONNECT technology harnesses the power of the industrial internet, the heart of which is based on a series of sensors working together on machinery to gather and analyse data for specific purposes. By operating in this way, they can enable efficiencies that were unimaginable just a short time ago, says Konecranes.

TRUCONNECT Remote Monitoring collects condition, usage and operating data from control systems and sensors located on a crane and provides alerts of certain anomalies.

“To make the best use of this innovative technology, insights can be drawn by observing anomalies, patterns and trends in the data, helping users make fact-based decisions,” says Konecranes.

Anomalies can show up as faults, such as overloads. These events are considered abnormal and should be addressed promptly as they occur. Knowing when an overload occurs is the first step in identifying its cause.

Patterns help reveal relationships between variables. For example, overload or emergency stop alerts or excessive starts may indicate the need for operator training aimed at reducing human-error downtime and the risk of safety incidents. Recurring motor overheats may that indicate changes are needed in equipment or process.

The study of trends can help prioritise corrective action and investments. Analysing data behaviour over time supports the development of predictive maintenance. Remote Monitoring data is used in maintenance planning and in predicting possible component or equipment failure.

Easily accessible data with partnership support plots a clear path to the future

Konecranes uses TRUCONNECT  to apply the Industrial Internet to lead the evolution of service through remote monitoring, diagnostics, analytics and usage-based predictive maintenance – providing real-time visibility and offering customers unique predictive capabilities and crane management efficiencies.

“TRUCONNECT is transforming industrial and manufacturing facilities by providing clear and comprehensible insights into the use and performance of overhead cranes,” says Konecranes. “The data from TRUCONNECT gives you a better idea of the needs of your cranes before they give way to critical issues. This helps you plan maintenance and leaves less room for surprises.”

To make viewing and sharing data easy, Konecranes links TRUCONNECT Remote Monitoring and crane maintenance information captured by mobile-enabled technicians into a user-friendly online customer portal —

This web portal gives real-time browser-based access to individual customers’ equipment data and maintenance history. Customers get a transparent and complete view of events and activities over any selected time interval. Aggregated data can be viewed, analysed and shared quickly, for a single asset or an entire fleet.

Working in partnership with clients, Konecranes is highly experienced in:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Record keeping
  • Maintenance planning and prioritization
  • Spare parts supply
  • Equipment utilization
  • Operator training
  • Capital expenditure planning and justification

“Our method is not to confuse or overwhelm operators and owners with a flood of data and analytics,” says Konecranes. “We have teams of experienced staff who take a consultative approach to help guide our customers’ decision making. We share our findings, provide recommendations and discuss how each action can optimise particular aspects of operations and maintenance.

Send this to a friend