RTA NSW - Sydney Harbour Bridge Maintenance Cranes Control System Upgrade

DEXA Pty Ltd worked with the NSW RTA to overhaul and upgrade the wiring and control systems for the four maintenance cranes on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are a total of four maintenance cranes that span the arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Initially the cranes had been used by the riveting and painting gangs during the construction and maintenance of the bridge right up to 1997 when they were replaced by newer cranes albeit aesthetically the same to keep in with the heritage of the bridge.

The original control systems installed were hard to debug and a lot of functionality and OH&S requirements were not present in the design. DEXA Pty Ltd worked closely with the RTA to formulate a solution that would give flexibility, reliability, increased functionality and ease of electrical maintenance that they required. The majority of the old control system was removed, replaced and re wired in situ.

All installation work and commissioning of the new control system was to be completed over a number of months and was completed by October in time to help with the installation of the New Year Eve fireworks,

Some of the underlying issues that warranted the upgrade of the control system were:-

  • The existing schematics were old and incomplete, with some being hand drawn.
  • The current safety controls system did not meet any of the AS4024 Safety of Machinery Standard.
  • No control philosophy was available.
  • Improvement to system reliability, functionality and down time.
  • Improve fault finding diagnostics.
  • Unique SWMs would be required due to the installation location and high profile of the work on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

DEXA observed and documented the controls system operation and existing wiring system. DEXA then proceeded to re-design the control system and the safety controls, obtained customer approval of the proposed new design, before procuring all equipment. The new control system was installed in-situ on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Incorporating the new safety system controls with the unique radio override controls that the client desired was a challenge that DEXA faced and ultimately overcame. DEXA completed the project on time and within budget. Throughout, DEXA placed an importance on the quality of works, safety and and deliverables to meet and exceed the RTA's expectations.

The systems in summary comprised the following:

  • Design aid and installation of New Safety control system,
  • Extensive mark-up and redesign of the electrical control schematics.
  • All re-wiring and installation for the new safety control system.
  • All re-wiring and installation for the new control system.
  • All re-wiring and installation for the new desk control console.
  • Commissioning of the new control system
  • Installation and commissioning of radio controls system
  • Development of unique working at heights SWM's and adherence

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