Airbus move and lift

15 April 2008

To avoid tight and time consuming manoeuvres police had to temporarily closed stretches of road to a

To avoid tight and time consuming manoeuvres police had to temporarily closed stretches of road to allow the Titschkus transport to ghost- ride

The Airbus A380 continues to make headlines. Production of the largest commercial passenger aircraft T herequires a ma Airbus A380jor logistical network to get allcontinues to makecomponents and parts at the right place just in time for further machining or assembly. Manufacturing those parts and components also requires a wide range of tools, from standard machine tools to large and sophisticated presses.

To form the aluminium framework the Airbus works in Nordenham, Germany acquired a large and high-tech stretch bending machine from manufacturer Hydro Control in the small town of Jaderberg, just 20 km from the Airbus works. The heart of the machine, weighing 160 tonnes, was completely pre-assembled at the Hydro Control factory.

Titschkus, a heavy transport specialist from Bremen, Germany, was contracted to carry out the transport. A road and site survey by a team from Titschkus, carried out prior to the transport, revealed that despite the short distance between the loading and discharging location the structural required passing through a number of small and towns ith narrow access.

Based on the outcome of the route survey, together with the requirements from the German permit authorities, Titschkus planned to use a 16 axle line Goldhofer THP/ST hydraulic modular trailer with a short intermediate load platform. The machine was loaded on to the trailer the day before the transport to allow for an early start the next day. A 600 hp MAN ballasted tractor unit from Titschkus provided the traction for the loaded Goldhofer platform trailer.

The transport was accompanied by police escorts and a special BF3 company escort vehicle. In addition, a Titschkus crew and a truck with knuckle boom crane went ahead to temporarily remove street furniture. The crew also laid out steel plating in tight corners where the 39 m long tractor-trailer combination, with its 4 m wide load, required additional room to manoeuvre.

In some of the small towns the tight roads and crossings required the crew to manoeuvre the MAN-Goldhofer combination using the maximum 60 degree steering angle of the axles of the THP/ST. The good preparations paid off, as the transport arrived at the gate of the Airbus plant in Nordenham only three hours later. But, this was only part one of the operation.

Following the arrival of the machine it had to be delivered inside the factory hall. Interior space was insufficient to allow the 16 axle line trailer to enter and reach the foundation where the machine had to be installed. During the preparatory survey, however, Titschkus took measurements indicating that a shorter 10 line trailer combination could reach the foundation.

This option, however, meant the machine had to be temporarily discharged. As the final installation of the machine on to the foundation also required an hydraulic lift system, the system was first used to lift the machine free from the trailer outside the building. In this way the trailer could be removed, re-configured to a straight 10-line unit and reloaded. With a capacity of 36 tonnes per axle line, the capability was well within the weight of the machine.

The lifting was done using a 400 tonne capacity four leg Hydrospex hydraulic lift system owned and operated by van Harten Heavy Lift in Veenendaal, Holland. Special lifting beams, already fitted to the machine, were rigged to two lifting plates hanging from the overhead beam on each set of lifting towers. The lifting beams stayed in place for final installation of the machine, while the lift towers were moved inside.

Although the length of the trailer was substantially reduced, manoeuvring the loaded trailer inside the hall, through a narrow entrance, and towards the foundation, was still no easy job. The Titschkus crew used all the available steering options on the Goldhofer trailer to manoeuvre the machine in the correct orientation, which took about 30 minutes.

From there the lifting crew of van Harten Heavy Lift took over again. The Hydrospex lifting frame was reinstalled and again the machine was lifted, this time to lower it straight on to its foundation once the trailer was removed. In this way the stretch bending machine was safely installed on to its foundation. The operation blocked the exit, however, so the trailer had to find its way out through the factory at the other side of the hall.

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