Crane manufacturing giant Huisman recently announced that it has successfully tested 4 new 3D printed 350 metric ton offshore crane hooks under the supervision of Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (LR).
According to reports, the single size of these hooks is about 1.7 meters long and 1.3 meters wide, which is almost 9 times larger than the company’s first 3D printed crane hook. The hook weighs 1,700 kilograms and has a load capacity of 350 metric tons.
Huisman has been using 3D Printing technology Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) process to manufacture large and medium-sized parts with high-grade tensile steel. An important benefit of using this technology for crane hooks is that compared with forgings and castings, it can shorten delivery time and reduce costs, and it also has a more consistent quality level. Huisman also plans to expand its robotic workshop in the Czech factory, which is currently equipped with 3 welding robots. By increasing production capacity, Huisman will be able to produce crane hooks weighing up to 5,000 kg. Huisman Project Coordinator Daniel Bílek said, “Crane hooks are usually part of the heavy cranes delivered for the offshore industry and are one of our main products. The price of forged hooks will increase with the increase in size. Exponential growth, especially for hooks of non-standard sizes.
The problem of inconsistent internal quality of cast-produced hooks will lead to longer delivery times. These prompted us to create the idea of making hooks by ourselves, using the so-called WAAM Method. After 5 years of research, development and testing of 3D printed products, we have acquired the expertise required to use this innovative method to produce high-quality crane hooks.” The main benefits of 3D printed crane hooks are as follows: High control of quality and material quality; layer-by-layer manufacturing to achieve a new range of component shapes; reduce the cost and/or delivery time of key components; custom material characteristics in the same product: strength, ductility, and wear/corrosion resistance.
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