Hi, I'm the new editor of Cranes Today; some of you may already know me from my previous job in the world of crane publishing. Starting a new job at the tail end of a global pandemic is certainly a new experience for me. It's particularly strange as, apart from being lucky enough to continuing writing about cranes and specialised transport, I'm still working from the same (home) office. To mark the occasion I am now sitting on the other side of my desk to provide a different perspective of my working environment...
Peter Eiler, Rudolf Becker, Helmut Blasé, Heinz Heyer, Dieter Jurgens... Have you ever heard of these people? The answer is ‘probably not’; and it is a pity. They are, or were, engineers of great skill, perhaps genius; and in his article on page 21 Stuart Anderson explains what it was exactly that they did and achieved. Spoiler alert: all these people and more contributed hugely to the development and improvement of the hundred-tonne all-terrain crane to make it the hugely-useful lifting and carrying tool that it is today.
The crane industry predominantly consists of long-established manufacturers, many of which were founded just after World War II. This is the reason why when a company decides to enter the market is big news.
Will buyers of new and used cranes have to pay a higher price for machines in the coming years?
When interviewed for a feature on the Middle East market a few months ago, executive director at Al Faris Kieve Pinto said low oil prices caused uncertainty in the market and that there was a drop in investment in large scale oil and gas projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
‘Connectivity’, ‘Big Data’, ‘Industry 4.0’, ‘Internet of Things’ are popular buzzwords, predominantly associated with positive effects on business. Technological evolution has benefited businesses in various ways, most importantly by boosting efficiency of production.
Urbanisation was a topic mentioned in a number of presentations delivered by industry experts at our Tower Crane Virtual Conference. It is a trend that had a major impact in the crane market, both in terms of demand as well as product development.
Over the past year, there has been a lot of discussion about the challenges the industry is facing because of the pandemic. Operations had to be stopped or altered, while sales revenues have been affected.
At the end of 2020, Mammoet launched the 6,000t-capacity SK6,000, which the company says will allow for the construction of bigger FSPO and FLNG modules onshore. This was the second launch of a machine with a capacity exceeding 1,000t within a period of few weeks.
This year we have been constantly bombarded with negative news about coronavirus; but looking back over our news coverage of 2020, I realised that it was a year with numerous exciting product launches and updates.