Manitowoc Cranes has built a multimillion dollar, state-of-the-art testing facility, which the company says can be used to rigorously scrutinize the components that go into its cranes.
The company says the new Product Verification Center at Manitowoc’s Shady Grove, Pa., facility in the U.S., will help produce stronger, more-reliable cranes. By allowing rigorous testing of component performance and working life cycles, the center is designed to give Manitowoc engineers new insight into the anticipated performance of cranes in the field, speed up the product development phase for new designs, reduce warranty claims and on-site stoppages, and allow for the direct comparison of supplier components.
Eric Etchart, Manitowoc’s president and general manager, says the Product Verification Center represents an investment in quality.
“For Manitowoc and its customers, this new center marks the beginning of an exciting phase in modern crane design and testing,” he said. “By meticulously inspecting the quality and endurance of individual components, we will be able to reach new, unprecedented levels of quality. We believe there’s no other facility like this in the crane industry.”
The center features a number of technologies designed to deliver detailed pictures of anticipated component performance, including:
- A severe environment test (HALT) chamber that can mimic extreme temperature swings and test component reaction to continuous vibration.
- A walk-in temperature and humidity chamber that’s large enough to fit entire crane cabs, consoles
and power boxes.
- A four-channel structural test system with advanced feedback control.
- An electrical and software testing lab.
- Imaging systems for forensic analysis, including a thermal imaging camera and microscopes.
- A materials lab with a scanning electron microscope, flaw detector and hardness tester.
- A cyclic corrosion chamber, which recreates salt water exposure and fog conditions.
The Product Verification Center will test designs earlier in the product development process than was previously possible. That means suppliers and their components can be vetted before the products are placed in cranes. Also, the company says the head start allows Manitowoc engineers to discover any potential difficulties at an earlier stage and devise solutions long before equipment reaches job sites.