MRO Magazine

CPA upgrades proprietary crane analysis software

Maryam Farag   

Industry Manufacturing equipment machine maintenance manufacturing

Casper, Phillips & Associates Inc. (CPA) has upgraded its proprietary crane analysis software, used for pre- and post-processing during finite element analysis of cranes.

In addition to container cranes, CPA has used the software to analyze other material handling equipment, such as 500-ton-plus capacity Goliath gantry cranes, offshore floating cranes, stacker cranes, electric overhead traveling (EOT) cranes, bulk ship loaders, and unloaders. The versatile program has also been used on industrial structures and docks.

“We can—and will—highlight the multitude of features that complete the system but more holistically it is a showcase of our design and design review services. Ports and terminal operators repeatedly note the effectiveness of the software; we’re not looking to generate sales, as such. With our software a crane structure can be analyzed in two to four weeks, depending on the complexity,” said Richard Phillips, Mechanical Engineer, CPA.  “A new crane design requires a structural analysis to assure the crane meets the purchaser’s requirements as well as applicable codes and standards. Structural analysis is also required if an existing crane design is used in a new geographic region that is subject to higher wind loads or earthquake loads.”

The upgrade allows CPA to analyze a crane structure quickly without compromising on quality. This will shorten the window for the design review and verification, which ultimately cuts down on the delivery time of the crane.


CPA has added detailed thin panel buckling output, so the user can quickly figure out which panel is over and which load case governs. Buckling will display the governing load case not only for each plate, but each panel between stiffeners. Thin panel buckling is a localized failure of a slender plate that is part of a large beam. The detailed buckling output will automatically show the user which load case is causing the buckling issue and where the thin panel buckling occurs on the beam.

Once the pre-processing is complete, the model is loaded into SAP2000, a commercial Finite Element Analysis program. SAP2000 solves the model and will output all forces, moments, and reactions to the post-processing programs. However, SAP2000 does not support crane design codes, which led CPA to create programs that use the SAP2000 output and check the structural members to the most popular crane codes.






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