Willim has been involved in changes to the EN 13000 standard for years. He worked on an FEM committee of European manufacturers to try to rescue the standard when the health and safety administrations of several countries, including Germany, France and Italy, challenged the presence of a manual override to the load-moment indicator. A year ago, the FEM saved the standard by devising a compromise. This allows the crane to function outside the range of load charts during crane erection and to escape out of deadlock situations with a 10% increase in capacity, but an 85% cut in speed. EN 13000 will come into force in Europe in January 2010, with the compromise published in an amendment.

The issue was settled until February 2008, when US crane association the SC&RA challenged this solution, arguing that the manual override was essential for crane safety. After a frank meeting at ConExpo, the SC&RA, European crane federation ESTA, and the manufacturers have now agreed to meet later this year in Germany to try to find a way forward. Hans-Dieter Willim shares his views of the process, and the future prospects, with Cranes Today.

“In trying to solve the problem in Europe, we made possibly one mistake: we did not consider the whole world.

“It is a worldwide market. This not only affects used cranes, but new as well. Customers might buy some cranes new, use them for three years, for example, in Canada, and then bring them back to Europe. Then they have to reprogramme the cranes’ rated capacity limiter, and after 2010, they will have to fulfill EN 13000 with additional switches and a data logger. This is costly and will create a lot of additional work.”

Willim says he believes that in fact the US and Europe share much common ground in safety. “Although in the USA the tipping load on supported cranes can be 85%, compared with 75% in Europe, US crane use standard B30.5 does not take any effects of wind into consideration. In the USA, the crane driver must reduce the capacity of the crane in response to the area of the load and the wind speed. In Europe, a sail area [1.2 sq m per tonne of maximum capacity] is already included in the calculation of the so-called 75% rated capacity in EN 13000.

“Generally speaking, the US B30.5 standard leaves more to the crane driver. The US says that a rated capacity limiter is only an operational aid. For example, if an angle indicator fails and the load and the radius are well known, further lifts can be done.

“We need to discuss this and understand each other. This will take time; not a half a year. This effort is again being taken up by a committee in the FEM, chaired by Manitowoc Grove technical project director Gerhard Kaupert.” The goal, Willim said, would be to start working to amend EN 13000 again in 2009, as part of a formal five-yearly review process, for publishing an amendment in 2015.

Willim says that there are likely to be changes in a second amendment anyway. “We have already received comments which should also be taken in consideration during the coming revision.” Liebherr has sent out EN 13000-compliant versions of the LTM 1130-5.1 to selected customers for testing.

The solution could be to find a compromise, Willim said. “If we can find an agreement, I don’t know.

“We must be very careful; it is a critical issue. The goal should be to have worldwide delivery of the same cranes. This means using the 75% tipping load. Hopefully, the SC&RA might accept this, as EN 13000’s so-called 75% limit allows a 10% capacity increase under certain controlled conditions.

“Also we in Europe need to go one, or one and a half, steps back. The EN 13000 regulations have been a compromise with the Health and Safety Authorities of Germany, France, Italy. This compromise has been found between their extreme position– that we should get rid of the key switch completely–and the technical requirement that the crane remains fully operational. We reached that compromise after years of hard discussions.

“It seems impossible to find a worldwide solution, but what makes me confident is that the parties are willing to go to discuss the process. ESTA members will also join the discussions in October with the SC&RA and FEM to bring in their practical experience in Europe. It is a very long way ahead; we are not done. Let´s all work together to find a worldwide solution that will be accepted by all involved parties.”???