The mother beam of the 40T ship loading crane at the Port of Townsville had been in service for over 30 years and was nearing the end of its service life. With regulatory compliance changes and much improved safety practices in the past 30 years, Xstrata Copper (now Glencore) engaged Orana Engineering to redesign the mother beam based on the existing beam and incorporating required changes to meet the current compliance requirements. This was also an opportunity to improve the current design by incorporating feedback from the crane operators and maintenance personnel.
The mother beam was fully modelled using Autodesk’s Inventor product, from which a full set of RPEQ approved shop detail drawings were produced. The model also allowed for virtual testing of the locking pin mechanism and user access for client review and approval of the design.
The redesign of the mother beam saw the introduction of electrical monitoring systems to enable the crane operator to confirm when the mother beam was fully engaged with the various attachments used. To include this electrical element of the design a series of proximity switches were introduced to the actual locking mechanisms. The control wiring to the mother beam also needed to be considered. This resulted in the mother beam being redesigned to include two cable drums while the original had three. The flow on effects of the cable requirements meant that the actual crane itself also needed some modifications.
The mechanical design saw the introduction of a failsafe system so that if one set of locks failed a backup locking mechanism would take its place. The main locking mechanism was designed so that if there were a load on the beam all mechanical parts would lock and wouldn’t unlock until the load had been removed. A redesign of the cable drum reeling system was a direct result of consulting with the maintenance personnel who had over years identified areas of the design for improvement.No items found.
The redesign of the mother beam by Orana Engineering included a practical approach of “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” while identifying areas of the existing design that needed to the redesigned to meet regulatory compliance and eliminate operational and maintenance issues as identified via feedback from site personnel.