Rebuilding a container crane for Madagascar Port

Refurbishment is an attractive and less costly alternative for replacing port equipment

A typical ‘like-new’ solution

In 2009, Ralf Teichmann GmbH from Essen, in close coordination with the Distripool Schiphol Holding BV, a consortium of Dutch forwarding agents, completely redesigned, rebuilt and supplied a used container gantry crane to the Madagascar Port in Amsterdam.

In this project, Ralf Teichmann GmbH could again successfully put into practice their corporate philosophy as a full range supplier of cranes in mint condition. The crane had originally been used by Deutsche Bahn AG (German Rail) and was dismantled by their staff, reconstructed in Essen, and finally erected at its new location at the Madagascar Port in Amsterdam. All logistical services, including the simultaneous deployment of six large truckmounted cranes, were likewise coordinated from Essen.
 

Redesign of the steel construction

Since the crane had formerly been used at an inland terminal with no water connection, extensive work had to be done to adapt it to the new location. After intensive discussions with the customer on site and in Essen, the crane was completely reconstructed. The span was reduced from 25 meters to 22.5 meters. To enable the efficient unloading of container ships, the cantilevers had to be extended on the water side to a length of 18 meters, and on the land side to 12.5 meters. Since the cantilevers facing the water side are exposed to harsher conditions, the decision was made to not only reinforce the support columns, but also to provide for anchoring of the pylons to increase stiffness. After completing the necessary calculation and design work, Ralf Teichmann GmbH implemented the project at their own production facilities. By optimizing the hoisting gear and installing a new rope drum, the crane was adapted to the required lifting height to be able to lift one container over four, and was likewise prepared for the lowering depth underground below the rail surface.

The Distripool Schiphol Holding BV was interested in enabling efficient container handling without any time delays. Consequently, the distance between the columns was extended to allow containers of up to 40 feet to be transported without the time consuming overhead of turning them around between the columns. This dramatically increased the handling capacity which, in turn, can mean a significant competitive advantage for a tri-modal terminal with storage as well as direct ship truck transhipment between vessels.

The technical specifications of the crane remained largely unchanged. This applies to both the lifting capacity of 42 metric tons at the ropes and the operating speeds (hoisting full load/ partial load: 10m/min and 18m/min; trolley travelling 45m/min; crane travelling 75m/min).

Reconstruction of the electrical system

Besides the steel construction, the complete electrical equipment of the crane was also renewed – starting with the main power supply, which was converted from 400 V to 10kV, down to the high voltage cable drum and the high voltage transformer. In order to be prepared for future expansions of the terminal, the cable drum was designed so that a crane runway of about 300 meters (its current length is 200 meters) can also be used later without any issues. After completely gutting the existing electrical switching cabinet, the electrical installation was reassembled on mounting panels.

The crane was equipped with a new controller based on frequency converters, including SPS S7 and Profi bus. To secure emergency operations, the control system was designed to be fully redundant. Even in terms of hardware and software, the crane is now equipped with state-of-the-art technology. A powerful computer was installed for the warehouse management system. In addition, the crane includes a crane management system to identify all crane coordinates such as the hoisting gear, trolley, crane bridge, and so on. The current position of every single container can thus be localized in real time.

Ralf Teichmann GmbH, Essen, Germany
Edition: Edition 50

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