Manufacturing News

Safety and efficiency with crane technology

Precision manufacturing companies such as Berg Propulsion understand the need for fine control and safety. A world leader in controllable pitch propellers (CPP) for the marine industry, Berg has produced more than 6,000 controllable pitch propellers. Berg Propulsion’s new Singapore facility is equipped with some of the most sophisticated lifting technology.

“When you are dealing with propulsion systems for vessels typically from 10,000 to 100,000 tonnes, you can’t afford delay because a crane is down,” said Berg production manager Lim Eng Sim.

Berg Propulsion’s Singapore plant recognises the significance of the marine and offshore industry. Singapore is the biggest ship repair nation in the world.

Included in the technology installed to date is a DMC 340 FD machining centre, the only one in South East Asia. The machine offers simultaneous 5-sided and up to 5-axis machining with a universal swivel-head. The turning features of the DMC 340 FD pay off especially during complete machining (milling and turning in a single setup) of heavy and bulky parts.

“With machinery of this sophistication and value, we need to optimise output 24/7, so reliable cranes are vital,” said Lim.

Konecranes CXT technology installed by Berg to date includes four 20t x 27m span cranes, three 10t x 27m span cranes and one 5t x 27m span crane. The high performance hoisting motors, with 60% ED rating, combine extra power with superior cooling characteristics. The hoisting motors also have the power and flexibility for temporary peak usage situations.

Inverter control comes as standard in crane and trolley travels, with smooth starts and stops designed to reduce wear and mechanical stress on structures and minimise the load sway.

Lim says the company’s senior technicians are trained by Konecranes and the skills built up are then passed on to all staff in the workshop.

“We focus particularly on the correct and safe use of overhead cranes, where aspects such as correct slinging are very important when lifting objects that are very round and very long.

“Correct technique is important because, in addition to safety, we need to achieve very fine movements, especially during the assembly stage. Such control is also important when changing workholding devices in the big CNC lathe.

“You certainly don’t want injuries ever – or delay or damage – during the 24/7 operation of this of valuable and unique technology. We are concerned first for our staff and for our customers,” Lim said.

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