Every autumn, Germans (and fans of German culture around the world) lift their beer steins high to celebrate Oktoberfest. It’s two and a half weeks filled with food, Bavarian costumes and—of course—beer.
Last month, the Munich beer-maker, which has been in the brew biz for going on four centuries, needed to lift seven 85-foot-long, 21-foot-wide, 31-ton "bright beer” tanks into a newly-constructed facility.
The colossal tanks had to be lowered through a roof opening about four inches wider than the tanks themselves. To say the task required some sober, precise calculations would be an understatement.
Raising a toast to the power of Demag cranes. Image courtesy of cranesy.com.
This work just happened to coincide with the 184th Munich Oktoberfest, which ran from September 16 through October 3.
AKM Autokranvermietung, a mobile crane rental company, based in the German municipality of Oberschleißheim (also in Bavaria), volunteered to put the giant cisterns "down the hatch” (so to speak), using a Demag AC 500-8.
"We ultimately decided on our Demag AC 500-8 (because) it is the best crane in its class when we look at the whole package,” said AKM General Manager Sven Bauer. " Not to mention, of course, that it had the required size and performance characteristics.”
Those "performance characteristics” include sensitive controls that helped the operator conduct the seven separate lifts without damaging the new facility. They also include ease of assembly, which meant the crane could travel from the AKM branch in Oberschleißheim to the work site outside Munich on its own wheels, after which it only took three hours to assemble.
Preparation for the ambitious lift included attaching the main boom, a 47-foot LF extension, 132 tons of counterweight and a Sideways Superlift (SSL) system. The six-member AKM team worked on-site with several cranes for one and a half weeks to complete the job.
Image courtesy of Terex.
"We first had to put the tanks in an upright position with two assist cranes in a tandem lift before the AC 500-8 could pick up the tanks with its hooks,” Bauer explained.
After this, the Demag crane lifted the heavy beer tanks, one by one, raising them to 160 feet in the air and swinging them over the new building’s roof. Then came the most demanding part of the lift: Lowering the tanks through the roof opening.
It was like threading a needle, only the "needles” weighed 31 tons and were seven yards wide.
"The Demag AC 500-8 can be controlled with such a perfect level of precision that a margin of adjustment of only a few centimeters was more than enough to accurately move the tanks into the building without them so much as brushing up against the roof structure,” Bauer said.
The AC 500-8, without its beer payload.
Terex Cranes recently updated the Demag AC 500-8 for export to the U.S. market. With a carrier length of 56 feet, the revamped AC 500-8 is a compact eight-axle machine that can achieve a maximum system length of 478 feet with a luffing fly jib. The new crane includes:
- An upgraded engine
- A new outrigger design that provides the strength needed for minimal carrier deflection during maximum capacity lifts
- A new control system (IC-1 Plus) that allows the AC 500-8 to be used where higher capacity cranes are typically necessary.
The IC-1 Plus control system lets the operator use less counterweight, which translates into lower transport costs. The new control system also no longer limits the maximum lifting capacity to a pre-calculated, 360-degrees load chart, which was based on the most unstable position of the crane.
Terex Corporation is a global cranes manufacturer. Major Terex brands include Terex, Genie, Powerscreen and Demag. Terex solutions have long served the construction, refining and mining industries; now they can add brewing to the list of industries they serve.
LC Crane Parts and Service proudly services the AC 500-8 and other Demag cranes. We can also source parts, plus we offer same day shipping for in-stock items. Fill out our easy contact form and we’ll respond right away.