UK-based lifting and rigging company Hoist & Winch has designed and manufactured an outdoor-specific tandem-lifting hoist for Environment Agency.
The British manufacturer was contracted by a large water industry engineering contractor to supply a bespoke lifting solution for the job at hand: lifting seven-metre-long galvanised steel logs each weighing 2000kg. The steel logs were required to be put in place so they could provide a temporary barrier on the Jubilee River, an 11.6km hydraulic relief channel that reduces flood risk by diverting water from the River Thames when flows are high. Hoist & Winch Director Andy Allen highlighted the imperative role the lifting equipment played in providing access for maintenance works on the river’s hydraulically controlled sluice gates.
“The project to install the special tandem-lifting hoist system supports the Environment Agency’s annual maintenance programme,” he said, “which is essential to ensure its flood defence assets remain in good working order.”
At the core of Hoist & Winch’s tandem-lifting hoist is a pair of Yale CPV 2500kg single-fall, electric-powered chain hoists mounted in motor trolleys to provide fast and slow speed operation.
A Danfoss wireless remote-control handset provides individual control of either hoist raise or lower motion for initial levelling of the load hooks prior to lifting operations. The wireless remote also provides dual tandem hoist control for the precise level positioning of the stop-log load during lifting and lowering. Hoist & Winch also factored power loss into the design of its tandem-lifting hoist, including special software that ensures the load does not lift unevenly and, should it come down to it, fail safely. Mechanical linking of the hoist units always ensures correct load-hook separation, while both hoist units also feature audible and visual operating alarms.
Furthermore, Hoist & Winch Ltd provided rugged, heavy-duty plug and socket connectors for ease of maintenance and installation. In addition, the company utilised a fully enclosed power-feed system to provide safe maximum hoist-hook coverage across the entire gantry. PVC covers provided added protection for the IP55 hoist enclosure and electrical control panels from outdoor weather conditions.
Installation took place over a five-day period and involved a barge-mounted hydraulic crane. Testing of the complete system took place using a dynamic test load of 125 per cent proof load. Additional repeated function tests involved the dynamic test load and actual stop-log load to prove system functionality and satisfy Environment Agency requirements. On completion, Hoist & Winch Ltd issued a LOLER Thorough Examination report and provided operator training for site personnel. Complimenting the flexibility of the system designed by Hoist & Winch, Allen said the lifting system could be adapted for many different environments.
“This type of tandem-lifting system would prove ideal for many other applications,” he said, “such as lifting steel blast doors used in explosive/hazardous environments or handling valuable or delicate long loads in the manufacturing sector; essentially any task that demands very precise and failsafe level lifting.”
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Hoist & Winch was incorporated in 2007 by experienced industry professionals, aiming to flood the UK and worldwide lifting and rigging market with the full spectrum of lifting equipment.