Technical challenge for Ponticelli

14 December 2018

A series of challenges had to be overcome by French crane rental company Ponticelli Frères to place a blower unit on the roof of a building in Paris, France.

The two-tonne blower had to be lifted onto the roof of the Montparnasse Station in the 15th Arrondissement for customer Axima. Challenges included restricted space, a difficult traffic situation, and a short time to complete the lift. The company chose its 500 tonne capacity AC 500-2 telescopic all terrain type crane to take on the job.

Before the physical work began there were bureaucratic obstacles to negotiate. “We had lots of discussions with SNCF [the rail transport company], Paris public transportation operator RATP, the responsible department of motor vehicles, and the city council in order to agree on the best way to get the crane to the work site and operate it there,” explained Louis-Arthur de Quatrebarbes, Ponticelli project manager.

Preparations included temporary re-routing of bus lanes and pedestrian walkways around the work site. In addition, space restrictions meant everything had to be precisely organised and an elaborate site map for all components and loads had to be produced.

Meticulous planning was need just to get the crane to site at the back of the station. “We drove the AC 500-2 from our branch office in Vitry-sur-Seine, south of Paris, to the Montparnasse site within an hour on Sunday night. To save time, we used two teams with seven assembly technicians in order to set up the crane. A total of 12 trucks were required in order to transport all attachments and crane accessories, as well as the required 180-tonne counterweight,” de Quatrebarbes said.

The crane had to lift loads up to five tonnes at a radius of 96 metres to a maximum height of 85 m. “To achieve this, we set it up with a WIHI-SSL configuration with a luffing fly jib and with the full counterweight,” explained Jeoffray Lefort, crane operator.

Over two days, including a night shift, and with the help of a 100 tonne capacity assist crane the AC 500-2 was prepared for the lift. Ponticelli checked with Terex Cranes if it could use the smallest hook block, with two-part reeving. “Once we got the green light from Terex Cranes, there was nothing in the way of using the AC 500-2, and we were able to forego using a bigger crane,” said de Quatrebarbes. After a week the project was completed.

Ponticelli Frères was founded in 1921 when it started with erecting and maintaining industrial chimneys. The family-owned company gained a reputation as a specialist in tough projects, especially in the area of assembly and crane work. Today the Ponticelli family still owns 80 % of the company.

A video of the lifting project is here:






Ponticelli Montparnasse

Ponticelli Frères lifting a blower onto the roof of Montparnasse station, Paris

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