FOR the first time, hydraulically-controlled diesel cranes can be fitted with an anti-collision facility using the new Limatlas system developed in Australia by Atlas Electrical Technologies & Service and Favelle Favco.

Limatlas is capable of interfacing with the SMIE Anti-Collision System currently used on electric cranes. This ensures that all cranes at a worksite, whether diesel or electric, can be fitted with an anti-collision system. This is particularly significant for the local construction industry where the bulk of cranes used are hydraulically-controlled diesel varieties.

The SMIE and Limatlas systems work in a similar way; they supervise established work zones and prevent high-risk movements. Specific work zones are programmed into the systems to stop cranes operating outside set areas dangerously close to, for example, tower cranes, railways, pedestrian crossings, power lines, highways, schools and public buildings.

Both systems take over control from tower crane operators in dangerous situations by automatically stopping movement to avoid any collisions. Damon Hanlin, Atlas managing director, says the eight-month project to create Limatlas began when the company was asked to provide an anti-collision system for Favelle Favco hydraulically-controlled diesel cranes.

“These diesel cranes, fitted with Limatlas, can now relate to the electric cranes at a worksite,” says Hanlin. “Like the SMIE system, a defined work area can be programmed into the system which takes control of the tower crane in dangerously close situations and reduces the chance of human error.”

Morenzo Dezordo, from Favelle Favco, worked with parts supplier Bosch Rexroth to develop the hydraulics component in the new system. “Limatlas can be fitted to any existing crane as long as it is hydraulically controlled,” says Dezordo.

Baulderstone Hornibrook, with their Brisbane Square site, was the first company in Australia to use the SMIE Anti-Collision system. “They’re again leading the way with the Limatlas system, trialing it at two construction sites – the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and City Central in Adelaide,” says Hanlin. The Limatlas system is also being used at another site in Canberra.

The system can also be used on cranes at offshore oil platforms or on wharf container cranes. The SMIE Anti-Collision System is compulsory on building sites in France and is used in Europe.