Towering in Berlin
By Alex Dahm06 September 2013
Safety, standards, innovation and market prospects are the primary focus at this year’s International Tower Cranes (ITC) conference. ITC is a unique event devoted entirely to tower crane users, manufacturers, designers, specifiers and buyers. Held again in Berlin, Germany, ITC 2013 will be on 4 and 5 November at the five-star Kempinski Hotel Bristol.
It is run by KHL Group, publisher of International Cranes and Specialized Transport, American Cranes and Transport, Cranes and Project Transport Turkey and a wide portfolio of other construction industry-related magazines and information resources.
The top level one day conference and networking reception will be an opportunity to discuss the critical issues affecting the tower crane industry worldwide. It starts with a drinks reception on the evening of 4 November, with the conference on 5 November. The focus will be on global best practice, safety and the development of common international standards, regulations and work practices.
Last year’s event, also in Berlin, attracted 139 delegates from 70 companies and 23 countries and brought together leading figures from the niche sector in major markets around the world. The first ITC was held in London, UK, in May 2011 and was attended by around 150 industry professionals.
“This conference improves communication of best practice and new ideas between crane users, equipment manufacturers and their associations, with a view to helping participants achieve a world-class standard,” explains Alex Dahm, IC editor and conference chairperson.
In the programme
Among other topics this year, it is planned* to include the latest thinking on the following:
* Prospects for the global construction economy.
* How to be a successful rental company in fast-changing global markets and how to maximise manufacturer support.
* Innovation – the future of collision avoidance technology, radio remote control and other electronic systems.
* Wire rope’s vital but often ignored role in tower crane operation and viability, especially in high rise construction.
* Recruitment, training and the industry’s shrinking knowledge base.
* Safety – quality assurance; the latest accident analyses; visual height warnings; evacuation procedures.
* Foundation design; whose responsibility is it?
Also on the agenda are a special feature on the key issues in the tower crane markets in the USA and the Middle East, plus the latest developments in hoisting and wire rope. The programme will include guest speakers from leading tower crane user companies around the world who will give their own unique perspectives on the key issues.
Spreading the word
Speakers at ITC 2013 will include Duncan Salt, director and general manager at HTC Plant in the United Kingdom. HTC has one of the country’s largest crane rental fleets and is also a new crane distributor. Salt will focus on ways of adding value and improving customer experience in the tower crane supply chain.
In a similar vein, Nicola Castenetto, director customer care at Terex Tower Cranes, will explain how manufacturers and contractors jointly manage modern day challenges on job sites. Points will include the following: choosing the right equipment; collaboration during the design process and building of the anchors; erection and disassembly planning; managing wind effects; and ensuring job site safety.
A view of the industry from a Middle East perspective will be the topic from Nabil Al Zahlawi, partner and general manager at NFT Cranes.
Peter Schiefer, who chairs the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) Tower Cranes Division and is Wolffkran CEO and managing director, will talk about financing tower cranes and the way forward. From Liebherr, Dominique Tasch, head of the Biberach tower crane division will discuss the provision of product features and services designed to benefit tower crane customers, rental companies and contractors.
Chris Sleight, editor of IC sister magazine International Construction will talk about global construction markets, including the following: Construction market conditions around the world; economic outlook and its impact; the world’s largest contractors and their profitability; and trends in international work and regional hot spots.
Also speaking will be Dr Oliver Fries, vice president global R&D, innovation and technology at wire rope specialist WireCo Group Europe. Reducing the lift cycle time is a key issue in improving efficiency of tower cranes on high rise projects. Fries will talk about the next generation of ropes to meet the demand of high speed and long lift crane applications.
Thomas Stegmaier, product manager at HBC-radiomatic, a manufacturer of radio remote controls in Germany, will talk about enhancing safety using technical developments in the technology. Discussion will include the pros and cons of using such systems to operate tower cranes; protection from unauthorised use, technical possibilities, including varying access level according to the skill of the operator; data feedback and indication of warning and other messages; and automated protection from unintended movements in emergency situations.
Also on a high technology theme, Rémi Déporte from Manitowoc, will make a presentation on collision avoidance systems, covering the current technology, system benefits and its potential for development and integration with other safety systems, cameras and protection on live sites with moving obstructions.
Peter Juhren, national service manager at Morrow Equipment in the USA, will explain the importance of expanding quality control to all aspects of a business. Points include putting the proper checks and balances in place to keep your programme current, how to verify that your programme stacks up, and verifying that you follow through with your commitments. key to this is ensuring that your people are on board and not just rubber-stamping the programme, Juhren says. Rounding off the presentation will be a note on how to recover if your programme breaks down.
For further information and how to book, go to www.khl.com/itc
*The organiser reserves the right to change the programme at any time.