To maximize storage space and heighten efficiency for its customers, LTH Logistics chose an alternative to the conventional reach stackers that usually handle ISO container storage: a Konecranes CXT crane equipped with Smart Features. The lifting solution is the first interactive system of its type in Asia.
One of Asia’s most advanced liquid container handling systems has been introduced into service. LTH Logistics, an integrated logistics solutions provider with operations in Singapore and Malaysia, partnered with Konecranes to develop a high precision, space-saving and sustainable alternative to conventional reach stackers typically used to handle ISO container movements and storage.
A Konecranes 32-ton CXT crane comprising two 16-ton CXT cranes handling containers with a spreader was chosen for the company’s new chemical warehouse facility in Singapore. The two CXT cranes are fixed hoists on a trolley frame and are used for lifting, retrieving, positioning and stacking containers, which sometimes weigh more than 30 tons. Konecranes believes the new semi-automatic and PLC-regulated solution is the first interactive system of its type in Asia.
The Konecranes CXT crane can be automatically programmed to safely maneuver ISO containers into a pre-selected location, which maximizes storage space and heightens efficiency for LTH’s customers. The new crane is fully equipped with Smart Features such as Target Positioning, Shock Load, Slack Rope, TRUCONNECT remote monitoring and analytical technologies, Hoist Synchronization and Sway Control.
“The Smart Features are a great addition to this crane and most importantly, improve safety in this aspect of our operations,” says Don Tang, General Manager, LTH Logistics.
For example, Target Positioning enables the crane controller to position the ISO tank container more safely, efficiently and accurately from the control room. “Konecranes’ Sway Control technology also helps to make loading and unloading much easier for our customers,” he shares.
According to Tang, the system knows when to lower the hook at normal speeds, and when to slow the process for precision lowering and lifting. With automated positioning and locking, it won’t operate until everything is in place and secure.
“We can program it for optimum safety so the machine knows when and how to lift and lower for the stability of contents, which is very important in the handling of liquids,” he says.
Tang says that in addition to the safety and fine control the system offers, it also helps to save space, to conserve energy and to contribute to the ongoing sustainability of LTH’s operations.
While reach stackers do have their advantages in terms of versatility, Tang says this overhead system uses far less space because it doesn’t require access around the containers. It also separates container handling staff from bulk handling and chemical hazards and it doesn’t require fossil fuel vehicles or vehicles operating inside the facility, which is a health, safety and environment benefit.
Jonathan Lim, Industrial Cranes Product Specialist at Konecranes, worked on the system’s design and commissioning with Tang. Lim says the crane – which operates at up to 10 meters a minute over four container bays, including a hazardous chemicals bay – is eminently suitable for uses such as handling containers in the petrochemical and bulk handling industry, as well as applications related to paper manufacturing, automotive and plastics manufacturing, chemical processing, and water and waste water plants.
“It is a very interesting interactive control project, probably the most interesting in which I have been involved over many years. It is certainly industry-leading and with features capable of wide applications. It took a lot of study and we used lots of the cranes’ Smart Features. We had to see to it that different loads unlocked properly when they were placed, and that the system would not lift when loads were not unlocked,” says Lim.
One challenge involved the various shapes and weights of the containers and the mobile loads within them. “That we have managed to safely control this host of variables is an accomplishment that is a tribute to LTH and to the versatility of the smart cranes involved,” Lim continues. “The whole system is built to the high standards of the Singapore Building Control Authority and complies with the statutory requirements for cranes of the Ministry of Manpower.”
Tang says LTH chose Konecranes because they provided an innovative solution that met their safety and functionality requirements.
“The staff from Konecranes has been very supportive throughout the design, planning and commissioning phases, which has led to a successful system implementation and ongoing in-service operation,” concludes Tang.
Key features of the Konecranes CXT wire rope hoist crane include the following.
- Space efficiency
The compact design of the CXT allows it to be operated closer to the walls, lift loads higher and ultimately save valuable space.
Depending on the model, the CXT can lift up to 80 metric tons.
Konecranes uses high quality components and precise manufacturing based on years of experience to enhance the durability of the hoist.