There are a number of valid reasons to consider replacing an overhead crane. Your application or production demands may have changed, statutory requirements may have changed or critical components are reaching the end of their economic service life.
Replacing a crane with something new may seem like the obvious option, but there are actually three viable alternatives that will cost-effectively upgrade an existing crane and extend its service life: modernisation, tailored maintenance and retrofits. Before committing to one of these options, it is advisable to consult with professionals who can assess the current situation and make appropriate recommendations.
Modernisations preserve aspects of the existing asset that are in good condition (saving capital funds) and complement those aspects with the addition of selected new replacement components that enhance reliability and safety, adding current technologies. Common modernisations include the replacement of hoists, trolleys, operator cabs and controls to achieve increased capacity, speed, duty and load control.
Before determining what modernisations are needed on a crane, it is highly recommended that the crane undergo a thorough evaluation such as Konecranes’ Crane Reliability Study (CRS). In some cases, a major assessment will need to be undertaken, such as cases where it is a very old crane and there is no record of one being done recently. The major assessment is one way of ensuring the crane is standards compliant.
The CRS is an engineering assessment that evaluates the current condition of a crane and provides a theoretical estimate of its remaining design life and provides recommendations for the next steps. Any of the structure or components excluded from the modernisation scope will still be assessed in compliance with standards, which provides a complete and compliant solution upon completion.
Konecranes modernisations achieve outstanding results through a combination of consultancy, careful inspection, observation, and world class experience and solutions. Konecranes’ capability to provide a life extension on existing assets is fiscally responsible and delivers a high return on investment.
Proper crane maintenance can add years to its service life, and helps optimise its efficiency, reliability, productivity and safety. Maintenance can be divided into two main types, corrective and preventative maintenance.
Corrective maintenance occurs when a fault has been identified, either during a regular inspection, or through real-time crane monitoring (such as Konecranes TruConnect technology).
Timely repair of faults improves safety and makes good economic sense. It also reduces the risk of emergency breakdowns, and is often mandated by industry regulations.
Planned repairs are scheduled according to inspection and maintenance regulations. Optimally, the repair is coordinated and scheduled around production schedules, to minimise the impact of any downtime.
Preventative maintenance is part of a well-planned schedule and aims to eliminate potential problems before they occur. Konecranes creates proactive, customised maintenance plans based on individual equipment, application and duty cycles, with the overall aim of reducing risk and downtime, improving safety and reliability and identifying valuable improvement opportunities.
Konecranes’ advanced TruConnect real-time monitoring technology takes preventative maintenance one step further, by constantly monitoring crane usage and providing real-time updates. Potential faults or problems can be identified at the earliest possible opportunity, and corrected before they cause major downtime.
Retrofits are an easy and economical way to add additional features and technologies to your existing overhead crane. They typically require much less pre-planning and downtime than full modernisations, which means a useful new feature can swiftly be added and begin improving the performance of a crane.
Common retrofits include hoist and component replacements, variable speed control, radio remote control and LED lighting.