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Manitowoc, CCC test synthetic hoist rope in Qatar

Manitowoc brings Samson K-100 synthetic rope to the Middle East with regional contractor CCC in Qatar

Manitowoc, Samson and CCC employees prepare to install the K-100 on the Grove.
Manitowoc, Samson and CCC employees prepare to install the K-100 on the Grove.

In the first instance of what could soon prove to be a game-changer for the region, Manitowoc, in partnership with Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), has fitted a Grove RT800E with a Samson K-100 hoist rope.

This new synthetic rope has been jointly developed by rope manufacturer Samson and Manitowoc, and is specifically designed for mobile cranes. It is 80% lighter than wire rope and has a torque-neutral design that eliminates load spin and cabling, according to its creators.

In Qatar, the stakeholders participated in a three-day event involving the hands-on training in the installation, handling, and inspection of the K-100. A Grove RT800E was deployed due to the popularity of the category class.

David Semple, sales VP for the Middle East at Manitowoc, notes: “CCC has a long standing relationship with Manitowoc. This, coupled with its safe working practices, made the contractor ideal partner for the testing and installation of this new rope technology.”

“Manitowoc is the only crane company that can equip its cranes with the Samson Ropes, and once a company like CCC or other renowned rental companies adopt it, then we believe others will take notice and start using it.”

In addition to the weight reduction, the material used to produce the K-100 makes the rope easier to handle and reeve, and it reduces kinking, bird caging, and damage from other types of spooling issues. Heavy grease is also not required for lubing, adding to the product’s environmental credentials.

During the development process to ensure the longevity and viability of the synthetic hoist rope, Samson tested the rope in the lab to measure the effects of ultraviolet (UV) light on K-100 over a one-year-equivalent period. The results revealed that the rope retained up 80% to 90% of its strength following exposure to the UV light.

The partnership with CCC is the assurance of all of these traits.

Semple explains: “At this stage it remains vital that the market place is convinced of the rope’s abilities to perform under the harsh climatic conditions that the region has. Upon successful field testing with CCC and the correct commercial pricing, this rope is expected to take hold.”

Moving forward, CCC plans to test the rope extensively in-house, and, once satisfied, to mobilise the Grove RT800E with K-100 on one of the oil and gas projects that makes up the bulk of its work.

Yannick Richaud, UAE director for Manitowoc’s, affirms: “K-100 will generate plenty of interest in Qatar and the surrounding region. Crane operators in the Middle East will see the numerous benefits of this innovation.

“Additionally, customers in the oil and gas industries will feel confident investing in a product that has been tested by a reputable and well-known company such as CCC.”

A final advantage of the K-100 synthetic rope over its steel wire counterparts is its immunity to corrosion. In case of incorrect storage, steel rope left coiled on bare sand is corroded by the region’s naturally occurring salts.

While any rope can be abused, the main risks are avoidable. They are sources of direct heat (i.e. fire or flame), and, as with any rope, contact with sharp edges.

Semple adds: “We are hopeful that the Samson synthetic rope, when used properly, can achieve a working life comparable if not superior to traditional wire rope.”

Moving forward, there is no fixed timeline for Manitowoc to draw its final conclusions about the rope’s lifespan, but the brand fully expect that in the next six months they will be seeing more machines equipping the rope.

From Manitowoc and Samson’s perspective, the gauntlet is thrown down. The only question is: which companies will follow next?

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