The world’s largest top-slewing tower crane, W12000-450, has rolled off the assembly line at the intelligent tower crane manufacturing base of Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (“Zoomlion”; 1157.HK) in Changde, Hunan Province. Zoomlion especially designed and built the model for the world’s largest road-rail cable-stayed bridge project, the Changzhou-Taizhou Yangtze River Bridge integrating an expressway, ordinary highway and inter-city railway.

The W12000-450 weighs in at 4,000 tons with a rated load moment of 12,000 tonne-meters. It’s the first top-slewing tower crane exceeding 10,000 tonne-meters in the world and has a maximum lifting weight of 450 tons and maximum lifting height of 400 meters, which is the equivalent of lifting 300 cars to a level of 130 floors in one go.

The key technologies of building super-large tower cranes are complex with high requirements of safety and reliability. Zoomlion has taken on the challenges of technological innovation and manufacturing requirements to venture into the unknown and set new records.

“In the absence of structural patterns to follow, we re-established a calculation platform for structural rigidity, stability, and modal analysis,” introduced Tang Shaofang, Vice President of Zoomlion and General Manager of Zoomlion Construction Hoisting Machinery Company. “The W12000-450 tower crane has adopted several of Zoomlion’s self-developed technologies including full penetration T-joint welding technology and conquered technical difficulties such as ultra-thick plate weld cracking, enabling the W12000-450 to not only achieve super strong lifting performance reaching 10,000-tonne-meter level but also guarantee safety and reliability throughout the processes of transporting, assembly/disassembly and operation.”

The W12000-450 is produced in the world’s largest intelligent tower crane factory. According to plans, the factory will be manufacturing construction hoisting machinery products covering the range from 80 to 20,000 tonne-meters. It’s fully digitalized to integrate big data analysis, industrial internet, information systems, visualization, and more to achieve full-coverage networking and man-machine interaction.

Through intelligent, flexible assembly tools, the W12000-450 was manufactured in four months, compared to traditional manufacturing technology that would take at least 12 months.

The demand for super-large tower cranes is increasing as construction parts are heavier, buildings are taller, and bridges are spanning wider. The launch of W12000-450 will not only bring the latest solution for heavy industries, but also showcase Zoomlion’s industry-leading capabilities in the R&D, design and manufacturing of large tower cranes.


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