A turntable crane system has been installed at the Hereford, UK foundry of superalloy manufacturer, Special Metals Wiggin (SMWL), which features a pair of EUROBLOC VT3 series electric wire rope hoist manufactured by VERLINDE. Sitting either side of the crab unit, the hoists support loads up to a combined total of 16 tonnes. The bespoke crane system was designed and implemented by Pelloby, which has been working as a UK distributor of VERLINDE products for several decades.
SMWL’s products, which include Inconel, Nimonic, Udimet and Monel, are engineered to offer a combination of heat resistance, corrosion resistance, strength and toughness in some of today's industries and applications.
The company produces nickel alloys in all standard forms, from large ingots and billets to plate, sheet, tube, bar and extruded section. Naturally, some of the alloy goods are large and heavy, which means the application of a capable crane system in the foundry is a prerequisite.
SMWL regularly looks to invest in new foundry machinery and equipment in order to streamline ongoing operations, and the thinking behind this latest crane was to offer a way of quickly rotating lengthy or cumbersome goods and materials when moving them between various workstation or storage positions.
Having ordered several overhead, jib and portal cranes from PELLOBY in the past, the company was well aware of the scalable nature of the UK crane manufacturer´s design and production process. Indeed, this proved to be a big part of the reasoning behind the selection of PELLOBY for this specific project.
The system solution supplied to Special Metals incorporates a special turntable crane which utilises a 360° slewing crab unit that can traverse freely along two double-girder overhead beams. Spanning 23,470mm the crane´s girders are supported by existing gantry steelwork within the building. A handheld radio control is used to operate the longitudinal motion of the beam, the crab movement and the turntable´s rotation.
The two VERLINDE EUROBLOC electric wire rope hoists are VT3 models, each offering a safe working load of eight tonnes. Further features of the system include a two-speed parallel rotor hoist motor with low starting current, thermal protection to the hoist motor and a self-adjusting disc brake. In addition, there is a compact hoist gearbox featuring heat-treated gears and a precision machined rope drum with high ratio to rope diameter.
Marcus Upcott, Engineering Supervisor at SMWL commented: “Where previously we might have had to use a forklift truck to ensure these goods were facing in the right direction before deploying one of our existing cranes, being able to rotate materials as they are being moved has helped improve our workplace efficiency immeasurably.”