Its clearly been a busy period for the lead designers, engineers, and product staff at ALE – as they announce a trio of new products:
ALE’s new high capacity girder frame
ALE has built a new high capacity girder frame, the AL600. The AL600 will be able to carry loads up to 600t – 100t more than ALE’s current largest frame, the AL500.
The frame will be used to transport loads under small bridges and to reduce axle loadings. When negotiating bridges, the load is suspended in the girder frame with minimum road clearance in order to transport it under the bridge without the need to jack-up the bridge or build huge costly bypasses.
The AL600 is of a modular design, which means that ALE can drive in variable configurations to optimise the transportation of the different types of loads, like steam turbines, generators and transformers. The basic configuration uses the necks, a 15m main beam and 7m load spreaders. By using a smart design and the highest grades of materials, it has a record-breaking self-weight/carrying capacity ratio. One of its most noteworthy features is that the necks narrow in from the load carrying beams to the tower on the trailer. The ends of the necks are narrower than the trailer width. As a result, the convoy can drive around narrow curves in the road without taking up as much space and needing to remove lamp posts and other obstacles.
The girder frame also has state of the art controls systems for steering, height adjustment, camera systems and shock logging, all operated from the control cabin on the rear trailer. The additional safety features and enhanced stability enables this piece of equipment to stand out amongst others frames currently on the market.
“We wanted to build a transport solution that suited our requirements to transport heavy loads that could be utilised with our current trailer fleet, whilst maintaining safety and low axle loadings,” explained Technical Director Ronald Hoefmans.
“Other standard equipment suppliers couldn’t fulfil our needs and we made the decision to design our own. The AL600 has been designed with strength and operational capabilities like no other frame in the industry.”
Now the AL600 is built, function and load tested in the Netherlands, it will then be shipped to its inaugural project in South America. On its first job in Chile, it will be using 80 axle lines of modular trailers in 2 x 4 file 20 configuration to bring the axle loads within the road limitations. For this job, the 15m main beam is extended with a 5m extension and the load spreaders have a 3.5m extension to reduce the bending moment in the trailers.
ALE’s new hydraulic gantry lift system
ALE has invested in a new telescopic lifting gantry with 1,000t capacity on four towers, the TLG1000. This is the first system in a new fleet of high capacity hydraulic gantries.
The system has been designed in-house with a variable track width, which means the system can run on standard 915mm wide tracks to 1,750mm wide tracks – adding more stability. The three-stage system has 1,000t capacity at all stages, up to 12m high. Furthermore, it has additional safety features, such as a mechanical lock system and monitoring systems, to monitor ground settlements and deflections of the tower.
“As the users, we know what works in practice and we couldn’t find anything else on the market which fulfils our needs. We wanted a lifting solution that has a high capacity without compromising on stability,” explained Technical Director Ronald Hoefmans.
“This lifting gantry has been designed with more horizontal loading than other standard systems on the market. Furthermore, it is not only stronger, but the lifting capacity of the system remains the same throughout all three stages of the lifting process. With this unique feature, combined with the other operational benefits, I expect this system to be in demand throughout our regions globally, with the need to add additional systems to the fleet.”
Now the TLG1000 has been built, function and load tested at ALE’s R&D facilities in the Netherlands, it will be shipped to its inaugural project in South America.
ALE’s new route surveying technology
ALE has launched its new Route Survey Tool, which is set to revolutionise the way route surveys are carried out in the heavylifting industry. ALE designed the Route Survey Tool as a computerised system that automatically logs accurate route descriptions on digital maps. Critical sections of the route are measured and photos, video footage and drawings are generated for more in-depth analysis.
As part of the engineering phase, the Route Survey Tool enhances ALE’s overall FEED offering to provide a more efficient, accurate and reliable route survey that no other company can provide. The system has a scanning range of a 100m radius around the car and, at 100m, it can scan to an accuracy of 20mm. The system also has a GPS accuracy of ± 0.5cm.
Safety is also improved and project efficiency is optimised as the separate Driver Assist tool helps on the actual route by instructing drivers of the route ahead. By providing them with automatic data, they can prepare for complex parts of the route beforehand and improve the overall time and cost efficiency of the project.
“Route surveys have been integral to the heavy transportation projects and engineering services for years. Current systems, which are manually logged, are often susceptible to human errors and can be time consuming; we wanted to design a solution that was not only safer, more accurate and reliable, but one that could also cover longer distances and was a quicker alternative,” explained ALE’s R&D Manager Harrie Smetsers.
“The Route Survey Tool represents a revolutionary and easier way to carry out reliable route surveys in a quick and safe manner, and is the only system on the market that conducts a consistent and precise route survey without the need to manually enter information or step outside of the vehicle.” The route survey tool has been fully tested and will now be implemented across the ALE group world-wide. It is currently being used in Indonesia.