Manitowoc’s Rémi Deporte explains how commonality between Potain’s Hup cranes is enabling new models to reach customers quicker, and innovations in mobility are enabling them to do more.
It has been just three years since Manitowoc first announced the groundbreaking Hup self-erecting crane range at bauma 2016. Boasting unique and innovative design features, the pioneering Potain Hup 32-27 was the first from the exclusive range. One year later, a larger version was introduced — the Hup 40-30 — featuring a 40m (131 ft) jib and even greater height-under-hook.
In 2018, Manitowoc designed and built the Hup C 40-30, a track-mounted variant of the standard model, developed primarily for longstanding customer Stirnimann. Most recently, at bauma 2019, Manitowoc previewed the new, mobile Hup M 28-22 — the first deliveries of which are scheduled for early 2020.
With the announcement of four new Hup cranes models in the past few years, it’s clear Manitowoc has made a conscious effort to ramp up development times and put an even greater emphasis on innovation to provide inventive solutions to customers as efficiently as possible. But what has it taken to make this happen? Rémi Deporte, product manager for Potain self-erecting cranes, explains…
“Despite each Hup crane demonstrating great versatility, for use in different job sites and applications, and by a variety of customers, we have been able to retain fundamental similarities across the entire range,” Deporte said. “This has enabled us to develop new cranes more quickly and bring them to market with more velocity.”
According to Deporte, one of the main similarities across the range is the control system. The Hup cranes feature a remote control with a large color screen with easy-to-use navigation and optimized ergonomics. This being the case, it is easy to develop a standardized system for the whole range.
Manitowoc’s remote control unit maximizes operator productivity. Its exclusive Smart Set Up software delivers on-screen information about automatic folding and unfolding of the crane from the crane’s remote. The Smart Set Up enables the user to erect, dismantle and operate the Hup crane from one single ergonomic system. Similarly, each model also benefits from Manitowoc’s unique Drive Control functionality: three selectable profiles that vary the slewing speed of the crane to suit the application. On top of that, the micro-speed function delivers slow and high precision hoisting.
“Being able to use the same technology across multiple crane models means we don’t have to start from scratch every time,” Deporte said. “This means customers get their hands on new models more quickly, while also capitalizing on the Hup range’s key benefits of versatility, the drive control function and the ergonomics of the radio remote control.”
Customers request more mobility
It’s not just velocity to market that customers demand in today’s world; they want speed and mobility on the job site too, Deporte explained.
“For some customers, ballasts are becoming an unnecessary headache; they want to transport their cranes easily, erect them quickly (in less than one hour) and have greater mobility on the job site. The self-erecting crane design, with its innovative telescoping mast, already ticks most of these boxes. And when it comes to mobility, the Hup M 28-22 (the M standing for mobility) is a prime example of how we’ve tailored our products to match our customer’s requirements. Of course, mobile self-erecting cranes have always been a focus of ours; after all, the Igo M already exists. However, what we’ve been able to do with the Hup M is use a new integrated exclusive steering axle and permanent ballasts, which gives it quicker and easier accessibility to job sites and makes the crane easy to work with.
“We have already received quite a bit of interest from customers in Germany and France, but also the U.S. and other markets. For the different markets, we adapt the transport equipment to be compliant with the country’s standards.
Similar to the Hup M 28-22, the Hup C 40-30 was developed with mobility in mind. However, ‘mobility,’ in this case, is less about logistical mobility and more about on-site mobility. Being the only Hup crane on crawler tracks means the Hup C 40-30 is ideally matched for job sites with rougher terrain.
“The Hup C 40-30 was developed for job sites with a specific need for mobility,” Deporte said. “This is, of course, a niche concept but for the customers that need it, it is invaluable. Several units have already been delivered to Stirnimann — who helped develop the crane — and we are already seeing interest from customers from all over the world.”
With the market for self-erecting cranes evolving at a rapid pace, Manitowoc is continuing to meet the changing needs of its customers through innovation and velocity.