New Potain tower tops MD range

By Euan Youdale21 February 2011

The new Potain MD 560 B saddle jib tower crane at the Atocha project, Madrid, Spain

The new Potain MD 560 B saddle jib tower crane at the Atocha project, Madrid, Spain

Manitowoc has introduced a model to its Potain MD tower crane line designed for infrastructure work, including dams, bridges and other large construction projects.

The Potain MD 560 B is the largest in the company's MD range. It has a 550 tonne-metre rating and is available in 25 or 40 tonne capacity versions. The first cranes are already on site, helping with expansion work at Madrid's Atocha rail terminal, the largest in the Spanish capital.

Despite being large, the Potain MD 560 B is engineered with Manitowoc's focus on easier transportation and erection, said the manufacturer.

Diego Jurado, sales manager at Potain dealer Ibergruas, said the company got the cranes working quickly, despite local restrictions. "It only took six regular work days to unload 11 trucks, prepare the ground, erect and commission the highest MD 560 B," Jurado said. "The site has restricted access and many surrounding electrical lines, and we had to make several mobile crane lifts from long radii."

The 25 tonne prototypes of the new MD 560 B are working for main contractor Dragados. The cranes will stay at the job site for 12 months and eventually reach working heights of about 49 m.

Platforms on the counterjib of the MD 560 B are the same as those on the MD 485 B, and Manitowoc engineers have re-examined access to make it easier for riggers. The crane has new design and improved tie bars on the counterjib and an updated cat head. The tie bars are integrated into the counterjib for faster and safer erection, and each component in the crane has a clearly positioned plate for simple identification, said the company.

The jib can either be erected in the air in three pieces or it can be placed as a single piece. The former means smaller lifts are required, while the latter means jib assembly can be done at ground level. Attaching the jib's tie bars is simple using Potain's 'pear-shaped' hole system, and assembling the tie bars is easier with the integrated auxiliary winch, added the manufacturer.

"This new crane shares many common features with the rest of the MD range," said Jean-Pierre Zaffiro, global product manager for tower cranes. "We've worked hard to make this crane easier and faster to erect and more productive once it's working. We've improved lifting ability and customers will see a real advantage in the chart, especially making picks at the jib end."

The RVF 183 Optima+ slewing mechanism is standard and offers smooth, frequency-controlled rotation of the crane, added Manitowoc. Lifting power comes from the 100 LVF 63 winch on the 25 tonne version or the new 270 LVF 100 on the 40 tonne version. The 270 LVF 100 is a 201 kW hoist with 10 tonnes capacity per line, giving the crane its 40 tonne maximum when working in four falls.

Overall, lift performance is improved by more than 12%, in comparison to earlier models, according to the manufacturer. When working with an 80 m jib, as are the cranes at the Madrid project, the 25 tonne MD 560 B has a 26% lift advantage over competitors, Manitowoc claimed. This allows it to lift 5.4 tonnes at the jib end. The 40 tonne version of the MD 560 B, working with a 70 m jib, can lift 7.5 tonnes at the jib end.

All MD 560 Bs will have Potain's new Ultra View cab. The MD range is just below the MD Maxi range, the manufacturer's largest line of tower cranes.

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