The project involved lifting concrete panels, weighing three or six tonnes, between support columns inside the narrow shop floor, so that assembly technicians could then fasten them in place. The goal was to separate two sections of the shop floor from each other in order to reduce the noise levels in both of them.

The tight space inside the building made the job hard; a crane runway in the way made it even harder. The first panels had to be placed underneath the runway, while the last series had to be positioned above it. “To do this, we had to extend the boom until just underneath the ceiling. However, that wouldn’t have worked with a hook, so we instead worked with the runner and telescoped under load. And in certain cases, it really came down to the last few centimeters,” said crane operator Oliver Lieb, who during the lift also had to make sure the crane was not too close to a large glass pane.

The most particular challenge within this context was positioning one of the topmost panels, which had to be threaded in directly behind a crane runway girder with extreme precision. “Since there wasn’t enough space to set down the panel directly, we had to set it down on makeshift wooden supports, rig it again, lift it again, and then remove the supports to be able to set it down where we wanted,” said Karl-Heinz Göring, Merkel Autokrane customer service representative.