ALE’s in-house Research and Development team (R&D) celebrated its 10-year anniversary in December 2016.
Based in Breda, the Netherlands, the facility was set up in 2006 with the intention to continually maintain, review and improve current equipment and systems, work with clients to develop bespoke solutions for projects, and think ahead to anticipate the industry needs and challenges of the future.
It is now the home of the Innovation Series and has revolutionised the engineering with its cutting-edge technologies and concepts over the last 10 years. These include the award-winning Mega Jack and Mega Jack 800 systems, the world’s largest land based cranes – the AL.SK190 and AL.SK350 – as well as the inventive Hydro Deck and unique gantry system.
More recently, the department launched a new lightweight service crane as the first of a new range of lightweight service cranes and lifting structures, suitable for lifting equipment and modules.
Furthermore, the team has also developed current systems to be more accurate, further mitigate risk and be more time and cost effective. The skidding and winch systems were introduced to improve speed and precision, and the team are currently working on new lifting tools, test frames, a new girder frame and route survey tool to enhance lifting and transportation projects.
Cees Segeren, Technical Advisor for ALE, founded the R&D team in 2006 and is behind some of the team’s most famous and well-known innovations, such as the AL.SK crane fleet and the Mega Jack systems. He said: “We have grown from a team of just four engineers to a team of 20, with colleagues from different countries implementing new systems every year as well as continually reviewing and maintaining our current fleet. As we reach this milestone, it is overwhelming to see how much progress has been made in the last 10 years. We continue to break and set world records, winning industry awards and recognition along the way. This team has ultimately changed how the industry looks and acts today.
“ALE are not only reactive and adaptive to client requests and sector changes, but proactively and innovation is at the heart of everything we do. We are currently working on many projects, conceptualising our initial ideas and seeing them become a reality is one of the most rewarding aspects of being part of this department. It is an exciting time to be working in the heavylifting industry as it is constantly evolving and developing. I’m very proud of the team and how much we have, and will continue, to achieve.”