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Manitowoc Prepares Crawlers for Italian Energy Contractor

Manitowoc saves the day with a fleet of customized cranes.

Thu August 15, 2013 - National Edition

Italian energy contractor Saipem, a subsidiary of oil conglomerate Eni, specializes in the extraction and transportation of oil and gas. When the need arose to replace several of the cranes Saipem uses for large-scale oil and gas projects, the company turned to Manitowoc's Lift Solutions team for a new fleet of customized cranes.

Four new Manitowoc crawler cranes with customizations are headed to the Milan-based company, all modified by Manitowoc's Lift Solutions team. The cranes reflect a significant upgrade to Saipem's fleet. While buying the new cranes, ATCO, the mobile equipment department of Saipem, took the opportunity to tailor its new machines for the work it does in remote areas, both onshore and off, and in deep-water seas.

Lift Solutions is a service from Manitowoc that employs experts from the company's engineering, purchasing, operations and sales groups to quote, engineer and produce crawler cranes and attachments for unique applications. Lift Solutions was able to give the cranes capabilities that would better suit them for the environments in which Saipem often works.

Saipem's new cranes include two Manitowoc 14000 crawler cranes, a Manitowoc 777 and a Manitowoc 999. The Lift Solutions customizations include:

• Adding a hydraulic tagline winch to aid with load-handling stability in offshore lifting applications;

• Personnel-handling winch and two-shaft upper boom point to safely and efficiently transport crew from land to barge with no changes to rigging equipment, saving rigging time and effort;

• Sea salt water protection for all new custom components to protect from corrosion. For example, the backup hydraulic power unit was specified as heavy marine duty and includes a large stainless steel box;

• A special zinc-based primer, in addition to the standard priming and paint process, to provide superior corrosion resistance;

• Custom lights installed on each crane's boom for better visibility while working in the dark;

• An emergency backup hydraulic power that can swing, hoist and lower all winches, and can also lift and lower the boom in case of engine failure. The unit is powered by an electric power source in case the cranes' engines malfunction.

All of the new equipment and upgrades had to be designed with RINA (Registro Navale Italiano) certification in mind, to ensure the work complied with both national and international rules. This certification was crucial to finalizing a deal between Manitowoc and Saipem.

Saipem ATCO, represented by mobile equipment manager Rocco Bello and deputy mobile equipment manager Marco Sozzani, issued a tender for the cranes and customizations it needed. Manitowoc and Lift Solutions — led by Enrico Angiolini, sales director, and Davide Camperi, area manager, both of Manitowoc Cranes in Italy — proposed a solution based on Saipem's needs and subsequently secured the project, along with four other cranes that will be delivered to Saipem in 2013. The deal was finalized in May 2012.

Dustin Soerens, product support specialist at Manitowoc, said communication with Saipem was crucial to the success of the project.

"On a large-scale, highly-technical customer request such as this, open communication is a must," said Soerens. "Both Saipem and Manitowoc did a great job in forming detailed plans early on in the project to ensure the final product met Saipem's expectations. This project was a vivid example of the attention to customer demands and dedication to custom project accuracy that Lift Solutions was established to meet."

Production began in June 2012. Saipem ATCO mobile cranes superintendent Andrea D'Ostilio inspected the cranes in November and December before delivery. The Saipem job was such a success that the work done will be applied to future Lift Solutions projects.

"In completing this project, not only did we satisfy Saipem's direct need, we also opened the door to satisfy similar requirements on other Manitowoc crane models being used in offshore applications," Soerens said. "These new designs will help Manitowoc be successful in a market where customers are demanding more than ever from their crane fleet."

Saipem was founded in 1957 and is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. The company has some 40,000 employees working around the globe. In addition to the Manitowoc crawlers it owns, the company also uses several Grove rough-terrain cranes.

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