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The new way

22 November 2005

European standards body CEN TC 147 has issued a crane standard that has a different view of crane fatigue than the previous FEM standards. Ilkka Riikonen
explains how EN 13001 differs from what came before and how it will be used in future.
Measured drawing for
overhead crane

Standard EN 13001-1-: Cranes – General Design deals mainly with verification of crane strength and stability by calculation. It was published in 2004. Tables

This new standard series do not intend to change the "level of safety" that has been built in the former European standards (national and FEM), in general. The records of
Comparing Crane
using the former standards are mainly positive and satisfactory.
However, we have learnt more since the background of the former standards was established (30-40 years ago).

Rudolf Neugebauer from Darmstadt Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany was the first to voice his concerns about the standard. He first developed these concepts
almost 20 years ago and presented them first in ISO/TC96/SC1. During his career he had studied reasons for numerous failure cases of cranes and come to conclusions that
it was necessary to determine the real stress cycles more accurately than in the past. He started the drafting of EN 13001 as the convenor of CEN/TC147/WG2 until he
retired in the early 1990s.

The final standard contains some new features that require learning among designers and even salesmen – the limit state method and a new classification system - and
therefore has faced criticism. But I trust that those new features are state of art and are necessary for the crane safety.

The limit state method

The limit state method is not exactly totally different from the allowable stress method currently used, but it is a more general method that provides consistent safety
margins in all parts of the structure. The allowable stress method is one special case of the limit state method obtained so that all partial load coefficients are assigned the
same importance. For example, when a crane lifts a load 1.5 times its maximum capacity, the allowable stress method supposes that the balancing own weight of the crane
(including a possible counterweight) is also increased by the same factor. This does not happen in nature and therefore the allowable stress method may lead to a less safe

The use of limit state method will not cause any significant changes to bridge crane design and to gantry cranes without cantilevers. For cranes which lift loads outside the
rectangle defined by the supporting corners – such as jib cranes, davits, sheerlegs and derricks – it is essential to use the limit state method. This may require
strengthening of some structural members compared with the former design made formally according to the allowable stress method. Use of the limit state method means
the upgrading of some critical details to the same safety levels as the other parts of the structure.

The effect of new fatigue analysis to all types of cranes is not straightforward. According to our experience so far the cranes have a lot of details, which are not at all
designed up to the permissible fatigue stresses and those points should be found by correct stress history analysis of the components. On other hand, other points may be
found where the stress levels used in the past are exceeding the permissible fatigue stresses. In general, I’d say, safety and reliability will increase, and some savings in
manufacturing may also be expected.

New classifications

The purpose of classification is to take into account the huge differences that exist in the intensity of use of cranes. Some cranes make a work cycle (raising and lowering a
load) every minute, totalling to more than two million cycles in life with almost 100% of the rated load. Other cranes may make less than 20,000 work cycles during their
whole life, and the loads may be mostly much below the maximum rated capacity. The difference between these two cases is greater than 100 times. This difference leads
to quite different wear and fatigue life of components, if not adequately considered in design.

The FEM crane design standard (1.001: 1987) dealt with this variety by quantifying intensity of use into as many as ten different levels. It considered the intensity of use
on three scales: on the level of the crane as a whole, at the level of component mechanisms (such as hoist units), and at the level of individual components (such as wire
ropes or sheaves). Although some of this work was based on ISO 4301-1, FEM introduced classes of use for each individual component based on the stress spectrum factor
and number of actual stress cycles.

EN 13001-1 has same basic classes as FEM and ISO for load spectrum factor and working cycles, but these are not combined to one class of the crane as a whole. These are
the familiar A1-A8 classes. The message for the users of this standard – manufacturers and users of cranes – is that the parties shall consider and agree the real intended
work cycles of the crane: number of cycles and masses of the loads. It is not enough to make an educated guess of A-class, because it hides the basic parameters of crane
use and does not provide enough information for the development of real stress histories in individual components.

EN 13001-1 also totally omits the classes of mechanisms - this may be surprising. It sounds logical that more running hours and a heavier load spectrum produce more
damage than less hours and light loads, and so the M-class should be used as a design parameter. However, the stress cycles in individual components do not necessarily
correlate to the run time hours. In hooks the fatigue effect depends on the load spectrum and the number of lifts – not on the time used for lifting. Damage in ropes
depends on the load spectrum and on the number of bends in a particular point of the rope. The number of bends depends on the rope reeving system, the height of lift
and the hoist speed in addition to the time used. In gears most shafts and gear wheels shall be dimensioned for infinite life anyway. Therefore, there are not so many
components in a hoist mechanism which could be calculated directly on run time basis – except perhaps some bearings in gears.

Here is an example of how the M-class system can go wrong. There are two factories which produce similar products at same rate. Factory A thinks that it can manage with
a crane that has hoist speed of 4m/min and class M6. Factory B thinks that it can save time by buying a similar crane with a hoist speed of 16m/min. In factory B the crane
makes the same lifting cycles with same loads as at factory A, but uses only a quarter of the time. As the run time is only one quarter of that in A’s crane, factory B can
choose a class of mechanism two steps lower. Consequently, factory B will get a thinner rope and smaller drum to-rope diameter ratio (D/d). This will lead to much shorter
life of the rope in the same job!

Instead of M-classes, EN 13001-1 defines new classes for average displacements of movements (of hoisting, travelling and slewing) and average number of accelerations in
one work cycle (for all motions).

By omitting the classes of mechanisms, EN 13001-1 connects the design parameters of the mechanisms directly to the usage parameters of the whole crane. In prior
practice the classes A, M and E might have been estimated separately and the result might have been internally contradictory.

Applying the classification system

Serial hoists, as well as individual hoist mechanisms, shall be classified according to the above-mentioned parameters of EN 13001-1, Q, U, D and P classes. Q- and U-class
should be labelled in the machinery and all should be included in the documentation.

All of these classes should be agreed between the purchaser and the seller. When these parameters are fixed and the operation speeds are specified, the designer can
calculate further all necessary parameters which are needed to determine the stress histories (i.e. the stress spectrum factor x number of stress cycles) for each component
that is important for the design process.

The classified parameter stress history factor 's' can be used directly for the determination of the maximum stress amplitude permissible for that component in the specified
use. In fact, the factor 's' did appear in the formulae of FEM 1.001, but was not so named. The stress history parameter is just a new presentation of Palmgren – Miner’s
rule for cumulative damage.

The crane buyer and/or user should not define the stress history parameters or classes, as they are unlikely to have the competence to do so. The stress histories of
different components require special design skills. Also, determination of the s-parameters by the buyer transfers responsibility from the designer. This violates the
principles of the European Machinery Directive that the manufacturer is responsible for design.

Similarity to other standards

Although the EN 13001-1 standards have come from a new design approach, nonetheless they resemble some other standards. EN 13001-1 comes quite close to BS466,

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although BS466 includes classes of mechanisms. EN 13001-1 is also similar to the ANSI/CMAA standards used in the USA. In CMAA standards, the classification of cranes
is based on the load spectrum factor, k (expressed as cubic mean value), and on the number of work cycles, N. These are also used for the design of the mechanism. No
particular class of mechanism has been defined. Because the basic parameters k and N are the same in the CMAA standard and in EN 13001-1, we can say that the
European standard has come closer to the US one than ISO, FEM, or DIN. There is also another new similarity. Fatigue analysis in CEN/TS 13001-3-1 is based on stress
range, and is independent of the ratio between minimum and maximum. The CMAA standards have always used stress range.

How EN 13001 treats monorails

The structures of monorails are not regarded as cranes or machinery. They are runways that are a part of fixed building and fall under Construction Product Directive and
Eurocode 3 standards. EN 1991-3 and EN 1993-6 cover these beams and these standards are written to match EN 13001-standards.

Who did what on EN 13001

The development of EN 13001 was lead by Prof. Gerhard Wagner from Ruhr University, Bochum, in work group CEN/TC147/WG2. The most active countries have been
Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK. Work carries on with further parts of the standard.

prEN 15011

The provisional European standard prEN 15011, currently under development, is one of the first crane standards to be based on EN 13001. It should cover all essential
safety requirements to eliminate the significant safety hazards typical in bridge and gantry cranes. It refers directly to EN 13001 standards and technical specifications in
terms of structural strength and rope system design.Working group CEN/TC147/WGP4 is currently resolving comments on the standard and expects to publish EN 15011 in
2007. Consulting countries included Belgium, France, Finland, Germany and the UK. These countries, with Portugal and Sweden, participated in drafting it.

About the author

Ilkka Riikonen is a senior chief engineer at KCI Konecranes. He is the convenor of CEN/TC 147/WGP4, Bridge and Gantry Cranes and a former chairman of ISO/TC96/SC9,
Bridge and Gantry Cranes.

How EN 13001 will change the market

The manufacturers have designed and sold serially manufactured hoists so that they are optimized to be used in large variety of loads and classes. For example, a 10t hoist
in class M5 can be used with load spectrum km=0.5 for 3,200 hours or with load spectrum km=0.125 for 12,500 hours. Furthermore, the same hoist has been labelled and
used as an 8t hoist in class M6, 6.3t hoist in class M7, and so on.
EN 13001 does not have the classes of mechanisms. When the industry begins to comply with it, the serial systems of serial hoists shall be formed in a different way.
Classification shall be based on load spectrum, hoist cycles and average hoisting distances. The optimal way of combining the classes and product series may be different
than in the past – we don’t know yet.
That does not mean that the old hoist models are useless. The same products can be classified according to EN 13001 as well. On the other hand, there are no one to one
equivalences to the former classes; some calculation is needed to find out the correct new classes.

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