Chains to beat typhoons

22 May 2008

Igus plastic energy chain systems, used on three dockside cranes at the southern harbour of the Pudong district of Shanghai, China, are still going strong after six years. The cranes, on the mouth of the Yangtze river, are owned by Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company (SWS).

“For more than six years, the energy supply systems made by this Cologne [Germany] company have been working reliably under the most difficult environmental conditions. Harsh winds, lashing rain, and saltwater prevail at the mouth of the Yangtze. The annual, two-month monsoon season, in particular, brings with it the risk of corrosion,” says Igus.

The Igus energy chain systems carry loads of 30 kg/m over distances of 180 m. Even a typhoon, two years ago, did not lead to a shutdown of the operation says Zhang Quan, director of the development department at SWS: “Since its delivery, the Igus energy supply system has been running without any problems and required only minimum maintenance. As a result, we have achieved enormous savings in manpower and materials,” Quan adds.

SWS also uses Igus Chainflex cables to complement its energy chains. “In some parts of our equipment we still use normal ship wiring cables. But these cables quickly become cracked and tend to break easily. With flexible Chainflex cables, however, we have not had a single breakdown in recent years.”

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