Efficient lifting and handling is assured at Illovo Sugar’s new 51,000 square metre warehouse thanks to six cranes featuring advanced hoists from Street Crane Company in the UK. The cranes were installed by Street’s South African partner, GM Technical Services (GMTS), for the major sugar supplier which supplies numerous southern states of the continent and international markets.
With a 170,000 tonne capacity, the warehouse provides storage between Illovo’s primary manufacturing plants and retail, wholesale and industrial customers. Each of the six bays, within zones one and three of the warehouse, incorporates a crane of 16 tonnes safe working load. The 30.72 metre span double girder cranes, including control cabins, link beams, lifting beams, access walkways and bogies were fabricated by GMTS in South Africa with structural drawings supplied by Street Crane.
Street supplied from the UK, 12 eight tonne (4+4 tonnes) VX hoists. Each of the custom built twin hoists was reeved on a single hoist drum to ensure synchronised hook movement. GMTS then synchronised the twin hoists on each crane using encoder feedback and inverter drives. Each crane will corner-lift a lifting beam capable of handling ten one-tonne international bulk containers (IBC’s) of sugar per movement.
The Street VX is a bespoke designed, open winch format, hoist featuring a dual scrolled barrel to ensure that there is no lateral movement of the load during hoisting and lowering. In this instance all hoist mechanisms are M8, heavy duty rating, reflecting the high frequency of crane use for product movements. For strong performance the cranes are specified with long travel speeds of 60 metres per minute, cross travel of 20m/m and hoist speeds of 7.8 m/m. Smooth and stable load control is guaranteed with the use of variable drive technology on all crane motions.
Automated safety incorporated by GMTS include systems to recognise identification tags on personnel and fork lift trucks to stop the crane and avoid collision with the lifting beam. Radio control from the cabins was also supplied by GMTS together with electrical power distribution via an insulated conductor system supplying power to the master hoist panel.
Speaking for GMTS, Hannes Steenberg explained, “We won this order because of our ability to meet the demanding technical specification. The M8 mechanisms on the cranes are required because of the intensity of operations and there are few companies in South Africa with the experience and capability to offer such sophisticated equipment. In addition to supply, we have also undertaken to maintain this equipment for five years. Despite the complexity and exacting schedule I am happy to report that we met all deadlines throughout the project.”
The new facility is an initiative between Illovo and developer Collins Property Group with operations outsourced to Barloworld Logistics, Illovo’s logistics partner. In addition to the cranes in zones one and three, racked storage for palletised product is employed in zone two with access by fork lift. “The project will produce substantial efficiency gains in the sugar supply chain,” explained Dave Howells, managing director of Illovo Sugar South Africa.