"Large lifting companies with multiple cranes have options to get jobs done. I don't have that luxury," comments Steve Kelly, owner/operator of Steel Giraffe LLC. The Portsmouth, R.I.-based "boutique" crane company doesn't search out the typical residential and commercial construction projects. Rather, Steel Giraffe completes specialized lifting projects, and 90 percent of its lift jobs fall within a 30-mi (48-km) radius of the headquarters location.
Konecranes launches live channel to demonstrate crane safety features in real time
Konecranes is focused on selling safety, and through its new online streaming service Live Channel, it is reaching customers one at a time, or through a scheduled group meeting. Prospects can schedule a live crane demonstration and ask questions through one-way video and two-way audio.
"One picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to overhead crane safety," says Edward Di Cesare, director of marketing, industrial crane products for Region Americas. "Our core message is ‘Designed with your safety in mind.' We know that people do an incredible amount of research online, so it made sense for us to use the online platform to demonstrate our Safe Features," he said. "While this idea is still new in the industrial setting, online demonstrations are becoming routine in the automobile industry for luxury brands. We felt that customers would appreciate an individual one-on-one demonstration without the need to travel."
Konecranes currently maintains two overhead crane locations for onsite demonstrations, in Springfield, Ohio and Houston, Texas. However, its Live Channel demonstrations are currently hosted in Hyvinkää, Finland at the company's global headquarters. Customers schedule a demonstration of the features they are interested in through the Konecranes.
Safe Features that can be demonstrated on Live Channel include Active Sway Control, Hook Centering, Snag Prevention, Protected Areas, Target Positioning and End Positioning. The interface provides three views-a wide angle that shows the demonstrator from the ground, a close-up view of the belly-box control panel, and a view of the load from above. Participants can see how load sway can be eliminated in three simultaneous views. A recent study commissioned by Konecranes revealed that load sway is the number-one cause of all crane-related injuries or fatalities. Thirty-seven percent of all crane incidents stem from load sway, and nearly 40 percent of those incidents result in a fatality.
"The value of integrating Safe Features into the purchase of an overhead crane can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in just one incident," says Di Cesare. "We can explain what our Active Sway Control is verbally, but a live demonstration is just so much more powerful. The demonstrator wears a Bluetooth headset and can respond to questions when a customer asks for more detail about how Safe Features work."
Live Channel previewed in North America at the 2018 Crane Users Conference in Pittsburgh. Konecranes customers at the event were impressed by the quality and convenience of the demonstration and witnessed first-hand the benefits of Konecranes Safe Features.
Doug Maclam, Konecranes vice president, industrial cranes for the western United States, was the presenter for the North American launch.
"While we would love to have each customer experience our latest technology in person, we realize that is not always possible," said Maclam. "Live Channel is a great way to interface with a live operator and see in real time how our Safe Features improve operator safety and efficiency. The viewer can literally direct the operator as if they were there in the same facility. Multiple camera views show exactly what is happening. It is really exciting to see the reactions from participants in the demonstration."
Live Channel is now available in the U.S. and Canada.
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