NFT at The Big 5 Heavy 2019

To start with, The Big 5 Heavy has always been a good opportunity for NFT to see customers face to face, catch up on their objectives for the coming year and hear their feedback on the past year. Customers can also benefit by sitting and talking directly with NFT’s CEO and Potain’s VP of Tower Cranes, as both will be present during the show.

Introducing the MDT 809 model

The launch of the MDT 809 is one of the most significant Potain tower crane launches of recent times: Over the past 10 years we’ve seen consistent growth in demand for topless cranes, with customers benefiting from their fast assembly and compact design, which makes it easier to get more cranes onto a job site to complete work quicker. Alongside this we’ve seen an increase in modular construction, with contractors needing to lift heavier loads. It’s clear to us that there is strong demand for bigger topless cranes. But we wanted to be sure that any new model we launch not only satisfied demand for greater capacity, but also preserved the easy transport, fast assembly and industry-leading performance our other topless cranes deliver. The MDT 809 provides all that and more. Here are some of the added value of the MDT 809:

Lower costs

With its highly optimized assembly and disassembly, owners can install the crane on site in the shortest possible time and move it off site rapidly once work is completed. Alongside that, the crane offers up to 40 t of lift capacity and can accommodate up to 80 m of jib. For transport, the crane is especially compact, with everything but the slewing mechanism capable of traveling in a standard container.

The whole crane transports in either 10 or 11 containers, depending on the winch option selected, which is four to five fewer containers than is typically required for a crane of this size. Smart design features to aid shipping include protective packaging for the jib sections; optimized space usage for containerization and a cab that rotates for transport. The crane also has a new 8 m cross base that offers the performance characteristics of a 10 m chassis, but which requires only one container for transport.

High-speed assembly

The Potain MDT 809 is not only fast to transport, but also fast to assemble once on site: typically, around twice as fast as other 40 t cranes and also requiring less space. With its full complement of jib, the crane can be assembled at a 50 m working height in less than three days. The 8 m cross base is not only easier to transport but also faster to set up than the 10 m alternative.

There are dedicated slinging points on the crane to aid on-site assembly and jib sections can be assembled either on the ground or in the air, depending on site conditions and available space. The rotating cab and easy-connect points for the counterjib further simplify erection. Options for assembling the jib range from the 30 m minimum up to the 80 m maximum in 5 m sections.

High performance

From the range of regular frequency-controlled hoists, options for the crane span from the 100LVF to the 270LVF. An optional 150HPL is also offered, from the High Performance Lifting range, for the ultimate in speed and strength. These winch options give the crane a maximum available capacity of 25 t, 32 t or 40 t. Tip loads of up to 9 t are available at the 80 m maximum. With the new reinforced K-mast system, freestanding heights of up to 80 m are possible.

Users can choose from a two-fall configuration on the trolley for faster duty-cycle lifting, or four-falls for heavy lifting. Inside the cab a simple push-button solution enables the operator to activate the cable-tensioning system automatically. This is particularly useful for long-running job sites, where tensioning is required more frequently. The Crane Control System (CCS) features too, with its customizable operator profiles; simpler commissioning; load curve P+ functionality and much more.

Introducing the hydraulic luffer MRH 175

More information on the advantage of hydraulic luffers can be found in our previous blog post. However, here’s a recap of some of the benefits:

Innovative crane, the hydraulic luffer is the first in the European range to combine luffing jib and topless capabilities; and it also uses hydraulic power for the luffing movement, for greater efficiency. As with the MDT 809, Manitowoc has placed a strong emphasis on return on investment for owners. The crane has an adaptable design making it suitable for all kinds of congested urban job sites, while transport and assembly times have also been optimized. Just four containers are required to transport the upper portion of the crane, with the counter jib and jib foot traveling as a single package. The unique VVH hydraulic luffing mechanism and cylinders are pre-connected at the factory, meaning no assembly is required on site.

A further advantage over traditional luffing jib cranes is that the hydraulic power of the VVH mechanism means there is no requirement to install luffing rope during installation. The hoisting winch, maintenance derrick and jib wind side plate are also pre-installed. Plus there is no need to adapt the wind-sail plate on site, no matter what length of jib the crane is erected with.

On-site the crane delivers outstanding operating performance, no matter how constrained the job site. The jib can be raised from the horizontal to near vertical (88°) in just two minutes, while the counterjib measures just 7 m and is simple to connect during assembly. The out-of-service weathervaning radius of just 10 m, whatever the jib length, adds to its impressive features for tight job sites, while the cab has the option to attach to either side of the mast to suit project conditions.

Sneak Peak into the MCT 565 coming in 2020

Why does NFT represent a brand like Potain?

Potain have been manufacturing tower cranes for 90 years so they are ahead of most manufacturers when it comes to innovation. New products with the customer requirements in mind are released on a regular basis. At every construction exhibition event no matter the continent, you can see a Potain stand with new products.  It is a global manufacturer with factories all over the word therefore they have policies in place for every segment of their business, whether it is manufacturing, procuring the right materials, or welding two joints together. The diversity of their fabrication facilities also mean they have different product offerings for specific market needs. The Potain name is known to historical contractors as a guarantee of safety and quality. When we did the research study, most of our customers scored high on variety, availability of spare parts endurance safety, reliability and quality.

They have a dealer network which we believe is second to none in this industry, and the manufacturer regularly organizes training / events to connect and educate those representing the product. As part of this dealer network, we can find used cranes and spare parts almost anywhere around the world. The main attributes of a Potain tower cranes include:

Innovation – Innovations include the Vision Cab, the Dialog control system and the LLC range of hoists.

Endurance – Potain cranes are especially adapted to perform strenuous work expeditiously. They offer frequency control systems for all modern and advanced operations, quick assembly and dismantling, full rotation system control and cart while, at the same time, they occupy minimal space for storage and transportation.

Quality: Potain tower cranes undergo serious testing under various conditions. It takes years for Potain to release new products because of the amount of time it takes to test all tower cranes. 2 testing centers: Lusigny and Charlieu in france.

High resell value – A Potain crane is an investment because of its guaranteed resale value. The brand name itself is well recognized by customers worldwide. In addition, the manufacturer guarantees the availability of Potain parts for all cranes, even those that are more than twenty years old! The well established Potain Second Hand crane market gives the highest residual value for the crane.

Adaptability – for building tall towers on  sites with several cranes, fast and easy installation in dense urban areas, for building narrow towers while saving on ties, for industrial construction – in fact just perfect for any type of work

French EngineeringFrench Engineering: Designed and tested in France. Assembled and manufcatured in Europe and Asia accordingto the same quality standadars in France. Regardless of where it is made, Potain is Fundamentally a French product.

The End.

Sources:

https://www.manitowoccranes.com/en/news-events/news/2019/190408-Manitowoc-unveils-biggest-Potain-topless-crane-at-bauma-2019 

News July

Potains in land reclamation project

Three Potain MD top-slewing tower cranes are helping to construct 18 reinforced concrete caissons that are required as part of the design and construction of the new Portier Cove eco-neighbourhood in Monaco.Started in 2016, Portier Cove is a €1.36bn plan that will see six hectares of land reclaimed from the sea, upon which 60,000 sqm of housing, an extension of the Grimaldi Forum and a coastal promenade will be built.

French company Bouygues Travaux Publics has been contracted to build the foundations of the offshore extension, including 18 reinforced concrete structures that will act as underwater struts. Known as caissons, these hollow, cylindrical chambers are being made in the Marseille-Fos Port in France before being towed to Monaco where they will be positioned and reinforced by infill.

To create the 10,000t, 26m-high structures, the contractor is renting a vast proportion of the French port, including a 10,000m2 caisson precasting zone, as well as a 32,000m2 area of water, where a floating dock is positioned. A first in France, this 56m-long, 50m-wide and 27m-tall floating dock will make it possible to assemble the caissons before they are delivered to Monaco.

It is here that three Potain top-slewing tower cranes are working over a period of 24 months: two brand new Potain MD 569s to help construct the caissons themselves and one MD 560 B for general supply of the shipyard from the harbour dock.

The two MD 569 tower cranes – erected at heights of 45m and 59m – are positioned on the water on floating platforms known as pilotis. This presented a challenge for Bouygues, as not only are the pilotis required to support the cranes when lifting heavy loads, such as 25t reinforcement cages, they also need to remain secure when battling the sea and the notoriously strong winds of the region.

The contractor worked with Manitowoc’s tower crane Lift Solutions team to find the answer. The team developed several pylon compositions specific to the site, combining different types of masts and chassis to increase the height and safety of the cranes. It also provided adapted load charts to account for piloti movement possibilities in all weather conditions.

Work on the caissons began in 2017 and is due for completion in 2019. Once complete, they will be towed to Monaco where they are run aground to form the foundations of the offshore extension. They will then be ballasted with sea water and weighted with quarry material. Each finished, construction caisson façade has been specially designed to accommodate sea flora and fauna. Once the caisson belt has been of the reclamation ground begins. The entire Portier Cove project is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Emaar to build Middle East’s biggest Chinatown in Dubai

Dubai’s leading developer said the Chinese-style urban district will occupy a central location in its 6km² mixed-use waterfront development, Dubai Creek Harbour, which will boast the Dubai Creek Tower superstructure. The retail precinct will have mix of restaurants, local and international fashion brands designed to appeal to Chinese tourists. 

To further support efforts to encourage wealthy Chinese shoppers to the emirate, Emaar has opened offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to promote tourism, education, and investment in the UAE. Emaar’s announcement came on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UAE, where he is expected to drum up support for two-way trade and investment. “The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UAE is historic and will further strengthen UAE-China relations, underpinned by initiatives such as the UAE-China Week announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai,” the chairman of Emaar Properties, Mohamed Alabbar, said.” “The development of the new Chinese retail and lifestyle district at Dubai Creek Harbour – as well as Emaar’s expansion into China, both in property and hospitality – highlight our commitment to the country, and our focus on contributing to the strength and success of UAE-China relations,” he added. Bilateral trade between China and the UAE has gone up in recent years, rising from $46.3bn (AED170bn) in 2016 to $53.3bn (AED195bn) in 2017. And Chinese tourists are prominent visitors to Dubai as well, with recent statistics indicating a year-on-year increase in the number of travelers from China between 1 January and 31 May, 2018.” Separately, Emaar this week issued a statement following reports it may sell non-core assets worth up to $1.4bn (AED5.1bn). In response to this claim, Emaar said it was “continuously exploring various options as part of its strategy to streamline its business to generate significant value”

New Potain factory in India

Manitowoc has opened a new Potain tower crane factory in the Indian city of Chakan, which lies outside Pune, with production beginning in first-quarter 2018. This facility replaces the company’s previous factory in Pune, which opened back in 2007. With a smaller land area as well as new equipment and lean processes, Manitowoc said the new facility produces Potain MCT 85 and MC 125 cranes more efficiently.

David Semple, Manitowoc’s senior vice president for the Middle East and India, said: “We are focused on developing and executing lean strategies to improve efficiency, profitability, and value for our stakeholders. Our customers will benefit from the faster delivery times and enhanced quality of this new facility while our employees can feel proud to work at one of the most advanced tower crane factories in Asia. Potain has long been a market-leader in India and we want to ensure that continues, so opening this factory is an important step.”  

With a production area of 9,760 sqm, the new factory’s manufacturing footprint has been reduced by one-third compared to its previous facility but has been designed for the same level of production output. Among the upgrades in equipment at the facility are a new paint shop and shot blasting machine cells.

The facility layout delivers other productivity improvements. Most notably, the time to transport materials from the assembly area to the finished goods yard is reduced by 68%. There are other significant savings in material transport from the steel yard, supplier yard and fabrication area.

Time savings are not limited to onsite operations either. Although still in the Pune area, the new factory sits some 45km from the old location, in the city’s industrial belt of Chakan. Being situated in Chakan offers better connectivity to national highways, speeding customer deliveries within India. In addition, the new facility is closer to Mumbai from where Potain cranes are shipped to export markets.

“The majority of cranes manufactured at this new factory will be shipped to customers in India,” said Semple. “But we will also serve neighbouring markets such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. All of our customers will benefit from the faster deliveries and enhanced quality of Potain cranes in this region.”

GCC construction contract awards rebound in 2018

The total value of contract awards in the construction and transport sectors increased in the first half of this year, rising to $32bn from $27bn in second half of 2017, according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects. Despite the increase, the total for the first half of this year is still below the average of $40bn of construction and transport contract awards made on a half yearly basis since 2006, and well below the high of nearly $70bn of awards made in the first half of 2014.The strongest performing market in the first half of 2018 was the UAE with $15bn of awards followed by Saudi Arabia where there were $10bn of contracts let.While the UAE total is down slightly on the $16bn of contracts that were awarded in the second half of 2017, the total for Saudi Arabia is the strongest half since the first half of 2015 and suggest that the kingdom’s construction sector may finally be showing signs of recovery after three difficult years.The UAE has consistently been the strongest performing construction market in the region over the last five years as its more diversified economy has been better shielded from the full impact of lower oil prices.Supporting the Saudi recovery is the fact that the largest contract awards during the first half of this year have come from kingdom. The largest award is the $2.5bn award for the construction of the Mecca Gate housing development for Al-Balad al-Ameen. There were also major contract awards valued at over $1bn for building the Sharma complex on the northern Red Sea coast, and for the construction of a housing development for the National Guard.Future projects are also being tendered in the kingdom. The largest scheme is the proposed Salwa Channel that will be build close to the Qatari border. Others include the Avenues Mall in Riyadh, Ishbiliyah City Centre, and various housing complexes around the kingdom.There were no contract awards valued at over $1bn outside Saudi Arabia. The largest award outside the kingdom was the $533m deal for the construction of Aldar’s Water’s Edge residential development in the UAE.

End.

Sources

http://www.cranestodaymagazine.com/news/potains-in-land-reclamation-project-6273125/

http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-49848-emaar-to-build-middle-easts-biggest-chinatown-in-dubai/

http://www.cranestodaymagazine.com/news/new-potain-factory-in-india-6262937/

GCC construction contract awards rebound in 2018

 

French Engineering

So, What is the Deal with Potain China?

In the 90’s, Potain opened a factory in Zhangjiagang, China due to the rise of material cost. In order to be more competitive and deliver to its customers more value, some products are produced in the Zhangjiagang factory, However, since its inception in La Clayette, France in 1928, Potain has maintained its “Bureau d’etude” or study center in France. The design of all the main crane components and their mechanism (hoisting and slewing, trolleying, luffing, traveling), and Information technology are produced in France, Moulins. We want the customer to know that Manitowoc OWNS this factory. Indeed, Potain tower cranes have been produced in China since 1994, through licensing agreements and joint ventures. Problems relating to control, coupled with the obvious demand for good quality cranes, prompted Potain to establish a wholly owned manufacturing operation. Helped by the Zhangjiagang municipal authority, it bought out the local manufacturing company that is now called Zhangjiagang Potain Construction Machinery, in Jiangsu Province.

“Our goal is to build cranes specifically tailored to the local market while at the same time reproducing the high standards of quality and control we have at our other factories around the world,” says Etchart, who was the managing director of the factory at the time of this article-01 February 2003, Potain in China.

The Zhangjiagang Potain plant produces models ranging from a 40tm class up to 320tm. Models produced are the, MC 80, MC 120, MC 170, MC 200 and MC 300. Added to these, is the new MC 230, which was officially launched (though not exhibited) at Bauma China in November 2002 and topless cranes such as the MCT205, the MCT385, available in 14-ton and 20-ton version and luffing cranes like the MCR160, MCR225, and MCR295H20.

They also developed a new mast section called the M mast, which is unique to cranes made in China. This mast was designed by the “Bureau D’etude” in France. Jib lengths across the range begin at 40m and go up to 70m ( now 80m with the MC465 and MC475). Maximum capacities at jib end range from 1t to 3t. Crane structures (jib and masts) are all fabricated in-house, but mechanisms are imported from Potain’s factory in Charlieu, Europe.

The 11.5ha factory site in Zhangjiagang includes a massive 60,000m2 (6ha) of production facilities. The plant also acts as a structural steel work subcontractor for other Manitowoc Crane Group factories and can turn out 500t of processed steel a month working just one shift. More than 200 people are employed at the facility, only four of which are not Chinese.

Etchart says that there are about 200 tower crane manufacturers in China, many of which are state owned enterprises making small cranes. Most sell only in their own region. For bigger cranes, there are ‘only’ about 10 players. “We have a niche market strategy,” he says. Potain is aiming at that 10% or 15% of the market that is prepared to pay a price premium of between 30% and 50% for better quality. This market niche seems to be growing. “Slowly, the concept of safety is gaining ground in China,” Etchart says.

We invite customers to see the factory as there is immediately a big change in perception: the quality of Zhangjiagang cranes is “getting close” to that of Potain’s cranes built in Europe.

How is Potain China Different from Chinese Manufacturers?

Therefore, just because the tower cranes or parts of it are manufactured in China, the Quality and Design remain controlled by France. Potain does a lot of quality testing in their testing center in Lusigny and that is why products are only introduced to the market after being tested for six years. Testing is done aggressively on the structural components and mechanisms as well as simulation tests done on real life extreme scenarios.

Test Cycles

Quality control and quality assurance are done through the entire process of manufacturing as shown below

Manufacturing Procedures

Each step of the process is controlled by an operator using a checklist and control card. Welding especially in particular is unique to Potain because only certified and trained welders can be part of the process. Potain’s strict quality is also applied from the beginning through the design phase. The design of Potain tower cranes complies with EFM (European Federation of Materials) Handling and EN (European Norm). That is why we saw it fit during our campaign to use the superior software used by Potain as a background from the AD to convey our message:

Potain French Engineering from design to implementation to your job site.

Price & Competition

All this control over testing and design are costs added to the final price of Potain. Quality is a cost, so to compare Potain Tower cranes, even those produced in China, to any Chinese manufacturer is unfair and it is a war that us, supplier, cannot win. Imagine buying a fake iPhone – you will be happy to pay 500 Dhs for it but after a few months, you would still need to spend over the price to be able to fix it.

Speaking of iPhones, did you know that iPhones are assembled in China?

 

End.

Potain’s Resale Value

Tower cranes have helped revoluatized the construction industry since the early of the 20th century. There are many maunfactures of tower cranes globally distributed. Nonetheless, onlya a few have gained renowed trust from customers in construction industry such as Potain Cranes. What is unique about Potain brand is their resale value which is derived from their reliability, durability and feasibility. In this post, the resale value of potain is discussed from NFT perspective.

As the CEO of NFT put it “a Potain tower crane is a cheque in your hand. When you buy brand new, you can redeem the price of your investment in ten years” – NFT has in its fleet a tower crane from 1974! It’s older than the company.
So, are there are old Potain cranes available in NFT Stocks? The reason we still have old Potain cranes in our stock is that there is still a demand for them; because you can still trust a 43-year-old Potain to function well. It might not be as up to date or advanced as one from the 2000s, but it definitely does the job. Why? Because of Potain’s durability. A good example is a quality and strength of the steel used in the older cranes (the H20s, the K30s), that do not show signs of metal fatigue or stress after decades of lifting.
In Lebanon, old tower cranes are still used like Potain 744, and older cranes without cabins can be found everywhere. The cost of rent is less than 1,000 USD so NFT’s strategy is to ship all cranes older than the 1990s to Lebanon.

NFT has conducted a research to understand Potain’s market perception in the GCC, we asked contractors to rate Potain on 8 attributes. Potain was rated 8.52/10 for reliability, 8.42/10 for endurance and 7.95/10 for resale value. Now, keep in mind that this is the score as per how customers perceive the Potain brand. This is a good indication of how strong the brand is, but more awareness is needed on its resale value. For more than 80 years, Potain cranes have been part of the world’s most important projects. They deliver capacity, productivity and precision on job sites of any size and especially effective in congested work areas. It all adds up to profitability and return on investment for our customers;“You may have within NFT some good example of Potain cranes which were sold after 10 years with a high/good residual value compared to brand new cranes. While most of our competitors are somewhat struggling to get a high value for their used cranes. Liebherr has also a relatively good resale value (but Liebherr is not selling everywhere as we do ! ) Italian and Spanish brands have much less value and Chinese almost no value when used”, Says Thibault, VP of Sales for Top Slewing Tower Cranes at Potain.

This high resale value of Potain Tower Cranes is due to the following reasons:
1) Potain is a worldwide brand and has an excellent reputation is the market. This is essential to ensure that when you seek a new home for your used crane you have a world of customers who desire to buy it. The higher the volume of new cranes is, the bigger the used market. Therefore, you will always have demand for Potain cranes; new or used.
2) In most countries, you can find a Potain dealer or Potain factory . This will ensure that the manufacturer is always available to offer spare parts, technical study, and services such as installation, maintenance, dismantle and troubleshotting . The powers of the network and their service organization is also key to the resale value. “The network of our competitors is not as worldwide as ours, this is detrimental to their resale value”. Says Mr. Thibault.
3) The quality of the cranes is also recognized, so customers do not fear to buy a used Potain crane. They are known as reliable and durable tower cranes in which their safety standards are never compromised. Potain tower cranes undergo strict quality checks during the production process. In addition, once a new tower crane is fully manufactured, Potain puts this tower crane under severe and reality-like scenarios to test the machine’s endurance. Then allows dealers to test the machine on real jobs sites. This is why it takes Potain an average of six years to launch new products so they can ensure that once the tower crane is in the market, it can stand tall to represent the brand.
4) Potain is known to maintain parts for a long time. You can maintain your cranes with genuine spare parts even up to 20 years. When a part is not available anymore, hit by obsolescence, Potain will search for alternative parts and provide the way to replace it. Potain usually stock spare parts for older, retired models as well because they know their cranes have long lifespans. This makes them a very feasible solution. Some competitors do not even really take care of spare parts, customers are left alone after just a few years. When you buy a used Potain crane you are sure to be in a position to maintain it as per manufacturer recommendations for a long time.

In Summary, resale value is the ultimate features of an equipment brand, combining:
 The level of notoriety of the brand
 The excellence of its French design
 The strength of distribution channels
 The commitment to service
 The availability of its genuine spare parts

In a market that is driven by used tower cranes, it’s important to know that Potain re-sell value must be considered as a factor in the decision making. European tower cranes and Potain mainly have a maintenance book and a technology record that allows prospective buyers to recognize cranes general appearance, brakes, leaks, missing parts like pins or bolts, rust, and how long the crane has been without operation
The Potain Values are the following:
• High-Quality Steel
• Sophisticated Design
• Modern Technology
• Rigorous Testing
• Quality Manufacturing
• Extreme Quality Check
• Customization
• Network & Services
Highest Resale Value
• High Residual Value
• Safety, Productivity, Reliability, Durability, Quality

“Quality, security, and safety are key considerations for us. With Potain there’s a compelling price-to-quality ratio. We keep our Potain cranes for around 15 years, and after that time we always find them easy to re-sell”, concludes NFT. Finally, we at NFT aspire for value and customer satisfaction that’s why we use Potain Tower cranes in volatile and challenging market.

End.