Innovation through collaboration12 February 2021
At the end of 2020, it was announced that Kamag SPMTs can be used as ballast trailers. Head of global marketing, communication and business development at TII Group Volker Seitz talks to Sotiris Kanaris about this solution and other new innovations.
When Sarens bought a 1000t LR 11000 crawler, the crane and heavy haulage contractor went to Liebherr with the idea of investigating whether SPMTs could be used as ballast trailers.
The aim was to find a solution that allowed the SPMTs to be controlled by the crane’s control system, just like a standard ballast trailer. Liebherr had already tried similar solutions with other crane models, however, the SPMTs were not controlled directly from the crane and additional personnel had to track the crane’s movements with the SPMTs. This time the project was successful.
“Kamag, Liebherr and Sarens jointly designed the smart new solution. Each party brought their respective know-how into the project,” says Seitz.
Sarens supplied two Kamag K24 SPMTs for the development and testing work. Kamag developed a control box, which provided communication between the crane and SPMT, and enabled the crawler crane to control the movements of the heavy haulage vehicles.
Trials were conducted with a standard ballast trailer without wheelsets and a specially designed test adapter. The tests were completed successfully, with a fully functional solution demonstrated by Liebherr last November during an internal presentation.
Sarens’ LR 11000 can be supplied as planned with a suspended ballast pallet. This is then placed on the Kamag SPMTs for jobs that require a ballast trailer, using a special adapter. If the ballast trailer is not required, the crane operates using suspended ballast.
Seitz says that collaboration with customers is a key element for the development of new products or the upgrade of existing ones across the TII Group brands, which include: Kamag, Scheuerle, Nicolas and Tiiger.
When asked to choose the Group’s strongest innovations of the last few years, he picks the Rotor Blade Transport System (RBTS) and Trailer Power Assist (TPA); both a result of collaborations.
The RBTS, a joint development between Scheuerle and wind turbine specialist Vestas, can be used to transport rotor blades even longer than 80m. “Longer blades is definitely a trend in the market and we cater for it with our new RBTS,” says Seitz. “The concept of our new RBTS is scalable. It is designed to transport literally all future lengths of blades. Even blades of over 100m.”
The system consists of a two-axle dolly together with a free-turning device and a fouraxle trailing unit. With the help of a special lifting device, the wing root is picked up from the ground.
The quick coupling solution is comprised of the free-turning device along with the root adapter and a root frame that is connected to the blade root. This frame can then be secured to the free-turning device with the help of the adapter.
A clamp on the dolly is used to fix the tip of the rotor blade into position. The RBTS can be adapted to accommodate rotor blades from other manufacturers.
For return runs the RBTS can also be shortened to a 16.5m long tractor-trailer combination, 2.55m wide, under 4m high and less than 40t. This means that no special permit is required for an empty run.
The TPA, developed by Scheuerle and Mammoet, was unveiled in 2018. The TPA is based on the Kamag K25 self-propelled modular platform vehicle, which hydraulically drives four of the six axle lines by means of one Power Pack Unit (PPU). With a performance of 735 kW (1,000 hp) as well as a traction force of 400kN, one vehicle in the version featuring a drive unit and a six-axle platform trailer replaces two fully loaded heavy-duty truck tractors. Thanks to its modular design, it can be easily coupled with other units.
Seitz says feedback from customers and the company’s goal to supply its customers with leading user-friendly technology lead to the recent upgrade of the Z180 and Z390 Power Pack Units (PPUs). These PPUs, used to drive SPMTs, now feature a new colour display and enhanced electronics.
The Z180 drives 16 through to a maximum of 40 pendulum axles, while the Z390 propels 26 up to a maximum of 80 pendulum axles (each with a 48t axle load). The Z180 provides 180kW and the Z390 390kW.
The new twelve-inch colour display allows the operator to see the most important information on hydraulics, engine functions and fill levels at a glance via the start page of the main menu. Control icons indicate special operating conditions as well as other essential information such as Adblue and fuel levels, while the intuitive touch-screen control provides the user with quick access to the various sub-menus.
The company said there has been a comprehensive overhaul of the PPU electronics, accompanied by significantly improved diagnostic functions. This information allows the service technician to remotely guide the vehicle operating unit when troubleshooting.
The innovation drive at TII Group remains strong; Seitz tells Cranes Today that there will be new Scheuerle and Kamag products introduced to the market in 2021.
With the new products as well as its wide range of existing products serving many applications (energy, construction, shipyards, logistics, aerospace) the Group is optimistic that the demand for its offering will keep increasing.
Seitz says that in the past few years demand has been rising, with 2020’s figures exceeding expectations. “We are sure, that the positive trend of 2020 will continue this year.”