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Manitowoc Crane Care center opens in Shady Grove

April 01, 2008|By DON AINES

SHADY GROVE, Pa. -- If a crane breaks down in Dubai, a part is needed in Calgary or an operating manual in Portuguese is required, the call for help will go to the new Manitowoc Crane Care center dedicated Monday at the company's Shady Grove facility.

The 37,000-square-foot building was home to the research and development and engineering divisions for Grove Cranes, acquired by Manitowoc in 2002, said Manitowoc Crane Care in the Americas Vice President Dave Hardin. The company spent "several million dollars" gutting and renovating the building for technical support, training, to order parts and to produce publications, Manitowoc spokesman John Bittner said.

The center has been receiving 550 calls a day since operations began, which would average out to 132,000 in a year, Hardin said. On paper, or electronically, the facility will produce 21,000 manuals a year with 10 million pages of information, Hardin said.

When a crane needs service or parts, the center and its Crane Care Rapid Response Team will be there to provide them in a timely fashion, Hardin said.

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Crane Care in the Americas employs 229 people, 102 of them in Shady Grove, Bittner said.

Scott Keckler, director of customer support, said the personnel and services offered at the Shady Grove center is under one roof after being spread out in other buildings.

While customers and distributors can contact the center by telephone or computer, the machines Manitowoc makes can tell the center where they are and what they need via CraneStar, Keckler said. Using global positioning technology, the crane can be pinpointed and send out diagnostic and troubleshooting maintenance information.

A similar center will be opened in China, Keckler said, giving the company coverage around the clock, around the world.

"The call will be routed to the facility that is available and open at the time," Keckler said.

Manitowoc has customers around the globe, and manual and other information is available in six core languages, said John Alexander, the director of Integrated Technical Communications. Those are English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, but the company has the ability to translate into more than a dozen other languages, including continental Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Swedish and Arabic, he said.

The building will also be used for training up to 1,300 customers, distributors and crane care technicians, Hardin said.

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