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Straightpoint’s (SP) Bluetooth-enabled Radiolink plus load cell and accompanying HHP app were named Lifting Product of the Year at the largest Speedy Expo ever, which took place at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool at the turn of the month.

Speedy has a specialist lifting division that offers an abundance of equipment for material handling and other applications. The rental company invites personnel and customers to an annual event, which this year gave 450 suppliers an opportunity to display their wares on 130 exhibition stands to over 1,000 attendees, including regional and national customers.

The Lifting Product of the Year Award was judged on the principle criteria of innovation and performance, with a judging panel of senior supply chain personnel bestowing the honour on SP’s landmark technology, which was also demonstrated on the company’s exhibition stand. The 2018 Speedy Expo took place on 31st October and 1st November, with the awards evening being held on the first night of the exhibition.

As outlined to the event’s delegation—and evident to judges—SP recently updated its Bluetooth capability and launched an enhanced version of its popular app. Load cells now use wireless technology for exchanging data over short distances to communicate with up to eight devices, carrying the information up to 100m (328 ft.) away.

Collected data can be sent onto other recipients in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or PDF report. Speedy judges noted the product’s ability to send reports from the same device that captures data that is already on their person—such as a mobile or cell phone.

Andy Connor, Partnered Services and Supply Chain Director at Speedy, said: “Our winning products were all commended for their innovation, safety, and performance. We have been staging the Speedy Expo for nearly 10 years but the concept was a lot smaller when it was first conceived. As well as bringing our suppliers together with our employees, over the last three years we have increased customer participation to showcase the breadth of innovation in terms of the products and services that we offer.”

David Ayling, Director at SP, said: “The rental sector places unique demands on lifting equipment and Speedy’s community is acutely attuned to the extent to which innovation and performance can lead to enhanced safety and productivity at the coalface. As such, plaudits from this esteemed judging panel represent a major milestone in our implementation of Bluetooth technology in force measurement applications. We’re grateful for the accolade and understand the responsibility that comes with such high-profile recognition.”

Ayling collected the award from Speedy’s chief executive, Russell Down.


sp hhp app in useA Bedfordshire, UK-based crane inspector utilised a Bluetooth-enabled, 6.5t capacity Radiolink plus load cell from Straightpoint (SP) to complete periodic inspection of an all-terrain crane recently. It was the latest in a series of similar assignments including load tests on lifting machines such as tower, loader, and other mobile cranes.

JG Statutory Inspection Services Ltd. (JGSIS) specialises in production of reports detailing the results of thorough inspections carried out on equipment, including cranes, which is required under law to be inspected periodically. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER), for example, place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment.

In the latest case study, JGSIS used the Bluetooth Radiolink plus to inspect a 1,000t capacity Demag AC 1000-9/2 all-terrain telescopic crane for Baldwins Crane Hire. The nine-axle crane boasts an integrated electronic load moment indicator (LMI); a colour display showing current operating conditions, load charts, and a fault indicator; signal lights indicating the load; and a crane data logger.

The ongoing accuracy of such equipment must be checked and verification given to the crane owner for their records. Importantly, JGSIS wasn’t testing the 1,000t capability in this instance, but only verifying that the crane’s instruments were reading the same as the load cell. Additionally, the inspection team “jibbed out” until an overload situation was detected and recorded the measurements against a tape measure.

SP recently updated its Bluetooth capability and launched an enhanced version of its popular app. Load cells now use wireless technology for exchanging data over short distances to communicate with up to eight devices, carrying the information up to 100m (328 ft.) away. Collected data can be sent onto other recipients in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or PDF report. Industry professionals have noted the ability to send reports from the same device that captures data that is already on their person—such as a mobile or cell phone.

Philip Jenkins, director at JGSIS, said: “We live in a world where speed of delivery is important to everyone. The Bluetooth system allows me to record the data, attach a PDF report, and send it onto the customer even while I’m onsite—complete with GPS location. It also saves us looking for test weights or items with a known weight when we are onsite because we can use the load cell to verify the loads. Now we can sp radiolink plusconfirm the weight of anything onsite, whether it be a concrete block or loaded skip, and utilise it for our testing procedures.”

JGSIS utilises the Bluetooth-enabled device’s suitability for use over relatively short distances. The app takes its name from SP’s Handheld plus display unit, which has a range of up to 700m (2,300ft.), while the Multiple Wireless Load Cell Controller (SW-MWLC) software package displays and logs data from up to 100 SP wireless load cells simultaneously. However, this technology is better suited to more demanding, specialist applications—not the focal point of the Bluetooth concept and unlikely to be necessary for crane inspection.

Philip Jenkins added: “When I first opened dialogue with SP we discussed the handheld option but it would have added the expense of an additional unit and the Bluetooth solution is far more straightforward and cost effective. Further, it presents us as a cutting edge inspection business using state-of-the-art equipment. There are other inspection companies out there but the cost for them to tool-up their engineers with the latest equipment would be deemed prohibitive so they are still using more traditional methods.”

JGSIS, which has been trading for approximately 18 months, originally took delivery of the Radiolink plus system following an 11th-hour request to load-test a series of Hiab loader cranes. David Mullard, business development manager at SP, who oversaw the process, said turnaround of the order within 24 hours emphasises the manufacturer’s ability to work with independent testing businesses that are often summoned to site at short notice.

All of SP’s wireless load cells can now be built as a Bluetooth version as an alternative to the standard wireless version, available on request or specified at time of order.

The RLP with HHP App has just won an award presented by Speedy Hire at their Speedy Expo - Lifting Product of the Year!

Photos courtesy JGSIS:
Top: Philip Jenkins, director at JGSIS, takes a reading via Bluetooth App.
Bottom: The SP load cell is rigged below-the-hook.


old SP load cellPolish marine electronics integration specialist Navinord has installed a state-of-the-art software package that includes four Straightpoint (SP) load cells on a 440t capacity floating crane, which is currently based near the Third Millennium John Paul II Bridge spanning the Martwa Wisła River in Gdansk, Poland.

Its new owner renovated the crane, originally named “Consulado De Bilbao Dos” when it was built in Bilbao, Spain in 1971, last year. It is now bi-located at Marine Projects Ltd.’s shipyards in Gdansk and approx. 20km further north in Gdynia. The crane is currently known as “Conrad Consul”, taking half of its name from Marine Projects’ daughter company Conrad S.A., which specialises in the production and delivery of complete luxury sail and motor yachts.

Consul boasts two pairs of hooks, two of 100t capacity at the front and two bigger 200t capacity units behind them. However, its overall capacity is only 440t as, while four hooks can be utilised for a single lift, not all of them can lift to their full capacity at the same time. On each hook is an SP 25t capacity Radiolink plus load cell, each of which was installed during the major refurbishment of the crane last summer.

Navinord’s load monitoring system—LMSmk1—is capable of gathering data from up to 16 strain gauges, explained Piotr Cywiński, marine electronics specialist at Navinord, also headquartered near Gdansk.

In addition to the four SP units, two other devices feedback on boom line forces. All devices feed data to a master computer that can be read remotely, over the internet, and / or in Consul’s cab. The system also provides error notifications; generation of information graphs covering designated time periods; and customisable interface colours.

There are many other features of the crane itself besides, said Cywiński. Consul is equipped with navigation and communication devices, primarily for use in marine salvage, ship emergency response service (SERS), and wreck removal applications. Meanwhile, CCTV facilitates lifts out of the line of sight when it is necessary to work, say, inside a cargo haul or when another vessel might be obscuring the operator’s vision.

Consul is powered by two Voith Schneider propellers that provide propulsion and steering in one unit, while a new generator, power converters, chain blocks, lifting ropes, glass wheelhouse, and steering consoles were among other new installations.

There are two other, similar floating cranes in the region—the 330t capacity Maja and 100t capacity Conrad Goliath (the latter also belongs to Marine Projects)—but Consul is the largest. While it is primarily engaged in lifting activities in Gdansk and Gdynia, it is also capable of open sea voyages, making ports elsewhere in Poland and Lithuania accessible.


lgh warehouse

U.S. lifting equipment rental specialist Lifting Gear Hire (LGH) has initiated a major overhaul of its load cell fleet and placed a landmark order for manufacturer Straightpoint’s (SP) Radiolink plus units up to 220,000 lbs. in capacity.

The order, the value of which is not disclosed, will be delivered in a piecemeal fashion over a two-to-three-year period and will result in 23 LGH rental facilities in the U.S. and Canada stocking exclusively SP product. The Radiolink plus, which is the UK manufacturer’s top selling load cell, is capable of both weighing and dynamic load monitoring and is suited to a myriad of applications.

LGH will take a variety of models, including standard long-range (2,300 ft. or 700m) wireless versions and a number of Bluetooth units, predominantly for internal use. SP only recently updated its Bluetooth capability and launched an enhanced version of its popular app. The upgrade from Bluetooth 4.1 to 4.2 facilitated two standout improvements over the original version, namely increased range and the volume of smart devices that can be connected to a load cell.

Tony Fiscelli, president at LGH, said: “We always look for the best and most reliable product manufacturers; we feel SP falls directly in line with those high standards. Put simply, we feel they are the leader in the business sector they perform in. We look at both our vendors and customers as true partners. We value and cherish the relationships at all levels of our supply chain.”

The switch to SP follows LGH’s use of its wireless compression load cells, which offer the same range and cable-less benefits as the aforementioned Radiolink plus products. Additionally, LGH operations in mainland Europe and the UK have recently committed to SP’s range of force measurement products and reported on their robustness and suitability to rental applications.

Dan Pittman, business sales manager at LGH, acknowledged that constant evolution of the SP range was a key factor in partnering with the manufacturer. David Ayling, director at SP, said: “Recognition of our commitment to innovation and customer-driven improvement from a rental powerhouse such as LGH is testament to our ongoing success in providing load cells that make end user applications safer, more efficient, and as accurate and technologically advanced as possible.”

Pittman pointed to favorable market conditions as the first shipments arrive on U.S. soil. He said: “Business is good and the economy is growing. The forecast for the next several years gives us much cause for optimism. Heavy commercial and industrial construction are certainly marketplaces to note, and U.S. infrastructure projects will continue to require accurate information about the varied loads they lift on a daily basis.”

SP will continue to supply load cells through its existing and extensive North American distribution network.

Pictured: The order will result in 23 LGH rental facilities in the U.S. and Canada stocking exclusively SP load cells. This is LGH’s Bridgeview, IL rental center.


pfiefer boat
Pictured: Connection points (orange in colour in the photos) on the ship form the main rigging areas for the complex suspension project. Six 12t capacity and six 25t capacity load shackles were supplied by SP distributor Pfeifer. The load shackles were rigged strategically to communicate data via SP’s software package.

A series of 12t and 25t capacity wireless Straightpoint (SP) load shackles are monitoring loads on wire ropes supporting a 2t steel ship, suspended above the city of Linz in Austria, to symbolise the water-themed Höhenrausch cultural project, which runs from May to October this year.

Six 12t capacity and six 25t capacity load shackles were supplied by SP distributor Pfeifer, which partnered with a local engineering company to create the spectacle atop a parking area in the country’s culture-centric region. The ship is 21m long, 18m wide and “flies” at around 81m, suspended in part by a wooden tower that was originally erected in 2009 for this exhibition.

Pfeifer, a specialist in the provision of ropes for construction, entertainment, and other projects, said: “The load shackles constantly monitor and provide information about the loads. Safety is of paramount importance because the ship is suspended above an area where pedestrians view the exhibit. It was a landmark, custom project, befitting of the cultural significance of the event.”

The hull of the ship was lifted by mobile crane in one piece; the three masts were raised individually and then attached to the structure. Connection points (orange in colour in the photos) on the ship form the main rigging areas for the complex suspension project. The load shackles were rigged strategically to communicate data via SP’s Multiple Wireless Load Cell Controller (SW-MWLC) software package, designed for use on a multitude of platforms.

David Mullard, business development manager at SP, explained that the operator reads the data on a laptop in a central control station. “SW-MWLC software is used to monitor the load shackles for overloads in the rigging wires for safety reasons as visitors are able to walk directly underneath the flying boat,” he said. “The load isn’t necessarily dynamic but with wind shear the loads would certainly change. Unlike many scenarios, here the load shackles are monitoring the in-situ rigging tensions during the exhibition rather than for the lifting operation itself.”

Mullard highlighted key features of SP’s wireless load shackles including their suitability to limited headroom applications. Each load shackle is proof tested and equipped with a hard anodised aluminium electronics enclosure containing a new internal chassis providing IP67 / NEMA6 environmental protection even with the battery cover plate missing. End users benefit from a range of 700m or 2,300 ft, he added.


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