Wind Turbines Blow In New Era For Mechan Cranes

4th April 2014

Heavy lifting specialist, Sheffield-based Mechan, is spearheading development of jib cranes, designed specifically for use on offshore wind turbines.

With help from the University of Sheffield, the manufacturer has completed the design of a platform crane that can transfer goods to and from supply vessels in high seas. The university's mechanical engineer, Tom Iverson, has been working with Mechan on the two year project, which comes to an end in September. He has helped create a crane with a three metre outreach that can be attached to the base of a wind turbine to load/off load materials and maintenance equipment from boats. Richard Carr, Mechan's managing director, said: -Although we have produced jib cranes for many hazardous applications and environments, finding a design that would work with vessels moving unpredictably presented additional technical issues we had not encountered previously. We knew the University of Sheffield would have the research skills to overcome these challenges and we are very pleased to have a finished design well within the development window. Tom's project at Mechan has been facilitated by the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, which offers businesses access to collaborative funding and academic expertise, to design new products, improve processes, introduce new systems and discover new markets. Richard added: -Rapid growth in offshore wind farms has brought the logistical needs of these developments to the attention of suppliers such as Mechan. We are now looking forward to producing a prototype that will enable us to showcase our new crane and demonstrate how it will improve the efficiency and safety of construction at sea. To comply with the Lloyds Register Code for Lifting Appliances in a Marine Environment, Mechan's crane has to be suitable for operation in Sea State Three. The jib has a 1300kg safe working load, 20m/min hoisting speed, 270-degree manual geared slew and will be given a marine specification paint finish. Mechan is one of the UK's leading manufacturers of cranes and hoists, supplying clients from the power generation industry, including Areva Transmissions, Siemens and Rolls Royce. For more information about its range of lifting products, telephone (0114) 257 0563 or visit www.mechan.co.uk

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