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Overhead cranes play crucial role in building London overground trains

Two overhead cranes from Street Crane Company are playing a vital role at Bombardier’s Derby factory in the building of new trains to revitalise the capital’s rail commuter services. The cranes are used in the final assembly of new Electrostar overground trains, contributing to the safety and productivity of the streamlined production operations.

"Bombardier’s technically demanding specification required highly specified factory cranes that ensured safe, continuous and flexible working in an extremely intensive production environment," explained Street Crane sales director Gus Zona. Two identical 20 tonne safe working load cranes have been installed. Each is fitted with twin ZX series ten-tonne hoists for assured lifting and handling. The cranes will be used independently during the assembly of the trains, but are designed for tandem operation when lifting and moving complete train bodies.

Special on-crane safety equipment includes audible alarms as the cranes move up the workshop. Anti collision devices provide a safeguard when the two cranes are operated and moving independently. For tandem crane lifts and transportation a unified radio-based control system is used. This ensures the complete interlocking of overhead crane operations and total synchronisation of all movements.

To ensure efficient production, the cranes can transport loads at speeds of 40 metres/min in long travel down the 180 metre long workshop. Cross travel speeds of 20 metres per minute can be obtained and hoist speeds of up to four metres/min. All crane travel motions are under inverter control to ensure safe acceleration and deceleration for load stability and to provide precision low speed final placement.

Many of the Bombardier Electrostar trains have already been delivered and will service the London Overground to the north and east of the capital. Bombardier’s Derby factory is working a three shift system to complete the order.

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