PREVIEW: International Tower Cranes Conference
By Murray Pollok13 May 2019
Digitization is driving change throughout the business world, and that includes the tower crane industry. The sixth International Tower Crane Conference will address this key business trend with three speakers discussing Building Information Modelling (BIM). Theodor Strohal is a BIM specialist at Austria’s largest contractor, Strabag. He will provide delegates with an insight into the company’s BIM.5D digital working method. This system, used by Strabag and its clients, involves all supply chain partners right from the start of a project, enabling an interdisciplinary analysis of project data, including 3D modelling, project management and scheduling.
If that will be a big picture on BIM, then Mohamed Abouelezz, general manager for MENA and SE Asia at Wolffkran, and co-presenter Derek Bourke, a digital construction manager at contractor BAM International, will narrow down the focus with a report on how BIM techniques have been used to plan and undertake a specific project, the Museum of the Future in Dubai, incorporating the use of tower cranes.
“We will discuss the digital construction approach and how it helps us to improve the operations of a construction site,” said Abouelezz. “This approach also includes the operation, service and maintenance of tower cranes. The Museum of the Future project will be presented as a real-life case study to illustrate the main challenges and how BIM helped visualize the project and optimize each construction phase.”
There will be several sessions focusing on crane technology and design. Henrik Neilsen, managing director at Krøll Cranes, will provide a crane manufacturer’s perspective on industry trends.
Thomas Herse, head of tower crane technology at Liebherr, will report on the latest developments in the use of fiber ropes for tower cranes. Lighter ropes have a significant impact on a crane’s lifting capacity but there are other issues to consider, including hoisting speeds and spooling requirements.
The use of drones for tower crane inspections will be discussed by Patrick Rickerby, technical director at Skeye BV. Skeye has extensive experience using drones to inspect industrial structures, and his presentation will focus on what drones can do and their limitations.
That presentation will lead to a wider roundtable discussion on tower crane inspections, with participants including Nigel Brewis, owner and managing director at Safety Check Engineering, and Peter Juhren, vice president of operations at Morrow Equipment.
The keynote address will be given by Jörg Hegestweiler, managing director, BKL Baukran Logistik, who will be considering some of the challenges faced by tower crane rental companies.
To add to that rental management theme, Tomas Vacek, managing partner and CFO at JVS Cranes in the Czech Republic, will address the key issue of how to determine the residual value of tower cranes.
Finally, giving a wide perspective on the current business environment will be Martin Seban, a senior consultant at IHS Markit. Seban will give delegates an overview of European construction growth forecasts, a key determinant for tower crane demand.