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BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: Massive scaffolding installed at new Long Beach bridge in California

The 3.1 million-lb scaffolding system is contributing to the replacement of the 50-year-old Gerald Desmond Bridge

Construction crews lifted a massive 3.1 million-lb piece of scaffolding on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the construction of a bridge connecting Long Beach to Terminal Island.

Workers in hard hats looked to the sky as a crew hoisted the $10 million steel piece of equipment designed in Norway and constructed in China, then moved by a super-powered jack. Longer than two football fields, the scaffolding system eliminates less reliable, traditional wooden scaffolding systems that can be more easily knocked out by wind or an earthquake.

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Construction crews

Construction crews lifted a massive 3.1 million-lb piece of scaffolding on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the construction of a bridge connecting Long Beach to Terminal Island.

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Workers

Workers in hard hats looked to the sky as a crew hoisted the $10 million steel piece of equipment designed in Norway and constructed in China, then moved by a super-powered jack. Longer than two football fields, the scaffolding system eliminates less reliable, traditional wooden scaffolding systems that can be more easily knocked out by wind or an earthquake.

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The equipment

Already the equipment has helped build the westbound approach to the bridge, which will replace the 50-year old Gerald Desmond Bridge. The total cost of the project has reached $1.5 billion.

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Cable-stayed bridge

The cable-stayed bridge is touted by city officials and developers as a project that will redefine the Long Beach skyline, with two massive towers where cables will string out alongside the six-lane, 1.5-mile roadway.

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Construction

Although construction is more than halfway complete, the bridge is one year behind schedule and $500 million over budget. The eastbound lanes and the main span still need to be finished before cars can barrel along the highway. It is scheduled to open in late 2018.

U.S. electric bike market up

Electric bike market advisers eCycleElectric have concluded that the U.S. market for pedal assisted bikes could have grown year-on-year by as much as 70% in 2016.

The consultancy run by Patrick and Ed Benjamin has crunched the numbers and believes that the U.S. imported a minimum of 196,000 and likely as many as 251,000 units in 2016. A further 15,000 are believed to have been built domestically by assemblers, putting the firm’s low estimate at 211,000 units.

Ed Benjamin told CyclingIndustry.News: “Due to complexities in tracking these numbers, we suspect that the actual number may 20% higher, thus giving us our upper-limit figure of 251,000 units. That would represent a 70% increase.”

Speaking on the difficulties of tracking the market’s exact figures, Benjamin said that without a specific HS code, something which pedal assist bikes lack at present, records are harder to define.
“This leads to a tedious process of evaluating thousands of individual records, one at a time, by hand. Such a process is subject to both human errors and definition confusion; many products that would not be conventionally regarded as an “electric bike” may be listed as such, or in similar terms,” offers Benjamin. “Our figure of 40,000 additional imported bikes is intended to realistically encompass both our likely margin of error and bikes that are either poorly defined within the record, not described with any of the 60 terms we search under, or simply mislabeled entirely. The remaining 15,000 USA assembled bikes is based on data gathered through our relationships with USA assemblers, retailers, brand managers, OEMs, component suppliers, and sales reps.”

Ebikes were imported by approximately 135 entities during this period, found eCycleElectric. Most came from China, but also from Taiwan, Korea, and elsewhere.

The largest importers were ebike specialists, followed by major bicycle brands. A large number of bikes were imported by specialist ebike retailers. Other importers included sporting goods stores, online sales, and mass merchants.

Many small importers brought in shipments of 6 to 50 bikes. These are thought to be start ups, retailers, and companies considering the ebike business.

Does it all translate to sales?

“If stock languishing in warehouses were a widespread problem grumbling in the supply side would be heard loudly and clearly. As it is, grumbling has been absent, so we feel that most of the ebikes entering the market are being sold, and easily,” starts Benjamin.

Sources within the industry have indeed told eCycleElectric that unit sales have risen by as much as three fold year-on-year, with many more pointing to increases between 40 and 70% during 2016.

“This aligns with our observations, and thus we feel confident that the path from importer to customer is, at the moment, fairly well-lubricated,” says Benjamin.

“An often overlooked detail of the USA ebike market is that it cannot be as easily compared to the bicycle market as we might like. A figure of a quarter-million bicycles sounds unimpressive for an industry that moves in tens of millions in the USA. However, with the average ebike somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000, with many examples reaching towards (or even past) $6,000, this small volume represents a larger slice than is immediately obvious.

“Thus we feel that the overall picture of the market is this: Sales are up, some (but not all) companies are growing fast, and this small, yet profitable, industry segment is continuing to grow due to a variety of global and USA trends.”

To contact Benjamin directly head on over to www.eCycleElectric.com.

Within Europe, manufacturers like Cube are drastically expanding the scope of their electric bike production. Head here for our interview with CEO Marcus Purner.

6 Tips for Choosing Material Handling Equipment

Whether you need storage equipment, bulk material equipment or automation solutions, here are six crucial points to consider before purchasing.

A number of factors come into play when choosing material handling equipment for your warehouse. Whether you need storage equipment, bulk material equipment or automation solutions, here are six crucial points to consider before purchasing.

1. While it seems obvious

While it seems obvious, the place to start is the types of materials being handled. This could include pallets, spools of materials, coils, tires, etc.

2. Another factor

Another factor is the order picking method, which could include piece pick, case pick or pallet pick. If your personnel stores and picks full pallets in racks, then a reach truck would be the right equipment choice. However, if workers have to case pick cartons from pallets, then choose the order picker.

3. Determine which functions need to be performed

Determine which functions need to be performed, as well as environmental factors such as rack aisle width, rack type and ceiling height. There are a number of options to choose from but as a general rule of thumb, the narrower the aisle the equipment can operate in, the higher the cost.

4. You can’t expect every conveying

You can’t expect every conveying, palletizing or filling application to be heavy-duty. Any application involving drums, weighing scales, pails or totes being filled and moved at high-volume intervals will require rugged, heavy-duty equipment. This will hold true especially if the equipment is not maintained regularly.

5. Assess the level of customization you need.

Assess the level of customization you need. You can choose to have a complete range of services that cover analysis through start-up and post-sale support.

6. Keep track of all the maintenance costs.

Keep track of all the maintenance costs. Software programs and tools can track this information and help boost warehouse productivity. Choose equipment whose spares can be found easily in replacing or repairing the equipment, thus minimizing downtime.

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