October 28, 2020

New opportunity to remote control existing cranes by Optilift and Alpa

Optilift AS has formed a strategic partnership with Alpa AS, a subsidiary of the Axess Group.

Optilift specializes in developing vision technology using artificial intelligence for non-contact measurement, remote control and autonomy for crane operations – Alpa supplies material handing solutions and upgrades including crane control system with remote access and condition monitoring.

The newly formed partnership now enables both Optilift and Alpa to utilise complementing technology to offer stronger crane products and service to the market.

– Optilift has never focused on the crane control system and PLC system itself. Together with Alpa we are now able to deliver complete control system- and service upgrades of existing cranes – which is a prerequisite for our AI-technology products to function. In other words, this partnership now brings us new market opportunities, as it allows us to offer remote- and autonomous crane solutions to existing offshore cranes, says Camilla Nylund, Optilift Managing Director.

Sales Director Leif Løken at Alpa labels the new partnership “exciting”.

– With the Optilift partnership we are now able to deliver a wider service to both new and existing customers, as we can offer modern AI-products to enhance and strengthen our customers’ operational capabilities. It is an exciting partnership, and we really look forward to seeing what opportunities lie ahead for us, says Løken.

Pilot project first step

The first step of the partnership is to conduct a pilot test where the joint technology forces of the two companies could be set into action and tested for the first time. To perform such a test, a crane owner needs to be located.

– Our goal with the pilot project is to create a first reference of our partnership and present the effects of our integrated crane systems.

Any crane from any industry could potentially fit as partner for the project.

– Existing offshore cranes, or cranes from the modern marine-, harbour-, fishing- or aquaculture industry should be able to fit the project we now look to complete, Nylund says.

Increased safety and efficiency

For crane owners, upgrading existing products to bring them up to modern standards has significantly lower costs compared to acquiring a new one.

– A new crane brings its own value. But being able to extend the operational life cycle of an existing crane also brings significant value for a crane owner. Upgrading is more cost efficient, increases safety, is environmentally friendly – and now – there is the capability of turning old cranes intelligent through the Optilift product range, Leif Løken adds.

– A new crane control and PLC system increases both efficiency and safety significantly. Our different vision software applications also reduce or eliminate the chance of human error, which is the biggest reason for crane related accidents, Nylund states.

Added value to several markets

The complementary partnership between Alpa and Optilift could also potentially affect and benefit several different industries and markets where crane operations are key – and not just the traditional oil and gas business.

– Crane operations sit at the core of several key operations in different businesses and societal areas today. Harbours, marine aquaculture, fishery and constructing businesses all involve crane operations as a key component of their activities.

– As such, our partnership with Alpa could potentially benefit all these areas, as our products is easily adopted to fit different use cases in different industries, Nylund says.

Optilift AS – established in 2010 – is a technology development company focusing on innovative solutions for cranes, lifting and logistics. Optilift offers a range of products, technologies and solutions to improve safety, efficiency and logistics control related to lifting and cargo handling.

 Alpa is part of the Axess Group and the unique product and lifting competence is a result of more than 20 years of experience, ranging from service and maintenance of most offshore and maritime crane brands to delivery of a wide range of special handling solutions. The Alpa engineers are experts within developing methods and design material handling solutions to optimize challenging lifting operations.