4 April 2016
Whether it’s overhauling of main engine/ machinery or shifting of heavy parts, the engine room crane is regularly used for “heavy-duty” jobs, which are usually beyond the physical capabilities of the engine room crew.
Th engine room personnel are qualified to operate the crane in a safe manner but as a machinery, the crane is subjected to breakdowns if proper maintenance and care is not taken. The scenario can be worse if the crane fails in the middle of lifting the load or while carrying out important machinery overhauling.
As a responsible officer on ship, the engineers using the crane must do regular inspection and scheduled maintenance to ensure the crane works safely without giving up at all times.
The engine room crane has a Safe Working Load (SWL) limit, which should never be crossed at all times. The crane manual is the best source to understand when and what inspections or maintenances are required.
In this article, we have mentioned eight important points on general maintenance and inspection requirements that must be carried out in an engine room crane:
Prior carrying out any operation using engine room crane, a brief check on the following should be done:
The planned maintenance of crane should be followed properly and the following inspections should be done as per the working hours prescribed by the makers:
In an engine room crane system, two lubricants are used:
The wire rope of a crane is the main operational part of the system, which is responsible to lift and move the load from one part of the engine room to another part. Following maintenance to be performed on wire rope:
Requirements for the renewal of wire rope:
Gears are used to hoist or slewing the crane to manoeuvre the load at the desired location. Following inspection and maintenance are carried on the gear assembly:
Sheaves are used to carry the wire ropes from gearing chamber to the hook of the crane. Numbers of sheaves are installed in the assembly for the wire to move smoothly for operation. Following inspection must be carried out:
The hook assembly is such made that while the load is ON, it can rotate 360 degree to adjust the position of the load and it comprises of bearings and drums. Following maintenance and checks needs to carried out:
The engine room crane is equipped with electromagnetic brake with fail-safe arrangement. This is the most important safety arrangement provided in the crane. Following maintenance and inspection needs to be carried out:
The engine room crane is an assembly of various important parts, which need equal attention as any other machinery in the engine room. While the engineers and engine crew are responsible for operating the crane, it is the core responsibility of engineer officers to ensure no breakdown of crane occurs by following correct operating procedures and maintenance schedule.