Liftex in Liverpool30 October 2023
If your role requires you to operate lifting equipment in any sector you can’t afford to miss the LiftEx show. Here, we highlight the latest news from several exhibitors.
LiftEx 2023 – the annual networking event for the lifting equipment industry, and the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association’s (Leea) flagship show – takes place in the north-west of the UK this year, at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool.
Visitors to the show will see global and local vendors of lifting equipment and services aimed at buyers from a variety of vertical markets, including construction, oil and gas, ports and maritime, offshore, manufacturing, automotive, utilities and entertainment.
Visitor passes are free and cover both days of the event. Among the many businesses there, Ketten Wälder will be exhibiting its Cromox brand, which offers a range of stainless-steel lifting solutions. This year, Ketten Wälder was awarded a Leea membership certificate, demonstrating that the company has passed a demanding compliance audit.
“We pursue our entrepreneurial goals with conviction and enthusiasm, and are decidedly committed to the fundamental values of our corporate culture – transparency, honesty, reliability, and trust – which are reflected in our interactions and relationships with each other, our customer relations as well as in the quality of all our products. In this, we feel once again confirmed, encouraged and honoured with the award of the distinguished Leea membership,” said Franz Maximilian Wälder, CEO of Ketten Wälder.
ROPE AND SLING SPECIALISTS
One of the sponsors of LiftEx, Rope and Sling Specialists (RSS), welcomed two UK Members of Parliament (MPs) to different facilities in the summer.
First, the lifting and rigging equipment and services provider hosted Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, at its Minworth, West Midlands depot, before Pyle, South Wales HQ opened its doors to Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East.
The visits were facilitated by the HS2 high-speed railway, which is showcasing companies around the UK that are playing a vital role in the construction of the major infrastructure project. Minworth and Pyle are just two of RSS’s ten national locations, which combine to deliver radio-frequency identification (RFID)-chipped shackles, hooks, slings and harnesses to HS2, in addition to periodic Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (Loler) inspections and other services.
RSS is a supplier within a wider supply chain that includes around 2,500 companies, most of which are based in the UK and represent the small and mediumsized enterprise (SME) community.
Speaking at the time of the visit Steve Hutin, managing director at RSS, said: “To welcome the Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell, who holds the posts of Minister of State [Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office] and Minister for Development and Africa, in addition to Rt. Hon. Carolyn Harris, from the other side of the political benches, to our company demonstrates the scale of HS2 and the opportunities it delivers, both in terms of direct revenue, but also raising our profile as a business, and that of the lifting sector.”
Earlier this year, RSS was presented with a Values Award by the Skanska, Costain and STRABAG (SCS) joint venture, currently delivering the HS2 Main Works Civil Contract for Phase One of the route: the HS2 London tunnels.
Hutin added: “The project centres on operation of TBMs [tunnel-boring machines], which must be working 24-hours-a-day. Marking milestones and welcoming MPs to our business isn’t about celebrating what a single company does per se, but more elevates the importance of our industry and its impact on the wider economy.”
DYNAMIC LOAD MONITORING
Another company that has been meeting British political figures is Dynamic Load Monitoring (DLM). It was among the industry representatives as Leea hosted an event at UK Parliament on the eve of July’s Global Lifting Awareness Day (#GLAD2023).
The firm, which makes force measurement equipment, joined fellow Leea members as a range of lifting and rigging equipment was displayed in a tabletop-style showcase in the Jubilee Room.
Members of Parliament (MPs) – including DLM’s local MP, Caroline Nokes, the member for Romsey and Southampton North – filtered into the area following the Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) session in the Commons Chamber.
As a company that works in the design, manufacture, repair and calibration of load cells, load monitoring, and cable working equipment for the wind energy and wider renewables sector, DLM took ownership of a ‘Lifting in energy’ theme at the event. Other Leea members and industry stakeholders tackled subjects such as logistics, safety at height and the military.
Martin Halford, managing director at DLM, who was present at the event, pitched to attendees about the important role the lifting industry will have to play in the success of the ‘Powering Up Britain’ initiative, which recently set out how the government will enhance the country’s energy security, seize the economic opportunities of the transition, and deliver on net zero commitments. To that end, DLM demonstrated how the lifting industry has a role to play in each step of the wind turbine installation process and why safety is paramount at every stage.
Safehold operates in the height safety and lifting equipment industry. In August it announced that it had approved and executed a stock transfer agreement with co-founder Neil Hosken. Based on this agreement Hosken will no longer have an active role in Safehold, but he will continue to support the company as a vendor of goods and services.
Based on the agreement, Oliver Auston, CEO is now the sole shareholder in Safehold, which will continue to operate from the existing Sheerness, UK, facility while the leadership team explore relocation opportunities. Day-to-day sales and operations remain unchanged.
“Neil has been a valued and important part of the Safehold journey – we are grateful to Neil and his team for being instrumental in building our operational success to date,” the company outlined in a statement.
Earlier in the year, Ship-Around.com, an online marketplace for the maritime and offshore industry, announced a strategic partnership with Tiger Lifting, the global manufacturer of hoisting and winching products that will be exhibiting at LiftEx.
The collaboration will enable customers in the Middle East region to purchase Tiger Lifting products online at Ship-Around.com and have them delivered from the online marketplace’s regional warehouse.
Hugh Todd, sales manager at Tiger Lifting, said: “The partnership with Ship- Around.com marks a significant milestone in our efforts to meet the demand of our valued customers in the Middle East and beyond. Through this partnership, we will be leveraging our expertise in hoisting and winching products and benefitting from the decades of experience of the Ship-Around. com leadership team.
“In addition to providing our customers with easy access to high-quality products through an online platform, we aim to expand our service offerings by training Ship-Around.com technicians to provide servicing, maintenance and recertification for our products as part of our comprehensive turnkey solution.”
Liftket Hoffmann GmbH, a supplier of electric chain hoists and control systems, will also be in attendance in Liverpool. In the summer, it acquired Action Lift, an exclusive distributor of Liftket and Chainmaster products in France and Spain with more than 15 years of experience in the entertainment and industry sector, according to reports.
The now former owner of Action Lift, Mohamed Essabar, will continue to manage the business’s operations with his team. The move follows Liftket’s acquisitions Chainmaster in 2018, Movecat in 2019 and Hoystek in 2020, as well as the establishment of locations in Canada, the UK and India. According to the company, part of Essabar’s role will be to “ensure the success of the local Movecat partners”.
“Mohamed and I have had a connection within the lifting industry for many years, which is built on a high mutual trust. As part of our strategic plans and this longstanding connection, we have now been able to combine our competences in order to be successful together in the future,” said Jürgen Dlugi, CEO of Liftket Hoffmann.
Liftket itself was acquired in the spring by Ardian, a global private investment firm, which took a majority stake in the business.
Ardian said at the time of the acquisition that the deal would support the electric chain hoists and control systems supplier to accelerate its international growth plan.
“The growth strategy will focus on enhancing its product range with more complex control solutions, increasing its customer base and targeting select acquisitions in key markets,” the firm said.
“Liftket has become a leading player in the European market through the absolute reliability, durability and safety of our products,” said Dlugi.
“Based on our strong competitive position and innovative products, as well as the fundamental growth of our customer markets, we continue to see significant growth potential for our company. In Ardian, we have found a partner that will actively support us in realising this potential.”
Marc Abadir, managing director, expansion at Ardian, added: “Liftket stands out for its long history of organic growth. Led by an experienced management team with highly motivated employees, its customers value the outstanding product quality, demonstrated by a very high level of customer satisfaction.”
Allgon, the parent company of radio control solutions provider and Åkerströms and Tele Radio, which provides remote control systems for overhead cranes, announced the appointment of Zoran Jankulovski as its new chief operating officer in September.
Jankulovski is described as being an experienced and senior business executive “with a long and successful career” at SKF – a global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services – and General Electric. Allgon says he will play “a crucial role in spearheading the company’s growth strategy and operational excellence worldwide”.
“I am excited to embark on this journey with Allgon and I am really looking forward to getting to know the team and the business,” said Jankulovski. “I am thrilled with the opportunity that Allgon presents to me. With its extensive presence in over 19 global locations and two prominent brands, there is a robust platform for expansion. My responsibility lies in strategising, executing and safeguarding business operations to realise Allgon’s ambitious goals.’’
UK below-the-hook lifting equipment manufacturer Modulift has appointed Yeong Shin – a provider of steel wire ropes, lifting accessories and products – as its stock-holding partner in Taiwan.
Yeong Shin will hold stock of the MOD 12, 24, 34 and 50 spreader beams. Each model comes with end units and drop links and is available on a same-day collection or nextday delivery service.
The strategic alliance is a response to continued growth in the Asian market and will help to meet the increasing demand for readily available DNV Type Approved spreader beams in Taiwan. By joining forces with Modulift and providing support including technical assistance, Yeong Shin aims to further strengthen its position in the lifting industry and broaden its product offerings.
“We are excited to partner with Yeong Shin, a company known for its dedication to customer satisfaction,” said Sarah Spivery, MD at Modulift. “With their deep market knowledge and strong distribution capabilities, we are confident that Yeong Shin will play a pivotal role in serving customers in their region effectively.”
Yeong Shin joins Modulift’s network of over 30 worldwide distributors.
LOAD MONITORING SYSTEMS
LiftEx exhibitor Load Monitoring Systems (LMS) received a prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise back in the spring, with the UK-based company being recognised for excellence in international trade.
The King’s Awards for Enterprise was previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, and the new name reflects His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II by recognising outstanding UK businesses. The award programme, now in its 57th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.
Ten Scottish companies received accolades in various categories, with LMS one of just three to be honoured in the field of international trade. In total, 148 UK organisations were recognised.
Commenting on the news, Kirk Anderson, LMS managing director, said: “We are extremely proud to receive the King’s Award for International Trade. It’s a great honour and achievement for LMS and everyone who has played a part in our journey so far. The recognition reflects the hard work and dedication shown by our team, with the business going from strength to strength and expanding into new and exciting markets worldwide. Building strong relationships with our customers and collaborating with suppliers and industry professionals have always been at the heart of the company ethos. Reflecting on what we’ve achieved so far, helps us look to the future with greater confidence and strong optimism.”
Millar Kennedy, LMS sales director, added: “It is a great honour to receive the King’s Award and is all the more special, being the first of its kind. We continually strive to deliver high standards both in the quality of our products and support to our customers. Our drive and ambition to achieve further global success remains as strong as ever, with trips to the US, Netherlands and Portugal scheduled over the next few weeks.”
THE CROSBY GROUP
In June, The Crosby Group announced the launch of Crosby Straightpoint LoadConnect, a cloud-based software solution that monitors loads and enables users to remotely observe load cell data via an online dashboard.
One wireless base station can connect up to 16 Crosby Straightpoint wireless load cells, with an option of one cabled load cell. The base station transmits load cell data to the LoadConnect dashboard via a chosen network or nearby WiFi. When connected via a network, LoadConnect has the option to send data to a user’s mobile phone.
The dashboard provides users with fast, real-time load data, monitors errors and status, and has a map pinpointing exact product location. It also provides an overview of productivity and utilisation. Users can also access more in-depth statistics, historical readings, and view analytics, as well as schedule reports directly to any chosen email. The solution will reduce site visits, improve decision-making, and safely monitor loads and line tensions.
The software is compatible with Crosby’s most popular wireless product, the Radiolink Plus, in addition to the Loadshackle and LoadSafe, while LoadConnect complements Crosby Straightpoint’s newest product, Bolt (Bolt On Line Tensiometer), a lightweight wire rope tensiometer or shunt tensiometer, “for fast and accurate measurement of tensions up to 20,000lbs (10,000kg) and up to 1.25in (32mm) diameter”. Bolt is designed for permanent installation, hence its suitability with LoadConnect.
Thomas Dietvorst, director of technology solutions at The Crosby Group, said: “This is a ground-breaking software solution, whereby you will be able to monitor loads… from anywhere around the world.
“LoadConnect will prove to be a gamechanger for anyone using our wireless load cell range in industries such as telecommunications… eliminating the need for personnel to regularly visit remote locations to check line and wire tension. There are also many use cases in the construction sector and other industries where similar projects are common, such as ship building to monitor weight as loads are applied and nuclear power plants to prevent catastrophe.”
21-22 November 2023
Exhibition Centre Liverpool, UK
The fifth annual LEEA Awards 2023 will be bestowed during the awards dinner, which will be held at the Rum Warehouse in Liverpool on the evening of 21 November 2023. British comedian Jason Manford will be this year’s awards host. The awards plays a vital role in promoting the gold standard offered by Leea members. Companies and individuals will be recognised in the following categories:
- The Sustainable Award
- Innovation (Product) Award
- Innovation (Service) Award
- Lifting Operation Award
- Safety Award
- Rising Star
- Best Industry Leader
- Best Lifting Equipment Technician
- Best Trainer
- People Development Award