Sany America Inc., a China-owned construction equipment manufacturer based in Peachtree City, Ga., is developing a new generation of lattice-boom crawler cranes under the direction of veteran crane designer John Lanning.
The first model, the 300-metric-ton- capacity SCC8300, is now on the test pad at Sany’s plant in Shanghai, China. It will be featured at the Bauma China 2010 trade show in Shanghai this November 23-26 and also will be on display at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011 show in Las Vegas on March 22-26, 2011.
Formerly the chief engineer of Manitowoc Cranes, Manitowoc, Wis., Lanning, 63, pioneered some of the earliest examples of self-assembling, large cranes. Sany’s heavy lifter will be next. “It is able to assemble itself and meets all global transport size and weight constraints,” Lanning told ENR in a recent interview. In 1992, Manitowoc Cranes’ new M-250 was the world’s first large crane that could assemble itself in a few hours. It was followed by models 888, 777, 999 and 2250 and others with the same capability.
Sany recently tapped Lanning to help it serve a broader, global client base outside of Southeast Asia. The move may also help it build confidence among buyers who are unsure about using Chinese products on the job.
“Sany’s range of products is focused on global markets, with particular attention given to the requirements of U.S. crane rental and general construction customers,” Lanning says. Kyle Nape, Sany’s vice president of global sales and marketing, adds, “Our new products have features that meet the current and future needs of both the U.S. and global customers.”
Sany’s development system allows it to create a new product in a short time, Lanning notes. For example, Sany started work on the SCC8300 in April and will have one done and tested by November. For future products, it will be common for only a year to pass from a blank sheet of paper to pilot units, Lanning says.
A longtime icon in the crane business, Lanning joined Sany in January after a 39-year career that included experience at Link-Belt, P&H and, most recently, Manitowoc, where he spent 24 years in many capacities including vice president of engineering and special projects consultant. The cranes and attachments he helped develop at Manitowoc include the new, 2,300-tonne-capacity 31000 . Manitowoc declined to comment on Lanning’s departure.
“At this stage of my career, it is a last opportunity to do exciting things and have fun working in another culture,” Lanning says of the move. “This is an opportunity for me to use my skill and experience to make a real difference at a financially strong and rapidly growing crawler-crane company.” Although his role at Sany is still evolving, he brings a global perspective on the quality, performance and transportability that crawler-crane users demand. The greatest challenge, he says, is learning to work in a new culture. Although he maintains his home in the U.S., Lanning is spending months at a time working in Shanghai.
“Fortunately, the company leadership is quite progressive. It very much wants to understand Western styles of managing, developing products and being able to do business globally,” says Lanning.
Sany has developed an aggressive, global product-introduction plan. To support its full-scale entry into the U.S. market, Sany is investing $100 million to build a new, 360,000-sq-ft manufacturing and product-development facility on 228 acres in Peachtree City, near Atlanta.
The facility, due to open next spring, will support all the products Sany plans to market in the U.S. They include concrete pump trucks, crawler cranes, rough-terrain cranes, hydraulic excavators and motor graders.