A tower crane that can reach over 90 metres in the air with no additional support and lift up to 600 tonnes has gone into full production, making it the largest tower crane in the world.
The XCMG XGT15000-600S was initially announced in December 2021, and six months later the first “super tower cranes” completed their journey through the assembly line.
By contrast, the venerable Danish tower crane can only lift 120 tonnes with a maximum height of 82 metres, a feat that at one point was considered to be insurmountable due to a wide range of technological and engineering bottlenecks.
The team at XCMG managed to resolve all of these through sheer scale; it is the size and weight of 100 conventional tower cranes and throughout its development led to the breakthrough of 60 core technologies.
The design, whilst officially classified as a tower crane, actually consists of a main flat-head tower, an auxiliary boom tower and also featured a manned lift, rather than a series of ladders.
It also includes a series of other world records, such as the first four-bar linkage, and the first crane that supports the type of “super rope” necessary to lift 600 tonnes. The crane was tested over 2,000 times over the span of 1,440 hours.
The intended use of a crane of this scale is to help facilitate the construction of huge construction projects such as the Changtai Yangtze River Bridge.
This bridge, along with other mega-bridge constructions uses a modular development system that would be far more difficult to undertake without considerable crane upgrades of the type not seen in decades.