Synthetic rope increases lifting strength and safety of Konecranes S-series


The Konecranes S-series crane has a newly designed structure and next generation features such as synthetic rope, off-set reeving, and stepless hoisting movement. 

The ‘S’ in the name stands for synthetic rope, which through exhaustive testing has been revealed to be stronger than steel, much cleaner than steel, and significantly safer to handle.

“Intuitively, when someone looks at synthetic rope on a crane there are a lot of questions,” said Edward Di Cesare, director of marketing, industrial crane products for Region Americas. “First, people ask if synthetic rope is strong enough. Second, they ask if it is safe. What we’ve learned is that synthetic rope is actually safer, it outlasts wire rope, and its inherent properties allow us to build a crane that is superior in many ways.”

In a series of tests, the synthetic rope challenged similarly rated steel wire rope for strength and durability. In each case, the synthetic rope performed better than steel. After being submerged for five hours in hydrochloric acid, the steel wire was visibly corroded. When stress tested, the acid-exposed steel wire rope broke well before its rated capacity, while the acid-exposed synthetic rope continued to perform like new, surpassing the five-times safety factor.

When exposed to sparks within 20 cm or 8 inches for 45 seconds of grinding operations and then stress-tested, the synthetic rope still exceeded the minimum safety factor of five. When both ropes were exposed to a sharp edge, the synthetic rope received no permanent deformation or harmful damage, and was approved for use. The wire rope was permanently deformed, which meant that it failed standard inspection criteria, and had to be taken out of use. In what was probably the most important challenge, a basic breaking strength test with parameters of time, distance and loading, Konecranes synthetic rope was the clear winner.

A new reeving design with tilted drum prevents ropes from crossing, and the fleet angles remain straight all the way up to the drum, preventing the block from twisting as it sometimes does on a wire rope hoist. Konecranes S-series also features a new hook block design that includes more long wearing composite parts, estimated to last 45% longer than steel. And because the rope is made of synthetic material, the drum no longer needs lubrication, reducing maintenance costs for the customer. 

Another Konecranes S-series innovation is the main girder, which comes with a first-ever sliding connection that allows the end truck to automatically adjust itself on the runway, reducing wheel and runway wear. It is also easily adjustable in cases of span misalignment or out of tolerance runways.

Three standard software or ‘Safe Features’ that give control of the material handling process include Snag Prevention, Hook Centering and Follow Me, which help speed up operations while protecting employees and infrastructure.

Variable speed control for all movements is also standard on Konecranes S-series. It has stepless inverter control for hoisting as well as travel, plus adaptive speed range (ASR) that adjusts the maximum lifting speed to the weight of the load for safer and more productive use. In simple terms, ASR facilitates faster load cycles with lighter loads.

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