Rebuilding history

11 April 2008

In the late 1920s Ford's Rouge plant became the largest industrial complex in the world

In the late 1920s Ford's Rouge plant became the largest industrial complex in the world

Ford s Rouge Plant in the US, built in the 1920s by automobile magnate Henry Ford, is undergoing a major rebuild. Part of the project includes the replacement of the “C” blast furnace. Morrow Equipment's 1,800 tonne-metre Liebherr 1800 C top slewing saddle jib, or hammerhead, tower crane is instrumental in the furnace upgrade.

Initially, the tower crane assisted in the demolition phase of the more than 50-year-old steel furnace. Once the teardown was complete the 1800 C was used to help erect a new furnace fitted with the latest in steel making technology.

While Ford no longer owns the steel facilities at the Rouge but production continues to this day. SeverStal North America purchased the steel operations a few years ago and is investing US$300 million to upgrade the furnace.

Graycor, the project general contractor, and Metro Industrial Contracting selected the 1800 C from Morrow Equipment because of the crane's ability to be adapted to the requirements of the Dearborn project.

Configured with a hook height of 270 feet (82 m) and a 218 foot (66 m) jib, the 66 US ton (60 tonne) maximum capacity tower crane is well suited to the tight work area adjacent to the furnace, according to Morrow.

Erected in July 2007, the crane was scheduled to finish by the end of October 2007. The “C” blast furnace was out of service for 100 days during the demolition and replacement process.

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