Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Development Co.

Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Development Co.

Eaton understood our needs and quickly customized a solution that could be implemented globally with dedicated service support.
— Lekang Yu, Deputy General Manager


Background
Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Development Co. is one of China’s leading manufacturers of construction equipment—developing heavy machinery, including cranes, excavators and concrete machinery, for global infrastructure construction customers.

Founded in 1992, Zoomlion offers one of the broadest global product portfolios in the construction machinery industry. It also reports ranking among the world’s best in sales across two business segments: concrete and hoisting machinery.

The company is a long-timeEaton customer, using a range of Eaton’s electrical and hydraulic components for its tower cranes, cement mixers, pumps and other heavy equipment.

Challenge
Tower cranes are often used to hoist equipment and transfer construction materials in large-scale construction projects under harsh operating conditions.

Electrical control systems in the tower cranes face several common challenges, including: an unstable on-site power supply, wide amplitude voltage fluctuations, forward/reverse rotation of the motor and occasional downtime with heavy-duty use. As a global leader in the construction machinery industry, Zoomlion maintains an exceptional standard for high quality. The company required a more reliable solution to support overall operational reliability and increase uptime requirements for its equipment.

Electrical components in the tower cranes serve as the “brain” of the system, and one small failure could lead to downtime for the entire system. Electrical maintenance requires a highly trained technician to scale the crane, which is dangerous and costly.

Zoomlion believes that safety is paramount, so they were looking for ways to make its system more reliable. To add to their reliability needs, contractors request minimal Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). Enhancing reliability of machinery is critical to maintaining their good reputation.

Solution
After consulting with regional Eaton experts, Zoomlion asked Eaton to develop a solution to improve the reliability of its tower crane electrical control system.

Eaton experts studied the unique requirements of the tower crane control system, considering the electrical life span of the contactor needed for ensuring longtime and reliable operation, as well as the operation characteristics of the tower crane such as heavy-duty start, motor forward/reverse rotation and inching control (AC-4 operating condition).

Eaton proposed a customized control system with Eaton xStart series contactors, circuit breakers and other control components. The key components of Eaton xStart series contactors are manufactured with high quality consistency for better reliability and durability.

Moreover, its innovative “T-C” shape, low-power consumption coil design and anti-melting material applied on the head of each contactor enable it to accommodate overcurrent conditions, improve AC-4 performance and better serve the tower crane’s unique operating conditions.

Additionally, the xStart contactors are specifically engineered to generate minimal amounts of heat and help facilitate higher density installations while reducing the need for cooling fans. Innovative, electronic circuitry reduces energy consumption by allowing the contactors to actuate direct from a programmable logic controller (PLC) without the need for additional relays, reducing equipment costs and product that needs to be maintained.

Eaton also engineered the whole system to fit seamlessly into Zoomlion’s process with components that simplify connections to increase production line productivity. For example, Eaton replaced “Y” shaped connectors with an “O” shaped solution that reduced the amount of required wiring. The “O” shaped connectors also provided a more reliable connection with enhanced protection against vibration to withstand harsh environments.

In addition to providing a compact and easily implemented solution, the Eaton products were globally specified with dedicated regional support to meet Zoomlion’s service needs.

This global support included operations spanning Europe and the Middle East, Americas and Southeast Asia.

Zoomlion representatives visited one of Eaton’s manufacturing facilities in Germany to see first-hand Eaton’s level of commitment to making the highest quality electrical components. After this visit, Zoomlion gained in-depth understanding of Eaton’s advanced automation production line and reliable QA system, and decided to deploy Eaton electrical products in its tower crane control system.

“We needed a durable electrical control system for our tower cranes that could stand up to harsh weather conditions to provide a long, reliable working life and optimum safety for maintenance personnel and crane operators,” said Mr. Lekang Yu, Deputy General Manager at Zoomlion Construction Hoisting Machinery Company. “Eaton understood our needs and quickly customized a solution that could be implemented globally with dedicated service support.”

Results
A three-month trial using Eaton’s electrical control system on the tower crane resulted in a significant reduction in electrical failures. This success quickly led to a small-scale pilot, and Zoomlion has since made the Eaton solution standard on its main tower crane models.

Eaton support is available around the globe to reduce maintenance complexity and response time for Zoomlion.

“The ability to provide a safer and more reliable solution to our customers that improves performance while dramatically reducing downtime is priceless,” added Mr. Lekang Yu. “Eaton understood the logistical challenges of managing a global business and provided the manufacturing expertise to develop a solution specifically catered to our needs.”