A Sarens hydraulic lifter unit has worked on one of NASA’s most prestigious projects and replaced a high bay overhead crane at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Sarens was contracted by American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO) to provide heavy lifting services supporting the high bay crane replacement project in the operations checkout building at the John F. Kennedy Space Station, Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

The upgrade is a part of the Artemis program which aims at landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon, paving the way for a sustainable presence on the lunar surface and finally to Mars. The old crane is getting replaced with a new crane that features greater lift capability and enhanced controls. 

Sarens project scope included upgrading the current 27-tonne capacity high bay crane with a new 30-tonne capacity single-failure proof high bay crane. The team had to remove and replace the trolley, end truck, drive girder, and idler girder utilising Sarens Hydraulic Lift Unit (HLU). 

The project was accomplished in five phases including:

  • Planning phase where our teams devised the solution to replace the crane with limited headroom.
  • Site mobilisation and equipment erection - Sarens HLU was transported from the Rowesville, South Carolina yard and assembled in 2 days.
  • Installing the new 30-tonne capacity high bay crane
  • Removing the old 27-tonne capacity high bay crane
  • Demobilisation and equipment dismantling

Since there was no headroom available the crane had to be replaced from underneath. The old crane was used for the final time to hoist the new crane into place, lifting the new crane from floor level to the jacking rig following which the old crane was removed and decommissioned. 

According to the Project Manager, Steve Gibson, “We have been working with ACECO since 2008, supporting them in installing their single failure proof cranes in many nuclear plants and government facilities. NASA provided tremendous support in all phases of this project and it was a pleasure to work with their team.”