Columbus McKinnon & Penny Hydraulics: together dominating the water industry’s lifting market
Global lifting specialists Columbus McKinnon and Penny Hydraulics Ltd have partnered on a series of lifting equipment projects to supply bespoke and innovative cranes, helping water industry engineers mechanically handle essential items easily, quickly and more safely than ever before.
Columbus McKinnon is a leading worldwide designer, manufacturer, and marketer of material handling systems and services for commercial and industrial applications. The company supply products including; hoists, actuators, cranes, and lifting and rigging tools and with 140 years’ experience behind them, the company have the experience, knowledge and superior design capabilities to make them an industry forerunner.
Penny Hydraulics, who also have a wealth of experience designing and manufacturing lifting equipment, are already the lifting equipment supplier of choice to come of the largest water companies globally, including; Veolia France, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water and United Utilities.
With both parties boasting a high level of experience and extensive contacts in the lifting equipment arena, it is perhaps not surprising that the two companies recently joined forces on a series of lifting equipment projects for water industry clients – drawing from each other’s expertise and prior experience to introduce an innovative, lightweight and portable davit crane to the Irish water market.
“Being well immersed within the water industry led to the development of an entire range of lifting products aimed at solving some of the most common lifting problems associated with the industry.” Said Penny Hydraulics Area Sales Manager, David Jones.
Handling loads within the water industry offers some unique challenges - primarily, the need for below ground handling where standard off-the-shelf cranes will typically not offer the rope length to accommodate the long drop into water wells and down manholes. Addressing this challenge, Penny Hydraulics well-known range of davit cranes all come complete with a high speed and durable electric hoist which can accommodate up to 40 feet/12 metres of rope – ideal for down hole handling.
Having worked together of lifting projects previously, Columbus McKinnon and Penny Hydraulics collaborated to introduce a unique crane design, made specifically for accessing deep wells, to the largest water company in Ireland, Northern Ireland Water. Part of the DC Range of davit cranes, the DC500 model offers unique features that make down hole handling a breeze.
“Our DC range of davit cranes benefit from light weight, robust construction and ease of use - providing users with a portable, effective and versatile load handling tool,” said David. “The DC500 has a lifting capacity of 500kg and is available with fall arrest capability, electric hoists that simply plug into the vehicle or pump control box, and boom extensions – it’s the perfect choice for below ground handling when vehicle access is impractical. What’s more, only one engineer is required to operate the crane - it’s operated via an easy to use wander lead control.”
A typical day to day task for a water industry engineer will be to inspect a series of water pumps housed at the bottom of deep water wells. To do this, it is necessary to lift the pumps to ground level so that the thorough inspection can be made, before lowering the pump back down the well, or replacing it with a new pump where necessary. With vehicle access to the sites being in most cases impossible, any lifting equipment required for the job must be manually carried by engineers to each well.
“Engineers need to be able to easily store any lifting gear in their fleet vans, or pickup trucks and manually carry the units from the vans to different well sites,” said David. “The lifting equipment then needs to be quickly and safely deployed at each well.”
Given the application, the DC500 crane has been designed with portability and ease of assembly very much in mind.
“The davit crane comprises of three, separate portable sections which can be quickly and easily assembled together at the lift site, said David. “The crane is made up of an upper section, a base, which includes the turnbuckle, and the electric hoist weighing 8kg, 16.5kg and 20.5kg respectively. The crane is even supplied with a specially designed carry bag for ease of transportation.”
For stability during each lift, the davit is secured to the ground via a durable socket which is permanently sited next to the well. In some cases, multiple sockets may be installed at each well dependant on the requirement of the particular site and the equipment that is housed there.
The DC500 cranes are all manufactured in the UK to stringent EU standards. All units are CE marked and are tested and certified in accordance with Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), offering peace of mind that the cranes are of the highest quality and are safe to use.
“We’re delighted to be working with Columbus McKinnon on this high-profile project,” said David. “The introduction of DC500 cranes to the Irish water market gives the water companies the tool they need to work smarter and safer than ever before.”