LCS Cable Cranes GmbH was commissioned to find a solution for maintenance and monitoring activities on tailings ponds or a conventional dam in mining. For these activities, entering the work area is life-threatening due to dam breaches or earth movements.

Therefore, in order to carry out these operations, a personnel safety system is needed to allow safe access for maintenance personnel. However, the system should not be located and/or supported within this danger zone.

Based on these requirements, the available technologies and systems, LCS developed the innovative QXcrane system.

Our new, patented QXcrane system is the perfect combination of cableway and SpiderCam. Ropeway systems are robust, their cables attached to high supports and capable of transporting high loads over distances of up to 3.0 km. SpiderCams are mostly used in sports stadiums. They navigate in all 3 dimensions of space to deliver high-definition video or television footage without touching the ground. This 3D technology perfectly combined with the cableway system increases the payload and the possibility to cover a larger area.

The QXcrane system consists of four towers, four winches and a operator’s basket. The towers are positioned in a rectangle (max. 1000 m diagonal) around the defined section of terrain. The operator’s basket is connected to the four towers by steel ropes. This allows safe navigation in all 3 dimensions within the defined area. Maintenance personnel and the required material can be dropped off at any point within the defined terrain section. In this way, repairs, inspections and remediation work are carried out safely and efficiently in equal measure.

The workers entering the danger zone are connected to the basket via personal safety winches. This gives them a certain freedom of movement, but they can be evacuated immediately in case of an emergency.

The system is operated by an operator in the basket. The operator in the basket can observe and monitor the entire working area and pull up and rescue workers in case of an emergency, such as a dam failure or earth movement. Workers on the ground can also activate this emergency function to be evacuated from the danger zone.

Thanks to its modular design, the system can be adapted to any terrain situation, no matter how extreme, and is not only suitable for use with tailing storage facilities (TSF).

Keyfacts QXcrane System

• Covering an area with a diagonal of approx. 1000 m, whether square or rectangular
• Material transport of up to 500 kg or 3 persons with 125 kg each
• Lowering of the load or persons at any point by means of winches within the defined working area
• Safe working within the defined working area
• Perfect combination of ropeway and SpiderCam
• Navigation in the 3-dimensional area
• Access and monitoring of a defined route/area “from above”
• Securing of personnel by means of personnel safety winches on the operator’s basket
• Rapid evacuation of personnel working on the ground in case of emergency
• In addition to securing personnel, also suitable for transporting materials
• The system can be operated by one person in the operator’s basket
• No personnel are present in the danger zone when the system is in operation
• If the winches fail, the system can still be operated
• Delivery of a recovery system which functions completely independently
• Modular design – the mechanical equipment can be configured to suit the specific requirements of the site
• Special assembly solution that allows the supports to be erected without the need for a large crane