Advance of the internet delivers tech-savvy and chatty cranes with brains

Konecranes waste-to-energy cranes, one of the broad industrial Konecranes ranges benefitting from. technologies including maintenance reducing software, electrical and mechanical products including TRUCONNECT® Remote Monitoring and Reporting

Konecranes waste-to-energy cranes, one of the broad industrial Konecranes ranges benefitting from. technologies including maintenance reducing software, electrical and mechanical products including TRUCONNECT® Remote Monitoring and Reporting

It’s hard to believe that the internet is barely 20 years old in Australia and New Zealand, given the dependence industry has on it now for a huge range of tasks, including communication, research, reporting and maintenance.

But since those formative Internet service providers, ISPs, popped up in our major cities in the mid-90s – and social services like Facebook and LinkedIn spread like wildfire –  it has also become essential to big and small industry alike for in their competitive quest to work smarter.

One of the biggest advances for industries dependent on cranes – and that’s most of them in some way or another – is the use of internet and remote maintenance services.

The big breakthrough in crane safety and cost-efficiency has come with the advent of lifecycle care in real time, according to one of the world’s major manufacturers of cranes, Konecranes, which is also the world leader in crane maintenance, with 450,000 pieces of lifting equipment under maintenance agreements worldwide, including Australia and New Zealand..

New remote digital monitoring and analytical technologies – such as Konecranes’ TRUCONNECT® – can look inside the performance of a crane or whole fleets of cranes to accurately predict the most suitable and timely maintenance for optimum service, as well as spot impending production risks and accident hazards.

TRUCONNECT® technology harnesses in a user-friendly way the power of the industrial internet, the heart of which is based on a series of machinery sensors working together to gather and analyse data for specific purposes. By operating in this way, they can enable efficiencies that were unimaginable just a short time ago.

“With powerful but highly accessible technologies such as TRUCONNECT, crane maintenance is an entire generation ahead of the days of external inspections, laborious dismantling to find and fix problems – or simply fixing something when it fails,” says Mr John Bailey, General Manager, Service Development, Konecranes SE Asia Pacific.

“With the accident liability that outdated practices entail – and the potential for expensive downtime that companies just can’t afford these days – old approaches are just no longer accepted as safe and productive risk management in the world-class industries we serve, “he says. Such industries include automotive and general manufacturing, bulk materials handling, mining, power generation, petrochemical, ports and container handling, pulp and paper, shipyards, steel and waste-to-energy.

3

TRUCONNECT provides accurate data on any device

In developing TRUCONNECT® to complement its MAINMAN planned maintenance services to such industries, Konecranes incorporated into the technology its experience as is a major global crane and lifting equipment manufacturer, as well as the operational and practical insights gained from being the world’s largest crane service organisation.

The company now has more than 10,000 remote monitoring connections and 600 service locations worldwide, including throughout the Asia-Pacific and Australasia. These have fed into the understanding of industry needs that has produced its TRUCONNECT® suite of remote service products connecting data, machines and people.

Through such products, Konecranes applies the Industrial Internet to lead the evolution of service through remote monitoring, diagnostics, analytics and usage-based predictive maintenance – providing real-time visibility and offering customers unique predictive capabilities and crane management efficiencies.

Importantly, companies such as Konecranes have made all this new technology and capabilities easy for people to handle and use. After all, advanced technology wouldn’t be much use if no one could understand how to use it.

So to make the process of real-time monitoring for lifecycle care as intuitive and easy to use as possible. They have integrated:

  • TRUCONNECT® remote monitoring and reporting
  • and MAINMAN planned maintenance results captured by mobile- enabled technicians

Combining them into an easily accessed online customer portal,  yourKONECRANES.com.

This web portal – which gives real-time browser-based access to individual customers’ equipment data and maintenance history – links usage data, maintenance data and asset details, giving a transparent and complete view of events and activities of a crane over any selected time interval. Aggregated data can be viewed, analysed and shared quickly, for a single asset or an entire fleet.

Data is sent to this customer portal from Konecranes TRUCONNECT® remote monitoring and reporting technology along with MAINMAN planned maintenance findings, which can be applied to a huge variety of lifting equipment across the range of industries Konecranes serves.

TRUCONNECT® gathers data on running time, motor starts, work cycles and brake condition and can also send alters by text or email of hazardous events such as hoist overloads, emergency stops and over-temperatures.

MAINMAN planned maintenance utilizes Konecranes’ proprietary ‘Risk and Recommendation’ method to visually categorize findings into safety, production and undetermined risks allowing for easy prioritization and planning of future maintenance activities by asset.

“To make the best use of this innovative technology, insights can be drawn by observing anomalies, patterns and trends, helping users make fact-based decisions,” says Mr Bailey.

How it works

Anomalies can show up as faults, such as overloads. These events are considered abnormal and should be addressed promptly as they occur. Knowing when an overload occurs is the first step in identifying its cause.

Patterns help reveal relationships between variables. For example, overload or emergency stop alerts or excessive starts may indicate the need for operator training aimed at reducing human-error downtime and the risk of safety incidents. Recurring motor overheats may indicate that changes are needed in equipment or process.

The study of trends can help prioritise corrective action and investments. Analysing data behavior over time supports the development of predictive maintenance.

Clarity

“Our aim is not to be confusing or overwhelming with a flood of data and analytics,” says Mr Bailey. “We have teams of experienced staff who take a consultative approach to help guide our customers’ decision making. We share our findings, provide recommendations and discuss how each action can optimise particular aspects of operations and maintenance,” he said.

Konecranes mobile-enabled technicians and inspectors have useful crane data permanently available at their fingertips
Konecranes mobile-enabled technicians and inspectors have useful crane data permanently available at their fingertips

Konecranes technicians and inspectors are mobile-enabled, which means they are constantly connected to TRUCONNECT’s data through their phones, tablets and computers. They can access maintenance history, equipment usage and operating information and look up spare parts and manuals.

Konecranes technicians and inspectors are highly experienced in:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Record keeping
  • Maintenance planning and prioritisation
  • Spare parts supply
  • Equipment utilisation
  • Operator training
  • Capital expenditure planning and justification

“Konecranes Remote Support experts can communicate with your crane, no matter where it is, and provide remote support and troubleshooting in the event of a breakdown or indication of a fault. The data from TRUCONNECT® can be used to identify the need for corrective on-site maintenance and spare parts,” said Mr Bailey.

“TRUCONNECT’s integration into the ‘yourKONECRANES.com’ portal is designed to improve the user experience and is a key development in delivering lifecycle care in real time, which will help extend the life of valuable assets by planning better maintenance programs and identifying faults and problems at an earlier stage”.

As a leading crane manufacturer, Konecranes is incorporating  its technologies into its widely used cranes, including  its SMARTON® overhead “crane with a brain”, which is now used in 49 countries, including Australaia and New Zealand.

Konecranes SMARTON ‘crane with a brain’
Konecranes SMARTON ‘crane with a brain’

SMARTON cranes – which are designed for heavy duty applications, demanding processes, assembly and maintenance – are receiving advanced technology updates to improve safety and efficiency by focusing on improving the user interface for crane operators, customer service crews and customer management.

The new SMARTON includes, for example, a tablet, which is improves the user experience. The tablet makes crane operation easier and more productive as the operator receives crane and process related information directly to the tablet and is able to make adjustments to the crane. Optional camera views for safer and more effective load handling are also available. The SMARTON tablet is connected wirelessly to the crane control system providing advanced crane condition data in real-time for the maintenance personnel.

“The SMARTON includes Smart Features and TRUCONNECT® Remote Services, available to improve safety and productivity of the customer’s lifting processes,” says Tero Jaakkola, Konecranes Product Manager, Advanced Heavy Duty Cranes

“SMARTON makes it now even easier to tailor solutions for customers who want to get the benefits of the latest technology and have safety and a Total Cost of Ownership approach as part of their ‘DNA’. With flagship products like SMARTON, we want to make sure customers who need advanced technology in their operations get it.”

Additional Information:

For more information in Australasia, please contact:

Konecranes Sales and Marketing, 14-16 Heald Rd, Ingleburn NSW 2565, ph 61-2-8796 7666, fax 61-2-9605 4336, email sales.australia@konecranes.com

Sales inquiries 1300 937637 (Australia wide) or visit our website www.konecranes.com.au

For more information, please contact:

Enez See Toh, Marketing and Communications Manager, South East Asia Pacific

Ph: +65-6 6601267 Mob: 65 – 9772 9853 Email: enez.seetoh@konecranes.com

Konecranes Pte Ltd, 8 Admiralty St, #06-11, Admirax, Singapore 757438

www.konecranes.com

For inquiries about this media release, please contact:

Jack Mallen-Cooper at Whyte Public Relations Pty Ltd

Ph: +61-2-9901-4306 Email: whytepr@whytepr.com.au

About Konecranes, Inc.

Konecranes is a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses™, serving a broad range of customers, including manufacturing and process industries, shipyards, ports and terminals. Konecranes provides productivity-enhancing lifting solutions as well as services for lifting equipment and machine tools of all makes.

In 2015, Group sales totalled EUR 2,126 million. The Group has 11,900 employees at 600 locations in 48 countries. Konecranes is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (symbol: KCR1V).

  • The Aussie heavy industry can sure benefit from automation of systems that are powered by software and internet. This is to improve productivity and increase operational efficiency when measured in weighted output.