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The ultimate Mega crane
What is 250 metres high and can lift 5,000 tonnes? The answer is standing here looking majestic. The SGC-250 is the largest crane in the world, both in terms of size and capacity. And what sets this giant in motion? Our panels!
“We attended the crane’s official opening ceremony. It was the first time we had seen the total picture. It was awe-inspiring.” I’m speaking to project manager Alejandro Jimenez and account manager Nick Carmans. “Imagine the Atomium, but then twice as large. That will give you an idea of how tall the crane is when extended to its full length. By the way, the SGC-250 is capable of lifting two Atomiums, weighing a total of 4,800 tonnes. This is 200 tonnes under its maximum capacity. But without operation and power, this crane is merely an inert object. We blew life into this mega construction, together with Z-Systems, a drive and control specialist. They took care of the software and integration, while we engineered and built the electronic panels.”
A moving giant
“Control panels are needed for each movement: one for each of the ten winches, which regulate the position of both arms through a steel cable. Operation must be extremely accurate. Not because the crane lifts thousands of tonnes, but because everything must be correct down to the last millimetre. If the winches do not operate synchronously, the angle-right stabilitywill be jeopardised. In addition to winching there is also slewing, or rotating the crane. That requires four more panels. And another four panels are required for lifting.”
“All these panels are distributed over the entire crane. Everything comes together in our master panel in the operator’s compartment. Six power packs provide the muscle power: 6,000 hp in total. Naturally, the scale poses a challenge. What’s more, the panels will have to cope with wind and weather on sites. What’s more, the PLCs, the programmable logic controllers, that were chosen were not an obvious choice for us. Z-Systems wanted to use Bosch, a brand we were not familiar with. This meant that we had to do a lot of research.”
“Fortunately, our engineers don’t give up easily and now they know this brand inside out. But this meant a very intensive engineering phase. We were delighted to be able to work with Sarens again. We had already engineered and built panels for their CS5000, a jack module with a capacity of 5,000 tonnes. That was also a tough job, but this crane is in a different category altogether”, said Alejandro and Nick decisively.
After an extensive test period, the SGC-250 will soon be moving from Belgium to the United Kingdom, where it will receive its baptism of fire: the construction of a nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point.
- 6 Powerpacks,
- 14 panels for winches and slewing, 20A.
- 4 panels for lifting, 20A.
- 1 paster panel,
- 20 metres of panels