Wheelabrator Group has successfully supported Liebherr with the building of a new production plant for dockside mobile cranes. The Liebherr Group is one of the largest internationally known manufacturers of construction machines.
Production started two years ago, on a total area of 220,000 m² on Rostock harbour grounds. Wheelabrator not only worked against the elements but also had to achieve short maintenance times, an ergonomic operation method and long component lifetimes all within a fixed timeframe, whilst at the same time reducing energy costs … not much to ask!
The Wheelabrator solution was a blast room with two connected painting rooms. These rooms, with dimensions of 39 m in length, 12m wide and a height of 10 m each, can each accommodate and treat complete, large crane components, including all substructures, steel structures as well as plastic structures including the driver’s cab.
Strong corrosion protection
The dockside mobile cranes will subsequently be used in aggressive saline environments and therefore require special corrosion protection. It results from the high specification of Sa 3 or Sa 2 ½ achieved by blasting in combination with the subsequent coating.
Minimal downtime, maximum efficiency
Four manual workplaces have been installed in the blast room where work may be carried out simultaneously. One of these workplaces is equipped with an automatic working platform. This can be rebuilt in the future to install an automatic, 3 axle nozzle manipulator for increased flexibility and efficiency.
The heavy crane components are transported by special rail transport bogies or forklifts. The components are loaded onto a Pulsomatik-R special conveyor system which has small surface holes allowing the used abrasive media to be collected underneath, recovered and recycled back into the system. This allows a continuous blasting process resulting in minimal downtime and allowing maximum production efficiency.
Painting and drying in one room
After painting has taken place, the drying process then takes place in the same room. This means a cost and time saving on the transportation phase of the large work pieces (especially important at the moment with the rising oil costs!). To aid the drying process, special air filters have been fitted which recycle the air inside the room speeding up the drying process. Another box filter system was also installed and designed for the bottom suction walls. This filter system has an extremely long lifetime of up to 9 months resulting in lower maintenance costs, considerably reduced downtimes and most importantly production is not interrupted.
Energy savings too!
Through its partnership with Wheelabrator Group, Liebherr has been able to reach its targets of achieving long-term and economic corrosion protection for its dockside mobile cranes. The solution provided by Wheelabrator will battle the elements, reduce downtime, increase efficiency, not forgetting the energy saving to be made – no small feat!
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