Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Mar 2010

MARINE: Fastlift's Big Refurbishing Job


Recent Western Cape Business News

FASTLIFT, through its specialised ‘cranes and services’ division, has just completed the refurbishment of the first of three 4-ton A.W.D. wharf cranes for fishing company I & J at Cape Town harbour.

Work began on November 15 last year, says Fastlift’s project manager Daron Medcalf, who is in charge of the project, backed by the technical expertise and experience of site foreman J.P.Kotze and an 8-man team. After a two week holiday break over Christmas, work on the first crane was successfully completed at the end of February. The firm has already begun work on the refurbishment of the second of I & J’s three cranes.

Managing director Bradley Medcalf was quick to compliment his brother Daron, JP and the team on a project well done. “Without their dedication and attention to detail the project could not have been a success,” he says..

The cranes were originally manufactured back in 1960 by A.W.D. In all 60 cranes were manufactured, and sold to Transnet for use at various places throughout the country. However Bradley managed to locate the original OEM drawings, and bought them. The drawings include the complete crane specifications, which were critically important for the success of the refurbishment project.

The refurbishment process costs some R1.35 million, Daron points out. “But when that is set against the R6 million to7 million required to buy a new crane, the value of a fully professional refurbishment is easy to see.”

Fastlift’s contract involved dismantling, rigging, lifting and removing the boom, which weighed 19 tons. It was then sent for various metallurgical and NDT tests.

Because the cranes operate on the quayside, the danger of undue corrosion needs constant watching, particularly as it is not always visible to the naked eye. The cranes have regular three-monthly maintenance checks, and load-testing is warranted at least once a year. In the present case complete sandblasting was carried out, followed by a scrupulous inspection, with action to refurbish or replace affected parts.

The gearboxes, motors, hoist ropes and other parts were thoroughly examined, removed, replaced and re-installed. The mast and the structure itself, as well as handrails and the main frame, were similarly treated.

The work was carried out by a highly skilled team, operating with a rigging loft which comes on site, fully equipped for the task, and is parked in a specially demarcated area. The team is already hard at work on the second of the three I & J cranes, and Fastlift has already had an enquiry from Walvis Bay for the refurbishment of a further 7 A.W.D. cranes. Medcalf is optimistic that they will refurbish other cranes in the future.

He emphasises that the company is well diversified, with divisions handling cranes load testing and inspection services, quality rigging products, special high performance wire rope. Through its registered Fastlift trademark which dates back to around 1969, the company offers its clients the service and immediate market recognition, quality, reliability and safety of their comprehensive range of products.

They are also specialist manufacturers and suppliers of overhead travelling cranes, portal or semi-portal cranes, portal or semi-portal bridge cranes, forklift battery bay cranes, cantilever cranes, free-standing swinging jib cranes, lifting beams and A & H gantry crane systems. They also deal in wire rope hoists, crane spares and components, and special high-performance crane and hoist steel wire rope.

We supply our clients with the very latest technology and internationally approved quality hoisting, lashing, lifting and rigging equipment - in fact the complete lifting solution for any materials handling problem, from inception to design and manufacture, to installation, commissioning, certification and load testing,” he says.

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