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Unique Applications for Specialized Rigging Equipment

Specialized Rigging Equipment

Specialized rigging is equal parts art and science. Specialized rigging equipment is used to complete the complex tasks involved in rigging and machinery moving. Understanding how this equipment helps with these various projects might inspire your business with your next project. 

In this article, we review some rigging projects that were accomplished using specialized rigging equipment. We look at the complexities of the projects, and the way the challenging tasks were accomplished.

Specialized Rigging Equipment Projects

With so many custom projects popping up, it makes sense that modern rigging and millwright companies would have the capabilities and specialized rigging equipment necessary to complete them successfully. 

Having the right equipment is certainly the starting point, but having an experienced team with the right equipment in hand is what makes all the difference. Backed by this combo, even the most complicated and unique rigging projects can be a success. 

Don’t take our word for it, however. Here are examples of some specialized rigging projects worth noting.

Custom Gantry System

A barge construction project required specialized rigging equipment, for the meticulous lifting and placement of four 1,100-ton tanks (95 x 76 x 54 ft) and four 600-ton decks (100 x 94 x 32 ft). This work was accomplished using a custom gantry system.

The tanks had to be hoisted 60 feet into the air to avoid colliding with the barge’s walls, then shifted 300 feet above the barge’s roof so they could be lowered 60 feet into the hull. The 600-ton decks had to be hoisted 70 feet into the air after the tanks were in position and then slid over the top of the tanks.

A gantry system with a 1,200-ton capacity and a skid system was engineered, built, and set up for this project. This specialty rigging equipment consisted of a quartet of diesel-powered strand jacks, each capable of lifting 600 metric tons. A control center was installed on the gantry’s lower leg to centralize all the controls. The gantry may be skidded in any of three directions from a single control room, thanks to the four-strand jacks, hydraulic lift cylinders, and skid system. All eight picks were finished in one 10-hour shift, and all were performed securely and effectively.

Large Press Installations

Two Fagor presses, each weighing in at 2,500 tons, were recently installed using a lift tower with a capacity of 500 tons. In order to make room for the larger presses, the project team demolished a portion of the exit conveyor tunnel. The dimensions of the newly dug hole were 38 by 36 feet, and it was 20 feet deep. The scrap conveyor was lengthened by 20 feet and a bump out was added for the aluminum bailer to accommodate the larger presses. The sheer size and weight of this machinery called for the use of specialty rigging equipment throughout the project.

The rigging crew finished putting together the press’s inner workings. They arrived in the United States from Spain in 16 different containers. The press’s base weighed 150 metric tons, the slide 112 metric tons, and the crown 225 metric tons when fully completed. The flywheel weighed 15 metric tons on its own, and the two eccentric gears added another 60 metric tons to the total. After that, a 34PT5400WT dual power gantry system with a 500-ton capacity was used to stack the presses and set up the feedline.

All of the press’s electrical, hydraulic, and piping connections were installed by the rigging and millwright team. Chilled water, compressed air, a fire suppression system, and an oil containment trench drain were also installed, along with a new primary transformer, a 2,000-amp switchgear, a 1,200-amp main power feed to the new presses, and a new primary transformer set.

The scope of this project demanded extensive experience and the proper specialized rigging equipment to complete things on time and within budget.

Boring Machine Transport and Installation

Known for their size and power, tunnel boring machines (TBM) dig through earth and stone to create underground passages. A recent job in Northern Ohio required that a rigging company assemble and put up a TBM with a diameter of 27 feet; the entire TBM weighed more than 609 metric tons. A complex engineering strategy and a wide variety of specialized rigging equipment were needed for this undertaking.

Components were lifted and lowered into the installation shaft utilizing a hydraulic gantry lift tower with a capacity of 700 tons, a strand jack system with a capacity of 800 metric tons, and 80-foot girder beams spanning a 50-foot diameter, 200-foot deep shaft.

The rigging crew used a 1,000-ton capacity skidding system to jack and slide the components laterally into the starter tunnel for installation, a distance of around 300 feet.

The installation shaft had a diameter of 50 feet and was located 200 feet down, both of which posed difficulties. The rigging job called for the crew to bring in 12 primary components, load them onto trucks, drive them from the staging laydown yard to the installation shaft location, and finally lower six of those components into place.

Hospital MRI and CT Equipment Relocation

Relocating medical equipment at a hospital is yet another recent example of a complex rigging project. The project called for the removal of three large MRI machines and two CT scanners from the second floor of a medical center and the subsequent preparation for relocation and installation of the equipment on the first floor of the same building. In addition, a brand-new MRI machine was installed alongside the others as part of this project.

One MRI scanner can weigh as much as 90,000 pounds but typically weighs closer to 35,000. They are quite fragile for their size, and their many intricate moving parts are easily broken. CT scanners are lighter, but just as delicate, as MRI machines. The project necessitated that specialized rigging equipment be employed to evenly distribute weight loads even while pick point selection was constrained to relatively few alternatives.

The original location of the MRI and CT scanners were compact rooms that barely accommodated the machines. An MRI machine costs around $1 million, so any serious damage caused by accidental bumping, jarring, or dropping could be financially devastating. Engineers had to identify which pieces of specialized rigging equipment could safely raise and transport the MRIs and scanners into and out of confined places.

Of course, patients couldn’t get the care they needed because the hospital’s MRI and CT scanners were being moved, so the project needed to be completed promptly to cause as little disruption to patients and staff as possible.

Thanks to the work of the rigging team, the MRI machines, and CT scanners were carefully moved to the new medical imaging department on the first floor of the hospital. As the project team was on-site, the new MRI machine was also delivered so that it too could be installed.

As a result of the rigging project team’s meticulous preparation, the work was finished on schedule, and patients were able to resume getting the diagnostic imaging services they desperately needed with minimal disruption.

Planning Your Next Specialty Rigging Project

Having the right equipment makes up the core of most successful rigging projects. At Murphy, we employ our years of expertise, coupled with the latest cutting-edge millwright and specialized rigging equipment and tools to assist businesses in finishing their projects quickly and safely.

Whether you require support with a plant relocation, the installation of new equipment, or an over-the-road transportation project, our specialty rigging experts can lead you in the right direction.

Do you currently have a rigging plan in place? Get in touch with the rigging team at Murphy Rigging, so we can help you achieve optimal outcomes.