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f+h Intralogistics 5/2014

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f+h Intralogistics 5/2014

Cranes and hoists Fully

Cranes and hoists Fully automated crane solution with components by Stahl Cranesystems The Indian crane builder Sparkline has developed fully automated process cranes for a new Ford plant in India. Wireless communication between the crane bridges and a complex anti-collision system permit the cranes to operate in various safety zones. Ford s pecified high speeds for the lifting and travel motions to enable t he press and stamping line to be retooled quickly. Ford manufactures vehicle body components on the newly erected press and stamping line in Sanand, India. The tools in the presses must be changed regularly – this is usually time-consuming: the crane has to be summoned and moved into position, the operator must attach the tool, lift it carefully out of the machine, move it to the storage point and then set it down. Now he must take up the next tool, move the crane back to the machine and insert the heavy load into the press with millimetre accuracy. However, in the new plant in Sanand retooling is fully automated. This saves valuable minutes and thus increases the productivity of the whole system. When the operator has entered the destination number of the tool, the crane travels to the position selected at a speed of up to 60 m/min, following prescribed routes and detouring around safety areas (Images 01 and 02). Sparkline’s cranes meet Ford’s strict specifications with their positional accuracy of ±6 mm. When the crane reaches the machine, a grab lifts the tool, the crane travels automatically to the storage area and sets the tool down in a free space. Experts on the spot Stahl Cranesystems has been building up the crane technology market in India together with Indian crane building partners since 1999. One of them is Sparkline, a specialist for material flow solutions in the automotive industry. The crane builder has its own chain hoist warehouse to supply standard products to its Indian partners quickly, just as two state of the art crane building facilities in Pune, India. But most of Ford’s specifications for the crane system could only be built in customised design. Stahl Cranesystems started assisting its Indian crane building partner with its expertise at an early stage, when the components were being selected and calculated. Experts from India and Germany were already at the table during the impor- 38 f+h Intralogistics 5/2014

Cranes and hoists 01 Automatic process cranes are used for retooling the press and stamping lines at Ford India 02 The cranes approach the desired tool position, take up the tool and transport it to the designated storage area automaticall tant preliminary discussions between Sparkline and Ford’s engineers. The Sparkline/ Stahl team was thus able to offer convincing solutions for all the requirements when its quotation was presented and its technical flexibility even exceeded the high expectations of Ford’s team. Sparkline supplied a total of seven cranes – equipped with winches, wire rope hoists and crane components from Stahl Cranesystems. The cranes operate on two levels and in some cases can travel over one another. The centerpieces of the systems are modified winches. During production in Künzelsau (Germany) they were prepared for mounting the grabs, designed for a hoisting speed of up to 9 m/min and equipped with a second brake to meet the high safety requirements. Stahl Cranesystems supplied a total of 6 frequency-controlled SHWF8 winches (Image 03) with safe working loads between 50 and 63 tonnes, and four ASF7 wire rope hoists with safe working loads between 20 and 32 tonnes. The wheelblocks and travel drives were also supplied from Germany. Sparkline designed and built the cranes and grabs and programmed the controls. High safety requirements Intelligent crane control was required to operate the complex crane system safely and cost-effectively. The cranes operate on two levels and communicate by wireless to prevent collisions. Laser-based distance meters supply positional data. The control is a Siemens S7 PLC combined with latest generation inverters. Designing the safety features of the system was also demanding, as the specified American Standard CMAA 70 – Class D (for heavy duty) had to be brought into line with Indian industrial standards. Sparkline’s crane builders rose to this challenge too. “A high-end crane system of this type is unique in India at present,” 03 The SHWF8 rope winches were equipped during production in Germany for particularly high speeds and operating with tool grabs Sparkline Managing Director S. A. Doshi explains proudly. Sparkline delivered the completed crane system just 9 months after receiving the order, in March 2013. The cranes were erected over the following months and commissioned in March 2014. The automobile manufacturer thanked Sparkline for the successful completion of the project. An excellent basis for more Sparkline/Stahl Cranesystems projects, as an extension to the plant could be scheduled in just two or three years. Photos: Stahl Cranesystems www.stahlcranes.com About Stahl Cranesystems Stahl Cranesystems GmbH, with head office in Künzelsau/Germany, has more than 120 years experience in crane construction. The manufacturer offers a full range of crane technology and crane components, including chain and rope hoists, winches, and light and small crane systems, as well as drive and control solutions. It is a world leader in explosion protected crane technology. Indeed, Stahl Cranesystems developed the first components for such applications as far back as 1926, thus contributing to today’s industrial standards. The company manufactures its products at the Künzelsau plant, but has 9 foreign subsidiaries. It has 700 employees worldwide. f+h Intralogistics 5/2014 39

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