Mortenson uses MLC650 crawler to assemble 91 wind turbines

By Katherine Weir15 September 2016

Mortenson Construction using a Manitowoc MLC650 crawler at the South Plains II wind farm in Lockney,

Mortenson Construction using a Manitowoc MLC650 crawler at the South Plains II wind farm in Lockney, Texas

Minnesota, USA-based Mortenson Construction is using a Manitowoc MLC650 crawler at the South Plains II wind farm in Lockney, Texas to assemble 91 wind turbine towers.

The company is said to be changing the way in which the wind turbines are constructed with a method that would not have been possible with the last generation of crawler cranes.

The MLC650, configured with luffing jib and variable position counterweight (VPC-Max) attachments, is assembling the 194 US ton (approximately 176 tonne) turbines on the ground and then lifting the fully assembled nacelles 91 metres into the air before attaching them to the top of the tower.

Steven Klatt, crane manager at Mortenson, said, “With this crane configuration, not only are we much more efficient, we can better control the quality of the turbine assembly. Building it on the ground instead of in the air is much easier, and the VPC-Max gives us more radius to work with. It also enables us to do just one pick versus four picks - that’s pretty powerful. At Mortenson we have a commitment to lean innovation, and minimizing critical picks aligns with our goal of driving waste out of the construction process.”

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