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First in Potain’s new luffing jib crane range premieres at CONEXPO 2014

Among the products taking center stage on the Manitowoc booth at CONEXPO 2014 will be a new luffing jib crane from the company’s Potain brand. The Potain MR 418 is the first in an updated line of luffing jib cranes from the manufacturer, each with full frequency-controlled mechanisms for precision control and a streamlined design that optimizes the available space on the job site, while simplifying assembly and disassembly.


The MR 418 offers a host of other benefits including the optional 270 LVF 120 hoist (designated the 320 LVF 120 hoist in North America) that was introduced earlier in 2013. The crane can be utilized in either one-fall or two-fall reeving and is perfect for power plants or high rise buildings, including super tall structures that exceed 200 m (656 ft) in height.

The 201 kW (270 hp) 270 LVF 120 hoist offers excellent capabilities for working on high-rise projects. The 830 m (2,723 ft) rope capacity on the winch’s drum means that in single-fall configuration a hook path of 830 m is possible, while in two-fall configuration, 415 m (1,362 ft) of vertical reach is possible. In addition, the winch can reach speeds of up to 254 m/min (833 ft/min) for better productivity, while the power control function means the winch can operate off varying power inputs, allowing it to cope with lower power supplies on site or move easily to different countries.

Customers not requiring the full power of the 270 LVF 120 hoist can choose the 110 kW (150 hp) 150 LVF 120 hoist (which is designated the 180 LVF 120 in North America, and which the crane features as standard). This hoist has a drum capacity of 552 m (1,811 ft) and can produce line speeds of up to 210 m/min (689 ft/min).

But it’s not only new mechanisms and better lift capabilities that are likely to appeal to customers. A new design for the MR 418 offers a streamlined appearance with several advantages. The luffing mechanism and hoist are uniquely mounted inside the counterjib, which reduces the amount of space the crane takes up on site and also simplifies assembly.

There is a large, easily accessible service platform behind the cab, giving service technicians a single location from which to access all the major service points. As with previous Potain luffing jib cranes, the counterweight moves to offer better lifting capability – still a function that not all luffing crane manufacturers are able to offer.

Alexandre Chanteclair, product manager for top slewing tower cranes, highlighted the design benefits of the new luffing jib crane.

“For luffing jib tower cranes, two of the most important considerations are its out of service radius and the counterjib length,” he said. “The cranes are designed to work on extremely congested sites, so the less space they take up the better. With the Potain MR 418, we have an extremely compact crane that’s quick to assemble, quick to commission and capable of extremely fast lifting speeds on high-rise job sites.”

Quickly getting the crane into service comes courtesy of a new on-board control system that allows the technician to put the crane into operation just minutes after assembly is completed. Simple input of the jib length, working height and test load into the crane’s control board allows for a fast and accurate calibration.

And it’s not only in set-up and lifting where the crane is fast. It also luffs the jib from the horizontal position to the vertical in just 1 minute 16 seconds, well under the 2 minutes that most luffing jib cranes of this size would require. The MR 418’s luffing speed is due to its 112 kW (150 hp) luffing winch. Operators will also like the new auto-leveling function that allows the crane to move loads horizontally by using only the luffing motion, rather than the luffing motion combined with the hoist. By allowing the operator to focus on only one operation, more precise control can be assured.

In terms of working height, Potain’s intelligent mast system gives the crane enhanced flexibility to cope with the challenges of modern high-rise buildings. The crane can be installed on fixing angles or on various sized chassis of 6 m x 6 m; 8 m x 8 m; and 10 m x 10 m (20 ft x 20 ft; 26 ft x 26 ft; and 33 ft x 33 ft).

For example, a free-standing height of 90 m (295 ft) can be achieved on a 10 m x 10 m (33 ft x 33 ft) chassis when fitted with 35 m (115 ft) of jib. With its design focus on high-rise applications, the crane needs only three anchorages to reach a working height of 170 m (558 ft). When anchored to a building, the crane’s mast can extend up to 53.2 m (175 ft) above the last anchorage point.

Maximum capacity for the crane is 24 t (26 USt) and the maximum jib length is 60 m (197 ft).

Following the introduction of the MR 418 at CONEXPO, Manitowoc is planning further launches to the new Potain luffing jib range over the course of 2014.