Knowledge is all-important when it comes to success in business. That idea is almost a cliché, but it assumes greater weight in the context of cranes and specialized transport, with projects of unimaginable complexity and where the implications of failure are so high.

EDF-Sarens (1)

Sarens assembling its SGC 250 super heavy lift crane at Hinkley Point C in the UK. (Photo: EDF Energy) 

The importance of knowledge in making a business more efficient and reducing risks is the guiding principle behind the program for the World Crane and Transport Summit that will be held November 13-4 in Amsterdam.

At the conference, global industry experts will consider demanding projects, safety strategies, operator training developments and end-market trends. There will also be room for fresh perspectives.

That would be a good description for the presentation being given by Erich Sennebogen, managing director at Sennebogen Maschinenfabrik. He will give the OEM keynote to open the second day. Sennebogen, the son of the company founder, will present “Drawing Parallels Between Cranes and Reaction Ferries,” looking at the role of proven technologies in an era of fast-changing technology.

“In the past 50 years cranes have encountered technological changes that shift more and more towards software and sensors,” Sennebogen said. “Yet, new technologies can impact on core values like machine reliability and availability. Progress can create unfavourable trade-offs. One of the key questions will be how the machine operator will remain in control of the crane – or if the machine will slowly take over control. My speech will reflect on these questions, and I will try to remind delegates about some proven technologies that might not become obsolete as fast as current debates would have us believe.”

Fabio Belli to give keynote

Fabio Belli, CEO of Italian heavy lift and transport company Fagioli, will give a keynote speech at the World Crane and Transport Summit on November 13.

Fabio Belli Fagioli CEO

Fabio Belli Fagioli CEO

Belli, who has worked at Fagioli for 18 years and for more than six years as its CEO, is a senior figure in the lifting and specialized transport sector worldwide. He leads a company with a reputation for innovation and which has carried out many high-profile projects, including in recent years the re-floating of the Costa Concordia cruise ship.

Fagioli operates worldwide and has more than 20 offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

The safety factor

Safety is a key topic and will be approached from multiple angles – from the view of engineers working on a massive nuclear power project, from a corporate policy perspective and on how to learn from other safety-critical industries.

Two engineers from the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station construction project in the UK – Ashley Daniels, head of lifting and temporary works at EDF Energy, and Garrick Nisbet, head of lifting assurance at consultant Notus Heavy Lift Solutions and lifting manager at Hinkley – will give an inside view of lift planning and safety procedures being used at the site.

The $24.3 billion HPC power station is one the largest civil engineering sites in Europe, with 4,000 workers employed. Among the numerous cranes on site is Sarens’ SGC 250 which, at 5,000 metric tons capacity, is one of the largest land-based cranes in the world. Speaking separately, Gert Hendrickx, sales director for projects at Sarens, will consider the wider challenges for heavy lift and specialized transport companies working on major energy projects.

Oxbo turbine pic

Keith Settle, CEO at Oxbo Mega Transport Solutions, will discuss a wind turbine transport project in Oklahoma.

The safe choice

Safety in the corporate context will be covered by Peter Gibbs, chief operating officer at Ainscough Crane Hire. Gibbs will explain how safety is integral to business practice at the UK’s largest rental company for wheeled mobile cranes. “Make the Safe Choice” is Ainscough’s policy framework for the safety of its people, its customers and members of the public.

“It is about engaging all colleagues in following the safe system of work, awareness and understanding of potential dangers, and responding appropriately,” Ainscough said. “In practice it means that if employees are ever in doubt, they are empowered and expected to stop and make the safe choice about what they are doing.”

Blanca Claeyssens, a former airline pilot and instructor turned safety and insurance specialist, will highlight safety strategies from the aviation industry that can be applied in heavy lifting and specialized transport. Claeyssens, managing director at ASA France, has more than 20 years’ experience in aviation, flying Boeing 737 and 767 aircraft and training cockpit and cabin crews on safety techniques. She will focus on aviation best practices and outline the importance of communication, demonstrating the implications when situational awareness is lost during a project.

Wind turbine sector

There will also be a focus on safe construction techniques in the onshore wind turbine sector. ESTA will soon publish a core best practice guide for lifting and transportation on wind projects. David Collett, ESTA president and managing director at UK transport company Collett & Sons, will use the Summit to outline the guide, which is expected to include subjects such as common standards for access roads and the methods of calculating the ground-bearing pressure and construction features for crane pads.

To complete the wind turbine session, Keith Settle, CEO at Oxbo Mega Transport Solutions, will provide a U.S. case study, “The Mountain,” a wind turbine transport project the company undertook in Oklahoma. The project included one of the first applications in North America of Goldhofer’s blade lifter.

Other speakers and topics include an update on the ECOL operator training initiative and a global overview of energy trends.

Another senior consultant, Chris Sleight, managing director at Off-Highway Research, will give a presentation on global trends in the demand for mobile cranes, including forecasts for major markets.

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