The SENNEBOGEN 880 EQ at the Redpath Sugar loading facility will unload ships 50 percent faster than the two rope cranes it is replacing. TORONTO, ON — Located right on the north shore of Lake Ontario, the Redpath Sugar factory in Toronto, Canada, relies on ships plying the St. Lawrence Seaway to bring raw sugar from South America and the Caribbean to the inland factory. The plant ships out sugar products nationwide for 12 months of the year but, as a winter port where temperatures can dip to minue 20 degrees Celsius, shipping and transportation can be a challenge through a large part of the year. As a result, the Redpath dock is pressed all year long to “make sugar while the sun shines.” The President of Redpath Sugar, Jonathan Bamberger, acknowledges that the need to move sugar faster off the docks is as much about economics as it is about timing. “At that time, finding ships to carry the sugar was very difficult, and having them berthed at the dock was costly. Our focus for the new
Redpath expects to see significant savings in energy costs as a result of the efficient lifting capability of SENNEBOGEN's counterbalanced design.
ship unloader was to get the ships in and out as fast as possible.” Starting in 2007, the Redpath Engineering team was assigned the task of upgrading Redpath’s aging cranes and transfer facility. Last Spring, when the Seaway opened after the winter, Redpath was ready to start clearing its dock at a greater rate than ever, thanks to its newly commissioned SENNEBOGEN 880 EQ material handler. Ironically, after three years of planning, Redpath’s choice of SENNEBOGEN’s equilibriated machine was an “11th hour” decision that led to a hectic and challenging winter. The need to replace two Colby rope cranes had been forecast by Redpath as long as 10 years ago. After more than 50 years of service on the harbor, the two cranes were becoming costly to maintain and the demand for throughput was rising. Redpath receives more than two dozen ships at its dock each year. The Colby cranes, with their 3-yard buckets, worked in tandem to transload the 20,000 ton cargos of raw sugar to a hopper, where a conveyor moved the product to the factory’s storage facility. The goal for the upgrade project was to deploy a single unloader that would increase the transfer rate by at least 50 percent over the combined production of the two Colby cranes. Redpath’s initial survey of equipment and practices led them to ports and sugar refineries around the world. It was then that they first encountered the concept of an equilibrium crane. “I had the opportunity to see an equilibriated crane in operation but was not yet familiar with SENNEBOGEN and their 880 EQ unit,” said Jonathan Dunn, Redpath’s manager of Engineering Projects. “The idea was attractive to me immediately. I appreciated the energy efficiency of the counterbalance design and the ‘positive pick’ of the material handler’s fixed boom.” While rope cranes rely on the weight of the bucket or grapple to
dig into the pile, material handlers can use the hydraulics to push their attachment down and achieve a higher filling rate of the attachment. The result, Dunn surmised, would be a deeper, more efficient bite into dense loads of sugar. Dunn reports that he was also struck by the quiet operation of electric driven material handlers compared to conventional cranes. As the city of Toronto has worked to develop its downtown harbor front into recreational and community spaces, Redpath is the one industrial facility that has chosen to remain. To preserve its place here, Redpath has adopted a number of environmental and citizenship commitments to the area. Minimizing noise and emissions from the dock was a high priority on the engineering team’s equipment criteria. However, when the engineering team compiled its initial list of potential suppliers, SENNEBOGEN’s name was not on it. While SENNEBOGEN material handlers have emerged as North America’s leader in the scrap, recycling, waste and material handling industries over the past 10 years, the green machines are just now beginning to make inroads into North American ports. “At that point, I still wasn’t familiar with SENNEBOGEN,” reported Dunn. “After we put out our initial request for proposals, we had four bids, but none of them included an equilibriated machine. We narrowed the choice down to two single jib rope cranes, but we weren’t really totally satisfied with either choice.” Despite misgivings about noise levels and capacity in the two proposals, the team found itself at a point where a decision was needed so the project could move forward. However, with time running out, Dunn received a phone call from Trevor Ash of Top Lift Enterprises in Stoney Creek, Ontario. “Trevor said he
Page 9 • North American Quarry News • April-May 2013
Redpath Sugar is clearing the dock faster with SENNEBOGEN Equilibrium crane
North American Quarry News April / May 2013