'Heavy work' for wheat starch factory
Agrana, an internationally active starch producer, has a factory directly on the Danube in Pischelsdorf. So, with relatively little effort it was possible to transport the four containers from Bulgaria to the factory in Pischelsdorf where they were required, via the Danube. Once they had arrived there, the four 136 metric ton containers were separated from their destination in the factory by just a few hundred metres.
Tandem lift for steel containers
Two truck-mounted cranes, with maximum payloads of 750 and 400 metric tons, were used to unload the ship. "Because of the tight space it was difficult to position the two cranes ideally", says Niedermair-Auer, continuing: "It was certainly clear that the transport vehicle would have to be positioned behind the cranes as otherwise the extension of the crane jibs would be too great." As a result, the containers had to be passed between the two cranes after being lifted from the deck of the ship before they could bet set down on the low-loader on the other side. Niedermair-Auer knew that this would require very sensitive load guidance by the crane operators and he is delighted with the well-coordinated team on site. "This really was stretching the limits of possibility." And so, despite difficult conditions, little-by-little, all four components were precisely loaded onto the low-loader with vessel bed.
Transport route with critical points
After the load has been secured, the containers were transported to their destination, just a few hundred metres away. However, this required at least as much preliminary work as the craning exercise. The problem: Numerous pipe bridges, tight-radius bends and some unmetalled sections made the transport more difficult. "We had to do some intensive planning to get there", says Peter Niedermair-Auer from the Felbermayr project department. It was primarily the two 30 metre long and 5.1 metre high falling film evaporators, each weighing 136 metric tones, that gave the technicians a real challenge when planning the route. "Together with the tractor unit, the transport reached a length of 42 metres and a height of 5.85 metres", says Niedermair-Auer, describing the dimensions of the transported goods. A local inspection revealed a pipe bridge with a height clearance of just 5.9 metres, so just five centimetres higher than the transport height. Then it was clear that this would be close. "For such cases, we can use a program for route planning if necessary in addition to a local inspection" says Niedermair-Auer and explains: "This enables us to draw up concrete route section profiles and simulate critical clearance profiles with a three-dimensional model." In this case numerous steel plates had to be placed thanks to the knowledge gained, as both the tractor unit and the trailer with vessel bed often had to leave the metalled road in order to manage the bends.
After the first of the two falling film evaporators was transported to the newly erected foundation, it was first unloaded and then set down on the ground with the help of two cranes that were already in place. This was done together with a total of five transport saddles with which it arrived on the barge. A lattice boom crane, with designation LG 1750 from Liebherr as well as a GMK 5250L Grove telescopic crane, were used for this.
The 30 metre long container had to be rotated from horizontal to vertical in order to be set down on the foundations. To do so, the hook block of the lattice boom crane was attached to what would become the upper end of the container and the truck-mounted crane with telescopic jib onto the bottom end. "For the actual lift, firstly both cranes took the strain on their ropes and lifted the container up by approx. 50 centimetres. Then the lattice boom crane worked until the steel colossus was vertical. Now the hook of the follow-on crane could be attached. Then the main crane swivelled the load single-handedly over the foundation and set it down with millimetre precision. Thus the first falling film evaporator was successfully lifted into place. The next day, the transport of the second followed with subsequent foundation installation. The two smaller containers, designated as separators, were then transported but not yet lifted in. This was done later", reports Niedermair-Auer. However, since the weight was significantly less at 40 metric tons and a length of just a little over ten metres, this lifting task could be undertaken with just one crane. The factory expansion should be operational by the end of 2019. According to Agrana, a positive side effect of the doubling of the wheat starch capacity is the creation of 45 new jobs at the Pischelsdorf site.