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Crane Hot Line

Wolffkran Invests in Self-Monitoring Fiber Rope

Sep. 23, 2019 - Wolffkran has acquired a stake in Trowis GmbH, a young German company dedicated to the development and production of high-performance fiber ropes for applications in the lifting and material handling industry.

Wolffkran recognized the potential of Trowis ropes while they were still in the research phase and actively supported the foundation of the company in July 2019. The executive management of Trowis GmbH is made up of the managing partners Dr. Thorsten Heinze and Peter Streubel.

Trowis high performance fiber ropes are an innovative product, characterized by the integration of a doubly redundant, self-monitoring composite fiber construction — a unique technology guaranteeing maximum operational safety on construction sites.

Sensor elements integrated in the rope monitor possible fiber fracture in the load-bearing component and signal these to the crane operator. At this point, the load is taken over by the redundant loadbearing reserve, ensuring that the load can be lowered safely.

Thanks to the integrated intelligent recognition of the discard criteria, Trowis fiber ropes, according to the company, are much safer than other high performance fiber ropes, in which the discard criteria can only be determined by an optical inspection of the rope. In addition, there is the economic advantage that a rope is not discarded too early on spec, but can actually be used until the end of its service life.

Trowis ropes also have a particularly high stiffness and low initial elongation due to a specially developed heat-setting process, which is essential for safe positioning of the load and eliminates the need to “break-in” the rope.

When compared to conventional steel wire ropes, Trowis fiber ropes offer further advantages for crane operation. Tremendous savings on weight of up to 80% not only allow for higher load capacities, but also a significantly faster and safer assembly and replacement. Due to its considerably lower rope sag, lighter hook blocks can be used, which further increases the load capacity of the crane.

In addition, the service life of Trowis ropes is up to seven times longer than that of steel ropes due to the load-bearing rope component and the use of a high performance lubricant in rope production. This results in significantly lower maintenance costs and increased operating time, while at the same time, saving on natural resources.

Trowis ropes are produced at the company's premises in Chemnitz, Saxony, on a specially developed rope finishing line. With the conclusion of extensive tests in a lab, the fiber ropes will be extensively tested on a test stand at the Wolffkran plant in Brandenburg and on Wolff cranes at select construction sites under live operating conditions. After completion of the field test phase, Trowis and Wolffkran will launch the new product.


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