07 May 2008
Manufacturers on the first day of the World of Concrete had reason to be concerned. On opening, exhibit halls had only a modest turnout, at best. Yet, worries were soon put to rest as the day progressed and the show blossomed into the annual event we all have come to expect.
Many new products were launched. For example, distributor SBU Hoists showcased the Chinese manufacturer Shanghai Baoda Engineering Machinery's new personnel and material construction hoist elevators.
The S6000- and S7000-C/DC units, which are double-caged and have capacities of 6000 and 7000 lb (2720 and 3120 kg) respectively, are powered by SEW motors with a variable frequency drive. Each unit can travel up to 300 fpm (91 m/min) simultaneously. Relatively lightweight machines, the units are easily transported on a standard trailer.
Massimo Toni, general manager for Madrid's AS Climber – represented in the US by America-AS Mast Climbers – introduced a new mast climbing system used for demolition of industrial chimneys. Although the system wasn't there, the company held a press conference to report on the unit.
The XMH system runs on four masts and has a capacity up to 35000 lb (15900 kg). The platform can hold demolition equipment, working its way down as the deconstruction process begins. It has a speed of elevation at 39 fpm (12 m/min). Its platform width is 6 ½ ft (1.7 m).
Its key feature is that if the platform hits some unexpected during its descent, the whole system will absorb the shock without a problem, said Mr Toni.
Hoists from Europe
The big news was the introduction of Hydro Mobile's distribution of Netherland's Raxtar. The Raxtar hoist is a material and personnel lift that operates very similarly to an elevator. With built-in sensors that detect floor levels, the hoist can travel to any floor for material loading/off oading. The hoists are available with car lengths of 10 ft, 6 in (3.2 m) to 13 ft, 1 in (4 m), lifting speeds of 135 to 300 fpm (41.1 to 91.4 m/min), and capacities of 3300 to 7000 lb (1500 to 3200 kg).
The product features an automated system that greases the rack and pinion for easier maintenance for renters. Inside the elevator is a (bilingual) monitor that displays information on the hoist, such as self-diagnosis and user guidelines.
The company, which operates a rental business that supplies mast climbers and hoists, had met Hydro Mobile at Bauma last year, where Raxtar gave a presentation on its hoist. Pascal Matheeuwsen, co-founder of Raxtar, said Hydro Mobile impressed them the most of all the companies it met there.
“What we did, we looked at service calls for many years in the rental business and tried to solve the major problems that all hoists have – in our eyes – and we came up with this concept,” said Mr Matheeuwsen. “We met Hydro Mobile, and got talking, and noticed the American market was very interesting for us.”
Hydro Mobile also brought its F Series swivel bridge accessory that allows angles from 0 to 45° for complex building configurations and round/contour shapes.
North American Hoists
Beta Max exhibited in two booths this year, inside and outdoors. Outside, the company featured its Max Climber 6000P Passenger Hoist System, which has a lifting capacity of 6000 lb (2700 kg) and can hold a maximum of 35 passengers. The cabin is 156 in (4 m) long and 59 in (1.5 m) wide by 96 (2.4 m) in high. Available in single- or dual-cabin configurations, the lift can travel up to 1000 ft (300 m) high at speeds up to 180 fpm (55 m/min).
The company also showcased its new MH 880 hoist. The product is a small hoist for masons at a reasonable price, said Dennis Mannion, president of Beta Max. The hoist can freestand up to 30 ft (9.1 m) and has a capacity of 800 lb (363 kg).
Fraco debuted its new Transporter single tower transport platform that can be operated with one or two cabins (see Access International, Jan-Feb 2008). Using the ACT lifting technology, the system can travel up to 39 fpm (11.9 m/min) with a capacity of 8000 lb (3640 kg) for a single cabin and up to 10000 lb (4550 kg) with both cabins. According to the company, the unit is targeted at general contractors and hand-trowel subcontractors.
Two light-duty mast climbing units were new that EZ Scaffold, the family owned business operated by the Bridges, introduced at WoC. The QL (Quick Lift) mast climber is for 30 ft (9.1 m) of working height and can be powered by gas or electricity. “It's light-duty so guys can roll it around inside or can be towed behind a pick up or picked up by a forklift. It's fully self-contained, has 14 to 24 ft (4.4 to 7.3 m) of linear wall that it can cover and has 1500 lb (680 kg) capacity. It's a real handy light duty unit,” said the company's Clint Bridges, sales manager.
It also brought on its new AS Climber light-duty mast climber. This is an electric unit that is 19 ft (5.8 m) wide in a single tower and has 1100 lb (500 kg) of capacity. This high-speed electric rack and pinion mast climbing system can go 330 ft (100 m) high.
Like other mast climbing companies, Mr Bridges reports the WoC is a good venue for finding new distributors and as the second day of the show began, said he “probably” already had three new dealers. Furthermore, everything in its booth at the show, with its new concrete mixers and scaffold systems, were sold. A relatively new company to the mast climbing, Mr Bridges said it is continuously trying to add new mast climbers to its range to go along with its current heavy-duty, high-capacity units. The company said it will introduce another “high speed” mast climber unit next year at WoC.
Ontario's Klimer brought along its KTP3 transport and platform hoist that runs on a single mast and has a capacity of 3500 lb (1600 kg). The unit has hydraulic ramps on both ends of the platform that are controlled from the operator station. Its 14 ft (4.3 m) length and 6 ½ ft (2 m) width platform is designed for bulky and awkward loads, the company said. It can travel at 39 fpm (11.9 m/min).
“It's a pretty simple device,” said Klimer president Jay Gordon. “The unit is gas powered but can be electrically powered.” Mr Gordon said key features are hydraulic ramps that address the “18-inch gap” and its interchangeable components that are compatible with other Klimer systems.
Bennu Parts & Service brought its new Continuous-Climb Self-Leveling Work Platform system that owner Jerry Castle has been engineering for the last three years. The system has single-button operation and 20000 lb (9000 kg) capacity.
“This unit is simple, easy to operate for any one to use,” said Mr Castle. The work platform is targeted at brick and block masons and can be used in lengths up to 120 ft (36 m). “You can do any configuration you want.”