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Cranes achieve export success

Crane pack

Condra component parts
packed for export

Lower total lifetime costs are helping Condra Cranes hold its own in an increasingly tough export market. Low maintenance costs are also helping to provide a sustainable competitive advantage, not only for complete cranes, but also for components and sub-assemblies exported to crane fabricators abroad.

Condra is expanding its export drive this year. Already well established in South America and sub-Saharan Africa, the company aims to consolidate its brand in the Middle East and gain a foothold in Europe, where Condra last year registered a company in Bulgaria.

Closer to home, in sub-Saharan Africa, Condra’s exports are mostly in the form of complete overhead cranes shipped with a suitable stock of spare parts for maintenance.

Outside this region, it is mainly crane components and sub-assemblies that are shipped to crane assemblers who fabricate the steel girders locally to minimise shipping costs.

A competitive purchase price, the result of long production runs of standard parts, also helps. Lead times are usually shorter because of large inventories.

Recent years have seen the selective introduction of high quality materials in the K-Series and Titan Series hoists, where gearboxes have been uprated and a 36B casehardened material introduced on most pinions to extend hoist life.

Careful design makes use of imported ropes to reduce overall hoist size and minimise power consumption. These imported ropes have substantially higher tensile strengths than local equivalents, reducing rope diameter and consequently drum size. This allows a smaller gearbox and therefore a smaller motor, all factors helping to contain costs in the long run.

Overall useful lifetime costs are also kept low by the modular design of the hoist range, which allows common parts to be used extensively across all models.

One example of the modular approach can be found in the various lift heights accommodated by a single hoist. Condra regularly supplies 15 metre lift heights, more than twice the average lift height of 6.8 metres, from the same hoist model.

All exported sub-assemblies are customised to the customer specification, freeing the assembling company to focus on local fabrication of the girders while Condra takes care of everything else the customer will need.

Condra’s entire export production of overhead cranes, hoists, hooks, cable loop systems and enclosed conductor systems is managed from the company’s new factory in Gosforth Park, which also accommodates design, administration, service and maintenance facilities.

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