PEMA raises dangers of container crane fatigue

The Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) has published a new information paper on the structural examinations of container handling cranes in ports and terminals.

It has been designed to increase understanding of the potential risks posed by fatigue failure and highlight the importance of structural examination.

The paper sates that more practical guidance to help terminal personnel detect cracks through visual examination of ship-to-shore (STS), rail mounted gantry (RMG) and rubber tyred gantry (RTG) container handling cranes should be given.

According data collected by TT Club, the third biggest source of equipment claims in ports worldwide is fatigue damage.

It is estimated that out of 5,000 STS cranes, each year around 150 will develop a fatigue crack that can result in the failure of a critical member.

Fatigue damage is the growth of cracks in material caused by repeatedly applied louds, structural damage can occur when a material is subject to cycling loading.

The main bulk of the paper looks at what exactly causes fatigue failure and provides a detailed illustrated guide to practical structural examination.

It highlights the importance of regular visual inspections but advises that operations should engage a professional to conduct in-depth examinations of critical points on the cranes on a periodic basis.

Simo Hoite and Michael Jordan of Liftech Consultants, Hannu Oja of Konecranes, David Moosbrugger of Kunz, Theo Scheijven and Walter Oostwouder of APM Terminals, and Michael Tanner and James Scanlon of Liebherr Container Cranes prepared the new information paper.

The new report is the ninth information paper to be published by PEMA and can be downloaded for free from the PEMA website.