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Amphenol TPC Wire & Cable Blog

Cranes in Steelmaking and How They are Powered

Posted by TPC Wire & Cable Corp. on August 12, 2020

Cranes are essential to the steel-making process. iStock-484124824They’re used for quick, safe loading and unloading of materials and they keep vehicles moving throughout the facility. Cranes also handle scrap or raw materials, liquid metal, and melting buckets. Constantly running, cranes are fully integrated into a steel mill’s processes. Here are the cranes used in the steel industry and the industrial power cables they require.

Magnet Crane

Also referred to as electromagnetic cranes, these cranes are used to handle and move metals like steel and iron. Magnet cranes can be found mostly in recycling plants and scrap yards. They operate using a magnetic field that is formed by an electric current passing through windings around the magnet. The magnet is turned on and off when needed by the electric current.The electrical current travels through an electromagnet that consists of an iron middle with a wire enclosed. These cranes have a simple job; moving metals from one area to another. The magnet picks up metals, moves them to where they are supposed to go, and the magnet is cut off, releasing the metals. A reliable power and automation cable is a necessity for these cranes because of the constant current that is running through, plus it’s frequently turned on and off and subjected to hard usage. 

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Charge Crane

Charge cranes are found in steel-smelting furnace units to load scrap or ore into the furnace. Charge cranes can be floor-mounted (underslung) or raised overhead. Floor-mounted charging cranes are installed in shops with large furnaces that have a capacity of 150 tons or more. Machine assemblies are installed on a bridge and they move along rails arranged on the platform of the furnace bay. The load volume for these cranes can reach 15 tons. With a simple design, they are reliable in output with high production. One machine can handle four furnaces. Floor-mounted cranes without rails can move multi-directionally and are designed to service lower capacitance furnaces. They can move easily, even on small platforms. Overhead charging cranes are designed for medium capacity furnaces (20-150 tons). The overhead crane consists of a bridge crane with a central carriage and secondary carriage. Its role is repair work and slag removal. One of the advantages of the overhead crane is absence of rails which allows for easier servicing of furnaces.The power cables used in this application undergo rigorous flexing, so it’s imperative to use a flex cable that can survive the constant flexing and tension

Gantry Crane

Gantry cranes are used outdoors and move on legs to support bridge, trolley and hoist instead of operating on suspended rails. It’s a perfect crane when you need something lightweight for applications that involve transferability. They are also used when an overhead system is not required or full beams can’t be installed.Gantry cranes come in many designs:
  • Adjustable – Welding and fabrication factories use them for lifting parts and equipment
  • Portable – Used for maintenance
  • Track-mounted – Used for applications that require lifting and moving heavy loads
Gantry cranes are budget friendly when expensive equipment is out of reach or there’s constant change within your plant and portability is a must. These cranes require cables that can withstand abrasion from constant movement and hold up against flexing. (Super-Trex® P&R Cable) 

Ladle Cranes

Molten MetalLadle cranes are one of the main pieces of equipment used in steel-making process. The primary function of this crane is to pour liquid iron to the convertor in the feeding bay and carry liquid steel to refining furnace. There are three structures for a ladle crane:
  • Double-Girder/Double-Rail
  • Four-Girder/Four-Rail
  • Four-Girder/Six-Rail

The first two are designed for medium tonnage ladle cranes while the four-girder/six-rail are designed to handle heavy-tonnage. Though the cranes themselves are easy to maintain, the cables are subject to extreme temperature, so it’s essential that a high temperature power cable is used to withstand the high heat. Crane applications play in integral role in the steelmaking process. Any disruption will cost your plant money in unplanned downtime and replacement power cable. If you’re experiencing routine cable failure, there’s a better way.

Contact us today and let’s see how we can solve your cable issues!

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Topics: Reducing Downtime, Environments, Steel, Cranes

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