Featured Project
Crane Dance, Resorts World Sentosa

Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

Structural Steel,
Customised Solutions

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Lai Yew Seng Pte Ltd (LYS) has successfully handed over the Crane Dance Project to Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd in October 2010.

This project LYS played as main contractor co-ordinate all the mechanical, electrical and special effect works.

LYS is also the fabricator for the steel structures.

Facts and Features

The crane dance show comprises of 2 large articulated animatronic steel framed birds that rise and pivot from a concrete structure anchored to the sea bed some 20 meters offshore. The main structural motion is driven by hydraulic actuators in turn powered from 12-cylinder diesel pumps located in semi submerged basins below the platform.

The heads of the birds have 2 axis of motion, that in turn are controlled by electrically driven industrial gear boxes. The motion control system is managed by a Siemens PLC with satellite control elements and remote AV effect triggering.

The "wings" of the birds are created by a high pressure / high flow water special effect system. Aside from a significant amount of LED and general effect lighting, the birds each have a large format screen attached that comprises of arrays of IP66 rated pixel nodes

These mechanical marvels are the largest animatronics creatures in the world. Weighs 80 ton each which equivalent to 10 adult African elephants stands 90-feet tall and powered by 5000 horse power diesel engines which can propel small aircraft.

Through the use of ultra- sophisticated computer and motion controls, similar to those used on Japanese Bullet trains, the cranes are able to move with the grace and precision that is patterned after the mating rituals of real cranes.

Crane Dance full show at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

in the

Fabrication of the steel structure is highly challenging because the tolerance was not based on normal building structure standards but mechanical fabrication standards. In some instances, as small as few mm only. Cranes main body is box girders type using circular hollow sections. The main trusses were curve in 3 dimensional.

The Cranes were located on a man-made island between Singapore main land and Sentosa. So, the steel structure is in sea environment and showered by 36,000 liters of sea water in every show. So, it is very important that the coating system must withstand this. All the pipes were sandblasted on both internally and externally. Additionally, all the pipes were primed internally also.

The entire structure also spray painted with Marine epoxy paint. Prior to painting all the welded joints were sandblasted again. Keeping in mind the environment condition of the location care was taken at every point to eliminate the corrosion behaviour of mild steel.

We are proud that till today the structure and joints did not show any sign of corrosion.

Where it possible automated welding is used. Most of the automated welding is used in Turret base which weigh 28 tons itself and support entire the lower and upper body of the Cranes with equipment's about 55 tons.

As the structure is in dynamic motion so the quality control is very stringent at all stages. Welding inspection is carried out 100% regardless of the type of weld.

Rotating base which have 48 nos hole on both ends were welded first and went for stress relief prior to drilling holes. Drilling the holes also carried in a factory which normally carries out drilling for heavy industries.

As the Cranes, always in dynamic motion, vibration testing also carried to monitor the vibration during operation. Strain gauge testing also carried out to check the members strain when the Cranes in operation.

Cranes need to go through Factory Assemble Test prior to delivery to site. Cranes assembled in FAT site. Once the lower and upper part of Cranes assembled together, the height exceeds the height to transport via road. Due to the time constrain it was decided by the project team to transport via sea.

Hoisting the lower and upper part of the Cranes which weigh 55 tons is great challenge due to the sea current at the location is one of worst in Singapore. Gap between the turret base and the lower part of the Crane was very tight so while hoisting sea current make the installation very challenging.

Lifting of the first bird to the installation site

Lifting of the second bird to the installation site


Concept design by American consultant Mr. Jeremy Railton who is a several times Emmy award winner for his show creation.

LYS developed the structural design with the help of their structural consultants.

3D model was developed which was played important part in both analysis and also in the fabrication accuracy.

Design of the head structure is one of the great challenge to LYS. Head rotates 180 degree both pan and tilt directions. Head structure also house the motors, LED etc.

The structure should design to avoid the cable snap and must be light weight. Structural aluminium used for the head structure. Head skin is covered by fibre plastic material.


The Crane Dance Show received the prestigious THEA award for show spectacular in 2012.

THEA award is equivalent to Oscar award in the Entertainment Industry.

Crane Dance also received merit award for the structural steel excellence by Singapore Structural Steel Society one of the highest recognaization in Singapore.