ALL Erection leads North American crane operations
Before you read this, check out this story in November's issue of Supply Chain Digital. Trust us, it's way cooler!
You could say that ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. “put up the Ritz” in Chicago.
One of the largest privately owned crane sales and rental companies in North America, ALL helped transform the Windy City’s skyline by building a 40-story landmark Ritz-Carlton Residences on Michigan Avenue.
It wasn’t easy, as ALL had to overcome the logistical challenges that surround building such a tall structure in a city like Chicago that’s notorious for its high winds.
Thanks to the company’s rich crane background and its bevy of technological innovations, ALL’s fleet is well suited for both construction and supply chain challenges in today’s world.
“The ALL family of companies is equipped, staffed and ready for any tall order,” Rick Mikut, ALL’s Crawler Crane Manager said.
CONSTRUCTION ON CHICAGO'S RITZ-CARLTON RESIDENCES
ALL has witnessed major growth since being founded in Cleveland in 1964. Originally started by brothers Michael, Jake and Larry Liptak, the company has since built its own engine, weld, paint and support shops to handle its crane fleet.
The crawler crane is the most in-demand type of crane, and one that ALL works extensively with. Crawler cranes are mobile and run on tracks around a job site, offering incredible stability while lifting a load, without the need for outriggers.
It’s that kind of versatility and sound design that made the crawler the crane of choice in ALL’s Chicago operation.
“Crawlers are stronger and more stable at greater distances than some other crane types,” Mikut explains. “Crawlers provide pick-and-carry capabilities, heavy-duty lifting and long-term economic advantages for work as building construction, bridges and roads.”
ALL’s crawler fleet includes cranes with capacities ranging from 80 tons and up. Fleet management would be an issue having such a large and diverse fleet, but the company handles it with surprising ease.
“The ALL fleet is one of the world’s largest, most modern and most technologically advanced,” Mituc said. “The company keeps investing in its fleet, far outpacing its competition in maintenance and acquisition.”
The company has three 1,000-ton machines, including the Manitowoc model 21000, the largest of ALL’s crawler fleets, and one that Mikut is particularly proud of.
“The Manitowoc 21000 is the world’s most easily mobilized 1,000-ton crane,” Mikut said. “Its eight-crawler system allows swing and travel with full load and minimizes ground-bearing pressure.”
MANITOWOC CRANE VIDEO
Not surprisingly, the technology behind a crane like the Manitowoc 21000 is staggering. Engineers have to determine the ground-bearing pressure on job sites when working with such a heavy piece of equipment to prevent dangerous cave-ins on soft ground.
ALL’s team is working with crane manufacturers around the world to implement new technology in each crane introduced. Onboard computers add ease to crane operation and help increase safety.
Technology is only a start when it comes to operation, however.
“Make no mistake – technology is simply an aid – it’s the operator’s skill, training and experience that really matter,” Mikut said. “Automation and technology alone never could prevent a mishap. A safe, successful pick takes expert lift planning and a highly skilled operator to interpret the data and the signals the technology provides.”
While ALL doesn’t build its own cranes, the company serves as one of the largest customers to crane manufacturers and is often called on to offer input to new crane design.
Among the company’s latest technological advancements is a new diesel engine designed to meet United States EPA Tier 4 emissions standards for non-road diesel equipment.
The Tier 4 models are an improvement from the current Tier 3 models, and “will have further improved emission-control technologies (that) are said to be nearly smokeless,” Mikut said.
“Overall, the company believes in being stewards of our environment,” Mikut continued. “Through the next decades, we plan to continue to address sustainability, implement improved technology, recycle materials and do what we can to save energy and natural resources for future generations.”
Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity
As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas.
High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks
According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’.
Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months:
- SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack.
- Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors.
- Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration.
As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework.
What Are Their Recommendations?
Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security.
Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version:
- NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
- Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state.
If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed.
How Do The Proposals Differ?
As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’.