West Midlands Lifting Equipment Manufacturer Hoists Biggest Ever Order as 50th Anniversary Looms, Thanks to the Internet

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Crane Services Ltd of Amblecote, Stourbridge, (UK) due to celebrate their 50th anniversary next year have won their biggest ever order thanks to an internet marketing campaign. Just weeks after beginning the campaign, Crane Services received an enquiry via their web site to design and build a large scale specialist computer controlled handling system for one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of decorative concrete slabs.

Crane Services Ltd of Amblecote, Stourbridge, (UK) due to celebrate their 50th anniversary next year have won their biggest ever order thanks to an internet marketing campaign. Just weeks after beginning the campaign, Crane Services received an enquiry via their web site to design and build a large scale specialist computer controlled handling system for one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of decorative concrete slabs.

MD Rob Lewis says “We were extending our range of products and services with the introduction of a competitive new range of Flex radio controls for overhead lifting equipment and machinery, and we needed a method of marketing the new product. In addition to the more traditional methods we decided to experiment with web advertising”.

Crane Services decided to run a series of paid for advertisements on one of the internet’s search sites. “Because we were just testing the water we chose a very small budget, but right from day 1 the level of enquiries surprised us”. Sales of their Flex radio controls were impressive, but the advertising campaign also had the effect of generating leads for the existing crane servicing and manufacturing business.

Within weeks a web enquiry for a one-off handling system, designed and built specially to move moulds of concrete slabs in and out of a drying shed at a large slab manufacturing facility in the UK had been converted into the biggest single commission Crane Services has ever received.

The machine which is computer controlled will lift and stack moulds of wet concrete in a drying facility and then remove them when dry on a first in first out rotation ready for packing and delivery. The handling system picks up rows of 14 moulds each containing 9 slabs which are then stacked 60 high in up to 16 stacks. The system will work 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, fully automatically. The complex electrical control system required 2 months to install and test utilizing advanced proximity detection equipment with fibre optics, encoder feedback and load sensing equipment, all controlling Demag drive units for lifting, travelling and grab operation. “The control system was a real challenge” said Rob Lewis, “not least because the reliability required in the hot, damp atmosphere of the drying shed required a high level of electrical protection and wiring integrity”. Due to the atmosphere the use of electronic/inverter drives was minimized and the proven Demag motor technology was used to cope with high speeds and ardous cycle requirements. The hoisting mechanism utilized a novel chain system designed for long term reliability and low maintenance.

It is planned that the computer system will monitor the conditions and operation of the crane and will generate emails logging faults whenever they occur.

“The equipment is so large that we had to take extra factory space in order to assemble the equipment prior to delivery” says Rob Lewis. “The truck and trailer required for the 24 metre long load required rear steering to negotiate the narrow roads leading to the customer’s factory. A few road signs required temporary removal, but on the whole the exercise went smoothly, thanks to the professionalism of the transport company”.

“The enquiries and orders are still flowing in from the web advertising campaign and we haven’t found any need to revise the small budget we started with”.

Contact for further information

Rob Lewis

+44 (0)1384 370318

Crane Services Ltd

Platts Road

Amblecote

Stourbridge

West Midlands

DY8 4YR

http://www.craneservices.co.uk

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Keith Pincher
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