Innovation, Plant & Equipment
03 December 2018
High reach FE300
National Grid/Harpers (United Kingdom);
Volvo Construction Equipment (Korea)
“This was an excellent solution to a tricky problem and demonstrated ‘out of the box’ thinking”
The first of the two manufacturer categories was keenly contested. Ferma Corporation’s eventual success came out of a project that American company Ferma worked on when it was asked to remove the existing drawbridge and supporting structure of the Schuyler Heim Bridge in California.
It included four primary bridge piers, including two in the main active water channel, without the traditional use of cofferdams.
Ferma’s response was to build its own machine, and the FE300 was born. If that sounds simple, what the product actually entailed was taking several machines and their components and re-engineering them into a larger, more stable unit.
In total Ferma spent a year in engineering, modelling and simulation to come up with a machine to do the job in line with the regulations relating to the local California area – but at the same time make a modular machine usable anywhere in the world.
The FE300 weighs more than 362,000 kg (800,000 lb) and can reach more than 90 m (300 ft) in the air or 30 m (100 ft) underwater.
An all new first ever live video, two- and three-dimensional sonar imaging system was engineered for the operator and the ground crew to observe demo together in real time, which helped Ferma to be much more efficient with the demolition of the piers.
Every function of the entire machine was engineered to be 100% completely wirelessly remote controlled from shoreline or up to 4 km (2.5 miles) should safety conditions ever be of concern while working over the water on top of the pier as this job required.