16 October 2020
The mobile tower crane of Spierings Mobile Cranes is almost too beautiful for the heavy work it carries out. At Spiering, they see it differently. It is exactly that state of the art look that the company wants to give to its cranes. The activities of Phoenix 3D Metaal focus on a hybrid crane (type SK487-AT3 City Boy) within the range of Spierings. The type is unique -and the first of its kind.
Three birds with one stone
“We were looking for a supplier who could produce the cabin enclosure and the engine enclosure for our mobile crane. The first question for us was what material we wanted to use. The final weight (as low as possible) and a cost-efficient production were the most important issues for us. In the end, we came to Phoenix 3D Metaal and chose the rubber pad forming technique and steel as the material. This was the strongest constructional material and for Phoenix the basis for an optimally manufacturable product. We could press the panels directly into the final shape of the cabin and engine compartment, including its structural function. At an earlier stage, we went about things differently. We built the cabin and then moulded plastic polyester sheeting around it to achieve the desired design. Two production steps, quite labour-intensive and therefore expensive. An additional advantage of the moulded self-supporting panels: the interior space increases by almost 10% in the width direction. This improves the ergonomic aspect of the operator/driver, especially during entry and exit. Phoenix as a product kills three birds with one stone.
During the preliminary phase, there was a lot of consultation between Spierings and Phoenix. “Together, we succeeded in making the sheet material used thinner and thinner while still maintaining its strength. We started at 2 mm thickness and are now at 1.2 mm. That seems a minimal difference. But in total, it means 230 kg less weight for our mobile crane. Essential and a great joint success.”
Cautious in the beginning
“The collaboration is pleasant. It is a team that proactively devises solutions during the development phase, even if a first design has already been made. They are certainly not too commercial in this respect. They want the best for the customer. Within Spierings’ we thought that Phoenix 3D Metaal was a bit cautious in the beginning. In the end, we understood where that caution came from. They want to give solid advice with a cost-efficient and optimally manufacturable product as the end result. They look for THE REQUEST behind THE REQUEST. Reducing the final weight is a great example of this. In short, the run-up to the start of production is considerable. But the result is worth it. Because once the moulds are there, things happen very quickly.”