June 13 - Gottwald Port Technology GmbH (Gottwald), a subsidiary of Demag Cranes AG, has launched two new intelligent features for project cargo applications with its mobile harbour cranes.

The new tools - the Vertical Lift Assistant for single lifts and the Tandem Lift Assistant for lifts involving two cranes - now help to further increase accuracy and safety when lifting heavy and outsize cargoes. 

In addition, the Tandem Lift Assistant enables terminal operators to synchronise lifts with two Gottwald Mobile Harbour Cranes with the full capacity of both cranes. 

Demag Cranes says that it has an excellent track record with Gottwald cranes used in heavy lift applications, including tandem lifts. To date, these tandem lifts have been manually operated. The company says that the launch of the two new modules represents a further step forwards in ensure accurate and safe loading. 

Vertical Lift Assistant and Tandem Lift Assistant have been launched as new modules in Gottwald's Visumatic® Crane Management System, the visualisation and control system. 

The Vertical Lift Assistant is a crucial aid when it comes to single heavy lifts, where absolute accuracy is mandatory. It ensures that no load sway can occur when lifting off the ground, even when the crane driver does not have a clear view. By means of rope inclination sensors fitted to the boom tip, the Vertical Lift Assistant automatically ensures that the boom tip is positioned exactly vertically over the load to prevent unwanted lateral movement after lifting the cargo off the ground, and thus helps to avoid collisions and damage to the load. 

The Tandem Lift Assistant is designed to perform computer-assisted, synchronous tandem lifts, with one crane operator controlling the two cranes, addressing risk factors that could be experienced in moves involving multiple cranes, such as lateral forces, overturning moments, deviations in crane speed and other such events. 

Demag says that the Tandem Lift Assistant eliminates the need for de-rating the maximum crane capacity which is recommended or even prescribed by regulations in view of the complexity of multiple crane lifts in cases where these risk factors cannot be adequately monitored. 

In accordance with the ISO 12480-1 regulations for multiple lifting, the Tandem Lift Assistant allows operation of two Gottwald Mobile Harbour Cranes in tandem up to their full working load. Consequently it is not only technically possible but also in line with regulations to lift up to 400 tonnes. 

A central aspect of the new Tandem Lift Assistant is synchronous crane operation. This is achieved via state-of-the-art hardware and software provided by Demag Cranes, including the Vertical Lift Assistant. 

The complete system has been designed in compliance with high safety standards, i.e. safety category 3 according to the European standard EN 954-1 "Safety of machinery - Safety-related parts of control systems" (which is to be replaced by EN ISO 13849-1 in 2012). 

As well as fitting new cranes with the new control tools upon request, Demag Cranes will be offering the Vertical Lift Assistant and Tandem Lift Assistant as upgrades for existing Gottwald Mobile Harbour Cranes. The company believes that its new tools are of particular interest to terminals where heavy lifts already play a major role, but also to terminals that wish to increase their service portfolio with project cargo handling capabilities. 

"These control systems have been developed in response to the increasing number of heavy cargo shipments and to our customers' wishes to further optimise their operating efficiency," emphasised Giuseppe di Lisa, senior vice president, head of product management port & intermodal cranes.