Cranes that are increasingly more technically advanced, perhaps with more automation, require modern maintenance that can provide support from a modern Crane Maintenance Station (CMS). A CMS is not intended to merely create long lists of errors; it should also effectively guide the troubleshooter to the right location in the hardware or software documentation. A CMS is an important tool for reducing crane downtime, and asimple, user-friendly CMS, which is also powerful and intuitive, helps increase productivity. Receiving all information on an onboard CMS from a land station located in an office or vehicle is today more the rule than the exception.
Everybody knows that reliable cranes comprise the best possible base for maximum productivity, but unfortunately there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, and no two ports are the same. Consequently, certain circumstances may not allow these ‘ideal’ factors to work effectively to maintain and/or enhance reliability in every port. The electrical system integrator has a challenge in creating support tools for the maintenance people who work out of more than one port. On the other hand, the system integrator who works globally has the advantage of being exposed to many different requirements; if he can boil them down into one system, it could become a world-class system.
Even if a system supplier is able to build systems that are technically advanced, easy to maintain, inexpensive, and provide as high availability as possible, they still require maintenance. This maintenance is (or should be) moving increasingly toward working with preventive maintenance rather than making repairs when something fails. An airplane, or even a modern automobile with indicator lights for service, is taken in for maintenance at specific intervals regardless of whether anything is obviously in need of repair. A modern CMS supports this approach and there must be counters, timers, and calendars to indicate when certain service tasks need to be performed. The system generates plans, reports, and history reports that effectively support personnel in conducting maintenance at selected points in time. Proper maintenance results in fewer unscheduled failures for any device and consequently higher productivity. A correctly configured CMS gives cranes higher productivity.