Latest Case Studies & White Papers

Raising the bar in challenging, large-capacity hoist installations

Supplying, installing, load testing and LOLER certifying a wide range of manual and powered hoist units, Hoist & Winch Ltd has extensive experience and expertise in all kinds of industrial lifting operations. However, certain projects require special know-how, such as the installation of large-capacity, electric-powered wire-rope hoists in challenging and restricted access applications. And yet even in these situations, Hoist & Winch has a proven methodology to ensure a high-performance, efficient, safety-certified outcome for customers.

Every hoist installation is different, and most generally present some level of challenge to overcome, typically relating to the dimensional clearances of the hoist unit or the logistics of general access conditions.

When the hoist unit’s dimensional clearances are particularly critical, Hoist & Winch Ltd carries out a detailed survey prior to manufacture, ensuring that the complete installation can perform the required tasks with sufficient operating clearance.

On some occasions, a pre-installation survey is required to check site/work area access conditions. Hoist & Winch Ltd will subsequently submit its Risk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS) for approval by the customer prior to starting work. These documents detail the installation procedure, the equipment intended for use, and the hazards and risks associated with the various tasks. In addition, the documents will set out how it is possible to minimise or negate these risks.

A recent cement plant project involving challenging installation access conditions highlights how the capability and knowledge of Hoist & Winch Ltd proves extremely useful in delivering a successful outcome for customers.

                                                                                                                                                            Continued ……

This complex project involved replacing an obsolete, 10-tonne SWL (safe working load), electric-powered wire-rope hoist unit with 60m lifting height. The task was required ahead of the cement production facility carrying out extensive modification work to its pre-heater tower. The pre-heater tower is 100m high and the existing hoist unit was located at the 60m level on a monorail beam that cantilevers out of the building for approximately 8m. Both the obsolete hoist unit and monorail beam had been dormant for many years, which meant that Hoist & Winch Ltd’s scope of supply included the load testing and thorough examination of not just the new wire-rope hoist unit, but also the monorail beam.

Among the first tasks was to remove the existing wire-rope hoist unit, which weighed 3 tonnes. Hoist & Winch Ltd decided to cut this down in sections using gas-burning equipment as many of the hoist parts were badly seized and not easy to dismantle in the conventional way. Initially, the company removed these sections to a specially constructed scaffold work platform located below the hoist installation area. Each piece of the obsolete hoist was then lowered further to the nearest adjacent floor level 16m below using manual chain blocks for movement to the goods lift access located at that level.

Next, Hoist & Winch Ltd had to install the new hoist (weighing 2.2 tonnes) in part dismantled form. The company eased the difficulty of this task by installing a temporary 3-tonne SWL motor trolley mounted, air-powered chain-hoist unit on the monorail beam and raising the new hoist unit the required 60 m from the outdoor ground-floor work area. Hoist & Winch Ltd took great care with the preparation of the chain-hoist unit to ensure reliability during operation as any breakdown during the critical 60m lifting operation would require special access equipment to help resolve any issues. Hoist & Winch Ltd also carried out meticulous checks on the quality, volume and pressure of the air supply.

The next task was to raise the complete new hoist unit to the 60m installation level. From there, Hoist & Winch Ltd used the 3-tonne SWL motor trolley mounted, air-powered chain-hoist unit to transport the new hoist unit into the building and over the temporary scaffold work platform.

                                                                                                                                                            Continued ……

From this position - after first opening up the hoist unit trolley wheels wider than the monorail beam width – the company lifted the wire-rope hoist unit into position. To facilitate this task, Hoist & Winch Ltd deployed four 1-tonne SWL manual chain blocks suspended from each end of two specially fabricated lifting frames clipped into position on the top flange of the monorail beam.

The final tasks included electrical commissioning, assembling the hoist on to the monorail beam and the removal of all temporary lifting equipment. Hoist & Winch Ltd could then perform dynamic load testing of the new wire-rope hoist unit and monorail beam using a skid-mounted, certified 10-tonne test load prior to issue with a LOLER Thorough Examination report. As part of the dynamic load testing procedure, the outdoor cantilever section of the monorail beam was deflection-tested in accordance with BS2853 using a special long-range, outdoor-operation Leica laser mounted to a stable yet precisely adjustable tripod.

“Manufacturing and process plants tend to evolve over time, often compromising general access to existing hoist installations,” explains Andy Allen, Director of Hoist & Winch Ltd. “In other instances, legacy hoists fall into disuse and become obsolete. We’ve seen this on many occasions over the years, but with our in-house design, engineering and manufacturing skills, there is nothing we cannot overcome. If you are in this situation and could benefit from the input of an expert partner, please call for a no-obligation discussion about the potential solutions.”

Visit www.hoistandwinch.co.uk for further information and to view recent case studies.

AO launch funded gas apprenticeships for the first time

For Gas Safety Week, online electricals retailer AO announces that it has introduced fully funded gas apprenticeships for the first time to both grow its fleet of qualified engineers and invest in training. 

For the first time, the retailer has launched a fully funded apprenticeship aimed at upskilling both current employees and contracted drivers, which provides an accessible pathway to the Level 3 gas qualification. This runs alongside a new apprenticeship funded by the government levy, which is open to anyone with a full driving license.

Edward Knight first crossed paths with AO in 2018 when he was contracted for driver services alongside an electrical engineer. When this colleague announced he was leaving the business, Ed saw this as an opportunity to progress his own career in the industry. He said: “I moved onto being an electrical engineer for three years and then I was asked if I’d be interested in taking part in the gas apprenticeship.”

Before his career as a driver, Ed had pursued several different paths, including working as a chef in a hotel, working in a bakery and owning his own towbar fitting business. He’d always set his sights on an apprenticeship, however, the financial cost meant that this wasn’t an option until AO launched its funded apprenticeships. He said: “I’m really chuffed that I’ve had the chance to do it. I’ve been interested in training in gas for the last two years so this will open up new avenues for me.”

After a career at Gatwick Airport spanning 20 years, Jamie Taylor spent a year delivering for DPD before he crossed paths with AO. He had been contracted for driver services for around six months when the opportunity came up to do the gas apprenticeship via the retailer.

Jamie said: “I’d never been out with a gas engineer before, so I didn’t know what to expect! It’s been a lot to learn but I’ve really enjoyed the course so far - I particularly enjoy the flexibility of the shift pattern at AO since we get four days off for every four days on shift.”

Since being offered a place in the first cohort of funded apprenticeships, Ed has loved the opportunity to add another skill to his repertoire: “Gas training is a string to my bow at the end of the day and it’s another career for me. I’m 50 years old now and the opportunity has come at the perfect time as I’ve just moved into a new house. My advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship is to just go for it – you’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

During their course, apprentices take on all aspects of gas installation. Ed said: “The gas course is a lot more involved than I thought it would be and there’s a lot to learn – I get such a sense of achievement out of doing a good job.”

Running for up to 16 weeks, the fast-track programme consists of both online and classroom teaching, as well as on-the-road experience to quickly upskill participants. The AO funded scheme runs alongside an apprenticeship funded by the government apprentice levy that offers comprehensive training in driving a 3.5 tonne van, gas qualifications and functional skills across 16 months.

Atex Fans Third Party Certified ATEX Fans ensuring safety in potential explosive atmosphere

An ATEX certified fan from Woodcock & Wilson Ltd will give you confidence that the fan supplied has been assessed by an approved notification body to be safe, manufactured to the strictest European standards, and designed to meet the specific type of explosive or hazardous environment that it is intended to operate in, whilst also reducing the need and cost of additional testing.

How Korea handles Certification of Explosion Proof Products

South Korea, with its super high-speed internet and giant technology corporations is considered a world leader in many innovation-driven industries. The growth development of the South Korean market is impressive and unique.

As the eighth largest importer in the world, South Korea is a very attractive market for many international companies looking to sell technology and other sophisticated products. In 2021 the country announced investments totalling $432 billion USD in the semiconductor industry alone. This industry was in the news recently as it became major problem affecting manufacturing and international trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protection against electrostatic hazards for tank trucks during the loading process

How are the electrostatic hazards generated and how to prevent the danger effectively?

Background information

Over time, various accidents caused by ignition, were recorded during the loading of tank trucks. For example, over 250 accidents were recorded between 1960 and 1981 in the USA and Germany. The accident rate is reducing. These accidents are all related to static Electricity, or more precisely, uncontrolled electrostatic discharge. In many accidents, although measures against electrostatics were established, uncontrolled discharge was still found to be the ignition source, after investigation.

Generation of electrostatic charge

Two surfaces in close contact (liquid/liquid or liquid/solid) will generate an electrical double layer (EDL) when they are moving relative to each other. As a result of the physical separation of the surfaces, the electrical charge separation will lead to electrostatic charging. The static electric charging rate will be increased as the speed of interface separation increases.

If the recombination of the electric charges is not possible, or when the charges cannot be dissipated, or the charges dissipate too slowly, the charges generated during the process will remain and accumulate on the surface.

Typical situations in loading operations include flowing, mixing, pouring, pumping, filtering or agitating materials, where there is forceful charge separation.

The following mechanisms lead to the accumulation of electrostatics during truck loading:

  • product flow through filters and screens
  • product flow through pipes or hoses
  • splash during loading
  • multiphase flow

The real danger arises through uncontrolled electrostatic discharge. After the potential difference between the two surfaces reaches 3 kV/mm, discharge in the form of a spark with enormous energy can easily ignite hydrocarbon products.

What can we do to protect the loading process from the hazards of static electricity?

Prevention of electrostatic hazards during truck loading

The answer is simple: prevent the accumulation of electrostatic charges on the loading equipment and tank trucks during the process and dissipate the static charges in time before they reach the limit.

According to the German Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances, practical and effective methods to prevent the accumulation of static electricity are:

  • limit the filling speed (decreasing the speed of separation)
  • avoid splashing of liquid
  • prevent gas bubbles
  • avoid a second, immiscible phase (e.g. water in the bottom of the container)

Increasing the dissipation of static charges can also be achieved by: 

  • increase the conductivity of the liquids (with additives)
  • leave sufficient time for the relaxation of the electrostatic charge during the process
  • dissipation of static electricity by grounding all conductive components

Some of the methods can be applied forcibly in an organizational way, e.g. by limiting the filling speed or not including different products in the same tank. There are still some more methods which are regarded as uneconomical or inefficient, like leaving enough time for the relaxation of static.

Theoretically, spark discharge can be easily avoided by simply grounding all conductive parts. However, experience shows that the safe grounding of all conductive parts in practice is not always that easy to ensure. This applies in particular to mobile objects that have to be grounded again and again by the staff, such as tank trucks. How to ensure a reliable and effective grounding of the tank truck?

Reliable grounding monitoring system

According to the IEC TS 60079-32-1: a grounding cable should be connected to the truck before any operation is carried out. To ensure the grounding of tank trucks, TRGS recommends a ground monitoring system (with interlock equipment) that blocks the loading or unloading process when the grounding cable is not connected or not working appropriately.

It is further recommended by IEC TS 60079-32-1 that the system should be capable of differentiating between the truck and other metal objects. This type of system can prevent operators from connecting the grounding system to objects that may be electrically isolated from the truck’s container.

The main difference between the tank trucks and the

metallic objects are their electrical properties. Tank trucks are not purely resistive. A typical tank truck nowadays has an electrical capacity and resistance. To fulfil the recommendation from the IEC TS 60079-32-1, the grounding device should be able to measure the impedance of the object. It should be capable of distinguishing between proper truck grounding and metallic parts on the gantry. It should also be able to identify the grounding connection, if the operator inadvertently connects the system to an insulated part on the truck.

The quality of the connection should be also evaluated continuously during the loading / unloading process, to ensure that the generated static charge is dissipated. Signals should be sent by the system to the control system to terminate the process, if the grounding connection is not sufficient. Meanwhile, it should also be able to indicate an unsafe situation to the operator with a light signal.

Additional safety thanks to object recognition

A modern grounding system such as  TIMM‘s Grounding Control Device EKX-4 provides an object recognition function to detect the tank truck. This function prevents manipulation by connecting the clamp to other metallic parts. To realize this recognition function, the impedance (resistance and capacitance) of the connected object is measured.

www.timm-technology.de

 

Improving jaw crusher safety ~ WEG products used to create innovative jaw crusher unblock system

According to the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance for the safe operation and use of mobile jaw crushers, equipment operators may be subject to multiple risks including exposure to dust, noise, whole body vibration and being struck by objects ejected from the crusher. Here's how, WEG’s premier distributor Technidrive, developed an energy efficient automatic jaw crusher unblock system using entirely WEG products.

Commonly used in the quarrying, mining, recycling of demolition waste and chemical industries, jaw crushers are a reasonably difficult application for systems integrators, due to the large inertia of the fly wheel, cyclic loading and differences in materials that customers feed them with.

This didn’t prove to be a problem for Technidrive, who were initially approached by a customer looking to implement a new motor in their jaw crusher machine. With over 20 years’ experience in industrial drives, Technidrive used its expertise to meet the demands of the project and exceed the initial requirements. Using a combination of quality WEG products, Technidrive was not only able to improve the efficiency and reliability of the motor, but the efficiency and safety of the entire jaw crusher system. WEG was asked to supply the motor, control and alternator for the project due to the quality, versatility and energy efficiency of its product line and its technical expertise.

 

Crushing is an important process in turning rock into a useable product. Rock enters the jaw crusher from the top of the machine and gets compressed between two surfaces — the fixed and moveable jaw. The rock will continue to be crushed until it is small enough to fall through the opening. Ensuring that the size of raw material is appropriately matched to the jaw opening, can alleviate blockage incidents. This can be achieved by removing oversize product prior to processing and careful control of the crusher feeder, however blockages do still occur. To unblock a crusher a plant must be shut down and the system must first be isolated, but despite these precautions a crusher can still be a serious risk to personnel, due to the amount of kinetic energy that is released during unblocking.

Technidrive wanted to develop a system that was highly energy efficient and crucially, eliminated operators from the dangerous job of manually removing blocked material from jaw crusher machines.

Technidrive commenced this project by carrying out power torque and speed calculations to decide upon a suitable selection of WEG electric motor and gear units. The electric motor was selected based on the power and speed and further mechanical calculations were carried out to ensure the motor shaft could cater for the high radial loads the application can impose. The WEG W22 motor was eventually selected for its superior cast iron frame, inverter rated windings and insulated non drive end flange.

The next vital part of the system is the control of the motor, which can incorporate a soft start or variable speed drive (VSD) to control the motor starting speed or torque, for example. The VSD model selected was a CFW11 WEG inverter with built in soft programmable logic control (PLC) functions. There were several advantages to this selection, including the standard DC bus chokes to reduce harmonics. The inverter was selected with an output sinusoidal filter to create a nice sine wave, reduce output current and importantly reduce electrical noise.

Electrical disturbances however aren’t the only consideration, crusher blockages can be a real problem for operators, resulting in periods of prolonged downtime. One of the main advantages of this project was the level of control that was achieved through an innovative piece of software, which Technidrive developed.

On a normal start from empty, the VSD ramps the crusher up on a slow ramp time, restricting the absorbed current due to the high inertia of the application. This not only keeps the power supply requirements low, for a more efficient system, but also reduces the stress on the mechanical system. Over time this can lead to significant maintenance cost savings and extend the life of the machine. It’s estimated that a 10°C reduction in operating temperature typically doubles the motor’s lifetime.

The innovative software allowed for a special start up function when starting the jaw crusher from full. In the event that the crusher is stopped full, the VSD is able to be remotely activated in an unblock mode, with a very fast ramp time in forward or reverse depending on the position of the crusher. It will continue to automatically control the direction, current, ramp times, DC bus voltage, torque, position, and speed until the product in the chamber has been cleared and the crusher has run empty for a set period of time. This innovative system removes the dangerous and laborious job operators have had to do for years, by manually unblocking jaw crushers using rock breakers or winches to remove product.

Another very important part of the system was the alternator, which is vital to achieving an efficient and reliable system. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 16 per cent of motor failures are due to external conditions, such as contamination, so ensuring application suitability was essential. The alternator selected was from the WEG G-line range with some special features such as a dust filtering system, to allow it to operate in a dusty quarry atmosphere, without the risk of foreign particles entering the system. The alternator also included a digital input AVR to allow remote voltage adjustment, standard I-PMG auxiliary winding system feature to allow a dynamic response to load change and short envelope compared to traditional external PMG alternators.

“The complete drive system was expertly selected to work in harmony to address many issues manufactures in the industry come across,” explained David Strain, technical director at Technidrive. “The added unblocking feature transforms the starting of the application, an often energy intensive process and provides a unique benefit for system safety. With the system supplied, we are able to provide a three-year warranty for the motor and inverter and ensure the three main parts to the drive system all work together for optimum performance and reliability. Since our first jaw crusher project, we have had much interest from other businesses in the quarrying industry. We treat each project on an individual basis, to offer bespoke turnkey systems.”

“WEG offers specialist products that are developed specifically for the rock crushing industry,” explained Russell Maccabe UK Sales Manager at WEG. “It’s vital that manufacturers and suppliers both have extensive product, application and systems integration knowledge and that’s why this project with Technidrive proved to be so successful.”

If you’re looking to increase the efficiency of your processes, contact WEG for quality components, expert product knowledge and application expertise: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

For further information about Technidrive’s range of products and services visit www.technidrive.co.uk.

Could you benefit from an integrated safety helmet and visor solution?

Offering various benefits, demand for integrated head and face protection has, arguably, never been so high. It would seem that contractors the world over have begun to recognise the value of equipping workers with fully integrated solutions. With that in mind, there is also the hope that the efficacy and safety of PPE, rather than cost, is placed firmly at the top of the agenda for purchasing policy. Let’s take a look at the benefits integrated protection offers and the advantages of choosing greater efficacy and safety over cost.

According to new data from Delamere Health, manufacturing is estimated to be one of the most hazardous industry

According to new data from Delamere Health, manufacturing is estimated to be one of the most hazardous industry for workplace burnout potential during the nationwide lockdown: https://delamere.com/blog/burnout-britain-the-effects-of-the-glorification-of-grind-culture 

During the coronavirus pandemic, it’s become harder and harder for Brits to maintain a work-life balance, and many of us are coming close to burnout. Nearly two-thirds of full-time workers have experienced some form of burnout in the workplace. 

IP67 vs IP68 What is an IP Rating

In the electrical world an IP rating is the rating given to a certain product to represent the quality of water and substance resistance. This is an extremely important aspect of electrical products, as if they are exposed to these elements for a prolonged period of time, then they will cease to work and can also cause injury.

The standards are set by the IP Code, or Ingress Protection Code, IEC standard 60529, (also known as the International Protection Code), and companies have to build their products to the specifications and standards, then send their products off for inspection and testing.

The IP rating is the given rating for resistance against alien substances and the rating is split in a way that will show the resistance from solid substances first, in a 1-6 rating with 6 being the best and then the second digit is the water resistance rating, which is given a 1-8 rating. It is worth noting that water resistance and being waterproof are different, water resistant is exactly what it says, a resistance, so that it cannot remain submerged indefinitely.

Personal radon dosimeters give LKAB full control over radon exposure levels

The international high-tech mining and mineral company LKAB always prioritises sustainability and safety in the workplace. This includes ensuring that the working environment does not expose staff to radon gas levels above the applicable limit values. 

We met LKAB's work environment technician Johan Sjöström, who tells us how the company has used Radonova's personal radon dosimeters over the past year to continuously check the status of radon levels.