Konecranes' technology on show at Mining Australia

Supplier: Konecranes Australia
24 March, 2011

Some of the world’s most advanced crane diagnostic, safety and maintenance technology will be demonstrated by Konecranes at Mining Australia Exhibition in Perth from April 6-8.

Konecranes is introducing to Australasia RopeQ  safety and reliability diagnostic technology that evaluates the working condition of wire ropes integral to a huge variety of lifting equipment. 

It will also demonstrate the complementary RailQ crane rail structural alignment survey technology developed to provide faster, safer, and more accurate analysis than any other type of rail survey available worldwide. 

"As the world's largest crane service organisation - with more than 367,000 cranes of all brands under service contracts - Konecranes has invested much research, development and practical experience to provide these outstanding diagnostic, safety and maintenance tools," says Konecranes Sales and Marketing Manager Warren Ashton.

The introduction of Konecranes RailQ and complementary RopeQ diagnostic technologies follow the launch in Australasia of the company’s comprehensive Crane Reliability Survey™  (CRS) audit service to help industries to determine whether their overhead lifting equipment achieves optimum reliability, performance and mandatory safety standards.

The service - being introduced to Australia and New Zealand as part of a global performance and safety initiative - tracks the condition, reliability, service life and operating safety of a crane and its components. The CRS can be particularly valuable in ensuring compliance with mandatory 10-year mechanical and 25-year structural inspections in accordance with Australian Standards (AS2550.3).

Rope Q
RopeQ is a reliable and practical system that evaluates the working condition of wire ropes using advanced, proprietary Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) methods. The diagnostic tool uses electromagnetic technology to assess the inner and outer wires and strands of a wire rope. This testing method achieves reliable, accurate, and repetitive inspection results that ensure safe use and may improve total lifecycle cost. RopeQ applies an electromagnetic-inductive testing method to detect flaws that are not visible on the surface of wire ropes, producing an accurate assessment that can increase safety and reduce wire rope costs, says Ashton.

"Throughout the working life of a wire rope, the strands and core are subjected to tension, bending, and abrasion, which can compromise strength and safety. Routine maintenance often relies on pre-determined replacement intervals regardless of the actual condition of the wire ropes, meaning that safe and operable ropes might be replaced too often or too soon, resulting in unnecessary downtime and increased costs.

"RopeQ produces verifiable condition assessments that can be compared against discard criteria, reducing the possibility of changing wire ropes that are still compliant with lifting regulations. Most importantly, RopeQ is able to detect flaws that are not visible to the naked eye, thus improving the overall safety of the lifting equipment."

Rail Q
RailQ is a Konecranes proprietary inspection tool that has revolutionised the process of geometric analysis of cranes and runways, says Mr Ashton.  RailQ consists of highly accurate laser measuring equipment, a methodology developed by Konecranes, and the company’s own proprietary data analysis and reporting software (KC Trail).

"A  crane structure that is out of square - or has runways/rails that are not properly aligned either horizontally or vertically, according to Australian Standard defined tolerances - can be a significant cause of undue wear on various components of the crane.

"Such defects can lead to unplanned repairs, if not costly breakdowns, and can also have a very negative impact on the cranes' design life. But alignment defects can be overlooked or undetected both by crane owners/operators and service companies, often at significant cost.  One of the reasons is that, historically, geometric surveys of cranes and runways have been conducted using manual survey tools and techniques. 

"Such surveys are time- consuming, and of course subject to the risk of manual error.  It is not unusual for a runway survey to require a crane be out of service for a whole day, which for many businesses is not acceptable.  This is probably a major reason why they are not done more often," he says.
The unique RailQ alignment survey technology was developed to provide faster, safer, and more accurate analysis than any other type of rail survey available worldwide. RailQ's highly precise and state-of-the-art survey techniques – coupled with Konecranes-specific software - accurately measures straightness, elevation, rail-to-rail elevation, and span of the rails.

RailQ surveys are conducted by Konecranes specially trained CRS (Crane Reliability Survey™)   Inspectors working with an assistant. As soon as the survey is complete, a three-dimensional image of the runway/rail system is supplied to the customer with a special 3D viewer that allows the customer to examine the geometry in dynamic three-dimensional form. The result is a precise, reliable runway analysis that provides cost-effective solutions for any rail system and for all makes and models of cranes, and takes a fraction of the time to conduct as compared to traditional rail surveys.