C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features

Unblocking the operator’s view

Earlier this year, Resolution Rigging Services was appointed East Coast distributor for Blokcorp. RRS project manager, Rhys Noronha, and his father, Tony, were initially exposed to the Blokcam technology at Bauma 2019.

Earlier this year, Resolution Rigging Services was appointed East Coast distributor for Blokcorp. RRS project manager, Rhys Noronha, and his father, Tony, were initially exposed to the Blokcam technology at Bauma 2019.

“Over the years, we’ve seen a number of camera systems. With the luffing cranes, the camera system is mounted on the jib tip, and in this position the operator has to manually zoom in and zoom out to see the load. We’ve also seen camera systems mounted on the trolley of the tower crane, not actually on the hook block. We liked the idea of the Blokcam camera being on the hook block, rather than on the jib tip or trolley,” said Noronha.

“After we met the Blokcorp team and expressed interest in the product, Ben Windass, co-founder and joint managing director of Blokcorp, sent us the Blokcam X2 tower crane system for our yard crane. We use the X2 system to demonstrate the system to potential clients.

“Prior to taking it to the market, we trialled the system on our tower crane. I was very impressed in the full HD camera and 25.4 cm display. We took photos of the system and because I’m often driving and dogging tower cranes, I showed some colleagues in the industry. They really liked the idea of Blokcam, especially when it came to high-rise projects, or when the operator is working in the blind,” he said.

Following the trial period, Noronha was keen to test the market and took the Blokcam to one of Resolution Rigging’s major clients.

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“We took the system to Multiplex to gauge their thoughts. They liked the idea of being able to see the hook as well as having audio. From there, we developed the system further to include a Favelle Favco ‘Ponder Weight’ hook block, ‘hinged adaptor’ which has only been on the crane for a few weeks,” he said.

After the system had been operating for a while, Noronha discussed the results with the crane crew and the crane co-ordinator.

“The crane operators on the Multiplex project where the camera is being used, have agreed that having vision of the load and the dogmen at all times makes their jobs easier and safer,” he said.

Another key feature of the Blokcam system is the inbuilt audio system which provides a number of benefits, says Noronha.

“On many city and high-rise projects, the crane operator is unable to see the dogman, so they are completely reliant on two way radio communication. We all know two way radio’s may intermittently malfunction, which presents a significant danger in all crane scenario’s. With the Blokcam’s inbuilt microphone, if a two way radio failure was to occur, the crane operator would still be able to see and hear the dogman which will help to prevent an accident,” he said.

Installation of the Blokcam system is straightforward and shouldn’t overly disrupt a tower crane’s operation, says Noronha.

“Installation on hammerhead and luffing cranes can be performed on existing or pre erected cranes without having major downtime on the tower crane. Due to most of the items being on the hook block, installation is a simple process compared to other systems.

“Inside the tower crane cabin, a 25.4 cm display monitor will be installed via suction cups. A processor will also be installed which stores up to 30 days footage taken by the Blokcam system. The footage is able to be viewed remotely via WIFI,” he said.

Compared to tower cranes, the mobile crane sector is a more recent development for RRS and the system relevant to mobile crane is slightly different, says Noronha.

“It’s called the M3 Crane Camera system, as opposed to the tower crane X2 system. The M3 Crane Camera system is the first fully modular system compatible with telescopic and mobile cranes, specifically designed for the mobile and crawler market.

“The mobile crane system is different due to the cranes need to tally in and tally out. With a mobile, we attach the camera to the hook block, a transmitter to the hook block, and a monitor inside the crane cabin,” said Noronha.

“I’ve spoken to a number of mobile crane drivers and they really benefit from being able to see the hook at all times; we’ve had a lot of interest in the system from this market sector.

“The system can be moved between cranes and be operational within five to ten minutes. If the system had to be left on one crane the entire time, it would be a different proposition. Being able to move it from one crane to another, quickly, is the major benefit, and this flexibility has encouraged companies to get involved with the system. The battery will last up to 12 hours which is also a huge benefit. The M3 System just like the X2 system comes with 2 batteries per kit,” said Noronha.

“Both the X2 (tower crane system) and M3 (mobile crane system) are capable of operating at heights of 400 metres, so whether it’s a high rise building or a crawler crane with luffing fly, the Blokcam system is made for all scenario’s.

“One of the added benefits of Blokcam is that they also offer additional items. These items include outdoor weatherproof camera’s (generally used for winch camera’s), they also offer indoor cabin monitoring camera’s.

These additional cameras can be displayed in the crane cabin on the 25.4 cm display with a split screen effect or a slide show between them,” said Noronha.

“We’ve been working on the system in Sydney, proving it’s abilities and worth and now we are ready to show the Melbourne and Brisbane markets the difference Blokcam can make to their safety in operations. Interested clients can hire the Blokcam and BlokAlert systems from us or they are available for sale as well,” said Noronha.

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