Some of the very first construction hoists off the production line in the brand new Chinese factory of Alimak Hek, the world’s leading vertical access solutions provider, is helping to deliver success by ensuring a complex Malaysia bridge is being renovated on time and budget.
UEMC-Freyssinet Consortium won the contract to upgrade the cable stay of Penang Bridge, Malaysia, to be completed within an extremely tight timescale, and in a highly congested public environment.
“The UEMC-Freyssinet Consortium is renowned for its high quality and safety commitment as well as for delivering on its promises. This made Alimak Hek an obvious first choice for us when looking for a partner because they share our quality and safety values,” said Mr Martin-Daguet, Project Manager for the contracting consortium.
The vertical access solution chosen was to use an ALIMAK 450CN construction hoist on each of the four pylons of the Penang Bridge, with a lifting height of around 90 metres from the base and an inclination of three degrees. The four Alimak hoists are used to transport personnel and equipment to the top of the pylons as well as for providing emergency access to the sea in the event of the need for an urgent bridge evacuation.
Installing the four Alimak units, which were the first hoists to be delivered from the ultra modern Alimak Hek factory at Changshu, China, opened in November 2006, posed a particular challenge in itself. In order to minimize impact on the congested traffic across the bridge, the installation had to be done at night.
It is the kind of tricky installation that Alimak Hek has excelled at in building its reputation as the global leader in providing vertical access solutions for bridge building and renovation over the past 35 years. The group has built vast and unmatched experience in moving men and materials using rack and pinion hoists on some of the most spectacular bridge projects around the world since the mid-1960s.
Designed to provide reliable, safe access whatever the site conditions or environment, Alimak equipment for bridges can be used both during the construction phase and for a permanent installation through the entire life of the bridge. The renowned Alimak rack and pinion drives enable permanent lifts to be installed inside the bridge pylons and can handle changes in pylon inclination. Another benefit of the technology include there being no need for bulky machine rooms.
“Construction hoists and internal pylon lifts from Alimak Hek provide reliable and efficient access on bridge projects in some of the most difficult and harshest environments around the world. They adapt to inclinations and curves, tight spaces and windy conditions to effortlessly climb to the very top of the highest structures,” says Mr Albert Lim, General Manager of Alimak Hek in Malaysia.
Accessing bridge pylons for service and maintenance presents one of the trickiest challenges for lift and access companies with maintenance crews needing to gain access to the cable stays as well as the aircraft warning lights at the very top. Alimak Hek’s rack and pinion solution is really the only viable alternative, since many of the pylons are extremely narrow and in many cases inclined or even curved.
Today, Alimak service lifts can be found operating on the Oresund Bridge, the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark, the High Coast Bridge in Sweden, the Kap Shui Mun in Hong Kong, the Second Severn Bridge in the UK, the Normandy Bridge in France, the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge in Japan and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in the USA, to name but a few.
Typifying the solutions delivered by Alimak Hek was the challenge laid down to the Alimak engineering department by the Meiko Bridge Joint Venture for the MEIKO CHUO and MEIKO HIGASHI Bridges in Japan. They asked Alimak’s experts to solve how transport men and materials 20 degrees of the vertical to a height of 36 m and then through a 15 m radius to 13 degrees – a total movement of 33 degrees!
“Our solution to overcome the problem of negotiating the inclinations that made it virtually impossible to gain access with traditional rope lifts was to install four lifts inside the pylons, each with five landings and travelling 174m and 114m respectively,” says Mr Andreas Magnusson, Assistant Marketing Communications Manager of Alimak AB in Sweden.
Mr Magnusson recalls how Alimak Hek in 2002 also came up with a unique solution for a particularly difficult problem at the Rama VIII Bridge in Bangkok, Thailand.
A specially-built ALIMAK SE 500 passenger lift was commissioned to provide access to one of the most stunning panoramic views of Thailand’s capital. The lift is installed inside the inverted-Y concrete pylon of the prestigious Rama VIII cabled-stay bridge, which crosses the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
With three power product names in its portfolio (Alimak, Champion and Hek), Alimak Hek is the partner for everyone in the construction and other industries seeking reliable and efficient vertical access solutions and support through purchase or rental. Available on five continents, our product portfolio comprises construction hoists, industrial lifts, mast climbing work platforms, transport platforms, material hoists, underground equipment, after sales services, used equipment sales, and financial solutions.