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Terminals tackle spreader questions
APM Terminals in Algeciras (APMT-A)
APMT Algeciras and Ports of Auckland Ltd
whether the spreader has to be easily re-
has developed a novel approach to an old placeable. If a simple pin or twistlock con-
and well known problem. RTGs, espe-
have come up with their own solutions to
nection between the spreader and
cially those fitted with a chain drive, are headblock is required, then the position-
difficult to align exactly over containers
different spreader positioning problems
ing functionality must be incorporated in
in the gantry travel direction. For this rea- the headblock and is commonly devel-
son a fine positioning system is popular an upper section for connection to the mounted on the spreader to monitor the oped by the crane manufacturer.
and the most common option seems to crane head block and a lower section that side shift positions. Stinis has built spreaders for straddle
be a “side shift” function between the slides along slide ways on the spreader carriers with both lateral and longitudi-
spreader and the headblock. Sam centre body. Different options nal adjustment and, claims Kees Stinis, the
Olofqvist director, head of product de- The side shift movement is achieved Stinis Krimpen BV has developed several first “micro-motion” system offering
velopment & engineering at Bromma says by an electric drive operating a “super different systems over the years for both movement in both directions for yard
that side shift is installed on between 30- grade chain” connected to the side shift yard crane and straddle carrier spreaders cranes. Stinis uses a system where the
40% of its yard crane spreaders. structure. Light shock loads are absorbed including a system with lifting chains and
What APMT-A has come up with is a by disc springs fitted to the chain ends hydraulic cylinders. Kees Stinis says the Fine-positioning arrangement on a ZPMC
new method for laterally adjusting an and electrical position stops/sensors are first issue in the design of a system is yard crane spreader
RTG spreader that does not require a
heavy mechanism mounted between the
spreader and the headblock. The system
was developed by APMT-A staff in col-
laboration with Cádiz University, A pat-
ent has been issued to Maersk España and
the inventors Ángel Tavio, Manoli Vílchez
and Antonio Illana.
The patent notes that up to now
spreader movement systems in the direc-
tion of RTG long travel “have all been
based on use of a heavy rigid frame con-
nected to the pulley head (headblock) and
mobile in relation to the lower part for
engaging the load (spreader), and use an
actuator such as a chain drive or cylinder.
APMT-A has developed a system
where “bridges” slide forward and back-
ward over cross members permanently
affixed to the crane pulley assembly, al-
lowing the spreader and headblock to
move in the gantry travel direction.
Different methods are possible for slid-
ing movement including rollers, balls, slid-
ing skids etc but APMT-A has chosen
skids made of a self-lubricating synthetic
material. The driving mechanism is a
worm gear system with each of the four
cross members housing a nut into which
a worm gear threads to move the bridge
units and the headblock/spreader. Each
worm screw has its own motor and the
motors are synchronised through a con-
trol system.
Get in position
The use of a worm screw gear may be
novel, but the APMT-A system of sliding
bridges does not seem to be a significant
departure from what is already available
from spreader manufacturers. Bromma
offers side shift with up to ± 300mm of
movement in both electric and hydraulic
versions of its most popular yard crane
spreaders. The system uses rails that are
an integrated part of the spreader and glide
plates in a frame underneath the
headblock. The spreader is moved with a
cylinder (hydraulic spreaders) or a chain
drive (electric spreader).
Olofqvist stressed that the design of a
fine-positioning system has to be consid-
ered in close cooperation with the crane
maker. If the crane design includes a
spreader with integrated sheave wheels,
for example, then the positioning system
has to move the sheave wheels.
RAM Spreaders offers an electrically
driven side shift system with its electric
3500 series spreader with a total stoke of
500 mm (± 250 mm) and capable of side
shifting with full load. RAM’s design is
an intermediate attachment consisting of
Load sensing
Bromma is preparing to launch its own
RAM Spreaders has developed many of the container handling solutions that we take for granted today...and that
load sensing system for integration into tradition of innovation continues with outstanding products like the RAM 3300 series “DualFlex” Twin 40 Headblock
the spreader twistlocks. There are several
System for Dual Hoist Cranes and the RAM 4000 series PinSmart Automated Twistlock Handling Machine.
manufacturers of load cells and Bromma
has partnered with a “proven world leader
in load sensing technology” to adapt its
technology for container handling and
integrate it with its own technology.
Bromma is focusing on load sensing
as a safety system, measuring weight and
eccentricity to detect container overloads,
out of balance boxes, under-declared
Innovation from experience
weights and twistlock problems such as a
malfunction or a snag load.
The system is on test in Sweden and
Bromma hopes to provide further details
RAM UK +44 1695 556 355 RAM SINGAPORE +65 6867 3380
in June. If so, it could be commercially RAM CHINA +86 512 5229 7222 RAM LATIN AMERICA +507 678 15179
available across Bromma’s full range from
around July this year. ❏
February 2010 31
31_pos35_WCN_Feb.indd 1 02/03/2010 19:47:58
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