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Konecranes Crane Modernization Strategies Solve Production, Capability, Safety and Compliance Issues

Upgrading material handling equipment helps manufacturers meet production demands that exceed original design standards or comply with new safety regulations.

As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of material handling equipment, Konecranes leads the industry not only in the design of new cranes, but in its ability to renovate, retool and refit older cranes, no matter who built them originally. Manufacturers who are dealing with the new reality of tighter margins and the need to wring every last ounce of capability out of their equipment are often surprised to learn how many options are available to modernize aging cranes.

“The objectives of any crane modernization should be more efficient operation and improved productivity, both of which lead to increased profitability,” says Bob LoCasale, vice president, parts, Region Americas.

True modernization does more than replace worn parts – it provides the benefits of new technology. A crane whose structure is still viable, but with machinery or controls that are outdated or simply worn out, can extend its useful life, often with significantly higher capacity or improved duty cycle. Modernization can also bring older equipment into compliance with current OSHA standards.

A typical modernization includes all-new gearing, motors and drums, along with bearings, shafts, axles, brakes and controls. Installed together, these components deliver many years of low-maintenance operation, at significantly less cost than crane replacement.

Modernization can also include a capacity upgrade to handle increased production demands. Modernization substantially reduces the weight of older cranes, as new motors, trolleys, hoists and other components are significantly lighter than original equipment. “Reduction of dead weight often can increase an overhead crane’s capacity,” says LoCasale.

More complex capacity or duty upgrades typically involve Konecranes engineering group, who are experts at determining how to safely increase capacity, duty cycle and productivity by upgrading the existing structure, machinery and controls. Konecranes Crane Reliability Study is an engineering assessment that evaluates the current condition of your crane and provides a theoretical estimate of its remaining design life and recommendations for next steps.

Konecranes is a company that has grown by acquisition, with over 40 crane brands in its stable, along with original microfilm drawings of installed cranes all over North America. Having the original drawings on file can speed up the process by weeks and lower engineering and manufacturing costs for new components.

According to LoCasale, improving safety is another major reason to modernize. Anti-sway technology, one of the more popular safety upgrades for crane modernization projects, prevents loads from swinging while enabling operators to move loads faster and position them more accurately. Anti-sway and many other smart crane features can be implemented by operators using a modern radio control. Radio controls enable operators to get out of the cab and perform multiple functions, which improves productivity and reduces operational costs.

Cranes can also be modified to bring them into compliance with current OSHA standards.

“Crane modernization offers more possibilities than you might imagine for updating old equipment to new standards of productivity and safety, for considerably less than the cost of a new crane,” says LoCasale.

Additional information:
Sales: Bob LoCasale, Vice President, General Manager - Modernizations,
Region Americas
bob.locasale@konecranes.com or 610.368.0850