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LiftEx, the UK’s leading event for the overhead lifting sector, took place in Milton Keynes in November, with many of the more than 80 exhibitors using the show as an opportunity to showcase new products.
The exhibition took place alongside educational and technical sessions, including Business Support Sessions, and presentations on various innovations at The Innovation Award Showcase—with attendees invited to vote on which should win the Innovation Award. That award, along with a number of others, was presented on the evening of the first day at the LiftEx 2019 Awards Dinner.
LEEA (the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) subsequently announced that LiftEx 2020, the 16th of the annual shows, and the 3rd LEEA Awards, will take place at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre, on October 13-14.
Ross Moloney, CEO of LEEA commented: “We will return to Liverpool for the first time since 2015, following on from two tremendous years in Milton Keynes. The dates in October 2020 present the perfect opportunity in the Lifting Industry calendar for our global community to gather at this great location in Liverpool.
“I was impressed by the vibrant atmosphere at this year’s event generated by the huge amount of networking going on among the plethora of new products and technologies on display from the exhibitors. I am thrilled to have received immensely positive feedback on the successful 2019 LiftEx, and extend LEEA’s gratitude to our organisers, sponsors, partners, speakers, exhibitors and visitors who made LiftEx 2019 a highly successful two days. We all look forward to seeing you in Liverpool in 2020.”
Binar introduces NEO 30
Swedish company Binar Quick-Lift Systems recently launched its Binar NEO 30, distributed in the UK market through Buckinghamshire-based Andron Handling.
The device, which is designed for lifting and moving loads up to 30kg, is batterypowered and can operate on different working stations. It has a range of standard grippers, and is designed to provide safe and ergonomic lifting.
The innovation represents the first battery-powered lifter, said Neil Reynolds, operations manager for Binar Sales UK at Andron Handling. The system clips into the shackle, making it simple and fast to install, with the battery power source making it mobile. The battery can power the unit for up to eight hours, and is supplied with two batteries and a charger, allowing continuous usage. Further features include a charge display, to alert operators to how much battery charge remains, and infinite speed settings, added Reynolds.
Tiger’s Subsea Lever Hoist
Tiger Lifting introduced its new SS19 subsea lever hoist at LiftEx, designed for use primarily in subsea, offshore or corrosive environments, with design features included to provide safety advantages over standard lever hoists. Because of its design and features, says Tiger, it’s suitable not just for subsea and marine applications but also for other applications such as deep mining, overhead power transmission lines, the rail industry, and power stations.
Greg Fardell, UK business development manager at Tiger Lifting, said: “The SS19’s predecessor, the SS11, was born from the request of the niche subsea diving industry following years of known product failures where standard hoists were used sub sea. Tiger answered the industry call to design, engineer and deliver a lever hoist certified and endorsed by the manufacturer as subsea safe. Our goal was to give key stakeholders within the oil and gas industry a hoist that could be certified for safe use subsea whilst meeting all the requirements of the then newly-developed International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) guidance notes for offshore lever hoists. The SS11 has been in use for ten years. Our products are exceptionally engineered, resilient and hardwearing to operate effectively in the extremely harsh environmental conditions our clients often place them in.”
The SS19 offers all the features of the SS11, with a range of enhancements, including a two-stage finish that provides better corrosion resistance and high impact protection, making it more suitable for multi-immersion applications. The hoist now comes with a redesigned pinion shaft and disc hub, enabling quicker and easier maintenance to be carried out.
“The results of empirical evidence from the excellent long-life performance of the previous SS11 range and direct dialogue with approved global service centres allowed us to continue to develop and improve the hoist. This further demonstrates the strength of relationships between Tiger and their clients,” said Fardell.
“A key safety feature of the Tiger subsea hoisting range is Tiger’s globally patented, tried and tested, quad cam pawl system with thousands of hours of empirical evidence as proof of design. This innovation was shortlisted for the Innovative Product of the Year Award by LEEA in 2018, as this was the first time a quad cam pawl system had been incorporated into chain blocks and lever hoists, and the design also had demonstrably successful results in operation.”
Other key features include the brake chamber protection, with preciselyengineered side plates and components protected by a full gasket giving the brake chamber and contents optimum protection from external contamination, says the company. A bonded grooved friction disc system assists with dispersing salt water from between key surfaces, eliminating failure through aquaplaning. And Tiger only uses phosphor bronze bearings in its lever hoists and chain blocks, which are suitable for offshore and marine environments.
The SS19 gearbox contain one-piece pinion gears—an industry first, says Tiger—as the pressure changes when two-piece construction pinion gears are used in multiple submersions were found to potentially cause cracking of the gears. Tiger hoists also use an eight-point multistart thread pinion shaft which doubles the lead distance compared to typical fourpoint threaded shafts, increasing brake efficiency by 100%, adds the company.
“The SS19 has a unique rotational inertia driven torsion brake system,” said Fardell. “This removes the need for old style longitudinal disengagement methods of pulling the brake system apart to facilitate freewheeling. This makes it safer and easier for the operator. The unique brake system guarantees a light load protection at 2% of the rated capacity.”
Portable testing from Liftal
Netherlands-based Liftal introduced its Dynamic Test Device for motor-driven hoists and winches, designed for testing the capacity of lifting equipment.
The system is suitable for testing loads from 0.5–5t, and is designed to be quicker and safer to use than weight-based test systems. The portable system can be secured to a fixed eye on the floor, with the portable accumulator and power pack coupled to the cylinder to supply energy. It comprises four components, each weighing around 25kg, which have to be coupled prior to each test. The device features a load measurement pin with an accuracy of less than 0.5%.
“We were encouraged to develop the system by EDF,” said manager Hans Hirdes. “There were confined spaces at their facilities which made it difficult to transport solid weights in for testing lifting equipment. It can be used with any anchoring point, and requires no solid weights, no forklifts, and so forth.”
The system allows operators to still meet the requirements of testing regulations but with less effort, added Hirdes. The device has also won an innovation prize for its use at a nuclear plant, and has been nominated for a national innovation award taking place in March.
The system’s PLC offers a range of features including a test overload function, which automatically increases the load force by 10%, and a range of test programmes.
Pewag’s automatic answer
Pewag showcased its Levo Hook LH and Levo Clamp LC products, a hook and a clamp that can be locked and released automatically and remotely, rather than requiring manual interaction.
The TÜV-certified Levo Hook LH and Levo Clamp LC are designed to improve safety, with the accidental opening of the hook and clamp under load not possible, and to reduce the time of a work cycle by eliminating the manual process of attaching and releasing hooks and clamps. The battery life of the hook allows for 8,000 operating cycles without a break, says Pewag, with the hook opening and closing within 2.5 seconds; the clamp offers up to 2,000 work cycles without interruption, opening or closing within two seconds. Both the Levo Hook LH and Levo Clamp LC can withstand temperatures from -20°C to 60°C, making them suitable for use in harsh environments where manual interaction with the hook could be hazardous. The Levo Clamp LC is also suitable for lifting and transporting steel plates with a maximum hardness of 37 HRC (345 HB).
William Hackett Debuts SSL5
William Hackett introduced its latest generation of lever hoists, designed to offer optimum safety and featuring a quad pawl mechanism.
The quad pawl technology allows the SSL5 to operate safely should individual pawls or springs fail, explains the company; with double the number of offset pawls in a standard lever hoist, from two to four, the load is spread securely against the ratchet gear, providing increased redundancy and resilience to failure.
The hoist also offers a range of other benefits, including reduced cost—the system is warranted for multi-immersion use, resulting in an 80% reduction in capital spend on new hoists per mobilisation. The dual action brake mechanism and intelligent inertia capability improves safety and rigging productivity in subsea and topside applications, says the manufacturer, while the SSL5 is also lighter-weight than former models with an improved performance-to-weight ratio, reducing the risk of injury during handling.
Ben Burgess, director at William Hackett, said: “It’s a piece of engineering innovation that will transform safety levels globally when lifting offshore and in subsea operations using lever hoists. We’ve designed this hoist to provide the highest level of safety, with increased levels of redundancy and resilience to failure. “Its QP [quad pawl] offset load bearing mechanism is the best in the market, and it offers enhanced operating performance compared to twin pawl products. It overcomes jamming and unintended malfunctions that can be experienced when using other simpler first-generation products. This helps to minimise project downtime or costly delays to work scopes, providing total peace of mind for operators and marine contractors.”
Customer controlled field trials saw SSL5 hoists immersed 12 times over a 60-day period, with the hoists successfully passing the multi-immersion test, inspection and operation programme witnessed and verified by DNV GL.
“We are helping operators to make better choices and overcome purchasing large quantities of single-use hoists,” says Burgess. “The historic paradigm of singleuse hoists, which are often used once and then discarded, is very expensive and not good practice from an environmental perspective. The use of single immersion hoists isn’t sustainable for today’s industry and is representative of an out-dated practice. Customer decision-making criteria is beginning to reflect this.”