R&M App allows remote data access

28 August 2020

US-based R&M Materials Handling has launched its Overhead Lifting Information (OLI) app, which enables operators to remotely read real-time usage and condition data from the accompanying HoistMonitor system.

The app connects wirelessly to iOS and Android devices, so performance data can be retrieved from the HoistMonitor system on the factory floor. It offers customisable reporting and exporting, predictive maintenance indicators, and real-time reporting on equipment conditions, hoist usage, and key hoist events, says R&M.

The HoistMonitor is available for any Spacemaster SX wire rope hoist, and is standard on all SX6 and SX7 model hoists. It becomes compatible with the OLI app when a wireless electronic key is installed, which is supplied with the app.

Standard functions of the HoistMonitor include overload protection; supervision of faults and runtime information; sudden loading supervision; starting and stopping through slow speed for brake protection; safe working period calculation; and proactive service warning calculations.

Additional capabilities include load summation for multiple hoists on a crane with multi-hoist crane overload protection; scoreboard or controller load display outputs; overload indicator outputs for lights and horns; and slack rope supervision to avoid shock loading.

The OLI app eliminates the need to shut down the equipment to access the HoistMonitor usage and condition data, with anyone in proximity of the monitor able to retrieve raw data and reports.

The app is being used in the field by Hoosier Crane. The installation process was simple, said Todd Cook, COO at Hoosier Crane Service Company, and Derek Bukrajewski, service manager at Hoosier Crane; the crane was out of service for about half an hour while the wireless key was attached to the HoistMonitor unit.

The app is designed to be simple and easy to navigate, which is helpful when training technicians to reference the data, says Cook: “Some of these guys have been in the game for 25 years and are used to pen and pencil. But the way the data’s displayed in the app isn’t too complicated, and I think that’s good for the less tech-savvy technicians.”

The data from the OLI app will be able to better inform Hoosier’s clients about how operators are using the lifting equipment, said Todd—which can help with predictive maintenance. “This is going to save them production time and expenses from added trips and distributor charges if they need a part when they aren’t expecting to,” says Todd.

This is further helped by data on areas such as overloads and start counts, in the usage reports and condition reports. “We’ve seen customers run at their heaviest load more than they realise—it’ll be nice to show them this information so that they can get equipment that fits their work better,” says Bukrajewski.

Wolverine Crane & Service installed the app last December. The company’s service manager commented that the software simplifies the technical terms of the components and the percentages that calculate the designed working period (DWP) of the hoist.

“This takes a hundred parameters of information and shows us the critical and important items to monitor,” says the service manager.

The app also keeps a data log for the full lifetime of the hoist, enabling service technicians to access data from the factory floor for preventative maintenance or to investigate a part failure.

“We call it data forensics. We can identify the DWP of each component in a preventative maintenance sense. The information is downloadable, and its format helps us connect the dots between over-usage, misuse or regular use.”