Novelis, in Oswego, New York, is the global leader in aluminum and beverage can recycling. They produce an estimated 19% of the world’s flatrolled aluminum. Cranes are a critical part of the rolling, casting and fusing manufacturing processes and are used to transport sheets of aluminum.
Ten years ago, the radio control systems they used to operate their cranes began to malfunction. Without a reliable way to maneuver their cranes, the manufacturing process stalled, resulting in expensive downtime.
Out of two other proposals, the Ikusi Hand Held and Belly Belt radio controls stood apart as the highest quality products at the most cost-effective price. The controls have a long battery life, fast chargers and position selector switches that either maintain position or force return to the 0 position, which allow operators to be mobile, productive and efficient.
The first few radio controls that were installed worked effectively and did not cause down time. Since then, over 75% of the plant’s cranes have been switched over to Konecranes radio controls.
After proving themselves with the radio control project, Konecranes began to provide solutions for Novelis in other areas. Currently, Konecranes is developing a collision prevention system for two levels of cranes – one crane on the high bay and two cranes on the lower bay. The cranes will coordinate their positions use Smart Features technology, which helps prevent collisions.
The collision prevention system prevents the crane on the high bay from going over the cranes in the lower bay while holding a load. Smart Features Sway Control technology is being added to three of their cranes. By preventing the load from swinging during crane travel, the operator does not have to divide their attention from controlling the crane movements and monitoring the load itself.