I have easily sent more than 30 text messages over the past month, all with the same words: “Spain was a dream.” ACT was invited to witness the grand unveiling of Linden Comansa’s latest crane innovation, the LCL 700. The Open House and Factory Tour event was held in Huarte, Navarra, Spain, a short distance from the breathtaking city of Pamplona.
Pulling up to the Linden Comansa factory on a spectacular day in late January, the first thing that caught my attention was an intricate sculpture that possessed some distinctive, crane-like qualities. With an abstract take on what was seemingly a tower crane, and incorporating a pair of spectacles, the artwork by artist Jesús Lizaso, welcomes all LC guests. But the focal point on this day was a prototype of the new LCL 700, which will be Linden Comansa’s largest luffing jib tower crane ever produced.
With an increasing demand for heavy load luffers for high-rise buildings, the LCL 700 is Linden Comansa’s response to market demands. The luffer comes in both 50 and 64-ton versions with easy, manual change from two falls to a single pull line. The LCL 700 provides lifting solutions in large cities with congested job sites and where airspace is limited, the company said. This crane features several design innovations. While traditionally smaller LC luffing models have triangular booms, the LCL 700 features a square boom as a better solution for heavier load carrying capabilities.
With a 98.4 to 213.3-foot jib length and a minimum radius of 13.1 feet, the newest model will provide fast connections, simplified access and optimized assembly weights. The counter jib radius clocks in at 31.2 feet with optional steel counterweights of 28.5 feet. The front located luffing jib also features a 200kW hoist winch with speeds of up to 558 feet per minute. There is also the option for a second hydraulic hoist brake.
With luffing rope pulleys coming pre-reeved from the factory, the LCL 700 can be erected easily and quickly. The LCL 700 production model will feature a new cab that is being designed for the comfort of the operator. Linden Comansa will launch the new cab in the summer of 2017, when the first models of the LCL 700 are produced.
The LCL 700 prototype was shown to select customers to acquire design and features feedback. I discovered on this trip that customer feedback is incredibly important to the creation of new and advanced products in the Linden Comansa product line. The company seeks feedback from all of their valued customers, and they incorporate these suggestions and ideas into their products. They often make adaptions to fit customer’s needs.
“We have a suggestion program, so every time we receive a suggestion from a customer, wherever it comes from, we put it in our system,” said Mariano Echávarri, communications and marketing director for Linden Comansa. “It is saved in our system and it has a flow. The people at Linden Comansa read about it, and if we make a review of a crane or we are launching a review of the crane, all of those suggestions are considered. Sometimes we can apply those suggestions, sometimes we can’t, or sometimes we have to leave them in a standby until our review of a model comes.”
For instance, when it came to the creation of the new cab, Linden Comansa had 99 suggestions regarding that feature alone. It’s easy to imagine just how many more there were regarding the crane itself.
North America is decidedly the main target market for the LCL 700. “There are a lot of large cities all with tall buildings and skyscrapers – Chicago, New York, Seattle and other large population cities where this crane would be very helpful,” said Echávarri.
After a factory tour and demonstration of the new luffing jib crane, the customer group reconvened for a feedback session. All participants were in agreement that this new Linden Comansa crane will be a valuable addition to both the United Kingdom and North American markets.
“Considering the price for the crane, and the size of the crane, it makes it quite obvious that if anyone needs this model [and capacity], they would want this crane,” said Bill Carbeau, vice president business development, Linden Comansa America. Visitors to the Linden Comansa factory from North America included Dennis Kenna, managing partner, Linden Comansa America and president, Heede Southeast; Mike Kenna, director of field operations, Heede Southeast; Henry Volante, tower crane operations director, J.E. Dunn; and Bill Carbeau, vice president business development, Linden Comansa America.
Those who made the journey to Spain were also recipients of the utmost hospitality, treated to a variety of five-course meals and a tour of one of Spain’s oldest wineries. It’s safe to say Linden Comansa puts on quite the show, and will continue to produce an impressive line of products.