New energy for ‘old’ cranes: Retrofitting, increasing efficiency and lowering costs



Kabelschlepp GmbH, Wenden-Gerlingen, Germany


Time is money – this particularly applies to transhipment at ports. When faced with horrendous demurrages, cargo from container ships has to be unloaded and loaded as quickly as possible. Reliable crane systems and supplying them with energy and data are absolutely essential here. Particularly with this in mind, Kabelschlepp designed the Rail Cable Carrier (RCC), which was retrofitted to container cranes during a general overhaul at Port Rashid in Dubai.

As a result of the expansion of the cruise terminal at Dubai's Port Rashid deep-sea harbour, its container port had to give way to the touristic leviathans of the sea. The crane system employed there has been modernised and transported to the West African port city of Dakar, an important hub for transatlantic and European trade, and whose port is being transformed into a modern terminal.

For the pilot project to modernise the ship-to-shore cranes in Dubai, Kabelschlepp presented the innovative RCC hose and cable carrier as a substitute for the festoon systems used to date, by means of which the crane trolley travels at high speeds to transport cargo. The RCC, originally designed for ‘grounded’ crane applications with extremely long travel lengths of 500 metres or more, provides numerous advantages over travelling cables. “With state-of-the-art retrofitting operators can realise considerable savings in addition to increased system reliability”, explains Engineer Uwe Kemper of Kabelschlepp’s Research and Development Department. On the one hand the cable replacement cycle can be vastly extended. In festoon solutions these are not only subject to weather-induced wear; intense battering at the endpoint of the travel path causes heavier wear still. Because of the comparatively long cables – 130 m for one crane trolley travel length of 70.5 m – steep costs accrue with each replacement. On the other hand downtimes resulting from maintenance work, which can entail enormous amounts not only in transhipment, can be minimised. “In contrast the costs for material and maintenance required are comparatively low”, according to Kemper. As well, strong winds – commonplace in a port city like Dakar – would compromise operations using festoon systems, which have to be adjusted in case of excess wind load stressing.

Quick and reliable: convincing solutions
Because durable and reliable operation involving long service lives in crane applications is an essential economic factor, the RCC has been designed as a heavy-duty technical solution that meets precisely the requirements of complex crane applications even under rough, extremely diverse climatic operating conditions at seaports worldwide.

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