Talking innovation

15 April 2008

Philippe Cohet, executive vice president of Manitowoc Crane Group in Europe, Africa, Middle East (EM

Philippe Cohet, executive vice president of Manitowoc Crane Group in Europe, Africa, Middle East (EMEA)

“The first thing to note about the GTK,”says Philippe Cohet, EVP, Manitowoc Crane Group, EMEA, “is that it's f an innovation policy that we'vefor some time”.

A direct result o Cohet says that the innovation of the GTK, and at MCG as a whole, develops directly from industry needs, rather than using the latest technology simply because it is available. “Our aim is to optimise job productivity for our customers and develop the greatest return on investment that we can for them. We are motivated to innovate by our customers”

Early promotional material for the GTK emphasised that, while branded as Grove, it actually incorporates engineering from the three main arms of the company: Manitowoc, Grove and Potain. The GTK has the upper works of the Grove GMK7450 all terrain crane but technology, for example, the telescoping mast, is more commonly seen on the Potain HD range of self-erecting tower cranes.

“Manitowoc Crane Group is able to harness its resources as the only major manufacturer focused solely on the crane industry,”says Cohet. “There are always 100% of our efforts going in to lifting solutions. The GTK is the result of our engineers sharing their own know-how and experience.”

The GTK is different from other current lifting solutions but the applications it targets already exist. This raises the question of whether the GTK will actually compete with existing large all terrain cranes and crawler cranes in the company'sge. Cohet insists this. “The GTK is a breakthrough concept that will complement existing crawler crane and all terrain crane technology,”he says. “What it does is lower the cost of operation on jobs where loads must be lifted to relatively tall heights or where setup space is limited. We think it has a defined project profile, albeit in a wide range of industries.

”Much of the attention surrounding the GTK is on its suitability for wind power projects but Cohet highlights applications such as placing air-conditioning units, working on power stations, fitting chimney stacks, erecting mobile phone towers and working on power lines as just some applications for it.

Cohet did not comment on order numbers or customer names but he does say he is “very pleased”with the industry response. He also confirms that deliveries of the GTK will be made around the world.

With the first shipments just months away, it will be interesting to see just how much of an impact the GTK will have in the field and if there are any wider implications for the crane industry.

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