What is claimed to be “the first of a new generation of wire rope hoists” has been installed at a Thames Water sewage treatment works in the UK. The hoists have electronic abuse prevention and lifetime memory of loading data.

These new hoist controllers were supplied by R Stahl and installed by Glomac Engineering, acting as subcontractor to main contractor Tilbury Douglas.

According to Stahl, the hoist controllers represent a major step forward for hoist users by providing accurate information on how many lifts have been carried out, the duration of lifting cycles, and the full spectrum of loads to which a hoist has been subjected throughout its working life. Planned maintenance can therefore be carried out at less frequent intervals in the case of lightly used hoists, saving time and money.

The Stahl Multi Controller (SMC) unit, which has an F-RAM memory, requiring no back-up power, is permanently installed in the control panel of the hoist. It can be interrogated at any time by a maintenance engineer with a standard laptop or notebook computer, to view the key operating statistics, either numerically, or in bar-graph form. The remaining safe working period of the hoist is automatically calculated.

The SMC unit also provides active “abuse control” in that it prevents rapid direction reversals, rapid inching, all inching in fast speed, and detects overloads and load snagging.

European legislation will eventually require manufacturers to fit these safety devices to all overhead lifting equipment, Stahl says.

Stahl sales manager Alan Griffiths said: “It is our policy to offer both users and crane manufacturers tomorrow’s technology today. SMC is one of a range of hi-tech products that we offer the materials handling and automation industry to improve safety, product reliability, and to optimise maintenance costs.”