Products & Equipment
Manitowoc introduces CONNECT digital solution to positively transform the user experience for crane owners
July 6, 2022 By Don Horne
Manitowoc continues its expansion and investment in support services with the launch of CONNECT, a new digital platform that will launch at bauma 2022.
It enables remote monitoring through an app-based system that gives owners and operators the ability to view real-time crane information, receive alerts, exchange data, and more with further functionality to be added in the future.
The versatile CONNECT platform, with its wide-ranging capabilities, will advance fleet management, boost sustainability, streamline service and maintenance for users, and improve connectivity to cranes with the easy-to-use platform working across smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Dirk Wolfsteller, vice president of Aftermarket for Grove in Europe, said: “The launch of CONNECT kickstarts a new digital era of owning and operating Manitowoc cranes. In a matter of seconds, users can access a range of features or data related to their cranes through the app-based platform. They can analyze performance, check service gauges, diagnose faults, and more. It allows unprecedented insight into their cranes, transforming performance, sustainability, and ultimately profitability linked to their investments.”
The new platform will be phased in, initially on Potain tower cranes and Grove all-terrain cranes. The Company plans to add other product lines and brands in due course. CONNECT delivers an optimized user experience, assisting with set-up, simplifying maintenance, providing driver assistance systems, and more. Owners get real-time access to services and information with just a couple of taps on a screen.
For Grove, CONNECT will initially be available on GMK all-terrain cranes produced from 2023. It will be offered on all new models and available to retrofit on cranes equipped with the CCS control system. Benefits include optimized troubleshooting thanks to the real-time availability of crane information. This allows remote technicians to quickly understand the status of the crane, with any error codes displayed through the app. The remote service team can then run root cause analysis and propose potential solutions without the delay of travel or on-site physical assistance.
Business Intelligence is improved too. With simplified and expanded insight into fleet usage, crane owners can adjust their operations to make optimum use of resources or strengthen preventative maintenance programs. A further benefit is the ability to help customers meet their broader sustainability goals. CONNECT’s functionality means that onsite trips to check cranes are reduced as more of this will happen remotely. Improved data access also means that any necessary visits are optimized. Finally, there is much less need for printed documentation as this can be accessed more easily in digital format.
Patrick Stelter, product manager for all-terrain cranes at Manitowoc, said: “Grove crane owners can harness the power of data through CONNECT to better understand performance and maximize the return on their investment. For so many of our clients, their overall business goals are tied to issues like sustainability, digitalization, and connectivity. With CONNECT they can now advance those goals and reap the benefits.”
For Potain tower cranes, CONNECT will be offered as an option on new top-slewing and self-erecting cranes. In addition, it can be retrofitted on all CCS-equipped cranes. With extensive capabilities available through CONNECT, Potain will discontinue production of its older CraneSTAR Diag tool.
The user-friendly CONNECT solution offers seamless integration between remote diagnostics, advanced analytics, and fleet management to help owners significantly increase fleet utilization while increasing uptime. On the jobsite, technicians and others can use local Wifi to link to the crane via CONNECT. This allows them to easily see the operating system and review performance data.
In the future, Manitowoc plans to enable CONNECT to be embedded into the BIM (Building Information Management) model for a project and allow the creation of digital twins of the crane. This functionality will deliver better optimization, site planning, monitoring, and materials flow on the jobsite, boosting building speed and quality.
As with Grove GMK cranes, Potain owners with CONNECT will enjoy increased utilization through better preventative maintenance. Customers’ sustainability goals are improved too, thanks to the extended service life of cranes that should come through better management.
Xavier Claeys, director of digital innovation for tower cranes at Manitowoc, said: “CONNECT advances how contractors and rental companies will use tower cranes on jobsites. The platform improves the user experience immediately and opens a world of exciting possibilities in the future. For example, customers can compare expected use versus actual use, with the potential to reframe how pricing and operational models are run. This insight simply wasn’t available before, but we expect it to positively transform how customers approach crane ownership. We’re excited to showcase the new technology at bauma 2022.”
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