To meet the increasing need for modernising materials handling equipment, solutions provider Terex Materials Handling & Port Solutions (MHPS) has refurbished two 36 m, 30 t scrap-handling cranes as part of a crane modernisation and modifications project for a major steel producer in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng.
The Terex Corporation, having acquired Demag Cranes in 2013, is able to offer a wide range of products and services, such as repairs, maintenance, inspections, training, refurbishments, overhaul and consulting. The company also manufactures products such as cranes, hoist units for safe load handling, drive solutions, components, accessories and KBK-light crane systems for load capabilities of up to 3.2 t.
Terex MHPS project engineer Antonio Da Costa tells Engineering News that the company was tasked with refurbishing the scrap-handling cranes, which pick up scrap with magnets and move it to a furnace.
This project, valued at about R3-million, was undertaken and completed in August. It required four men on site and took 21 working days to modify the cranes to improve performance. The process included the reinforcing of all areas of the cranes and the installation of two gearboxes.
“The upgrades represent an important investment in the performance of an existing crane and serve as a cost-effective measure that reduces the possibility of downtime significantly,” says Da Costa, stressing the success of Terex MHPS in completing the project within the allocated timeframe.
He believes that the advantages of the company’s services include the local manufacturing of standard and customised gearboxes accor- ding to client specifications. The company also uses its own designs for upgrading the cranes, which, in turn, leads to shorter turnaround times, he points out.
“Quality, reliability and performance are the driving factors for the continuous development of Terex MHPS’s leading-edge products,” he points out.
Terex MHPS sales manager Richard Roughly reaffirms that, following Terex’s acquisition of Demag Cranes, the company can now provide complete intermodal solutions, from ship to shore to rail and to road.
This year, the company aims to implement a three-pronged strategy, which will result in its increasing its local sales complement and distri- butor network in sub-Saharan Africa, and bolster its support to this network, Roughly explains.
“We see a significant possibility in the potential growth of the company into sub-Saharan Africa and would, therefore, like to partner with at least six additional distributors this year,” he reasons.
These distributors will, ideally, have to be located in growth areas such as Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Angola.
Roughly acknowledges the lingering effects of the decline in commodity prices in the past year, which has resulted in a sharp decline in business and local economic growth.
While this slowdown and lack of investment in the industry at large have subsequently resulted in a decline in the sales of new equipment, such as process cranes, he emphasises an upswing in the modernisation and modification of existing equipment, citing the major steel producer’s crane modernisation and modification project as a key example of demand.
“This is a significant business aspect for Demag Cranes,” he says, reasoning that demand will follow from the resurgence of investment in Southern Africa, paired with the need for old and outdated equipment to be refurbished or modernised.
Terex MHPS will also launch a new crane and girder technology locally in March. Roughly explains that the new V-girder-type crane features tapered diaphragm joints, which reduce oscillation frequency by 30% and its girder weight by an average of 17%, yet doubling its design life span.
Since its launch in late 2013 and early 2014 in Europe, the V-Girder technology has won various international design and innovation awards, such as the German Industrie Preis, the Reddot Award and the Design Award, all in 2015.
Meanwhile, Terex MHPS will launch the Demag modular rope hoist later this year.
“Similar to 2015, we believe that business growth this year will come from sub-Saharan Africa, supported by the sales of standard cranes and the demand for the V-girder,” Roughly concludes.