Engineering & Mining Journal

JUL 2017

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Page 35 of 91

CRANES AND RIGGING 34 E&MJ • JULY 2017 When miners say things are "looking up," it's unlikely they're talking about overhead safety awareness. Similarly to many other industrial environments, the usual visual focus in surface mining is largely on what's in front of or below a worker, and that can be a dangerous fixation: there are often hazards overhead ranging from improperly secured or controlled crane loads to fasten- ers, tools and parts dropped from height during maintenance and repair activities. The cost of lifting and overhead-safe- ty-related mishaps can be staggeringly high, from both financial and personnel health aspects. A recent analysis by over- head crane manufacturer Konecranes of Occupational Safety and Health Admin- istration-reported crane incidents in the United States, involving a study tracking 249 incidents over a 10-year period, showed that the average cost to an em- ployer from a major crane-related injury was $200,000. A crane-related fatality costs an average of $4 million. Cranes at mine sites are not consid- ered primary production equipment, but without them, production can be ad- versely impacted when parts, supplies and other types of heavy material must wait to be lifted, shifted or loaded as part of ongoing maintenance and repair activ- ities. Konecranes pointed out an import- ant aspect of crane operation at mines and other industrial sites that can often be overlooked: the person controlling the crane may not be a full-time crane opera- tor, but someone who handles crane work on a part-time basis in addition to his or her usual duty as a driver, millwright or field mechanic. Lifting-equipment man- ufacturers are becoming increasingly aware that their products must be de- signed to make it as easy as possible for these part-time operators to understand the limitations of the equipment and take advantage of built-in safety features — and at the other end of the load, for ground workers and riggers to be able to quickly reach and prepare a site for safe deployment and removal of lifting equip- ment that is generally only needed for specific, periodic duty. As a result, Konecranes said it is com- mitted to educating crane buyers about how its proprietary "safe" technologies address the issue of load swing, creating a safer crane that they believe will raise the bar for all overhead crane manufactur- ers. The company claims its Active Sway Control and Hook Centering are capable of dramatically reducing the number of crane-related accidents. Both require a PLC, variable frequency drive and Kone- cranes proprietary software to operate. Active Sway Control stabilizes load movements in trolley traverse and/or bridge travel directions. It dampens load sway generated by normal motion to help the load remain stable at all times and in all conditions, making load-moving op- erations not only safer, but as much as 60% faster. Hook Centering is an inno- vation that was designed to automatically eliminate side pull situations and load swing caused by side pull. Side pull oc- curs when the hoist lifts an object that is not directly beneath it, which can cause violent load swing. When Hook Center- ing is activated, the crane automatically positions the trolley and bridge over the load. At the same time, the hoisting-up movement is limited until the crane and load are vertically aligned. Then, lifting can continue normally. Mobile crane manufacturer Manito- woc noted that every model of its Grove all-terrain cranes since the release of its GMK3600 model in 2013 features the company's Crane Control System, a us- er-friendly interface that is being deployed across Manitowoc's brands for standard- ized training, operation and maintenance. CCS, said the company, features an intu- itive Boom Configurator Mode that makes it much easier and quicker to select the optimum boom position for a specific lift. Up in the Air At any mine site with crane-assisted construction or overhead repairs under way, what goes up must come down — at the right time and under complete control. Here's how the latest crane tech can help ensure that outcome. By Russell A. Carter, Contributing Editor This Grove RT765E-2 rough-terrain crane splits its duties between underground construction activities and various jobs on the surface at PT Freeport Indonesia's Grasberg mine.

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