At the Coal Face: Coal Handling Systems and Technologies
The standard E-Crane product line consists of five series of balanced hydraulic cranes (E-Cranes): 700 Series, 1000 Series, 1500 Series, 2000 Series, and 3000 Series. The E-Crane is a truly revolutionary material handling machine as its main design feature is a parallelogram style boom configuration which allows the machine to be in near perfect balance throughout the duty cycle.
The E-Crane is specifically designed for barge unloading processes. Anything from coal to limestone to fertilizer to scrap steel can be handled. The E-Crane is a truly versatile machine in that it can easily switch between commodities and still offer the high production required at many ports and industrial facilities.
Perfect for Power Plants
Half of the near fifty E-Cranes in operation today in North and South America are in the power sector. The E-Crane is a perfect solution for power plants because of the versatility to handle both the fuel for the plant and the other materials needed for air quality control processes. American Electric Power is our largest customer along with other US based utilities such as Southern Company, Power South, Ohio Valley Electric Corp, and Cleco, amongst others. The US inland waterways is by far the most populated area for E-Cranes as there are many different ports and stevedoring facilities that desire a high production machine with high reliability and low reoccurring maintenance costs. Terminal management firms such as Kinder Morgan have realized the advantages of the E-Crane versus other more traditional pieces of equipment.
E-Crane competes with excavators
The E-Crane is placed firmly between production line excavators (or material handlers) and large scale dedicated unloading structures. Even the smaller E-Cranes offer much more unloading capacity than the standard excavator. The larger E-Cranes can compete with dedication systems in terms of production and come in at only a fraction of the installed cost with even less annual maintenance costs. The E-Crane product line is rated for barge offloading from 500 to 2000 tons per hour.
We at E-Crane have been promoting a “turn-key” style approach to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. We now offer our customers complete barge offloading solutions including hoppers, feeders, barge positioning systems, and even floating solutions mounted on deck barges. We use our expertise in barge offloading to design the most efficient systems so our customer can get as much out of their machine as possible. Our customers are satisfied as well since this eliminates much of the headache of procurement and project management that goes into these types of projects.
In recent years we have spent a lot of resources developing our Customer Service Department. ECI-USA has made investments in more warehouse space and increased inventory along with additional field service engineers. We now have more than 95% of all spare parts for our customers on-hand in our warehouse and our increased field service staff has secured full maintenance contracts with many of our customers. We also offer a means of remote troubleshooting via secure cellular connection with our customers who demand minimal downtime.
The Equilibrium Design
The “E” in E-Crane stands for Equilibrium. The E-Crane design is based on an ingenious parallelogram style boom that provides a direct mechanical connection between the counterweight and the load. This unique 4 bar mechanism system ensures that the E-Crane remains in near perfect balance throughout its working range. Compared to conventional cranes that require as much as 80% of their available energy just to move the boom, stick, and grab, the E-Crane makes gravity work for you instead of against you, reducing horsepower requirements and power consumption by up to 50% and significantly reducing maintenance and operating costs.
The E-Crane series offers models with up to 50 tons duty cycle capacity due to their movable counterweight and fixed parallelogram linkage as well as up to 150ft/50m of horizontal and up to 100ft/30m reach below grade. Its modular design allows each E-Crane to be tailor made to the client’s specific requirements.
Recent Technological Developments
E-Cranes now come with a new, reliable and user-friendly control system called the EMM, or Electronic Machine Manager. This built in system is a huge innovation in data collection technology, and allows for real time data collection of things such as running time, how many times the E-Crane hits a fault while in operation, whether there is an overload or overheat, and more. Some even stream live, real time video of the E-Crane while in operation.