The lack of any tower crane manufacturers at what was meant to be SAIE's bi-annual tower crane year was a sign of the difficult economic conditions that still exist in Italy.
Major manufacturers like Liebherr and Terex chose not to attend October's annual exhibition held in Bologna, Italy either, although the latter was represented by a distributor. As a result, the usually bustling outermost halls and outside areas were notably emptier.
SAIE organisers said, however, the show had seen 1% more professional visitors than the 2009 exhibition, with the figure standing at 168,000. Some 6,800 of these visitors came from outside Italy, said the show's press office. In total there were 1,500 exhibitors, 302 of them being from outside the country.
The knuckle boom manufacturers were certainly out in force with a range of interesting new products. Together with the emergence of two new crane producers, there was enough news to make this a successful show for a visiting crane magazine.
A notable feature in the knuckle boom area was the number of new range topping machines. High capacity models included the 138 tonne metre rated F1800AXP from Fassi. There are three versions up to eight hydraulic extensions with a maximum reach of 19.4 m.
Effer presented what it describes as the most powerful knuckle boom ever built, with the 250 tonne metre Effer 2455 Progress. The maximum seven stage boom with six jib extensions, reaching 59 m, can be supplied in three configurations: on a truck with double subframe, on crawler tracks with a subframe, or on remote controlled crawler tracks without a subframe. The crane features the company's progress control system and is mounted on the most advanced version of its CroSStab stabiliser system.
The inclusion of new rough terrain crane manufacturer PC Produzioni, which launched its first unit at the end of last year, and pick and carry producer JMG, showing its range for the first time on an international stage, were also notable additions to last year's show, (see separate news stories).
The usual wheeled mobile manufacturers were also presenting at the exhibition. Locatelli proudly announced it sold 20 cranes to the Panama Canal expansion project this year. the sale includes 12 units of its 30 tonne capacity GRIL 8300T rough terrain and eight units of its 60 tonne capacity GRIL 8600T rough terrian. The project will see the construction of two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean ends. The project is set for completion at the end of 2014, the centennial year of the canal's opening.
Another regular TCM had two stands this year, one showing models produced specifically for the Italian Army. TCM's other stand displayed its new 28 tonne RTC 28 crawler crane. This is designed to be a flexible machine at a relatively low price, and aimed at countries mainly in the former Soviet Union, like Kazakhstan, for example. The crane has four boom sections and a weight of 22 tonnes, making it suitable for a range of environments including wind turbine maintenance, bridge erection and ground preparation work, said the company. Hydraulics are powered by the engine and attachments, such as piling hammers, are easy to fit, added TCM.
For more product news and pictures from SAIE 2010 see the December issue of IC.