Small modifications on industrial cabinets solve problem for crane maker

Eldon modified standard cabinets to meet customer requirements.

MacGregor decided in 2009 to launch an electric cranes program, working with Siemens to provide electric motors – and decided to use Eldon for the industrial cabinet program.

MacGregor Cranes started in 1961, sparked by the arrival of containers. With its headquarters in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, MacGregor today is a subsidiary of Finland’s Cargotec Group, supplying multiple cargo flow solutions for maritime transportation and offshore industries, including an unmatched portfolio of cranes.

MacGregor cranes are used for heavy lift operations on ships ranging from bulk carriers to tankers. Most installations are new builds and the cranes work through the lifetime of the vessel, about 30 years.

A major shift is underway in the industry with traditional hydraulic powered cranes giving way to frequency drive cranes (electric). The first electric cranes were launched in 2001 and the latest generation has no hydraulics.

In 2009 Macgregor decided to launch an electric cranes program partnering with Siemens and Eldon.

Production started in 2010 with the goal of producing 220 cranes per year. Each crane has four industrial cabinets, all supplied by Eldon.

Electric cranes deliver greater efficiency
The advantage of an electrical crane is that it delivers better efficiency compared to a hydraulic crane. It is also more eco friendly, saving fuel, while the precision of loading is also better.

Revolution is underway in the industry with electric cranes now replacing hydraulic ones and Macgregor is leading the change, but others are catching up.

MacGregor’s Purchasing Director Henry Ottosson said: “When all is said and done a cabinet is a cabinet. We are driven by price, quality and performance.”  He also stressed that ‘trust’ was also a key factor in a relationship.

Flexible, open and supportive
Henry Ottosson noted that getting four cabinets into a crane was not easy. “But we got strong support from Eldon in developing a standard special that exactly matched our needs.” The MacGregor top management executive described Eldon as being “flexible in just the right way, ready to listen and always ready to come up with an idea for a solution.”

A local panel building company in Örnsköldsvik, AQ Elautomatik AB, was contracted by Cargotec to help implement the new crane control panels in the Eldon enclosures.

The company produced a specification based on a Siemens drawing and a quote for three years work building 300 machines a year, including four floor mounted enclosures built into the crane and able to cope with a salty, humid environment and temperatures ranging from -25 to 45C (i.e. extreme temperature differences).

Eldon solutions oriented
Daniel Gustavsson, Head Electrical Engineer at Cargotec, explained: “We invested time in looking at other key enclosure suppliers before deciding to go with Eldon, who were very solutions oriented. One great solution they came up with was to use a double door rather than a single one to aid access, they provided us a standard enclosure that with small modifications solved big problems!”

The project moved forward at high speed, from first contact to prototype took just 2 – 3 months. Testing of the first prototype led to a modifications that involved changing the direction of rectagular cut outs from vertical to horizontal.

Always ready to help
“Eldon’s Romanian plant handled everything. Eldon always stepped up and provided quick help when required,” Daniel explained. Daniel then listed the priorities he has when selecting a supplier:

  • Fast support
  • Good dialog (things change so we have to be able to adapt)
  • Build trust
  • Simple hierarchy
  • Personal contact is very important
  • A suitably flexible standard offer that meets our need
  • Professionalism – not just ‘yes’ sayers
  • Price.

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