Hydraulic Gantries Give Wide Range
Jul 18, 2009
Hydraulic gantries are often used in complex lifting and transport jobs where a range of different equipment is needed.
Barnhart Crane & Rigging carried out a project to transport and install a reactor at a petroleum plant in Billings, Montana, USA.
The new hydrotreater reactor (D8423) weighed 918,250 pounds (416,511 kg) and measured 12 feet 6 inches (3.8 m) wide and 145 feet (44.2 m) long. The vessel has a 4.6 inch (11 cm) thick steel shell and aluminium-clad shell insulation. The new reactor is part of the Low Sulphur Gasoline Phase 2 project for the Conoco-Phillips refinery.
“We were to pick up the reactor right off the lake in Duluth where it was shipped in by Jumbo Shipping,” says Donnie Thweatt, project manager. “Our job was first to load and secure the reactor onto a rail car so it could be shipped to Billings. Once it arrived at the rail station in Billings, we would haul it to the refinery and then install it.”
While the logistics seemed simple enough, engineers Eric Barnhart and Scott Fletcher devised a plan that involved the use of its Goldhofer PST transporters, a Modular Lift Tower (MLT) and 716 US ton (650 tonne) capacity strand jack, plus two custom-designed 500 US ton (454 tonne) capacity (each) bolsters for transporting the reactor by rail, along with its gantry systems.
Once the vessel arrived in Billings, Barnhart crews were on site to off-load it onto their Goldhofer PST for transport to the final set location in the plant about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) away. “We off-loaded it from the railcar with our 800 US ton (726 tonne) Lift Systems gantries,” explains Thweatt. “It was unloaded using the gantry system with Barnhart’s 5 foot (1.6 m) deep girders to account for the 459 US ton (416 tonne) weight of the reactor.”
Barnhart crews snaked the reactor through the refinery on the Goldhofer transporters and delivered it to the MLT already assembled at the erection site. As they inched closer to the installation site, the space became increasingly tight. For this project, Barnhart’s engineering team spent significant engineering hours and time with the customer to finalise the set up of the modular lift towers in the highly confined plant space, Thweatt says.
As the lifting took place, the crews had to bring the vessel vertical and then shift it to the north about 20 feet (6.7 m), and then shift back to the east at around 10 feet (3.3 m) to clear the structure and get over the anchor bolts and to set the vessel in place, Thweatt says.
In many cases like this, a large-scale crane is used for the tailing process. Barnhart engineers knew this would be a much more costly operation if a crane had to be hauled in and set up, and the tight quarters made using a crane even less desirable, if not impossible.
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