Five reasons why a crane may not travel correctly on the runway

Five reasons why a crane may not travel correctly on the runway

By providing accurate alignment information of runway rails and expert recommendations for corrective actions, Konecranes RailQ Runway Survey helps increase a crane’s safety and performance, and makes it possible to avoid costly downtime and repairs.

Cranes should be able to travel along their runway rails without binding or with a minimum amount of skew. Their overall performance depends on certain factors, including the condition of the runway and its alignment. Poor rail alignment can cause a chain reaction, eventually leading to unnecessary wear and tear of wheels and rails, and structural fatigue.

Improper tracking is usually investigated by performing a traditional runway survey. This method, however, may result in days of costly downtime or yield findings that may not be clear or accurate.

Konecranes’ RailQ Runway Survey delivers an in-depth view of the alignment and condition of crane runway rails, including measurements of span, straightness, elevation and rail-to-rail elevation. It offers expert recommendations for any necessary or potential corrective actions. Konecranes engineers then review all collected data, and suggest proper corrective actions.

RailQ provides recommendations for optimized and cost-effective corrective actions. “Since we use fully automated software to do the math, we’re able to find the easiest way to correct the alignment to fulfill required standards. This is extremely difficult to do manually.

In practice it means that we minimize the locations on the runway that need to be touched,” says Saku Aspelin, Product Manager, Consultation Services at Konecranes.

Likewise, RailQ is faster and safer than traditional survey methods. “The key is its use of a remote-controlled robot that takes the place of the technician who would otherwise have to crawl through the rails,” he adds.

So what causes a crane to travel incorrectly on the runway? Here are a few  examples.

1. Improper installation

A runway that is not installed in accordance with specifications and tolerances may bring about premature wheel and rail wear, as well as other crane and component issues.

2. Misaligned or worn rail

Poor runway alignment may result in crane flanging, skewing, or binding. It too can lead to excessive stress to the runway beams and extensive wheel and rail wear.

3. Missing clips

Clips, which secure and support the crane rail, prevent it from moving when the crane travels on the runway.

4. Worn pads

A crane rail pad is essential in reducing shock and vibration in a rail system. The pad laid under the rail provides load distribution over a larger surface, elimination of load concentrations and the resultant fatigue stresses, and centering of loads on the supporting element. It also absorbs uneven contact surfaces between rail and support, reduces noise and vibrations, and acts as a seal between the bottom of the rail and the top of the support.

5. Crane geometry

Incorrect crane alignment can give rise to premature wheel wear, rail wear, structural component failures or drive faults. CraneQ Crane Geometric Survey works together with RailQ for a total look at crane and runway geometry. It helps find the root cause of these symptoms to avoid costly downtime and major problems.


Text: Gino de la Paz
Photo: Konecranes

Resource type: