News & Case Studies
- Written by Administrator
Load cell manufacturer Straightpoint (SP) won the inaugural Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) Safety Award, presented in front of over 260 guests at a gala event staged on the first night of last week’s LiftEx trade show in Milton Keynes, UK.
Sponsored by lifting and rigging equipment provider Rigging Services, it was one of eight trophies to be given out on the evening as LEEA, the leading authority in the industry, used its flagship event to make a definitive move to recognise member companies and individual representatives for their success against specific judging criteria.
SP was also shortlisted in the Apprentice of the Year, Innovative Product of the Year, Sustainable Solution of the Year, and Unsung Hero categories. Customer Service, Manager of the Year, and the Kevin Holmes Award (a memorial accolade developed to reward companies, teams, and individuals who display excellence in people development) completed the list of honours.
Doug Price, technical manager at Rigging Services, presented David Ayling, director at SP, with the hefty piece of silverware. Celebrity guest speaker Matt Dawson, a retired England rugby union player and now a familiar face on UK television, joined them on stage. The evening was also notable for raising over £2,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Ayling said: “The concept generally was well received and from a member’s perspective the evening was a great success, befitting of an excellent LiftEx in totality. To emerge victorious in the safety category was overwhelming given LEEA’s stature in the industry and the extent to which safety is in our company’s DNA. We underscore our work with the mantra ‘making the lifting industry a safer place’ and what stronger endorsement could there be that we’re meeting that objective?”
Safety as priority
Paul Fulcher, director at Rigging Services, said: “Safety has always been a number one priority at our company; for employees, that’s inculcated in them from their first day. Sponsorship of this award was therefore natural in that it encapsulates our own ethos and we would likely find ourselves kindred spirits with the eventual winners. We’re honoured to be associated with LEEA; the awards concept, which defines its work; and the safety-centricity of this particularly category.”
Fulcher, who is also halfway through a two-year tenure as LEEA chairman, added: “I had two reasons for offering my congratulations to David and SP—one with my company hat on and the other as a representative of the association. The integrity of the awards must be absolute. Beyond that, with regards to the Safety Award, it can’t be subjective; there are objective measurements. A single nominee wouldn’t guarantee a winner, nor would the judges have bestowed the honour upon the best of a bad bunch. Thus, it must have been the opinion of the panel [comprising senior LEEA management and honorary life members] that SP were truly deserving—and that warrants sincere commendation.”
In a statement prepared for media, Dr. Ross Moloney, CEO at LEEA, said: “The LEEA Awards is all about recognising the excellence of our members and showcasing it to the global lifting industry and to end user markets. The response has been overwhelmingly positive—from the high number and impressive standard of entries to an outstanding turnout for an incredible evening. I thank all those companies and individuals that took the time to enter. Congratulations to all the finalists and, of course, the winners and special thanks to our sponsors for their outstanding support.”
Photo: Left to right Dr. Ross Moloney, CEO at LEEA; David Ayling, director at SP; Doug Price, technical manager at Rigging Services; and Matt Dawson
- Written by Administrator
Straightpoint (SP) has named Lauren Johnson sales and customer support executive, as the load cell manufacturer continues to expand its team based at Havant, UK headquarters in line with an ongoing gazelle growth strategy.
The appointment represents a move into the industrial sector for Johnson, who was previously assistant manager / events coordinator for a venue on the nearby Hampshire coastline. Moreover, it completes a transition into a sales / customer service position more closely aligned with her core strengths and abilities.
She said: “I was determined to find the right role; this job appeared on a recruitment site where I was registered and I had no hesitation in making an application given the breadth of skills I could transfer to meet the key criteria. My previous job involved creating and following up leads on events, closing sales, up-selling packages, and overseeing the smooth operation of everyday procedures at the facility.”
At SP, Johnson, who started on 12 November, will principally look after quotations, orders, and general customer service enquiries. She will also be responsible for managing relationships with global partners in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia, as the force measurement equipment specialist works with these strategic local distributors to provide product for lifting and many other applications in their respective marketplaces.
Johnson said: “They’re both completely different ends of the spectrum in respect of products, but the concept of the sale is similar. Also, great customer service was important in my previous role, as that is how we secured repeat business and recommendations. It’s already clear to me that SP is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for partners and end users alike, so there is a great deal of common ground between my previous and new employers.”
Ever-growing SP is familiar with the on-boarding process—Kizzie Cordwell stepped into the previous position to be filled in inside sales only this summer—and Johnson has already started to learn about the extensive product range, from the best-selling Radiolink plus load cell to equipment for more niche, specialised applications.
She said: “There are so many products and I’ve only been here a week so I’m still touching on some of them. But I have a great teacher, so I’m picking them up quick—I think! My first impressions are excellent; everyone is friendly and has welcomed me into the SP family with great warmth. The whole building runs with efficiency and staff carries out their jobs with enthusiasm and dedication. The customers I’ve encountered so far have been equally engaging.”
David Ayling, director at SP, said: “It’s fitting that Lauren completed her first week as other members of the team were busy networking and generating leads at the UK’s LiftEx trade show. It’s become a very multifaceted, dynamic operation and that becomes evident to new employees in their early days. I hear inductions have gone well and that Lauren has embraced this exciting challenge. As always, it’s a privilege to welcome another young professional to the SP family.”
In her spare time, Johnson enjoys sports and cooking.
- Written by Administrator
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.
- Written by Administrator
A 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 confirm 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.
- Written by Administrator
Polish 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.