One of the biggest advances in productivity, crane safety and cost-efficient management over the past decade has been the advent of lifecycle care in real time.
New remote digital monitoring and analytical technologies can look inside the performance of a crane, or whole fleets of cranes, to accurately provide asset usage, operating information, hoist overloads, emergency stops and over-temperature occurrences.
It also provides an estimation of the remaining service life of selected components, such as hoist brakes and structures.
Konecranes expert, James Dowe, Vice President, Industrial Service of Australia, New Zealand and Philippines, has identified five major advantages to lifecycle care in real time.
- Maximum uptime, minimum downtime
At the end of the day, time is money, so the more time a crane is utilised, the more effective it is for a business.
With notifications of hoist overloads, emergency stops and over-temperature occurrences, these issues can be resolved before downtime occurs, so that not only is productivity optimised, but so is the overall safety of the crane.
- You can identify a problem before it’s a problem
Technologies are at such an advanced level they can identify when a crane is experiencing additional wear through revealing patterns such as excessive starts.
Instead of continuing to use the crane until it breaks, which is what would have happened in the past, real-time monitoring means that a technician can be called as soon as any potential problem is identified and preventative maintenance can put your crane back on track.
- Increased and optimised design life
By servicing cranes exactly when they need it, their design life can be extended, compared to those cranes that are only serviced at set intervals, or when something breaks.
It’s a bit like servicing a car; you want to service it regularly so that it doesn’t break down, not wait for a breakdown and then repair it. What’s amazing is when people don’t take the same approach to a piece of equipment worth thousands more.
- Fact-based decision making with readily available data
Not only is useful and important information readily available, it can be shared between technicians, management and other staff with the click of a button.
Valuable insights can be drawn when the crane’s entire history and usage data are made readily available and be used to the advantage of individual businesses.
- Service and maintenance can be tailored to individual needs
No two companies are exactly the same, and the way a crane is used, how often it’s used and what it’s used for can vary dramatically between applications.
With real-time lifecycle care and a greater bank of data, unique predictive maintenance plans can be created that are tailored to a particular crane’s usage.
Harnessing the industrial internet
Technologies can now harness, in a user-friendly way, the power of the industrial internet, the heart of which is based on a series of machinery sensors working together to gather and analyse data for specific purposes.
By operating in this way, companies can enable efficiencies that were unimaginable just a short time ago.
Konecranes is one of the few crane companies that has taken this approach of lifecycle care in real time.
“With powerful but highly accessible technologies becoming increasingly available, crane maintenance is an entire generation ahead of the days of external inspections, laborious dismantling to find and fix problems, or simply fixing something when it fails,” Mr Dowe said.
“With the accident liability that outdated practices entail – and the potential for expensive downtime that companies just can’t afford these days – old approaches are just no longer accepted as safe and productive risk management in the world-class industries we serve”
Such industries include mining, oil and gas, automotive and general manufacturing, bulk materials handling, power generation, petrochemical, ports and container handling, pulp and paper, shipyards, steel, and waste-to-energy.
“To make the best use of innovative condition monitoring technology, insights can be drawn by observing anomalies, patterns and trends, helping users make fact-based decisions,” Mr Dowe said.
Anomalies can show up as faults such as overloads. These events are considered abnormal and should be addressed promptly as they occur. Knowing when an overload occurs is the first step in identifying its cause.
Patterns help reveal relationships between variables. For example, overload or emergency stop alerts or excessive starts may indicate the need for operator training aimed at reducing human-error downtime and the risk of safety incidents. Recurring motor overheats may indicate changes are needed in equipment or process.
The study of trends can help prioritise corrective action and investments. Analysing data behaviour over time supports the development of predictive maintenance.
“Our aim is not to be confusing or overwhelming with a flood of data and analytics,” Mr Dowe said.
“We have teams of experienced staff who take a consultative approach to help guide our customers’ decision making. We share our findings, provide recommendations and discuss how each action can optimise particular aspects of operations and maintenance.”
The increasing digitisation of maintenance and demand for real-time monitoring and whole of lifecycle care has led Konecranes to develop two advanced technologies, TRUCONNECT® remote condition monitoring and MAINMAN planned maintenance services.
In developing these technologies for industry, Konecranes has incorporated its experience as a major global crane and lifting equipment manufacturer, as well as the world’s largest crane service organisation, with more than 450,000 pieces of lifting equipment under maintenance agreements worldwide.
Konecranes’ 10,300 remote monitoring connections and 600 service locations worldwide, including throughout the Asia-Pacific and Australasia, have fed into the understanding of industry needs that has produced the TRUCONNECT® suite of remote service products connecting data, machines and people.
Through such products, Konecranes applies the industrial internet to lead the evolution of service through remote monitoring, diagnostics, analytics and usage-based predictive maintenance, providing real-time visibility and offering customers unique predictive capabilities and crane management efficiencies.
To make the process of real-time monitoring for lifecycle care as intuitive and easy to use as possible, Konecranes has integrated TRUCONNECT® remote monitoring and reporting and MAINMAN planned maintenance results captured by mobile enabled technicians into an easily accessed online customer portal, yourKONECRANES.com’
This web portal, which gives real-time browser-based access to individual customers’ equipment data and maintenance history, links usage data, maintenance data and asset details, giving a transparent and complete view of events and activities of a crane over any selected time interval.
Aggregated data can be viewed, analysed and shared quickly, for a single asset or an entire fleet.
Data is sent to this customer portal from Konecranes TRUCONNECT® remote monitoring and reporting technology along with MAINMAN planned maintenance findings, which can be applied to a huge variety of lifting equipment across the range of industries Konecranes serves.
TRUCONNECT® gathers data on running time, motor starts, work cycles and brake condition and can also send alerts by text or email of hazardous events such as hoist overloads, emergency stops and over-temperatures.
MAINMAN planned maintenance utilises Konecranes’ proprietary Risk and Recommendation method to visually categorise findings into safety, production and undetermined risks, allowing for easy prioritisation and planning of future maintenance activities by asset.
This partner content is brought to you by Konecranes. For more information, visit https://www.konecranes.com.au/service/crane-service/lifecycle-care.