Sennebogen's 875 Hybrid Provides Gantry Solution to Basel, Switzerland

The 95 ft. reach with a special port boom and stick combination allows even more lifting capacity.

Thu January 28, 2021

As a logistics company at the Port of Basel, Birsterminal AG benefits from its perfect geographical location at the border triangle of Switzerland, France and Germany. Three Sennebogen material handlers have been in full-time use and have operated since being commissioned in late 2019.

The go-to machine is an electrically-powered Sennebogen875 E Hybrid material handler. This machine is tasked with moving materials safely and efficiently from barges to rail or storage facilities and vice versa. Installed on a rail gantry spanning 52 ft. (16 m) across three sets of railroad tracks, it is powered by a 530 hp (390 kW) electric motor and has a reach of 95 ft. (29 m).

The Swiss company Birsterminal AG in Basel, Switzerland, managed by CEO Martin Ticks, is characterized by a highly diversified portfolio, including the day-to-day variety of bulk and general cargo handling, timber storage, storage area rentals, container handling and construction material recycling that comes directly to the 22.25 acres site. It has grown from a coal storage company founded in 1938 and has evolved into an integrated and internationally active logistics operation in the Basel Rhine Port.

The 875 E Hybrid electric material handler in Basel's Rhine port has an impressive, customized rail gantry with a track width of 52 ft.

Advanced Material Handling Times Three

To master the vast logistical challenges that come with diverse port operations, the Swiss team invested in three Sennebogen material handling machines. The first is an extremely maneuverable Sennebogen 835 E with a 60 ft. (18 m) reach and a 315 hp (231 kW) diesel engine. With its stability, this machine excels when loading and unloading rail cars.

Due to its high-rise Maxcab, the operator enjoys a perfect view of the loading area and positions material carefully and safely while balancing the load, according to the manufacturer.

As the timber sector at Birsterminal also has been growing steadily, the second material handler, a Sennebogen 855 M Hybrid, was equipped with a quick coupler and is able to quickly switch from a timber grab, clamshell or to an orange peel grapple. The second mobile material handler also has led to a dramatic increase in flexibility for Birsterminal's operations.

The third machine, the 875 Hybrid electric material handler, is unique and one-of-a-kind in Switzerland. It is built on a 52 ft. (16 m) wide rail gantry and, due to its long reach of 95 ft. (29 m), it can easily reach across the three sets of rail lines to the storage areas.

With more than 35 years of Sennebogen's experience in the field of electric drives and energy capture technology, Birsterminal will save considerable amounts of energy while reducing costs in the future, according to the manufacturer.

Both the 855 and the 875 are equipped with the Sennebogen Green Hybrid energy recovery system. The additional hydraulic cylinder is connected to an energy storage module at the rear of the machine, which consists of nitrogen accumulators. This is where the downward movement of the boom compresses gas and moves the hydraulic oil to flow back from the hybrid cylinder where it generates oil pressure in the accumulators. The compressibility of the gas is used to temporarily store large amounts of energy, especially practical for vertical and particularly deep boom movements, as is typical in port handling operations. During the next lifting task, this energy is available again to lift the boom with significantly reduced power requirements. The system can substitute approximately 50 percent of the power actually required, saving energy costs on a large scale and is ideal for port applications.

More flexibility due to the quick coupler. Birsterminal AG uses the 875 E Hybrid with rotating loading hook or 5,000 L clamshell grab.

Sennebogen 875 Delivers Efficiency

"We made a big leap forward with the electric material handler. The machine was quickly available, is very economical to operate, always ready for use and handles far more material per hour than our previous crane solution. In the past, we could only achieve a throughput of [132 tons] per hour, today it is [496 tons]," explained Ticks.

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Two more mobile material handlers were added to the fleet – the 835 M E and the 855 M E Hybrid for a wide range of loading and unloading tasks.