- Make a major plant modification that would double production capacity.
- Design a crane that could use existing peals (end-of-arm tooling and gripper).
- Engineer a crane that must function in a very harsh environment (furnace temperatures up to 2500o) and move a 20-ft.long object in a 360o range of motion.
- Keep the plant operational during installation of the new crane.
- Do it all within 12 months and within budget.
- Engineer, design, and install a sophisticated stacker crane—CMAA Class F, 65-ft. span, 12-ton capacity—that would use the latest technology (AC).
- New AC crane would use the same tools as the old DC one; common spare parts would make maintenance easier, less costly.
- Develop an innovative “point-and-shoot” control system that would allow for very precise and continuous 360o movement—and enhance operator safety.
- Design an optional operator user interface that would make future system enhancements easier.
- Create a collision avoidance system, using lasers around the crane, to promote greater worker safety.
- Greater production efficiency, doubled plant capacity, reduced downtime.
- Operator-friendly controls improved safety and enabled higher speeds when moving huge ingots to and from furnaces.
- Budget and deadline goals were met; the entire installation, from rigging to commissioning, took less than two weeks.
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