2 Dec. 2017
Cost efficiency and sustainability, two topics that are frequently discussed in the offshore and maritime industry. There are many developments and innovations going on in this area.
These two topics are increasingly discussed with the development and maintenance of cranes, and the innovation of fully electric cranes can even lift this to the next level.
Investing in sustainable cranes
The purchase and maintenance of cranes in the industry can be rather expensive. Apart from the purchase cost of the crane, you are also faced with maintenance costs, plus the costs for the use of the cranes. Fully electric cranes can be a cost-effective solution in terms of cost efficiency and sustainability.
Using electricity to operate the cranes does not only save CO2 but electricity is also generated with the use of the cranes. With the negative movements of the crane electricity is generated that is immediately returned to the mains. Therefore, the costs for operating the cranes are reduced.
Because the long-term costs and sustainability are already taken into account with the development of these cranes, it was possible to make the cranes not just more sustainable in the use but also with the purchase. The materials that are used for these cranes are namely produced in a durable way and therefore last more than 30 years.
3000 operating hours – €0.- maintenance
Thanks to the durable production process there is a huge saving on maintenance. The Mteck 200 E crane that is installed on a vessel of the largest dredging company in the Netherlands, hardly needed any maintenance after 3000 operating hours for example.
This means a large saving for the customer, as both the maintenance as the downtime of the crane costs money. By developing the cranes almost maintenance free, a significant cost reduction has been created.
Thanks to the great experiences that this dredging company has had with this first crane, this company has already placed an order for a second electric crane, namely a Mteck 400 E. This will be installed on a LNG driven dredging vessel of the company. The big disadvantage to use an electric crane on a LNG vessel is that there is a delay with the direct demand for power.
When using LNG generators there is often a movement delay of 7-8 seconds, valuable time that is undesirable for both the operator as the customer. With a crane on the vessel, the energy generated by these cranes can of course not be returned to the mains. So, with this construction a solution with batteries was selected, which are charged with every negative lifting movement.
Challenges in the innovations
When building cranes in an innovative way you are always faced with challenges. To assure the quality of the cranes, it is necessary to use only proven techniques. This is difficult if you want to be market leader as a company in the field of innovation as you do not want to wait till a technique is fully proven. This means that every ordered crane is slightly better than the previously delivered.
Another challenge in the most sustainable development and the use of material, is that standard material is often not the best long-term solution. So with the developments of its cranes Mteck has decided to engineer everything for the customer tailor-made whereby the customer has a crane that suits him better and therefore it will last longer. It was also decided to use extra heavy turning points on the entire machine so there is a lower frictional resistance which increases the lifespan.
However, the main challenge is in the maintenance. A large part of the turnover of many crane developers is generated by the maintenance of these cranes. When cranes are being developed that are almost maintenance free and also have a longer lifespan than the standard in the industry, a large part of the turnover will be lost.
Mteck however has decided to opt for this and is convinced that the cranes give such much added value to their customers that they will quickly proceed to purchase several new cranes with the company.
The future of sustainable cranes
Electric cranes are the future across the whole industry. Regardless if it concerns large cranes onshore, or slightly smaller ones on vessels, huge savings can be achieved in the long term thanks to these innovations. It is expected that more and more companies in the dredging, offshore and maritime industry will switch to sustainable cranes.
A fully electric crane that also returns electricity to the mains is then a logical choice. Across the world investments are made in fully electric cranes, and the expectation, especially given the current focus on sustainability, is that many electric cranes will follow.
Note: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of World Maritime News. SOURCE: WMN