For the ship design system E4 a universal crane model was developed. With the help of this model the design of crane vessels and cranes can be harmonised better and lifting operations can be analysed more precisely. The model is able to handle any type of cranes which are used in the shipping and offshore industry and provides the input for every simulations method within E4 which needs to consider crane operations. Special focus was given on keeping a common user interface both for the designer of a crane vessel and the planning engineer for lifting operations independently of the type and functionalities of the crane. Such a universal crane model has not been implemented in any other ship design software until now.
In this article the motivation for the development of the model is described together with the requirements for a universal crane model. The principle of the model explained and its functionality is demonstrated in several examples.