Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Jan 2011

ENGINEERING: Target's Ingenious Rigging Project


Recent Western Cape Business News

WHEN the sluice gates for the locks at the One And Only Hotel at the V & A Waterfront were installed about 18 months ago, it was possible to use mobile cranes at the time as it was a construction site with easy access. The sluice gates were manufactured by Petrel Engineering and transported as well as installed by Target Rigging.

Shortly thereafter, as part of the completion of the hotel, underground drainage, paving and the gardens were completed, thereby making access by mobile cranes impossible.

However, the two sluice gates need an annual service by Petrel Engineering. This requires the installation of barrages to shut off the water at both ends prior to the commencement of the service and their removal once the service has been completed. Accordingly, Target Rigging had to rethink the methodology of this job and have designed job specific lifting equipment for this purpose.

Neill Rogers, projects manager for Target Rigging, has been leading this project. All the equipment has been designed and manufactured in Target Rigging’s workshop and has been designed in modular form for ease of handling.

A spin-off from this project is that this equipment using a similar installation method can be utilised to install air conditioning systems, generators and other equipment which have to be placed on top of high rise buildings of any height. Even construction can benefit.

In the early 2000’s, shortly after a helicopter crashed with loss of life while performing a lift on a building in the city centre, the Cape Town City Council banned the use of helicopters to perform these lifting tasks because of the high risks involved. Shortly thereafter, a similar system to this one was designed by Target Rigging to replace two air conditioning units on top of the Cape Sun Hotel which is 108m high.

This latest design has taken Target Rigging’s lifting system for high rise buildings to a new level as the maximum weight that can be lifted has increased substantially from a modest one ton to close to five tons. However, each job has to be accurately surveyed to ensure that the equipment can be used and may require modifications, but the principal remains the same.

Regarding costs, savings will be forthcoming as most lifting jobs in the city centre require the larger cranes of 180 tons and upwards with additional costs for counterweights, road closures and so on. In addition, mobile cranes can not always stand close to buildings due to underground drains and are therefore less effective. The Target Rigging system is reasonably simple to adapt, install and operate while the costs will be substantially reduced.

However, as described above, each situation has to be individually assessed.

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