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

04 March 2009

Alex Dahm

Alex Dahm

A month in and things have yet to settle down in the world financial sector and the wider economy. It is still unclear what will happen. This month's issue features our annual ICm20 ranking of the world's top 20 largest crane manufacturers by value and the top 10 remains largely unchanged from the previous year. Next year, however, when the table will reflect the effects of the current economic situation, it will be expected to show some significant changes. Such massive winds of change in such a short time will have far reaching implications for all but, in particular, for those who do not work internationally.

Talking of wind, erecting and maintaining turbines to generate electricity is still one of the busiest areas of application for cranes around the world, especially in the US, India, China, Germany and Spain. New techniques and variations on a theme continue to be developed in terms of erecting turbines quickly and cheaply. For more on this see the feature starting on page 15.

In addition to wind turbines in India, construction of other types of power plant there are a primary growth area, as is expansion of petrochemical plants. An example is the Reliance Refinery at Jamnagar. Back in 1998 I visited this refinery during its initial construction. At that time it was reported that there were 1,000 cranes working there on the site that measured 17 km from one end to the other. The current project - just ten years later - will double the capacity of the existing facility.

Vital to the success of power projects and all other lifting operations is the rigging and what links the hook with the load. In these cases and in an increasing number of others, synthetic slings are the link. While they are more than capable of taking huge loads and they are light and easy to handle, they need to be cared for and inspected - just as any other piece of equipment of this type that is safety critical does. For more on below the hook equipment and a better understanding of slings in particular, see the feature starting on page 27.
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