Three New Luffers and Improved Tower Crane Technology Introduced at Bauma

Several manufacturers introduced new tower cranes at the Bauma exhibition held in April in Munich, Germany. Three of the introductions were luffing jib tower cranes and one manufacturer announced new technology it’s applying to its tower crane product line. Highlights of those products follow.

Terex Cranes exhibited its first luffing jib tower crane offering one-fall operation. Specially designed for jobs on urban sites, power plants, or high-rise buildings, the new CTL 440-24 is equipped with an innovative hoist winch that allows both one-fall operations and two-fall operation. As a result, crane speed and height can easily

be adapted to meet job and load requirements. The luffing jib tower crane has a maximum capacity of 26.5 tons and a maximum jib length of 196.9 feet. Maximum capacity at the jib tip is 5.7 tons.

A key optional feature is an anti-collision system equipped with two cameras and a display that allows the operator to zoom in and out of the lifting area and luffing/hoisting winch areas.

Standard features include emergency brakes on hoisting and luffing winch drums; folding platform and handrails; and walkways along the jib. The folding A-frame transports in one piece; the slewing ring is equipped with an automatic lubrication system; and a third auxiliary hoist on the counterjib can be used as a service derrick during assembly.

The LCL 190 is the newest luffer tower crane from Linden Comansa. The crane comes in two versions—13.2 or 19.8 tons of maximum load, and a jib length ranging from 98.4 to 196.9 feet. The standard version has a freestanding height of 162.4 feet.

Using light components, the crane is designed to be simple and fast to erect. The hoist mechanism is situated at the front under the jib instead of on the counterjib. The luffing mechanism and electric cupboard are placed on the counterjib. This configuration has allowed Linden Comansa to reduce the installation weights; reduce the slewing radius of the counterjib; increase free space for service of the main mechanisms; and improve kinematics of the hoisting cable, making it more direct with fewer cable pulleys. In addition, hoisting and luffing cables are preinstalled at the factory.

From a performance standpoint, a new hydraulic push and retention system features smooth movement without sudden stops. This is accomplished with a progressive force application on the jib in relation to the luffed-in radius. Other benefits of this system are hydraulic pressure controls and travel controls of the luffing movement, as well as an anti loosening system for the luffing cable tension.

Most jib and mast sections of this crane will be interchangeable with other luffing and flat-top tower cranes from Linden Comansa.

Liebherr showed its new 280 HC-L 12/24 Litronic luffing jib tower crane, which bridges the gap between the 180 HC-L and the 355 HC-L.

The 280 HC-L is available in three versions with maximum lifting capacities of 17.6, 26.4, and 30.8 tons. The unit displayed at Bauma had maximum capacity of 26.4 tons and a maximum radius of 169.9 feet.

This crane was designed with operations at great heights and in space restricted sites in mind. The result is a tight slewing radius of only 24.6 feet.

As an alternative to the standard 355 HC tower system, the 280 HC-L takes advantage of the 355 IC climbing tower system, which can be used for internal climbing or climbing on the outside of a building. With the extremely compact tower cross-section of 6.2’ x 6.2’, the 355 IC can also climb to the heights in narrow lift shafts. For very high free-standing crane heights of over 246 feet, the 280HC-L 12/24 Litronic can also be mounted on the 500 HC tower system. With all the tower systems available, the new luffing jib crane can attain unique free-standing tower heights of up to 251 feet.

A programmable logic control system moves the load on a horizontal load path just like on a top-slewing crane with a trolley jib. Jib movements are automatically regulated by means of the hoist gear control so that the load hook travels on a horizontal path, which is a huge advantage with assembly and concrete work. It can be optionally equipped with the company’s newly developed LIDAT telematics system to improve fleet management, operational planning, and remote monitoring.

Thanks to easy re-reeving of the load hook from one line to two lines, rapid adjustment to different loads with optimum hoist speed is guaranteed. Easy re-reeving and high empty hook speeds further increase the economy of the crane.

Manitowoc launched an innovative new technology for its Potain tower cranes intended to increase productivity. High Performance Lifting winches are designed for ultra-high-speed lifting, even when working in a higher number of rope falls.

“This is a unique and patented technology that offers contractors significant time savings on general construction sites,” said Rémi Deporte, global product manager for mechanisms at Manitowoc. “It is designed to work on cranes in capacity classes that cover a broad range of projects. We see strong global appeal for these new winches, especially when contractors see the competitive advantages over other options,” he said.

The 75 HPL 30 can reach speeds up to 738 fpm when working with two lines of rope. The winch is the first in its class to break the 200 m/min (656 fpm) barrier. It has a power rating of 75 hp and lifts 3 tons per rope line. . The 75 HPL 30 will replace Potain’s existing 75 LVF 30 Optima, which reaches a maximum speed of 380 fpm, only about 50 percent of the speed of the new winch. Other winches will roll out in the coming months. Most will be 56 kW, but others will be offered in the 100 hp and 50 hp classes.

The new HPL Technology winches have such high speeds because they use a double-winding motor controlled via a frequency converter. The technology is patented and exclusive to Potain cranes, and Manitowoc is the only manufacturer to offer it.

The new winch will be offered with a range of tower cranes in the Potain line. It is best suited to cranes with 13.2-ton capacity.

Manitowoc has also redesigned the cab for its Potain tower cranes. According to Deporte, the Ultra View cab will set new standards for the operating environment. A key design change is the relocation of the electrical control panel to a dedicated space outside and behind the cab. This frees up space allowing room for a small table, storage for technical documents, and three plugs with 220 V or 110 V power options. It also reduces noise from electrical contactors and frequency converters that can be heard when these components are inside the cab.

A large glass expanse offers unobstructed view from top to bottom. Sliding side windows, a side sunblind, and lateral wipers all give the operator optimum vision over the job site. Heating and air conditioning are standard.

Helping to cut fleet management costs, there is only one version of the cab for all Potain cranes and a new paint process better protects the cab from corrosion. On site, the cab is safer to rig because there is no need for crew to climb on to the roof  for rigging during assembly or disassembly. Screw-in ears at ground level aid sling attachment when the cab needs to be lifted into place. On other Potain models, such as MDT topless cranes, the Ultra View cab is pre-built in larger sections, which are lifted as one piece.

The Ultra View cab is now on all new top-slewing tower cranes from its European factories and also for the new Igo T 130 self-erecting crane. It will gradually roll out across the brand’s product line beginning in May and will eventually replace the Vision cab.