June 2008 International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine editor's comment

04 March 2009

Alex Dahm

Alex Dahm

Stop and think. Take a moment to consider. Pause for thought. We know we should and we are often told, in a myriad of ways, to do so but how often does it actually happen? I bet that nearly always the reality view is that there is no time to think about things, only to get on and do them. This can have serious implications.

The part of any activity that constitutes or requires conscious thought is vital to achieving anything approaching its success let alone its ultimate potential. Crane design is an example. Consider the phenomenal amount of thought that needs to go into creating a crane. In addition to the teams of engineers working on the structure and other mechanical elements, there are hundreds if not thousands of brains involved in designing the components, the manufacturing system, facilities and related processes, plus the computers, software and general communication devices and systems that are used, in addition to marketing and promotion and any number of other elements in the supply chain that there is no space here to include.

On the subject of thought, a user trip is one of the most basic tools that all designers, or anyone else for that matter, has in their armoury against bad design and poor functionality of an object or system. It is also a simple concept in that, you just "take a trip", from the user's point of view, through the process of using whatever is under review.

If you have the right questions and are suitably observant and critical, much can be revealed about shortcomings and ways that a design can be improved. Give it a try. It is interesting and valuable. Good design in all aspects of daily life and work is vital. Giving it due consideration pays dividends that extend further than might be imagined.

Aside from design, a highlight of this month's issue is the IC50 ranking of the world's largest crane-owning companies. Now in its 13th year, it is more comprehensive than ever. Highlights include a record total of 123 entries, more than 20 of which are in the list for the first time. The highest is in at 11th place and there is much movement up and down the table. See the feature starting on page 17 of the June 2008 issue for the full story on this year's positions.

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