Lift-off with Ace
By Christian Shelton15 April 2021
Texas, USA-headquartered material handling solutions specialist Ace World Companies has installed two 250 tonne capacity cranes, each with 25 tonne capacity auxiliary hoists, at a new manufacturing facility in Cape Canaveral, USA.
Ace, which manufacturers overhead cranes and hoists, provided the 201 foot (61 metre) span cranes for an aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company. Ace claims that they are some of the largest top-running cranes ever built at this capacity and span. A third-party consultant provided the failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) to specified NASA standards.
The cranes are operated by radio remote control and can work independently or in tandem. Ace also installed a crane rail and an electrification power bar for the crane’s 500 foot (152 metre) runways.
The cranes have been designed to be single failure proof and include redundant wire rope reeving and emergency caliper wire rope drum brakes. The cranes can communicate wirelessly between each other to work as one machine. They have a micro speed in all directions [hoist, bridge and trolley] which can move at six inches per minute.
Ace integrated the crane’s machinery and structural elements with components from other manufacturers, including Siemens controls and Pintsch Bubenzer brakes.
The cranes have been painted with two coats of epoxy safety yellow paint and an additional coat of safety yellow urethane. Ace said it also met other rigid tender requirements (issued by a contractor) including timely delivery. Both cranes took a year to manufacture and it took 24 trucks to transport them to the site in Cape Canaveral.
The cranes have a Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) Class C duty rating, which classifies them for moderate service.
Information about the type and shape of loads that the cranes will lift has not been disclosed. It is known that the cranes have hooks that will connect to rigging gear and lifting attachments supplied by other companies to allow both cranes to make a 500 tonne capacity tandem lift.
According to Kevin Beavers, executive vice president at Ace, “This is another example of a landmark project where we emerged as the favoured overhead crane and hoist manufacturer, based on a variety of criteria. That included delivering and extensive operator training with the client, although we will not be required to provide periodic inspection and maintenance in this instance.”