• Complete crane electrification has allowed us to make a product based on the concept of “zero emissions” and has become a benchmark in the country and in Europe.

The Basque technology centre IKERLAN and the Gipuzkoa-based company GH Cranes, one of the five leading global companies in the bridge crane sector, have signed a collaboration agreement in R&D, with the aim of strengthening the relationship of recent years and to deepen the research areas in which they have been working together.

This new agreement, which will have a term of three years, aims to leverage the joint research of the last four years, in which major advances have been achieved in areas such as ICT and 4.0 technologies, crane electrification – developing a new product model based on the concept of “zero emissions”, that is a benchmark in the country and in Europe–, servitisation & intelligent asset management, and structural design & reliability.

The signing of the new agreement took place at the IKERLAN headquarters, in Arrasate-Mondragon, and was attended by Josean Guerra, Director General, Pablo Pedrós, Director of R&D, Garbiñe Guerra, Director of Marketing, and Ainara Iguiniz, Director of Human Resources, from GH Cranes; and Marcelino Caballero, Director General, Unai Viscarret, Director of the Electronics, Information and Communications Technologies Unit, Xabier Sagartzazu, Director of the Advanced Manufacturing and Energy and Power Electronics Units, and Ion Etxeberria, Director of People and Marketing, from IKERLAN.

Pablo Pedrós, Director of R&D of GH Cranes, evaluated the agreement as “very positive for our company. In recent years we have collaborated with IKERLAN in various fields of research, and now we are reaping the benefits and incorporating these technological advances into our business.”

ICT and technologies 4.0

In the scope of ICT and 4.0 technologies, over the last years, IKERLAN has collaborated with GH Cranes in the digitalisation of its cranes, developing a digital platform based on the digital solutions of IKERLAN KONNEKT for the analysis and storage of data, which provides remote information on the status of cranes installed in the plants of its customers worldwide.

Simultaneously, a cellular connectivity node (3G and 4G) has been developed to ensure the secure collection and sending of information on the cranes to the cloud, using a customised platform that allows large volumes of data to be processed. Similarly, a Cloud Platform based on IoT and Big Data technologies has been developed to collect data from all the equipment units deployed at the customer, enabling GH Cranes to calibrate and monitor cranes remotely and in real time.  Thus, GH Cranes can access analytical results of the cranes for the optimisation of their performance and their predictive maintenance, thereby improving their operation and reducing operating costs.

Other fields covered by this agreement are servitisation and intelligent asset management, which will affect the profile of the Service’s future business, as well as design & structural reliability. All this includes the development of an efficient calculation tool that analyses structural resistance, overturning stability, fatigue life, and safe buckling of cranes.

Another field covered by this agreement is complete crane electrification. To do this, a which affects the efficiency of the crane, based on electrical storage instead of more polluting energy. This project is a benchmark in the country and in Europe.


IKERLAN is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to the company due, among other things, to the specialisation of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions that combine different technological fields into three large areas: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICT), Energy and Power Electronics and Advanced Manufacturing. IKERLAN has been certified via AENOR for its integrated management system  (UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015 y UNE 166002:2014), which recognises the excellence of the centre in the field of R&D&I. It currently has a workforce of around 350 people.

About GH

GH is one of the five leading global companies in the bridge crane sector. Specialising in the manufacture of standard crane bridges and their own mechanisms, it is one of the most competitive companies in the sector, with extensive participation also in special cranes, marine and industrial gantries, and carts, as well as a globalised service.

Currently, GH is a widely internationalised company, with a productive presence in 11 countries and with sales in more than 70.

Since its inception, GH has sold more than 115,000 cranes and currently has a workforce of 850 people.

The goal is to advance in areas such as ICT and 4.0 technologies, crane electrification, servitisation & intelligent asset management, and structural design & reliability.
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