Konecranes introduces RopeQ and RailQ, smart maintenance techniques.RopeQ: Crane wire rope inspectionKonecranes, the global leader in lifting industry, has developed RopeQ, a reliable and practical system that evaluates the working condition of wire ropes using advanced, Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) methods. RopeQ is a diagnostic tool that uses electromagnetic technology to assess the inner and outer wires and strands of a wire rope. This testing method achieves reliable, accurate, and repetitive inspection results that ensure safe use and improve total lifecycle cost.Wire rope contains up to 400 individual wires. Throughout a wire rope’s working life, the wires are subject to bending and abrasion wear. If too many of these wires are broken, the safety of the rope cannot be guaranteed. Usually only the outer surface of a wire rope is checked during a visual inspection. It is impossible to inspect the inner core using standard methods of inspection. For this reason many wire ropes are classified as safe even when they should be discarded because of heavy internal damage.Backed by more than 60 years of experience and research in the design and maintenance of hoisting equipment, Konecranes has developed this unique technology called RopeQ. RopeQ applies an electromagnetic-inductive testing method to detect flaws that are not visible on the surface of wire ropes, producing an accurate assessment that can increase safety and reduce wire rope cost. The RopeQ diagnostic tool fastens to wire rope assemblies and records a series of interior images along the entire length of the wire rope. The diagnostic survey produces data that pinpoints all areas and degrees of degradation. The precise results help to determine whether continued use is safe or whether the rope needs to be changed.RopeQ can improve the total lifecycle costs of equipment by optimising wire rope change intervals in process duty and critical equipment. Throughout the working life of a wire rope, the strands and core are subjected to tension, bending, and abrasion, which can compromise strength and safety.Routine maintenance often relies on pre-determined replacement intervals regardless of the actual condition of the wire ropes, meaning that safe and operable ropes might be replaced too often or too soon, resulting in unnecessary downtime and costs. RopeQ produces verifiable condition assessments that can be compared against discard criteria, reducing the possibility of changing wire ropes that are still compliant with lifting regulations. Most importantly, RopeQ is able to detect faults that are not visible to the naked eye, thus improving the overall safety of the lifting equipment.RopeQ is appropriate for a wide range of applications, including but not limited to: steel mills, paper mills, steel service centres, foundries, waste-to-energy plants, pulp mills, chemical plants, power stations, nuclear power plants, aerospace and general manufacturing.Rail Q: Crane runway rail surveyRailQ is a state-of-the-art survey that provides 2D and 3D graphs on runway rails and identifies misalignments and other problems. It offers optimal recommendations for corrective options and cost-effective solutions.Runway surveyCranes should travel or track along their runway rails with a minimum of skew and without binding. Improper tracking leads to premature wheel and rail wear, resulting in costly repairs and down-time as well as inefficient and sub-optimal crane operation.There are many reasons why a crane does not travel correctly on the runway like: rail may be misaligned or worn; clips may be missing; pads may be worn; runway structure itself may be uneven, bent, or twisted due to column settlement due to overloads or impacts during the service life; and improper original installation.These reasons are normally investigated by performing a traditional runway survey; however, these surveys may result in days of costly down-time.RailQ is an advanced laser survey technique that utilises a proprietary remotely controlled robot trolley, Roborail, which runs along the rail collecting and feeding information to a total station laser tachymeter. The information is processed by our proprietary analysis and visualisation software producing interactive reports that help visualise the problem areas. Konecranes structural engineers also review the data and provide professional recommendations and solutions.Saves time, increases safety, improves reliabilityRailQ literally reduces the time it takes to perform a runway survey from days to hours, saving precious down-time. RailQ is performed by an automated robot, which increases accuracy and effectiveness. The automated robot is also safer since there is no need for a person to walk the runway positioning targets. RailQ produces accurate and repeatable data that can be easily interpreted and visualised through our interactive tools.Many times the tracking problems are not caused by the runway/rail but rather by the crane itself or perhaps a combination of both. Along with any runway survey, Konecranes recommends performing a geometric survey of the crane. Konecranes verifies the crane for “squareness,” meaning the end trucks must be parallel to each other and perpendicular to the bridge girder for the crane to track properly.In addition, the geometry of the girder and end trucks themselves are verified as is the alignment of the wheels within the end trucks. The crane geometric survey utilises similar techniques and tools as the RailQ Runway Survey and boasts similar benefits and advantages. No matter what the survey results and recommendations are, Konecranes can provide the appropriate solution including: structural repairs and up-grades; mechanical repairs and replacement parts and components; engineered comprehensive solutions that may include anti-skew control technology; and engineered prescription wheels that specifically address tracking/wheel wear issues.RailQ is an advanced laser survey technique that utilises a proprietary remotely controlled robot trolley, Roborail, which runs along the rail collecting and feeding information to a total station laser tachymeter.