Innovative crane superstructure with energy consumption cut by half
A new generation of truck cranes is being produced in Vemdalen, Sweden. The small company Vemservice has, helped by partners including SSAB, developed a new crane superstructure that provides high lifting capacity with the same payload.
“The solution is smart, efficient and also saves energy. With its bending and torsional rigidity, the superstructure is a real feat of engineering. It’s extremely impressive,” says Per-Olof Kull at SSAB Shape.
Forward with joint strengthAbout three years ago, Vemservice contacted SSAB through DRIV Innovation – which helps companies with development – to find out whether SSAB wanted to get involved in supporting them in a development and research project. The aim was to be able to mount the newly developed 135 tonne-meter crane on a truck frame, retaining the payload without the whole rig being too heavy.
“We wanted to develop a ‘product for the future’ in response to the major housing shortage. Because houses are now being built in factories, and the modules have to be transported and lifted into place. We realized that a truck with a crane would be an ideal solution, and that’s what this is,” explains Benny Larsson, CEO of Vemservice.
“It sounded really exciting and we were keen to be involved. At SSAB we’re happy to help innovative companies who lead the way.”
Strong and light = Strenx®The project took two years, and SSAB helped Vemservice to develop a central frame, which was made using the high-strength steel Strenx®, as they wanted it to be as light and as strong as possible. SSAB supported them with recommendations for materials, showed them how to shape profiles effectively and helped with the design calculations. They also conducted FEM simulations and acted as a sounding board for production-related issues.
“Vemservice is very innovative and they use our material in a smart way. They’ve also won lots of awards, including Innovator of the Year at the Guldgalan event. They are also the first Swedish member to be certified as My Inner Strenx® – a program for manufacturers that produce premium products using Strenx®. There’s a lot of ingenuity and ambition here,” says Per-Olof Kull.
Thanks to the new frame, they can mount a stronger crane that lifts heavier loads and for longer. A truck crane with a high capacity combined with the Vemservice superstructure is an attractive alternative to mobile cranes with its high lifting capacity and much more efficient fuel economy, which also means reduced CO2 emissions.
Major environmental savingA study conducted by Mid Sweden University shows clear environmental benefits from the use of truck cranes instead of mobile cranes. The study clearly shows major differences in total emissions and energy consumption between truck cranes and mobile cranes.
Having the truck crane, for example, transport all the goods on the flatbed and trailer and perform the lifting work has no less than a 57% lower climate impact and energy consumption compared with using a mobile crane – when the goods are transported by a truck and trailer, the mobile crane drives to the workplace separately to perform the lifting.
Good conclusion and good continuationThe project was completed in September 2018 with a grand opening ceremony. Vemservice is now producing 40 crane superstructures a year.
“It’s all going smoothly, and Vemservice and SSAB are continuing their collaboration. We must congratulate Vemservice on a very well executed project, and also thank Mid Sweden University, DRIV Innovation and the Swedish Energy Agency for good collaboration,” says Per-Olof Kull.
“We’ve had good collaboration with interesting and knowledgeable people at SSAB. They have the desire to help in order to build high-quality, market-leading products,” concludes Benny Larsson.
SSAB has more than 50 years of experience in high-strength steel production and design. At SSAB Shape we help you maximize the benefits of using high-strength steel. Our worldwide network of local service centers offers design support, customized product development and reliable stock services, as well as a wide range of processing services that can help you to develop your products and gain a competitive edge.