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Setting a better standard

July 27, 2016

ISO 12482:2014 – an international standard created to make certain that design constraints of the intended use of a crane are clearly identified – was revised with the help of a Konecranes engineer. This updated version is now lifting the safety level of cranes worldwide.

In the mid 2000s, several safety-related incidents were attributed to cranes being used outside their design constraints. Thereafter, Hannu Rantala, Senior Chief Engineer at Konecranes, began to look into industry standards, which did not clearly guide the crane owner to help reduce the danger by constantly comparing the actual usage to the design limits.

This standard, ISO 12482-1 – created in 1995 – was difficult to interpret, but it was one that Konecranes had always been aware of. Rantala and his colleagues felt it was time for a revision, and his superiors at Konecranes encouraged him to champion the cause.

The distinction between the old standard and the revised version is an important one. After all, manufacturers are the parties defining such standards, but the responsibility to make sure they are fulfilled lies with the cranes’ owners.

“Manufacturers were reminded of the standard’s existence,” says Rantala, who then explained that “updating it would increase safety across the entire industry and help avoid future incidents.”

A renewed approach to crane safety

“It’s important to remember that cranes are designed for a finite service life,” Rantala points out. The purpose of the former version of the standard was to see to it that the crane’s remaining design life would be continuously monitored, rather than simply relying on calendar time for any needed actions.

The updated version of the standard proposes the use of so-called “data loggers” to monitor and store crane usage data, introducing the topic as an option to fulfill assessment requirements. Those familiar with the Konecranes offering will be quick to recognize this emphasis on data collection as the underpinning logic of the company’s Crane Reliability Study, Design Life Analysis, and TRUCONNECT® remote services.

While the ISO standard provides the theoretical background for these concepts, and thereby reinforcing much of the work that has distinguished Konecranes in the lifting industries for several years, it is important to note that the root motivation is improving safety across the board, and reducing incidents of machinery failure.

To this end, the revised standard is more clearly written and introduces a clearer statement on when a crane’s remaining design working period should be evaluated, “…in conjunction with periodic inspections at 12 month intervals.” 

Ramifications far beyond Konecranes

According to Rantala, there was some reluctance from representatives from crane-manufacturing countries on the ISO committee who were not au fait with the benefits of some of the solutions the revised standard proposes. After a long revision process, living up to Finland’s reputation at the international negotiating table, Rantala was able to finalize the updated standard in 2014, seven years in full after beginning the process.

“Konecranes already has practices and products in place to support the crane owner in fulfilling the requirements of this standard,” Rantala summarizes. “But this revised standard is not only relevant to our products, it applies equally to all other cranes around the world.”


Text: Ian Fenton
Photo: Konecranes