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Cutting life-cycle costs

Minimising customers' downtime, increasing their productivity, and generating long-term cost efficiency are key priorities at Konecranes. The company's Crane Reliability Survey (CRS) is a unique method of analysing crane performance and draws on Konecranes' extensive experience and expertise in developing, manufacturing, and servicing lifting equipment worldwide.

Konecranes introduced its Crane Reliability Survey (CRS) tool in 2003, following a development programme carried out in close cooperation with some of the company's key customers in the process industry sector in Finland. These companies can expect major financial losses if their process cranes are non-operational for even a short time.

Konecranes' CRS is a unique tool for extending the service life of lifting systems safely and effectively. CRS is part of a programme that has seen Konecranes become the leading developer and supplier of predictive maintenance services in its segment, provided through a global network of more than 340 service locations worldwide.

Avoiding the downtime that results in these types of losses means that service programmes need to target the best predictive maintenance solutions, the best technology and products, and the optimum investments – and ensure that they are all implemented at the most appropriate time. When this happens, the customer can achieve tangibly lower life-cycle costs.

Konecranes CRS is designed to help customers maximise the effective use of their cranes, and benefit from both enhanced safety and operational reliability. Customers receive fully customised and comprehensively documented proposals covering their predictive maintenance service needs over an extended time frame, making it easier for them to plan and budget their future investment decisions.

A two-stage analysis

CRS is a two-stage process, comprising customer interviews and a comprehensive condition analysis of equipment, followed by an analysis and summary of recommended measures.

The initial analysis is all-important, as it provides a detailed picture of the current status of equipment and an overview of how usage can be expected to develop in the future. The condition analysis module can be expanded to provide a reliable predictive picture of a system's current condition by taking vibration and ultrasound measurements, carrying out oil analyses, analysing air aggressiveness and temperature using a thermographic camera, and employing various advanced NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) methods.

The second part of the analysis reviews the results of these findings and calculates the estimated remaining safe service life of a crane's components and structure.

A summary is then produced, drawing together the conclusions that can be drawn from this data and listing a series of recommended actions for the future. The latter focus on ensuring that customers are able to achieve the best possible return on their original investment by choosing the right type and timing of service, improvement measures, and possible modernisation programmes.

> Fredrik Wicklund
(Published in High Technology Finland )