Germany-based Peiner SMAG Lifting Technologies GmbH (SMAG) has introduced a high-volume radio controlled single-rope grab (EGF 60) for operation with container cranes at the Port of Aarhus, Denmark’s biggest container port.
SMAG was approached by the port with a request for a grab that would allow an existing STS container crane to handle bulk cargo. Since the crane is not equipped with the necessary hoisting gear/ winches, mechanical two-rope and four-rope grabs could not be considered.
“Hydraulic and electro-hydraulic motor grabs require a wide range of accessories to be installed on the crane, and would go beyond the planned budget,” said SMAG. “Diesel grabs, on the other hand, are known to have a negative impact on safety, and provide limited operational flexibility. For the required handling capacity of more than 30 m3, the grab must have a powerful engine, as well as an exhaust system to meet the latest emission standards.”
After checking all possibilities, SMAG concluded that the EGF, as successfully applied to shipboard cranes over the past 15 years, was the only workable solution. However, typically shipboard cranes have 12-15 m3 grabs, but Aarhus wanted a 32 m3 volume, to make full use of the crane’s lifting capacity when handling animal feed, wood pellets and wood chips. As such, the EGF 60s supplied are the largest radio controlled single-rope grabs ever built by SMAG.
In addition to new design engineering of the basic unit with special cylinders, the grabs have a single, centralised lubrication point for ease of maintenance, and they are fitted with a sensor that transmits real-time operational status to the crane controls and crane driver by wireless communication.
The rope suspension system allows the two cranes equipped with grabs to be operated transversally, as well as along the trolley axis. SMAG’s scope of supply included an adapter unit in the form of special load traversers, or lifting beams, to connect the grab with the crane headblock. The traversers incorporate proximity sensor, light and camera systems, control cabinets and electrical plugs.