The Lightweight Service Crane is a series of new designs from ALE for lifting in confined spaces on offshore and civils construction projects.
Limited space is a major challenge for lifting operations on offshore and high rise construction projects. While ALE has designed and built some of the world’s largest cranes that can lift in from long radius, its latest design is for a relatively small crane that can be positioned right in there close to the action.
As the first in a series the new model is the smallest, lifting 6 tonnes to a 12 metre radius. Its light weight is by virtue of the fact that it is all made of aluminium. Other models are planned, including larger steel ones that can be doubled up (two units side by side) to give a capacity of 180 tonnes.
Its modular components can be assembled by hand and, with the vertical mast erected, this can be used to self-build the rest of the crane. Each part can fit in an elevator and be moved along access walkways or up and down stairs. The heaviest piece, at 90 kg, is the ring and winches while all the other components are a maximum of 25 kg and can be carried by hand, Richard Verhoeff, ALE sales manager, explained to IC&ST.
It uses a Tirfor type winch for hoisting which gives a basically unrestricted height of lift as the rope spools, unloaded, in a cage rather than onto a drum. This allows its use on the top of high rise buildings so that it can hoist, for example, air conditioning units directly from ground level all the way up to the roof.
The crane is certified for offshore, subsea and onshore operations. Two types are available, the offshore one with three guy wires for stability, and the civils construction type with lattice type triangular truss guy legs and ballast blocks.
More than 50 ALE customers in the offshore and civils construction industry were shown the first crane in a launch event at ALE’s Breda office in the Netherlands. Harrie Smetsers, ALE research and development manager, gave a presentation. He explained the background to the idea, “R&D first conceived the idea back in 2015 after we saw a gap in the market for a lightweight and versatile offshore handling system that can also be used for our onshore clients and on other ALE projects. We wanted to offer standardised lifting solutions that could work on different, complex offshore assets, as well as our existing solutions.”