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In the middle of last year, two 5,000-ton Hercules portal cranes operating at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries received very powerful reinforcements. These are the new floating crane Hercules-5000 capable of lifting and moving cargo six times heavier than the above-mentioned portal cranes can lift.
Currently, the Asian Hercules III crane has already been used to move huge and massive structures, for example, the nodes of Aasta Hansteen offshore drilling platforms, which are built by an order of the Norwegian company Statoil.
The 5,000-ton floating crane is equipped with two retractable arrows, with length of 180 meters and two arrows as counterweight, with length of 70 meters. The lifting of goods is carried out with the help of 16 main winches and 8 additional winches. The reels of these winches roll cables of 72 and 54 mm in diameter, each of which is 5,700 meters in length. The main lifting hook of the 5,000 crane consists of a set of eight 1,250-ton hooks.
The world’s largest floating crane
The energy required to operate this “monster” is produced by four main generators, with a capacity of 2,200 kW. When the crane works while in the harbor and connected to the power grid the peaks of its consumption are smoothed by the energy generated by two additional generators, each with a capacity of 600 kW. And as an emergency backup generator, one 100-kilowatt generator is installed on the crane.
The construction of the crane-lifting device is designed in such a way that it is able to hold its load even in the most extreme situation. In the case of lifting and transporting particularly heavy and oversized cargo, special tanks are filled with seawater to add extra weight and stability to the crane. Due to this, the crane is able to maintain the hook angle equal to 15 degrees, from any side and 20 degrees from the stern side.
The automatic control system is able to automatically maintain the crane position with an accuracy of 100 millimeters, even when the crane lifts the load 50 meters in size, using various sensors, lasers, and cameras.
“Previously, having 5,000-ton Hercules at our disposal, we could build and move only relatively small modules, which means that our workers had to perform five times more operations to move and install these modules,” says Park Jong-bong, the head of one of the department of Asian Heavy Industries. “Now we can collect one 8,000-ton module, move it where it should, and immediately install it in place with high accuracy.”
The crane is designed and used to perform loading and unloading operations, which is why it has high speeds of operations. The crane does not perform installation work due to its low load capacity but it can be used as an auxiliary near a concrete plant for reloading cement from the water surface, unloading timber and other goods. If the mounted elements have a low weight, then the use of the crane for construction is allowed.