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Challenging the Possibilities of Today by Thinking Differently.

Cleveland-Cliffs Burns Harbor Gains Value in DC to AC Crane Transition

  • Location: Burns Harbor, IN
  • Date: January 2020

Cleveland-Cliffs Burns Harbor (CCBH) is one of the largest fully integrated steel facilities in North America. When its DC charge cranes were due for an upgrade, company leaders were faced with the decision to replace them with new DC cranes, or completely retool their bay for more advanced AC cranes.

The cost of upgrading the entire bay to AC power made the DC cranes the cheaper option initially, but would that still be the case when they added total cost of ownership into the equation?

Challenge

CCBH needed to replace their aging DC cranes with new cranes that would bring the best long-term value. While DC cranes have higher operating and maintenance costs, purchasing AC cranes would require expensive upgrades to the bay. This would include installing new AC power infrastructure sourced from a sub-station that was outside the steel shop.

Solution

Total cost of ownership, an evaluation that Morgan assists its customers in calculating, takes into consideration new equipment investment, required renovations, energy costs, maintenance expenses, and other factors that often are overlooked during purchasing decisions. As CCBH completed its total cost of ownership assessment, it determined that the cost of the DC cranes would greatly exceed the investment in AC cranes in the long-term.

Unlike DC cranes, AC cranes have been the benefactor of many of the recent innovations in material handling technology. Only AC cranes can interface with Morgan CM™, our proprietary crane management software. MorganCM™ greatly reduces maintenance costs by monitoring the health of the crane so that maintenance shutdowns can be scheduled before a breakdown. Other cost-saving features of Morgan CM™ include reducing the wear and tear on wheels and wire ropes through self- squaring technology and reduced load impact.

Additionally, AC cranes can rely on Morgan’s active front end with Power Factor Correction Drive for power regeneration. Morgan’s power regeneration produces roughly 80 percent of the power required to lift a load when that load is lowered. During crane travel, about 60 percent of the power required to decelerate the crane is regenerated and sent into the mill’s power grid to power other equipment. Together, power regeneration features will save CCBH an estimated $125,000 per crane year over year compared to DC cranes.

In addition to these benefits, AC crane owners can take advantage of other features, including safety functions like Morgan Quick Stop E-stops and the significantly lower cost of AC crane replacement parts.

After deciding to purchase AC cranes from Morgan, CCBH leaders were confident that they would gain the best value by upgrading the bay with AC cranes.

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