IEA Contractors (IEA) used four Manitowoc crawler cranes, two MLC650 and two MLC300 to install turbines on a project near Sebastian, Texas. The IEA reported that all four cranes completed the job with minimal wear to the undercarriage, avoiding downtime when replacing worn parts.
Machine wear and tear on cranes is a major issue for those working in wind energy applications. Turbine installation usually requires crawler cranes to travel hundreds of kilometers in the course of an operation, which leads to proportional wear on the undercarriages.
“We are extremely satisfied with the wear, or rather the lack of wear, of the MLC650 trolleys. During this project, our Manitowoc crawlers ran many miles and yet we saw very little wear, ”said Jason Ruggles, director of crane operations at IEA Equipment Management. “Manitowoc trolleys have proven to be very durable across the product line.
“For example, even after several projects, the chassis wear of the MLC300 units is significantly lower than that of others in the 300-tonne class. We‘I am very happy with life we‘come out of the Manitowoc chassis and components, and it contributed significantly to this to a reduction in our operating costss.”
IEA, a construction company for renewable energies and special buildings, installed around 200 wind turbines with the cranes in a project near Sebastian, Texas. To better track damage and minimize wear and tear on the chassis, Manitowoc’s Lift Solutions engineers, in collaboration with Manitowoc dealer Walter Payton Power Equipment (WPPE), have developed a monitoring system that is specially tailored to the needs of the IEA. This enabled the IEA to monitor the wear and tear on these critical parts more closely.
“We needed a way to continuously monitor these wear components without physically measuring the movement between the shaft, pin and bushing,” said Ruggles. “In the field, our focus is on production. That is why we needed measuring devices that act as “go, no-go” indicators and can measure the wear of components quickly and accurately in order to obtain a visual reference to the wear rate. “
The wear gauges were attached to all four MLC650 and MLC300 cranes. Small monitors on the cranes provided a visual display and continuously reported data to help the team assess wear in real time. The gauges monitored wear throughout the project, during which the crawler cranes covered a total of 600 miles.
Configured with a 331.4 foot main boom with a 24.9 foot extended top boom point (EUBP) at 28° The two MLC650 crawler cranes were offset and counterbalanced by 661,000 pounds. They helped set upper middle tower sections, spikes, shovels and V120 gondolas. Performing these lifts on each pad meant the cranes had to travel from site to site fully configured, covering distances of several miles per day. Since practice, understandably, causes considerable wear and tear on the chassis is a cost analysis for contractors, great advantages result from the monitoring of this wear and tear.