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Portable Bridge Crane Designed for Installing and Servicing C-85 Compressors

Solar Turbines had outlined the requirements and dimensional constraints for the lifting system they needed. North American Industries was up to the challenge to design and manufacture a 40 ton portable modular crane to fit the application. The bridge crane will be used to provide lift for the assembly and disassembly of the C-85 compressor and module.

During installation and maintenance of compressors in a field environment, the overhead crane will provide support for the removal of the internal components from a compressor center body. North American Industries also engineered the lifting system with a 5 ton underhung auxiliary hoist and trolley on a separate cross girder to achieve the end approach required for servicing the suction end of the compressor. The crane was designed to ride on a free standing runway with a completely bolted construction for easier assembly and disassembly. The customer, Solar Turbines, plans to relocate the crane several times to set up new compressors at different customer sites and as required for servicing. Solar Turbines, a subsidiary of Caterpillar, operates in more than ninety countries as a world leader in designing, manufacturing and servicing industrial gas turbines. These gas turbines are used in natural gas compression, pumping systems, and the oil and power generation industries.

The compressor industry requires cranes to be used in locations where flammable gases or vapors in sufficient quantities could produce explosive or ignitable mixtures. For this reason, North American Industries designed the 40 ton crane with spark proof mechanical features and other safety measures to meet the Class 1 Division 2 Group D standard required. The crane may operate in indoor or outdoor conditions such as rain, snow, high humidity, high wind, and temperatures ranging from high humid climates to below freezing. Heaters built into the bridge panel and end truck motors allow the crane to withstand the extreme weather conditions.

North American Industries will also provide a four day installation supervisor and CAL OSHA certification. The customer also requested all structural welds be non destruction examined by magnetic particle or liquid penetrant inspected. Because each industry has a unique environment and faces different challenges in lifting and moving their product, North American Industries brings expertise and flexibility to develop the right crane solution.

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