Virtual Precision with 3D Lift Vision


When crane consultant and service company Andyman II LLC, of Corpus Christi, Texas, was hired to consult on a lift for a mine in Africa this fall, it used A1A Software’s 3D Lift Plan system with the new 3D Lift Vision feature to analyze and test the lift plan as realistically as if the company experts were on site in person.

According to 3d Lift Plan’s creator A1A Software, 3D Lift Vision is the industry’s only virtual crane simulation built on actual lift plans.

That makes each simulation unique and particularly realistic, since the lift plan can be dropped into a visual of the actual job site.

On the mine project, the program’s powerful features helped consultant Andyman II spot a flaw in a lift plan, verify it, explain it to the project manager, and recommend the proper piece of lifting equipment to make the lifts safely.

Andyman II, Full-Service Crane Support

Founded in 2019, Andyman II is a full-service crane support provider whose seasoned experts can serve customers worldwide.

Founder and president Butch Thomas started Andyman II after retiring from a 30-plus-year career as an equipment manager for companies like Bechtel, Ameco, and Barrick.

Having worked most of those three decades in places like Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Cameroon, Algeria, Iran, and Egypt, Thomas understands working in places with different customs, cultures, and regulations.

While Thomas was enjoying retirement, a mine owner in Mexico hired him to go to the site as a consultant to evaluate its operations and suggest improvements.

Thomas accepted the challenging offer, and Andyman II was born.

He went through training and testing to renew his certifications to operate and inspect cranes, mobile elevating work platforms, and forklifts. 

The consulting business quickly grew to include custom training for operators and technicians as well as equipment inspections.

To meet Andyman’s rapidly growing volume of business, Thomas hired a few well-qualified and trusted professionals he’d known for years.

Today, the team includes Elvis Cordero, formerly of Manitowoc; Raul Comacho, a rigging superintendent; technician Mario Godoy; welder and technician Jorge Gonzales, technician Pedro Godoy; and Garrett Egli, an administrator and whiz at using 3D Lift Planning and 3D Lift Vision.

Now, just four years later, Andyman II offers a full range of support services for equipment owners and places whose operations depend on lifting equipment. Andyman II can inspect, load test, operate, repair, and calibrate equipment.

It trains crane people how to operate, manage, maintain, troubleshoot, and use equipment safely.

It rigs and teaches rigging.

It can analyze and streamline crane and rigging departments, plan lifts, manage lifting operations, assemble and disassemble lattice-boom cranes, and qualify operators of cranes, mobile elevating work platforms, and forklifts.

“One of our first jobs required us to assemble, test, and repair a fleet of cranes that had sat idle, outdoors, in the mountains of Argentina, for two years after the project they were on shut down because of environmental issues,” said Thomas. “The fleet owner called us crane rockstars, so we added it to the company branding.”

Discovered 3D Lift Plan at ConExpo

“We got involved with 3D software because eight months into the project rigging supervision and lift plan approval was added to our role,” said Thomas. “At that time we signed up through a crane manufacturer, but had limited access and little instruction.”

In March at ConExpo, Thomas learned that A1A was 3D Lift Plan’s owner and was developing a simulator that would load your specific lift plan and present it in virtual reality.

“I was excited about the concept,” said Thomas. “I was looking for avenues to expand our services, and it seemed the direction we wanted to go.”

The Andyman II team started to train  on line, but things really took off when Thomas hired  Garrett Egli to help with Andyman’s administration.

“Garrett took to 3D and our drone fleet with great enthusiasm,” said Thomas. “When we sent him to A1A’s Boot Camp, the whiz kid did well.”

Egli’s enthusiasm for 3D Lift Plan, 3D Lift Vision, and the simulator convinced Thomas to attend the next Boot Camp.

At that camp, Thomas was so impressed by the simulator that he arranged to take it home to Texas so Egli could become expert with it and use it with Andyman II’s clients.

Successful Application

One Andyman II’s first opportunities to do that was evaluating lift plans for a client who wanted to know how to make those plans more efficient and safer.

“We put together a 3D presentation lift plan, load chart, rigging requirements, matting, and a video of the two crane lift, that blew the client away,” said Thomas. “The client loved it.”

The success led the client to hire Andyman II to help with a critical lift at a different site.

That job involved remo-ving giant segments of gears from ball mills, swinging them over a pipe rack, and then Laying them down to resurface and make them usable until the factory could manufacture a new set of gears.

The second part of the job would be installing the reworked gears.

The plan called for use of a 550-U.S.-ton all-terrain crane equipped with an extra boom-support device to lift the 89,000-lb. gear sections at a 98' radius, which would be 84% of capacity.

Andyman II used a customer-supplied drone shot, dropped the 3D lift plan into it, and pulled  up the crane’s capacity charts in order to simulate and test the lifts from beginning to end.

During a month of daily meetings with all parties involved, evaluation using 3D Lift Plan and Andyman II’s on-site representative Raul Camacho determined that the crane would need the extra boom-support device to make the lift. Because that support device wasn’t working properly, the crane wouldn’t have the capacity to make the lifts at the needed radius.

“If the crew had tried to make the lift without that extra boom support, the boom would likely have buckled and caused an expensive, or maybe tragic, accident,” Thomas said.

Using 3D Lift Plan and 3D Lift Vision, the customer found it could do the job with a 60-ton gantry crane instead.

“By helping avoid the accident, the system paid for itself in one job,” said Thomas. 

As a result of helping avoid the accident on this job, Andyman II has been contracted to perform a pre-shutdown audit for every plant shutdown at this mine. 

Client to Distributor

Andyman II has had so much success with 3D Lift Plan, 3D Lift Vision, and the systems meta oculus VR headset that it has become the official dealer for A1A software and 3D Virtual Reality simulators for the mining industry outside of North America.

“Andyman now offers 3D lift plans, and is giving clients the opportunity to test a lift plan in the virtual reality world,” said Thomas. “You can create and test lift plans safely while still giving a realistic feel.” 



Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.