Olaf Seidenfaden discusses general purpose cranes in the offshore market
One could argue that power is everything. But it may be forgotten that offshore projects also require smartness. The latest generation of Liebherr Ram Luffing (RL) cranes is made for this. A combination of sense and simplicity as well as a benefit to the customer in terms of innovative technology and longevity is what makes this crane type so useful for the offshore market. Basically, one will find a solid slewing column closely attached to the boom. Controls, features and technology or engineering parts are “brought inside” the length of the basic structure. With its compact design, limited height and small tail radius, the crane cannot only work in harsh environments but it can also operate in a confined space, too. The weight-optimised construction with a box boom has a low centre of gravity and is light regarding its reached load chart.
Raise With Less Space
The prime advantage for customers is the compact design. One can find lots of power in a confined space. A minimised overall height is combined with a tail radius of less than 3m.
All this demonstrates the obvious advantages of the RL, for example in terms of a deck’s management being a decisive cost factor. Surprisingly, there is still enough space on an RL crane. Electricity, motor and everything else is “stored” inside the slewing column, in which there is still plenty of room to move inside. What is more, there is space on the crane because additional platforms on different heights of the crane can be found, on which moving along is made possible. Furthermore, this brings space for proper maintenance work. There are even more positive factors regarding maintenance, as shall be seen further below.
Steve Haro, head of operations at Navtech Marine comments: “For platform operators, weight and space requirements for equipment are key cost elements. Any reduction ensures savings, which is why Liebherr’s RL crane is the ideal choice. It is lightweight, reliable and flexible in terms of positioning. In addition, our crane operators are delighted with the ease of maintenance and sensitive crane control
Numerous Advantages In The Field
Firstly, it is easy to keep the cranes up and working and they need little maintenance because they are simple to access. Elements can easily be reached or handled. Another positive is that the winches have been relocated to the boom so there is an easier and safer handling of the crane due to the fact that there is no adjusting of rope lengths during luffing. The use of cylinders also means that luffing requires no maintenance.
Secondly, the RL can be equipped with LiMain upon request. LiMain (short for Liebherr Intelligent Maintenance) will enable anyone to maintain without being on site. The foundation of LiMain is its modular system architecture consisting of four modules: Automatic Greasing, Condition Monitoring, Predictive Maintenance and Remote Maintenance Cycle. The given package enables operators to determine the scope of intelligent maintenance meeting their particular needs. It is a fully digital, semi-automatic and remote maintenance system. As a matter of fact, up to 75% less mobilisation and up to 50 fewer man-days on platforms are possible. As a result, platform owners will save immensely on resources, be it on personnel, material or transport.
Thirdly, Liebherr cranes are taken care of independent of their location. The customer service offers more than 50,000 original spare parts and maintains an ongoing service.
Experience and Range
Lastly, experience in this field should by no means be underestimated. Reliability is of utmost importance, especially when engineers need to trust that machinery works properly and customers must trust that produced energy finds the way to their home. Within the RL series, hundreds of units have been built and successfully proven their capacities within the market. This demonstrates a trusted product that has “seen” all kinds of different scenarios before. What is more, the line of RL cranes ranges from the RL 900 with a maximum lifting capacity of 30 tonnes up to the RL 4600, which even has a maximum lifting capacity of 100 tonnes. In total, there are four different RL cranes. Considering the wide portfolio, different cranes can be used to tackle specific problems.
Liebherr constructs smart cranes, however, the company also has experience in the field and offers its own technical solutions and applications coupled with a 24/7 customer service. This is a tailor made combination that makes the RL crane range an increasingly popular choice for the offshore market.
Olaf Seidenfaden is with Liebherr