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mikenealanddaveaylingForce measurement, load monitoring and suspended weighing load cell equipment manufacturer Straightpoint has named industry stalwart Mike Neal as project sales engineer. He will utilise over three decades of relevant experience to primarily focus on promoting the company’s range of non-standard products.
Neal, who joined the company in mid-April 2017, will aim to further increase the lead conversion rate related to the range by qualifying enquiries and generating proposals in addition to focussing on liaison and follow-ups with existing and prospective customers.
He said: “As a part of my previous roles in sales of standard weighing products there was a frequent requirement to configure special application solutions based on staple weighing components, so the process of producing bespoke quotations is already well understood.”
David Ayling, director at Straightpoint, said: “I make no secret of the fact that we want to increase our conversion rate on non-standard products to somewhere close to that of our standard range. Mike brings a wealth of experience and much energy to the role and I am confident he will meet and exceed the short-term and long-term targets we have set.”
Neal’s previous employers worked in industrial weighing within the pharmaceutical, chemical and food / beverage industries. He said his immediate challenge is to apply his expertise in weighing and other similar technologies as it pertains to these sectors in the lifting equipment marketplace and the SP range of solutions.
He explained: “I’m looking forward to getting up to speed with the hoist and heavy-lift Industries, in particular. As is the case when offering any non-standard product, a comprehensive understanding of the application and requirements of the solution are required, so the quicker I can get to that stage the more effectively I will be able to start working towards our longer-term goal of becoming the go-to company for bespoke solutions as an increasingly informed marketplace seeks our consultation and technologies.”
Ayling has set a target percentage of leads to convert, based on a typically systematic strategy and data gathered from the standard product division. Neal welcomed the challenge and believes a new dedicated resource can exceed expectations.
He concluded: “I have been aware of Straightpoint’s products for over 15 years and I’m exciting about finally representing them at a stage of my career where a new challenge has really whet my appetite. I look forward to starting the dialogue and delivering non-standard SP products to the multitude of industry sectors in which they can be applied.”
Smart hook
Forklift and telehandler accessories manufacturer Haugen Attachments is offering the innovative Smart Hook, an attachment that incorporates a 7.2-ton (14,000-lb.) capacity Straightpoint load cell.
The 225-lb. Smart Hook can be easily attached to all kinds of telehandlers, giving end users a Crosby swivel hook that incorporates a wireless load shackle positioned at the center of a 42-inch wide and 36-inch long attachment; the attachment holds the lifting hook at 24 inches on center. Four legs act as storage stands to keep the load cell off the ground, which can be removed or left in place during use.
Straightpoint’s wireless load shackle is primarily used in low headroom applications. Boasting an anodized, aluminum electronics enclosure, an internal chassis provides IP67 / NEMA6 environmental protection even with the battery cover missing. The Smart Hook concept utilizes the technology to measure loads and ensure telehandlers are not used beyond their rated capacities. Operators typically read data via a device in the cab.
Jeff Haugen, general manager, Haugen Attachments (the company is owned by his mother, Carol Haugen, CEO), said: “The beauty of the system is that there is no installation required, allowing the unit to be moved from one machine to another in seconds. Further, it gives an accurate load measurement without confusing set-up or programming. It is a safe and simple solution.”
Haugen explained that the product was conceptualized in response to increased use of telehandlers on U.S. jobsites and the lack of another load measuring device in the marketplace. The company has been manufacturing hooks without load cell technology for many years. The new hook has proved popular with both sale and rental markets; the latter has been keen to capitalize on its interchangeability and divide rental rates over multiple applications.
Haugen said: “Telehandlers have the ability to lift and extend out a load. They have load charts for each position but in most cases the end user does not know the weight of each load they are lifting, which should be confirmed before the operator extends out the boom. The Smart Hook allows the operator to weigh the load and consult their load chart before starting a lift.”
Haugen offers the product in different sizes, with the most popular being its 14,000-lb. (7-ton) capacity unit. Much of the telehandler marketplace is covered by the 8,000-lb. to 12,000-lb. capacity equipment range. However, Haugen has the capability to manufacture the Smart Hook up to 30,000-lb. capacity.
David Ayling, director at Straightpoint, said: “The Smart Hook concept leverages the inherent benefits of the wireless load shackle in limited headroom applications. We’re always excited to see innovative use of our technologies and the Haugen team has opened up a new marketplace for the product. As industry trends suggest there will be continued increase in telehandler utilization in North America, it’s exciting to be involved with a product that enhances safe use of the equipment across varied agriculture and industry sectors.”
Operators drive telehandler fork tines onto the Smart Hook; it is secured into position with pins behind each tine with an additional safety chain and hook, Haugen explained.
HES monorail systemMelbourne, Australian based company Hoisting Equipment Specialist (Vic) Pty Ltd (HES) recently installed two monorail crane systems at an electrical substation before utilising a 3.25t capacity wireless load shackle from Straightpoint to complete commission and handover to the end user.

HES accepted a scope of work from Trio Construct also based in Melbourne, to design, fabricate, install and certify two identical monorail crane systems, each with a rated capacity of 1000kg, measuring 1750mm in length. The pair of cranes, installation of which was completed over a two-day period, are used to lift switchboard equipment into place.

Upon installation, HES employed a Wireless Loadshackle and Handheld Plus from its own stock to record data and document for the operation and maintenance manual that is supplied standard with every crane system.

Nathan Heatley who managed the project for HES said: “We utilised a proprietary surface-mounted test rail that was rigged up using synthetic slings to achieve our rated capacity for the proof load test. The load shackle provided the perfect solution to this limited headroom application.”

These purpose-built cranes are manufactured according to Australian Standard AS 2550.3 – 2005. The hoists, meanwhile, are the industry leading OZ Blok brand for which HES is the principal. The OZ Blok hoists where specified by Trio Construct. The OZ Blok S Series for this project is the close-coupled chain block and geared trolley combination. The hoist and trolley systems are certified in accordance with AS 1418.2-1997.

Dean Nelson, Managing Director of HES, said: “By slowly bringing all relevant processes, like load testing and commissioning, in-house we are not only able to offer customers a more competitive price, but we gain greater control over the quality of service and workmanship. Combining HES and Straightpoint equipment, for example, will become more commonplace accordingly.”

Every Straightpoint Wireless Loadshackle is proof tested and equipped with a hard anodised aluminium electronics enclosure, within which is a new internal chassis, providing IP67 / NEMA6 environmental protection even with the battery cover plate missing. Boasting a range of 700m / 2,300 ft., the load shackles are supplied with an update rate of 3Hz and can be easily configured to run at what Straightpoint believes is industry-leading speeds of up to 200Hz.

Heatley concluded: “HES and Straightpoint go hand-in-hand because of the respective quality of our product ranges that are known in the industry—in Straightpoint’s case, globally. It is generally accepted that it manufactures the best load monitoring equipment, while we also operate at the top end of the marketplace. It makes sense for us to combine engineering expertise with quality of product and service. Further, customers appreciate attention to detail throughout a sales, design, installation, commissioning and after-sales process.”
GSA Advantage

Straightpoint Inc.’s force measurement, load monitoring and suspended weighing load cell equipment is available through a General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule Contract held by Newport News, Virginia-based The Scale People Inc. with immediate effect.
GSA Schedule Contracts, also known as GSA Schedules or Federal Supply Schedules, are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), long-term contracts under the General Services Administration's Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program.
A myriad of entities are authorized to purchase from the schedules, including wholly-owned government corporations; universities; Army Corp of Engineers; Federal Maritime Commission; U.S. Navy; and Department of Transportation. Additionally, a number of international organizations are permitted to source through the contracts, including the European Space Research Organization; Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization; and United Nations.
Straightpoint equipment is available through The Scale People’s Schedule 66; GS-07F-021BA. Schedule 66 covers scientific equipment and services, providing one stop shopping for all general purpose and specialized laboratory equipment and furniture; unmanned aerial vehicles; measurement and testing equipment; and laboratory test and analysis services.
Chris Buck, president at veteran-owned The Scale People, said: “Straightpoint will be a great addition to our five-year GSA contract. The Straightpoint line will help satisfy the government's need to monitor overhead lifting for safety purposes and other related applications. We have enjoyed being a Straightpoint distributor and this only adds further value as we continue to explore avenues of mutual opportunity.”
The Scale People has serviced, calibrated and sold state-of-the-art equipment in weighing and measuring technology for nearly 60 years. Buck and the team are dedicated to providing custom solutions that best fit requirements by supplying service and expertise in installation and maintenance of any weighing system. All services are ISO/IEC 17025 and GLP/GMP accredited.
Jeff Miller, general manager at Straightpoint Inc., said: “The Scale People has been part of our U.S. dealer network since last fall as we looked to actively raise our profile in the scale marketplace. Endeavors to that end have been ongoing and we’re delighted to complement that activity through the GSA Schedule Contract program. This further strengthens our partnership and we look forward to offering our full support as they engage the illustrious customer base that sources equipment through Federal Supply Schedules.”
Organizations eligible to source through the GSA system can contact Straightpoint Inc. 805-246-1462 or The Scale People Inc. directly Call: 1-800-964-1535

straightpoint load cells used with water weight bags
Anchor Industries used water bags in addition to a variety of force measurement and rigging equipment to complete load tests on a Liebherr crane aboard a vessel in Cape Town Harbour, South Africa recently.

The 500t capacity Liebherr, model BOS 14000-500D, is the main crane on the deck of Van Oord’s pipe-laying vessel, DLB Stingray. The prime focus for Stingray is S-lay pipe-lay work; when performing S-lay pipeline installation, joints of pipe are welded into a pipe string aboard the vessel. The crane required five-yearly testing.
Anchor accepted a scope of work from Dormac Marine & Engineering to complete an overload test of the crane, constituting a 550t load being applied to the main hoist. Additionally, Anchor was required to complete a 55t load test of the auxiliary hoist as well as a 50t calibration test of the main hoist after the 550t overload test was complete.
Four 75t capacity Radiolink plus wireless load cells and four 30t capacity wireless low headroom links, all manufactured by Straightpoint and sourced from Anchor stock, provided data to handheld devices throughout the project. Another four 120t load cells from a different manufacturer completed the force measurement fleet for the job.
Tyrone Tilley, national services manager at Anchor, said: “With a test this large there is always a certain level of stress and to have the Straightpoint products involved gave the team added assurances that the equipment was going to deliver in a pressurised environment. The 120t load cells were from old stock; we are in the process of phasing out those units and replacing them with Straightpoint equipment.”
For the main overload test, a dozen water bags were used in a near-40m, three-tier cascading rig. At the top and middle were two 100t and two 40t bags, while three 20t and a 30t bag combined at the bottom. Supporting rigging equipment was allocated to each lifting point; for example, Point 2 for two 40t bags in Tier 1 included a 100t x 7m roundsling, two 55t safety bow shackles (above and below the 75t load cell), followed by the water bag.

Tilley said: “The additional capacity in the water bags was to account for water displacement owing to the fact that they were pushing against each other. Of the 650t capacity we had I estimate that we lost approximately 50t to 70t.”
The Radiolink plus is Straightpoint’s most popular product. The range of low headroom links, meanwhile, is designed to provide accurate measurement of loads in the most challenging applications where headroom restrictions are a major factor. In this case, Anchor wanted to limit the height of rigging in-between water bags. Constructed from high strength alloy steel and exposed to an array of testing during development, the tension load cells are designed to work with industry standard shackles. Further, said Tilley, they are lightweight and user-friendly.
Anchor was aboard the vessel over a three-day period. Tilley explained that the first day was used for transportation of the equipment in two flat-bed truck loads, then rigging up the water bags. Day two saw completion of the 550t load test, while the two additional tests, rigging down and offloading took place on the final day.
Tilley concluded: “The job was well planned and executed within the timeframe without any significant challenges other than the short lead time; we received confirmation of the job on the 17th of the month and delivered from the 20th to 23rd. We used handheld devices for this project but have recently acquired Straighpoint’s multi-load cell reading software [SW-MWLC] and look forward to applying it on future applications of this nature.”
The Liebherr boasts the Litronic crane management system, a one-level interface between crane and driver. Various analysis tools provide relevant information on the operation and the system empowers the driver to efficiently control the crane and optimise turnover. Stingray, meanwhile, has a design draft of 5m and dimensions of 120m by 40m.


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