When SEW Eurodrive elected to build its new, purpose-designed UK head office, production and service facility located in Normanton, West Yorkshire, a prime operational objective was to install a crane and hoist infrastructure that would prove pivotal in delivering maximum use of available floor space without impeding operational performance.
SEW called on the expertise of world leading lifting equipment manufacturer, Konecranes, to adopt a design route that centred on an innovative configuration and a layout that utilised the building’s main steel structure to support both the gantries and interconnecting crane girders. By doing so, the need to incorporate upright supports and stanchions was negated, thereby ensuring SEW Eurodrive – a world leading manufacturer specialising in drive technology solutions – could capture as much open floor space as possible.
In addition to implementing a ‘freestanding’ gantry system approach, SEW Eurodrive also aspired to work with a supplier whose cranes could accommodate their own drives on the two, 10-tonne capacity single girder overhead cranes that are located within the service and repair workshop area. Spanning 15m and providing a lifting height of 8m, both cranes – equipped with Konecranes CXT electric wire hoists and feature SEW Eurodrive’s 0.65kW travelling motor – can be operated together under master and slave radio control. Featuring an integral anti-collision mechanism, the master crane operates via a radio joystick control and the slave a mobile pendant. Further lifting capability within this part of the plant centres on four, one-tonne XMP pillar jib cranes that have been specified with Konecranes XN electric chain hoists. Providing a lifting height of 4m, the jib cranes operate through a 180º radius.
The freestanding gantry system approach is continued in the main, 7500sqm production/assembly area, where six, 1-tonne capacity single girder overhead cranes spanning some 6.3m – 7m metres are themselves equipped with XN electric chain hoists. Also incorporated is a straight monorail overhead crane travelling some 45m that in addition to its own XN hoist has been specified with an additional hoist trolley. Here the cranes are deployed to pick and move components, together with fully assembled motors, gear units and gearmotors. It is this equipment that SWE Eurodrive supplies into a number of major industry sectors, such as automotive, beverage and filling, transport and logistics, and airport baggage handling.
Commenting on behalf of SEW Eurodrive, UK Service Manager, Karl Rigg said: “The decision to engage Konecranes from the outset was based on a fundamental requirement to ensure that the lifting processes that we were seeking to implement would be as seamless as possible and have minimal impact on the physical working footprint of the new site. The resultant approach that was presented to SEW Eurodrive and which was subsequently adopted has certainly proved successful in helping achieve this, whilst delivering operational efficiencies in the process.
“Konecranes was also able to support its lifting equipment proposal by being able to incorporate our own drives on the two heavy duty cranes, plus it has a very good reputation within its field,” he added.
In addition to supplying and installing the hoist and crane lifting systems solution within SEW Eurodrive’s UK facility, Konecranes has also assumed responsibility for onsite planned service and maintenance programmes. This process will be coordinated from the company’s District Service Centre located in Sheffield and supported by a team of Konecranes service technicians.
Forming part of the global SEW Eurodrive Group, the UK operation was established in the UK in 1969. Its current 10-acre site with a total area of 10,000sqm means SEW-EURODRIVE can deliver in excess of 1500 geared motors per week based on current manning levels. It is a facility that features an 1800sqm service bay and workshop area of over 7500sqm that is equipped with more than £2.5m worth of components ready for assembly 24/7 365 days per year. All products are assembled in modern, state-of-the-art assembly cells to ensure process times and efficiencies are optimised.