SIRTEF lifting beams for the launcher Ariane 5

We have always emphasized the SIRTEF strong international attitude,witnessed by a constant activity developed in the international lifting business for over 35 years.

Just recently, SIRTEF was involved in a very special project, lasted more than six months, in which this international feature was clearly evident as the project involved companies coming from three different countries: Italy, France and French Guyane in South America. Among these, there is The French space agency.

In this project, called "Lifting system for engines Ariane 5", SIRTEF has provided two lifting spreader beams of different length appointed, to which were added chain slings, polyester slings and shackles.

The lifting spreader beams were used for the unloading and loading of segments called S2 and S3 solid engine Ariane 5 launcher.
The operations were carried out in the Kourou CSG site of the European Space Centre in French Guyana. The launcher is the technical termused to identify a rocket for transport of satellites in orbit.

The operations carried out involved the removal of the engines from the shipping containers and their housing on a platform for the next trip to other working sites.
The launcher's engines have a maximum weight of about 20 ton for a length of about 12 meters.

The pictures shown in the gallery above describe the lifting phase of one of the segments of the engines Ariane 5. The segment was attached to the bottom end of the spreader beam to the respective ends, by means of the dedicated handles, and then raised. Is thus removed from its transport container (the white one in the figure) and set on a transport platform (the yellow one in the figure) for the next transfer.

The above operation was originally made by using a dedicated tool, similar to a sling attached directly to the bridge crane. Since the two segments of the engines had different lengths, such a tool had a complex system of regulation. It resulted cumbersome, complicated and impractical,with the result of reducing significantly the efficiency throughout the lifting phase and increasing the time needed to complete it.

Hence the need to study a more simple and practical system employing the two lifting beams with two different lengths.

Here are the technical characteristics of lifting spreader beams system used:

  • Upper connection to the crane hook : Crosby master link
  • 2 legs chain sling with adjustable shortening hooks
  • single lifting beam
  • set of slings for the lower attachment made of 4 polyester round slings
  • slings connection: Crosby shackles
  • lifting handles interface bolted on the side motor flanges