Q: How has the recent economic uncertainty affected the rigging industry?
I can’t answer for the entire industry but at Modulift we have noticed delays or cancellations on projects that have had an impact on orders – this has been the case across the globe and not just an isolated problem. I would also say that there has been an increase in enquiries from customers looking for the most cost-effective solution to minimise their budget spends as margins are squeezed from all directions.

Q: What, in your opinion, has been the most significant development in rigging as it applies to the crane and lifting industry?
This would have to be the impact of Health and Safety on the purchasing decision, and against the economic general trend these circumstance mean its not a price sensitive purchase. The safety of the riggers and the ease of handling the equipment is becoming very much at the forefront of purchasing and as such our spreaders help fulfill these requirements. However I would say that in terms of products, Dyneema slings have been the biggest development as they have been designed in view of these requirements – they are extremely lightweight compared with wire rope and yet have the strength to perform on heavy lifts both on and off-shore. They are transforming the lifting environment to a much safer and user friendly one.

Q: What technology in rigging are we likely to see more of in the years to come?
I think installation aids will become more and more mainstream, such as ROV / remote release shackles that enable the lifting rig to be remotely disconnected from the load, which will reduce problems such as poor or unsafe access.

Q: What challenges face rigging and how can they be overcome?
There are two challenges that we notice almost daily…first is the impact of Health and Safety, and as we’ve already discussed, how customers are looking for the lightest, most handleable solution for the safety of their riggers. We have a team of engineers constantly reviewing our designs and materials to make our equipment lighter and even easier to use. Secondly its the essential requirement to provide the solution as quickly as possible. The perpetual question is can we provide equipment within a couple of days? For our standard Spreader Beam range this is an easy request to fulfill as we maintain a large warehouse full of stock for all Spreaders up to 400 tonnes. However, it can be more challenging to supply custom solutions or high capacity spreaders in the timeframes customers need – as such we are always looking for ways in which we can reduce design and production times to help our customers achieve their deadlines.

Q: How is Modulift contributing to the development of rigging?
By having a team of engineers dedicated to research and development to improve, tweak and work with new methods, so as to provide the very best lifting equipment in the world.

Q: What has been your most significant achievement (as a business) in recent years?
Our increased role in the provision of customised equipment for large off-shore projects working with companies such as Exxon Mobile, Saipem, RWE, REpower to provide complete rigging solutions; and the design and build of some of our heaviest ever spreaders topping 1250 metric tonnes and our heaviest ever lifting beam reaching 500 tonnes in capacity.

Q: What new plans do you have as a business?
Continuing the development of our distributor network and growing the custom engineering business.

X-Lift Beam Equipment Review
Finnish equipment manufacturer MeramaTec has launched a new adjustable lifting beam: The X-Lift beam. For this new beam MeramaTec has developed selfadjusting telescopic ends these are which enable them to maintain balance and won’t crush the item they are lifting.

The device is flexible and can be used for both a four-point lift and two-point one. The X-Lift exists as one piece of equipment which can be pulled out and adjusted around the telescopic ends which are designed so the can be dismantled quickly by one person.

The beam can be used on a wide range of applications from construction site tasks such as lifting sheet metal, to moving small buildings such as sheds or sauna cabins without damaging the structure, as well as being well suited for lifting cars and boats. It can also be used on wet or uneven surfaces and can pick up the whole piece without fear of it becoming dislodged.

The X-Lift can be used for small and large jobs, and with a minimum length of eight feet it is compact and easy to transport, as well as being lighter which makes it easier to operate. The beams large lifting capacity is between five and fifty tons. The product comes in four different sizes which are all adjustable, the smallest of these having a minimum length of 2450mm and a maximum of 4250 and the largest of these having minimum size of 4900mm and a maximum of 8500mm.

Excel Grade 10 connecting links
Van Beest have announced it has finished development of the Excel grade 10, the latest addition to the Excel 10 range of connecting links.

The new links allow an easy connection of chains to master links or eye hooks, and are designed to be assembled with speed and ease. The product is supplied unassembled prior to use to avoid it needing to be disassembled, saving the customer time. The Excel grade 10 is suitable for lifting purposes with a safety factor of four times the working load limit.

The link is made from grade ten-alloy steel, which is quenched and tempered with a blue finish. While each connecting link has the manufacturer’s symbol, batch code, steel grade, CE conformity code and FRANCE (origin) marked in the body.