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A ladle crane gets a much-needed upgrade – in record time

May 2, 2017

Location: Outokumpu Stainless Oy, Tornio Finland

Challenge: An unusually tight modernization schedule

Solution: A versatile team completes the job on time   

Last year, Konecranes finalized an extensive ladle crane modernization project at Outokumpu’s stainless steel plant in Tornio, Finland. The undertaking pulled together resources from throughout the company, utilizing a diverse skillset for one of the most challenging upgrades in Konecranes’ history.

Like any piece of machinery, cranes have a limited life cycle, which varies according to the intensity of use. Instead of investing in new equipment, businesses may choose to modernize a crane already in their ownership to maximize cost savings, as well as to promote clean values and to maintain a low carbon footprint.

“Modernization extends the life cycle of a crane. The crane can be completely renewed or partially renewed, with key technology installed to update the usability of the crane,” explains Petteri Ijäs, Project Sales Manager for Konecranes Service. “Modernization efforts enhance crane performance, safety and reliability.”

In the case of Outokumpu, the ladle crane in use at the company’s Tornio plant needed to be revamped as its electrical equipment and mechanics were outdated.

Modernization extends the life cycle of a crane. The crane can be completely renewed or partially renewed, with key technology installed to update the usability of the crane.

“Spare parts for multiple critical components, such as frequency inverters, were no longer available. The purpose of the modernization was to ensure the usability of the ladle crane,” says Kari Huttunen, Manager of Investment Services at Outokumpu’s Tornio site.

The project scope involved changing all components of the crane except for the main steel structure. Trolleys, auxiliary hoists, girders and all electrical equipment, including the electrical room, were updated to better meet user demand and safety requirements.

The main challenge: a limited time frame

The modernized crane needed to be finalized and up-and-running within 14 days from the start of installation. Due to the size of the crane and the tight installation schedule, Ijäs views the project as one of the most challenging modernization projects ever done at Konecranes.

“According to my knowledge, no one has ever completed such an extensive modernization in a time frame like this,” Ijäs notes.

The scale of the project was significant, engaging many units and teams from Konecranes. Despite the number of moving parts and parties involved, the installation was finalized on time last fall.

“Konecranes has been a reliable partner and supplier throughout every phase of the project, from the design stage to the installation and finalization of the crane modernization,” concludes Huttunen.

Text: Nina Lindqvist
Image, video: Konecranes