With a history spanning over 100 years, Reid has positioned itself at the forefront of concrete reinforcement and lifting systems. More recently, Reid has been working closely with the crane sector to design its latest 3Dx 10t clutch and anchor system.
Alan Reid established the business that continues to bear his name in Sydney in 1921, selling wire rope to meet the growing needs of the Australian mining, construction and manufacturing sectors.
In 1973 Reid established the Reinforced Earth Company in Australia, which gave the business its first exposure to precast concrete retaining walls. This led to the introduction of the Swiftlift clutch and lifting anchor system in 1977, which has since expanded to the industry’s most trusted range of concrete lifting systems – providing a robust and safe solution for a wide range of concrete lifting and anchoring challenges.
Ian Ferrier is the Product Design Manager at Reid Construction Systems and is the driving force behind the development of the new 3Dx 10t Concrete Lifting System.
“Our clutches were originally developed with a flame cut handle which was soon enhanced with a forged handle design that is now widely used within the industry,” Ian explained.
“We took an in depth review of the existing lifting systems available and the recurring difficulties users were experiencing on a day-to-day basis. We approached CICA and a range of crane companies and learnt many were cutting the handles off clutches and placing hammer locks on instead. They did this to make using clutches quicker, simpler and better suited to the process of lifting and placing precast panels on site”.
“Looking at that process, we quickly understood the inherent risks and potential safety hazards this posed – not to mention voiding the warranty of their clutches. But why? What was the root cause? The modification of clutches to include hammer locks is intended to alleviate binding and spalling during panel rotation and erection. With that as the major pain-point to address, I began looking at an articulated clutch design that would deliver a tested and certified proprietary system – creating a far safer solution to meet the needs of the industry” he said.
Ian explains why Reid has developed the clutch to be articulated as opposed to previous models.
“When precast panels are lifted by a crane with a standard clutch, the position of the two anchors will cause the chain to rotate and come backwards over the panel’s edge. So, lifting from one point, the clutch would be pulled around the corner of the panel which would see the handle bend, the new Reid 3Dx 10t Articulating Clutch can move in any direction, as well as self-right,” he said.
The new 3Dx 10t clutch also has the benefit of releasing quickly and remotely, meaning a user does not need to bring an EWP on site to quickly release the precast panel.
“Our intention was to hone in on designing “the” system that would satisfy the lifting requirements for over 95 per cent of precast panel configurations commonly cast throughout Australia. We know that most commonly, precast panels in Australia are transported by truck, in pairs. That truck is limited to approximately 20 tonnes, hence the decision was made to develop a clutch that could safely lift 10t.”
Reid Construction Systems is proud of its long-standing partnership with Melbourne based manufacturer Townley Drop Forge, and was the obvious choice in both the manufacturing and testing validation of the 3Dx Articulating Clutch.
“As a design requirement, we wanted as much information as possible stamped on the clutch itself – such as a clearly stated WLL – that assures the riggers that they are using a genuine Reid, Australian Standards compliant, quality-assured product.” Ian said.
“The clutch is beautifully forged and includes the item part number, load limit and its batch code all clearly stamped on the physical product, for user peace of mind,” he said.
With the new design, Reid and Townley have included contingencies on the clutch to make it quick and simple for users to identify whether the clutch has been tampered with.
“The clutch has a rivet which holds it together, complete with the Reid logo. It cannot be tampered with, or easily knocked apart like a hammerlock clutch could be.” Ian said.
The information pertaining to the clutch is not only forged onto the metal but also appears on the stainless-steel tags supplied with each and every clutch. The tag includes a serial number, a barcode matching the serial number and a QR code.
“The QR code will take you to the Reid website and directly to the critical safety information for that clutch and any other associated Reid clutches. Our Reid website has a wealth of information for a range of stakeholders and users, including all safety and compliance statements, as well as Reid clutch and anchor compatibility and discard guides.”
“As with clutches from years ago, you’d be lucky if the tags would survive the journey from our warehouse to the precast yard or site. It was a worry back then to see tags in the bottom of an empty crate in the warehouse. Thankfully, the stainless-steel tags we use now are robust enough to remain with the clutch.”
“The 3Dx Articulating clutch is traceable all the way back to the original raw material metal that arrived at Townley drop forge to ensure we have full traceability of material batch and heat-treatment certificates should these be required.”
A critical component of the success of the 3Dx clutch can be attributed to the close relationship with Rocky Galati and his team at Townley Drop Forge, as Ian explains.
“We are proud here at Reid to have a long and mutually successful association with Townley. From my very first interaction with Townley way back in 2001, we’ve known we can always trust the products manufactured here at Townley that brandish the Reid logo”, he said.
The Reid 3Dx 10t clutch was developed in partnership with Townley, which is NATA certified – allowing Townley to conduct compliance testing of all the clutches Reid delivers to the Australian market.
“All of our clutches whether they are manufactured here in Australia or imported, arrives through Townley and are tested and tagged. When you buy a Reid clutch, it has been proof tested, stamped and tagged. With surety you know that when you buy a Reid product it has been designed, manufactured or assembled and tested in Australia – leveraging Reid’s 100 years of experience as a supply partner to the Australian concrete construction industry,” Ian said.
As a testament to their quality of output, Ian explains how Townley delivers a strong product for Reid.
“Townley manufacture the locking ring and the two forged parts of the 3Dx handles, each are magnetically particle inspected post heat treatment. The team will also inspect all of our products for any cracks or any surface problems which exceeds the requirements of the Australian standards.
“It gives us supreme confidence that everything we send to site is at the utmost level of safety and performance – delivering a robust, but more importantly, a safe and standards compliant concrete lifting system – The Reid 3Dx 10t,” Ian said.