The benefits of electric wire-rope hoists are being leveraged within a large press shop at the BMW Group´s Mini plant in Swindon, UK. Two Eurobloc VT5 crab units are deployed atop two 35-tonne double-girder cranes that were designed, manufactured and installed by Verlinde´s UK agent, Pelloby.
The investment represents the next stage of a drive to upgrade older lifting systems following a similar Pelloby installation at the plant in December 2015, also featuring Verlinde’s technology.
The latest double-girder cranes have a large total span of 21.8m and provide 9.8m height of lift. Each girder runs off different gantry rails at separate locations within the press shop.
The end carriages are fitted with anti-collision/slowdown units that eliminate the possibility of the system coming into contact with a neighbouring crane by shutting down the power once they enter a predefined distance of one another.
The electric wire-rope hoist crab units feature digital load displays and true vertical lift, which prevents any lateral movement for improved hoisting performance. Offering 40-tonne load capacity with a 15mm galvanized wire rope, the hoist is driven by a 35kW motor to provide a hoisting speed of 8.20/0.16m/min, while the trolley is able to travel at a speed of 32.0/8.00m/min. A radio control transmitter is used to oversee system motion.
Pelloby has also been contracted to provide a series of follow-up service visits over the 48-month period following installation.
For ease of maintenance, both sides of the cranes are fitted with a walkway running along the entire span. In addition, a Metreel safe-wire fall arrest system is fitted to both walkways on each crane as a precautionary feature in the event of an accident. Even the access gate on the 1.1m safety rail has a self-closing mechanism.

From design to commissioning
Emergency stop buttons are accessible on the walkways to allow engineers to shut down the movement of the crane or hoist crab unit manually if needed, while to improve visibility, both cranes feature five LED floodlights.
Pelloby managed all aspects of the project from design through to final commissioning, even providing operator training for BMW staff and removing the old crane during the installation phase.