Axzion-Service in Japan: Also for Third-Party Equipment

In early May, a two-person team from Hansa Tec and Axzion (Lars Griese and Heiko Ockenga) set off for a two-week mission to Japan on behalf of Hansa Tec. The destination was a port area 150 kilometers north of Tokyo. There, Hansa Tec’s client Enercon maintains a tooling warehouse for wind energy systems. Our mission on the Japanese east coast was: annual inspection as well as maintenance and repair work for around 40 test objects, some of which are electrically and hydraulically driven. The list included electric and mechanical chain hoists, various load handling devices, assembly frames, and round slings.

 

Maintenance and Repair

Our tasks included visual inspections and functional tests – for both mechanical and electrical/hydraulic components. Everything was carried out in accordance with statutory accident prevention regulations, especially DGUV 109-017 and DGUV V3. For example, we checked the tools for deformations and cracks, then it was: disassemble, clean, lubricate, reassemble, and perform functional tests. Typical defects such as worn handles, safety, and protective caps were immediately rectified. Most of the required spare parts were kept by Enercon in its port warehouse.

We did not have a test stand available. Instead, we conducted load tests for chain hoists using a crane set up for us, among other things. The required materials, such as 25-ton weights, were provided by Enercon.

When the contract was awarded, it was advantageous that we had been providing such services for third-party equipment for several years. Most of the traverses and tools came from third-party manufacturers. However, we also encountered familiar items from Axzion: these included five J-Hooks for lifting and turning tower segments. Also on the agenda were two Tower Tool Kits, consisting of several round slings, a J-Hook, two pulleys, and four TAPs.

 

Meticulous Preparation Weeks Before Departure

The client informed us well in advance of our departure which tools needed to be checked. Therefore, we were able to meticulously prepare for the mission in Japan while still at home. Especially with regard to third-party equipment, it was necessary to clarify in advance: where are the safety-critical and crucial points like seams, where can something tear? What deformations are possible and which are still within the permissible range?

Because it is particularly challenging in terms of customs regulations to import tools into an Asian country and take them back afterward, Enercon provided the required equipment according to our specifications. This worked excellently. The only equipment we brought from Germany was our PPE case with helmet, safety shoes, and work clothes.

 

Communication, if Necessary, with Hands and Feet

All in all, it was two exhausting but exciting weeks in Akita and Mito. There could have been communication problems since many of our Japanese contacts did not speak English. But with the help of Google Translate and, if necessary, with hands and feet, we always made ourselves understood.

Three Vario J-Hooks from Axzion. Lars Griese (Sales) is in a great mood.

Japanese break with Lars Griese (left). Note the length of the table legs

Load test with 26,000 kilograms for an electromechanical chain hoist.