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Advanced Cranes for Sugar Giant Installed by Street Crane's South African Partner

Illovo Sugar's new 51,000 square metre warehouse has been fitted with six cranes by GM Technical Services, featuring hoists and other equipment from GMTS's partner Street Crane Company of the UK.
    CHAPEL-EN-LE-FRITH, ENGLAND, anuary 26, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- GM Technical Services (GMTS), a South African crane maker, is celebrating the completion of the contract for Illovo Sugar, the major sugar supplier in the southern states of the continent and a major sugar exporter. Illovo's new 51,000 square metre warehouse has been fitted with six cranes, each of 16 tonnes safe working load (SWL), featuring hoists and other equipment from GMTS's partner Street Crane Company of the UK.

The warehouse is divided into three zones of which six bays, within two of the three zones, incorporate double girder cranes of 30.72 metres span. GMTS made the crane beams, control cabins, link beams, lifting beams, access walkways and bogies in South Africa to structural drawings supplied by Street Crane. Up to 170,000 tonnes of sugar will be stored at the warehouse which holds product prior to shipping to Illovo's retail, wholesale and industrial customers.

From the UK, Street supplied 12 eight-tonne (4+4 tonnes) custom designed VX heavy duty vertical lift hoists. Reeving the twin hoists on a single hoist drum ensures the movement of both hooks is fully synchronised. GMTS provided encoder feedback and inverter drives so that the twin hoists on each crane work in a master/slave configuration for total synchronisation of vertical movement on all four hoists. Each lifting beam will take ten one-tonne international bulk containers (IBC's) of sugar.

The purpose built VX is a true vertical lift hoist with an open barrel design so that there is no lateral movement in load lifting and lowering. The M8, heavy duty, rating on all crane mechanisms was essential because of the high volumes of product passing through the warehouse and frequent crane movements anticipated.

Cranes are built for long travel speed of 60 metres per minute, cross travel rate of 20m/m and lift speed of 7.8 m/m. All motions are inverter controlled for smoothness and stability with slow speed on all motions of ten percent of the maximum.

Radio control from the cabins was supplied by GMTS together with electrical power distribution via an insulated conductor system supplying power to the master hoist panel. Additional automated safety incorporated by GMTS include systems to recognise identification tags on personnel and fork lift trucks to stop the crane and avoid potential collision with the lifting beam.

Speaking for GMTS Hannes Steenberg explained, "We won this order because we are one of only a few companies in South Africa with the experience and expertise to offer M8 equipment and meet such a demanding and complex specification. We have also undertaken to maintain this equipment for five years."

At 30.72 metres these are not the largest cranes built by GMTS - that was an order for two 32 metre cranes of 100 tonnes SWL. However, this was still a major logistical challenge. Due to the size of the loads, special permits were needed to negotiate the 480km journey through three provinces from the GMTS factory in Vereeniging to the Illovo warehouse in Msunduzi.

The finished cranes required a vehicle escort and steerable dollies were used for greater manoeuvrability in place of fixed wheel vehicles. Each convoy of three cranes took two days reach their destination. Despite the technical complexity, tight schedule and logistical challenges, GMTS met all project deadlines.

An initiative between Illovo and developer Collins Property Group, the new warehouse is expected to produce extensive efficiency gains in the sugar supply chain. Day to day operation of the facility is outsourced to Barloworld Logistics.

More information

United Kingdom
Chris Lindley-Smith, Tel. 01298 812456 Fax. 01298 814 945
Street Crane Company, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, SK23 0PH, UK
E-mail: Web:

South Africa
Hannes Steenberg, Tel. 016 428 1462 Fax. 016 428 1072
G M Technical Services, Duncanville Industrial Park, Houtkop Road, Duncanville, Vereeniging, Gauteng.
E-mail: Web:

High resolution images on the web:

Street Crane Company is the UK's largest manufacturer of electric overhead travelling cranes (EOTCs) and a major exporter of hoists, components and controls to crane makers in overseas markets. Cranes and hoists are available up to 200 tonnes safe working load. Single and double girder gantry, semi Goliath and Goliath cranes are produced. Special cranes and automated crane controls can be engineered to cope with unusual site conditions or load handling and lifting requirements.

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Contact Information

Chris Lindley-Smith
Street Crane Company

Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak
Voice: +44 (0)1298 812456
E-Mail: Email Us Here
Website: Visit Our Website

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