24 April 2012
Wing manufacture lifted by ‘radical’ crane installation
Movement of composite wings at Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast is smoother and more efficient thanks to an unusual installation of overhead cranes.
The cranes are manufactured and supplied by Street Crane of Derbyshire and have been designed specifically for this "challenging" application.
As well as 5-tonne load cranes in the fabrication area – two of which span 20m between crane rails – there is an unusual wide span single girder 20-tonne crane in the production area. Features include hoists of 15 and 10 tonne SWL. Known as the jiggle crane, the first hoist takes most of the wing's weight and the second enables lateral adjustment, allowing the wing to be rotated.
In the assembly area, Street Crane has installed an 8-tonne double girder underslung turntable crane with twin rotating hoists. The design permits the suspended wings to rotate by 200 degrees at the same time as being transported across the full 52m bridge. The turntable is in effect a small double girder crane running on a circular track rail mounted on a 5m-wide trolley.
Andrew Pimblett, Street Crane's managing director explained: "This was one of the most challenging projects we have ever undertaken. Bombardier is manufacturing and assembling composite aircraft wings for the new Bombardier CSeries family of aircraft in a facility that has been specifically engineered to meet production needs. This has required innovative approaches to crane design with all cranes underslung from the roof structure, rather than more conventionally supported on columns or gantries."
Several of the cranes have multi-span crane beams that will flex with the movement of the building structure. All use Street Crane's ZX hoist designed and built in its UK factory at Chapel-en-le-Frith.
Designed for the growing 100-149 seat market, the CSeries family of aircraft combines advanced materials and leading edge technology. Bombardier already has firm orders for 138 of the aircraft.
Street Crane Co Ltd
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