At the southern port of Shanghai's Pudong area, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (SWS) is situated just opposite the Changxingdao port area. The Chinese shipbuilder SWS is one of the ten largest worldwide. Three shipyard cranes are currently in operation in this huge industrial area, the dimensions of which correspond to those of 30-storey high-rise buildings. The energy and data supply to the gigantic lifting elements is implemented with plastic energy chain systems from igus®.
The energy supply systems work reliably under the most difficult environmental conditions, as at the mouth of the Yangtze River there is whipping wind, rain and salt water. Especially the annual two-month rainy season poses a risk of corrosion.
The energy chain systems from igus® installed in 2001 run trouble-free from day one with fill weights of 30 kg/m over 180 m travel. Even a typhoon the year before last did not cause a shutdown. Since its delivery, the igus® energy supply system has been running smoothly and required only minimal maintenance.
SWS also relies on chainflex® cables from igus®. Normal ship cables are still used in parts of the equipment. However, these quickly become cracked and prone to breakage. With the bending-resistant chainflex® cables, on the other hand, there has been no failure in recent years.
A "Push/Pull Force Detection" system (PPDS) from igus® was also installed in this large plant for condition monitoring. The Push/Pull Detection System monitors the shifting forces of the energy chains online to prevent damage to the system as well as failures through preventive maintenance or remote intervention. The system operates around the clock at a cycle of four times per second, compares data from the running chain system with the set values. Should the energy supply system fail, the Push/Pull Detection System sends an alarm so that the crane trolley can be shut down.
Detected malfunctions can be transmitted automatically by SMS or email to a pre-programmed computer so that immediate action can be taken. The data in system memory can be traced back up to three months for accident analysis.