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LIFTING A PRESSURE VESSEL WITH TWO MAIN LIFT CRANES AND ONE TAIL CRANE (2

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Heavy Lift Articles

I conclude this serie of 3 articles on multiple crane lifts with the erection of a pressure vessel of 520 tons by means of two main lift cranes and one tailcrane.

The pressure vessel which needs to be erected is shown in Fig. 1 .

We will make use of the technics which we learned in the previously discussed topics and which are summarized below:
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Decrease of tailload due to offset of tailing lug Decrease of tailload due to position of main lifting trunions close to the CoG of the column

Enormous Crane Due to the enormous weight and lenght of the column it would require a very large crane to erect it from horizontal into vertical position. An alternative method would be the erection of this column by means of a mast gantry system (or Gin Poles). The use of such a lifting gantry is though time consuming and occupies a large area of the construction site due to guywires which are in many cases needed. Guyless lifting gantries are available as well , but they still require a rather big crane to assist in the erection of the gantry itself. Another disadvantage of

erection by means of two main lift cranes and one tailcrane. As each main lift crane is connected directly to the main lifting trunion (See Fig. the mast gantry systems offer a good alternative. the danger exists that one of the cranes will be overloaded. The main consideration which we have to observe is : How do we monitor the load in each main lift crane “A” and “B” during the erection procedure. Depending on the location of the jobsite. Hire rates and mob. when they are not lifting the column at the same speed. Only in remote areas .the mast gantry system is the high point load underneath the legs of the gantry./demob cost of mast gantry systems are in general lower then those of large cranes. where cranes cannot offer sufficient lifting capacity. and not through an equalizing spreader beam. offers in general a far more efficient and faster erection method than the use of lifting gantries. where the mobilisation/demobilisation of mobile cranes is very costly. which must be absorbed by specially constructed foundations. the previously mentioned disadvantages of the lifting gantries still justify the use of such systems. In Western Europe nearly all large columns are erected by cranes and only in those cases. The answer to this important point is rather simple: We have to use a device which accurately measures the . Overload Danger! In this article we will limit ourselves to the erection of a 520 tons pressure vessel by means of two main lift cranes and one tailcrane. 2 below).

Depending on the distance of the main lifting trunion to the CoG. Suppose that our heavy lift pressure vessel is not lifted correctly and that crane “A” lifts faster than crane “B” resulting in a 1o degree angle with the horizon.09 Ton and in crane “B”: 249. it will result in an overload of crane “A”. Due to this incline with the horizon the load in crane “A” will be : 270.91 Ton.position of each lifting trunion in relation to the horizonduring the entire erection procedure. Let „s make some calculations on the overload on “A‟ or “B” when both trunions are not kept horizontal. than there will be no overload in any of the two main lift cranes. this overload could be insignificant or could be dangerous. so that we can adjust the the lifting speed of the main lift cranes accordingly. It is therefore required that these conditions are calculated before one starts the lift and that we keep both main lifting trunions in a horizontal plain during the lift. This overload is calculated when the column is supported by both . When crane “A” lifts faster then crane “B”. When both lifting trunions are kept in a horizontal plain during the lift.

The larger the distance between the CoG. These loads are calculated and as tabulated below: . It is proportional less when the column has not reached it‟s vertical position yet. and the lifting trunions. the greater the influence of an incline on loads in crane “A‟ and “B” will be.cranes in vertical position.

These guides will ease the lowering down of the columns base ring over the foundation bolts. Be aware of the fact that we should always keep the main lifting trunions at least 2 m above the CoG. but at the end of the operation. The reason for this is that the main lifting slings are placed around the circumferance of the trunions and the friction of the slings in the trunions could obstruct the trunions to rotate in the slings. What have we learned from this exercise? First of all . let‟s try to install the main lifting trunions as close as possible to the CoG of the pressure vessel. It is also advisable to connect 4 chain tackles or tirfors to the base ring during the lowering down procedure. See table below with a distance of the main lifting trunions increased to 12 m. one will find out that the column will not completely turn into vertical position. and not any closer. the overload will increase to twice the magnitude as well. when the column is lifted from horizontal into vertical position.4  Place steel guides on at least 3 foundation bolts. It will eventually turn.When the distance of the main lifting trunions is increased to twice the original distance. See Fig. . In this respect I would recommend following tips:  Place a 2 mm thick steel strip between the trunions and the lifting slings and grease it. These tools will be of great help in guiding the base ring and it will avoid possible damage on the thread of the foundation bolts during lowering down. and that will hinder the lowering down over the foundation bolts. This will facilitate the slings to turn better around the trunions surface and at the same time it will protect the sling from wear and tear.

I used two methods to monitor possible overload of each crane. I have succesfully used the same method over and over again. which measured .We still have not yet discussed the main issue of this operation and that is how do we accurately monitor that each lifting trunion stays in a horizontal plain during the entire lifting procedure. During my first tandem lift back in 1976. Load indicators. During a large number of tandem lifts of big columns. which were installed in the dead end of the lifting tackle and an electronic inclino meter.

so that even in case of an electronic failure we can still monitor the operation. In normal circumstances. As can be seen from above tables. The inclino meter.the angle of the imaginary line between both lifting trunions and the horizon (See Figure 4). . which we installed on a swivelplate at the basering of the column was far more reliable and prooved to be a very good tool. The inclinometer is fitted on a multiplex board with a swivel and can be clamped to the top of the basering or at the bottom. I must admit that the load indicators were of no use at all. it is very important to keep both lifting trunions horizontal during the entire lifting procedure and thus avoid any overloading of any of the main lift cranes. we would position both main lift cranes and tailcrane as shown in Fig. As an extra precaution we attached a normal spirit level on the same swivel plate. the variations in the dead end of the tackle of each crane were in no way a reliable measure to monitor the operation. See Figure 5 and picture V52-5. Due to the friction of the sheaves of both lifting tackles.

The ideal position is that each crane is . 14 m radius. 80 Tons at approx. in such a way that we can really prove that the crane can guide the tailpoint of the column . By calculating the decrease of the tailload in relation to the angle with the vertical we can establish the most economical position of tailcrane “C”. A Liebherr LTM-1400 with Spanlift system has a capacity of 87 tons at 14 m radius with 36.2. The tailcrane should at least have a capacity of approx. 4 the position of each crane is clearly identified. In Fig. Let „s have a look at the values of decrease of the tailload in relation to the angle with the vertical. It seems that this telescopic crane would have sufficient capacity to handle the tailload of our column. until it has reached it‟s vertical position. With the results of this table we can now establish the optimal position of the tailcrane. We now have to position the Liebherr at the side of the column between the taillug and the main lift cranes. As main lift cranes we have selected two mobile Demag TC-3000 cranes with Superlift attachment. Each crane is positioned at 10 m radius with 54 m main boom and has a rated lifting capacity of 340 tons with 100 tons Superlift counterweight.5 m boomlength.

Before the cranes are attached to the lifting trunions. The rated lifting capacity for both cranes in tandem is 2×340 = 680 Tons. 150 mm (this depends on the physical dimensions of the crane boomheads). The inclinometer and spiritlevel are attached to the basering and will remain in the same vertical plain during the erection from horizontal into vertical position. this lifting capacity is 520/680 = 76 % of the max. allowable lifting capacity. Erection procedure How do we now control the erection of this column? In the Netherlands. When both lifting trunions are exactly horizontal. The tailcrane is placed in a free swing and gently has to keep the basering from the ground and at the same time . both lifting trunions protrude 650 mm outside the column‟s shell. See Figure 5. who clearly instructs the operators of all three cranes. so that we can adjust the level of both main lifting trunions to an exact horizontal plain. We could even accept a smaller safety marging. as well as the tailcrane. then we set the inclino meter and spirit level at the basering of the column to zero degrees as well (Horizontal level). When the measuring system is set and checked. the usual practice is that such an operation is carried out under supervision of the Rigging Supervisor. In our case. With a weight of 520 tons . because of the swivel construction of the multiplex board. provided the precautions are taken as described in this article. the operators and supervisor check the speed of each crane and agree with each other at which speed will be lifted. To limit the amount of instructions given and to make the operation rather simple.placed perpendicular to the columns longitudinal centerline. Both main lift cranes are then attached to the lifting trunions. Both cranes can though be placed under an angle provided the clearance of the boomheads are still garanteed. which means that these crane types could even erect columns close to the 600 tons weight category. This can easily be done by means of a level instrument. a strict procedure is worked out. which we considered safe. the Rigging supervisor instructs both main lift crane operators to start lifting. Then the column is lifted out of the transport saddles. which just gives a theoretical clearance of approx.

where lifting tackle and boomheads pass. so that in one swing without lifting the column any higher. the tailcrane can slowly guide the column into vertical position. Adjustments are made by stopping or increasing the speed of crane “B” . One crane i.e. This method is followed. while crane “A” continues lifting at the same speed. In this way . as this will have max. Each column weighed 513 Tons and one had a lenght of 76 m . affect on a possible overload of crane “A” or “B”. When the column has reached an angle of approx. to avoid any deviation from the horizontal plain of both main lifting trunions. while the other measured 82 m in length. The picture shows the erection of two large columns at the Fina Refinery in Antwerp in Sept.slowly slews towards cranes “A” and “B”. 1989. crane “A” is lifting at the same lifting speed during the entire operation. nozzles or other obstructions in the area along the columns shell . with . 70 degrees with the horizontal. the rigging supervisor only has to instruct crane operator “B”. It is obvious that there should not be any clips. the basering is lifted high enough above the ground and final adjustments are made to ensure the horizontallity of the main lifting trunions. The most critical part of the operation is when the column has to be swung in between both crane boomheads.

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the relocation of one of the TC-3000 cranes (the other TC-3000 could stay in it‟s original position) . lifting the first column. lifting the second column and the derigging and demobilisation of all cranes from the jobsite.4 m respectively. At the last moment the Liebherr was exchanged by a Demag CC2000. . The erection of both columns was executed in a workperiod of only 10 days. that the crane types used in this article are just examples and that the same principles can be applied for other crane types. It speaks for itself.5 m and 5.meters of 4. Originally it was intended to use a Liebherr LTM-1400 as tailcrane and 2x Demag TC-3000 truckcranes as main lift cranes. as the Liebherr was not available when the lift was planned. this time included the time for mobilisation and rigging of all 3 cranes.