Measure for Measure

3 October 2016

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In this month’s Hoist our focus is on inspection and testing. We have three articles that look at how testing equipment and inspection services are vital to crane selection, installation, and operation.

Our profile this month looks at three recent innovations from load cell and measurement company Straightpoint. They’ve been supplying testing and monitoring equipment and services to the lifting industry (and beyond) for forty years. Recently, they’ve launched a new software package, that they reckon will help generate and maintain records of tasks like load tests.

They’ve also recently worked with a forestry safety specialist to develop a new product, Impact Block, that builds on their expertise in load cells to measure dynamic loading during tree surgery. This sector is notorious for the safety challenges it poses, far beyond the weight of the loads being handled. The problem isn’t the load itself, but the difficulty of predicting weights of tree sections and the dynamic loading as they are removed. Careful measurement and analysis here may well have important real world safety benefits.

We also have two case studies in this section. First, we look at how Lloyds British’s Ghana branch helped with the installation of new crane for client Orsom Engineering. The company supplied water weights and its engineer monitored the testing process, ensuring the crane was accurately and safely tested.

Our other testing and inspection piece looks at a job by Demag and its service subsidiary Kranservice Rheinberg. Here, accurate measurement was a small but vital part of a much larger whole. As part of the preparation work, the crane runways were surveyed with the Demag laser measuring system, which helped to accurately define the scope of work required. This month we also look at the mobile and temporary gantry crane market. As our cover line has it, these cranes bridge the gap between factory, yard, and construction site.

We look at three different approaches to the sector. Shuttlelift has four distinct series of mobile gantries. The US manufacturer developed its SB single beam line four years ago, with the idea that they would be used in tandem to lift concrete beams for construction. However, sales manager Kurt Minton explains, customers soon started using them as a flexible way to increase factory lifting capacity.

Konecranes’ CXT Explorer aims less at factories, but instead takes its CXT line of cranes out into the field, using a containerised system to create a 6.3t crane that can be set up quickly anywhere.

Finally, British crane manufacturer Pelloby has developed many tailor made gantry cranes. While these are typically A-frame cranes mounted on castors for use in factories, they recently built for Siemens in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, a 20t telescopic gantry mounted on an innovative system that can travel over uneven and unimproved terrain.