Vacuworx Australasia has announced the launch of a new distributor and commissioning of a new vacuum lifting system, marking the lifting equipment manufacturer’s official entrance into the Chinese marketplace.
Lou Guevara, managing director of Vacuworx Australasia, was first approached by Mr. Tsao Xinquan, a Chinese entrepreneur, during their mutual attendance of Oil & Gas Vietnam 2017. Following that encounter, Mr. Xinquan and three of his business companions invited Mr. Guevara to visit China on a tour of steel mills, each one interested in an improved method of handling pipe.
The four men formed a new company, Shanghai Xiyong Industrial Equipment Company, Ltd., a newly authorised distributor of Vacuworx lifting systems that deals exclusively in the sale and promotion of Vacuworx products.
During visits to China Guevara captured data that would be used by Vacuworx’s engineers to propose a custom in-plant vacuum lifting solution for North China Petroleum Steel Pipe Company, Ltd., (NCPS) one of the China’s largest manufactures of steel pipe.
In July 2018, a presentation of final design specifications resulted in an order by NCPS for a Vacuworx GC 20, an electric-powered, PLC-driven vacuum lifting system with four vacuum pads designed to handle pipe ranging from 508mm OD to 1,210mm OD.
Coupled with a two-rope gantry crane, the GC 20 lifter has been permanently installed at NCPS’ Qingxian factory where workers are using the equipment to streamline the process of loading welded pipe onto trucks for transfer to a pipe coating facility in another building on the same site.
The lifter, implemented by NCPS as a faster and safer alternative to traditional cable-and-sling rigging methods, is optimised for real-time control via smart operation technology that includes a multi-camera system and touchscreen capabilities, providing visual diagnostics on every lift.
Mr. Xinquan, general manager of Shanghai Xiyong Industrial Equipment, said he perceives great opportunities for vacuum lifting equipment in China amid increasing global demand for the technology. Many calls for this type of equipment, he said, are being driven by concerns over safety, efficiency and reliability during rigorous pipe handling tasks, both in the plant and the field.