Construction hoists: capacity, speed, control
11 June 2019
Hoists in the construction industry are getting bigger and faster and are taking into consideration the modern modular and logistical worksite. Euan Youdale reports.
Bigger can always be seen as better but there are also challenges found in creating larger dimensions and greater load capacity and hoisting speed. Hoists are also increasingly being customised for speciifc projects and used to enhance efficiency in the worksite, for example, as part of a BIM design.
Scanclimber is one of the companies moving towards ever-larger products. The manufacturer is now fully integrated into Tractel group, following its acquisition by the US-based company and is now branded Scanclimber by Tractel.
As a company spokesman adds the trends in construction hoists remain in the realm of increased payload capacities with enhanced lifting speeds, but there is an increased interest data. “During the last few years the remote management of hoists has taken a spike with more and more machine rental giants interested in monitoring their hoist fleet remotely.
“Not only are these systems capable of collecting hoist usage data but also notify the error messages, service intervals, remote machine stoppage, usage warnings, etc.”
Challenges can be found, however, in the ever more heavy-duty construction hoists, in that heavy weight machinery also requires solutions for installation and dismantling. “More payload capacity with larger dimensions means renting higher capacity cranes at the construction site, directly impacting on the costs.
“Adding to that are the transportation concerns. Wider and larger construction hoists need to be somewhat dismantled to fit in to standard trucks or special trucks are needed every time there is a need to transport them. All these factors have to be taken into consideration during design phase.”
There are, of course, also the constant demand for minimising lead times in after-sales services like machine servicing, trouble shooting and spare part deliveries. Scanclimber observes, “Age demographics is another undermined aspect, which is changing the construction industry. More and more young professionals are entering the sector which demands more training and the need for digital solutions like virtual and augmented reality-based product training material.”
Diego Benetton, sales director at Maber agrees on the high capacity direction. “There’s currently a high demand for big hoists, especially from countries where quality is required.” This means there is increasing demand for customised hoists, an area in which Maber excels, adds Benetton.
This high level of customisation can bring its own issues, adds Benetton, “The real challenge is in saying yes to customers’ every request. Hoists are requested to be wider, taller, longer and faster every day, as construction technologies and materials are changing continuously and the market requires that the equipment adapt accordingly. I believe we already arrived at a certain point where it makes no sense to have bigger machines, but, never say never.”
Eide Centrifugal brake
Joan Rubiralta, export manager with Eide, a manufacturer of clutches, brakes and transmission tools, says that supplying components to the these ever-larger machines brings challenges in increasing safety without increasing the cost, “and not to lose out on competitiveness versus competence.
“The construction hoist has to support more weight and needs to go faster, because they go higher.” The Eide FPC-6000 safety brake can hold up to 9000kg and has been designed for such situations.
Another challenge, says Rubiralta, is the need for extra safety devices combined with cost-effective solutions. The company’s DBQ brake follows this trend, he says, by increasing the safety but not reducing its working hours. It was launched in January and is unique. The DBQ comes into play where rack and pinion hoists require a safety brake to stop movement on the rack and a centrifugal brake, between motor and gearbox, to slow the speed of descent, in case of a failure.
Most hoists use either the safety brake or centrifugal brake. Sometimes, and increasingly often, hoists and elevators use these two types of safety units together. In this case the centrifugal brake will engage, and in case of it also failing, the safety brake will stop the elevator.
The issue, says Rubiralta, is that with a standard centrifugal brake, there is no easy way to perform periodical six and 12 month drop test to ensure the safety brake is engaged correctly. The owner of the equipment has to disassemble the motor, disassemble the centrifugal brake and reassemble the motor directly to the gearbox, without the centrifugal brake. Then perform the drop tests, and then go through the whole process again.
The DBQ brake simply requires the user to pull up two levers, and the brake is inhibited. They can then proceed with the drop tests, then push back down the levers to allow centrifugal brake to operate again. Instead of taking one working day, the whole process takes around an hour.
The latest model of Construction Hoist from Scanclimber by Tractel is the H65H-WL Wega Wideline Hoist. The Wideline series is the most heavy-duty construction hoist launched by Scanclimber, thus far. The main improvements are in terms of payload capacity and modularity, which allows hoist configurations in different sizes. The capacity of these hoists range from 2500kg up to 3000kg. The cage can be extended from 3.7m to 5m in length, and the width is 2m, which is 0.5m wider than standard Scanclimber construction hoists. When it comes to lifting speed, there are three options, of 36m/min, 54m/min and 70m/min.
The plan is to now improve the Wideline hoist series even further. “One interesting feature is remote management of our hoists which we are constantly improving based on the feedback from our customer base,” said the manufacturer.
Maber high speed
At Bauma, Maber presented its new high speed MBA2037 hoist for high rise buildings, which runs at 85 m/min. It can be assembled in single or twin configuration and has a 2.8m ‘C’ door, with the possibility of being extended up to 4.5m. The hoist is designed to be user-friendly thanks to the main touch screen, which provides a full view of the hoist: total number of floors, current floor, destination floor and received bookings from each floor going upward or downward.
The operator can also see in real time, voltage, amperage, absorption, current load and last 100 actions. This information can also be seen remotely, thanks to Maber Remote. “We invested a lot to develop our own software to be able to customise hoist features and information following customer requests. We have applied the maximum logic possible to have construction hoists working as a lift to maximise its use,” comments Benetton.
Another launch at Bauma was the Geda Multilift P18 hoist. The manufacturer said Norwegian custmer MB Stillas ordered two of the units on the first day of the exhibition.
MB Stillas is a young company, founded in 2015, specialising in scaffolding, with its headquarters in Ingeberg and further branches in Lillehammer and Skedsmo. Reliable planning for customers, fair prices and professional project management are at the core of the philosophy of the company.
Sold through distributor Materialhuset, MB Stillas already has a range of Geda transport platforms. MB Stillas CEO Kristian Borud says, “Based on the higher lifting speed, load capacity and lifting height, we are expecting high demand for these hoists, particularly in the Oslo area.”
The Multilift P18 has two platform lengths – 3.2m and 3.7m – allowing easy transportation of particularly bulky construction materials. The extensions are made on the A-side of the car. As part of the redesign of the car interior, in addition to the assembly guard, the control unit of the car switch box was also recessed and integrated without interfering protrusions.
To keep wear on the gear rack and pinion as low as possible, the hoist is equipped with an automatic lubrication device as standard. Depending on the construction site conditions or customer requirements, power consumption can be influenced by reducing the load and/or speed so that a 32 A connection will be sufficient instead of the standard 63 A connection. This opens up a significantly broader range of applications for the hoist.
Great emphasis was also placed on ease of use. Instead of previously two car switch boxes, only one large box is now used, while a completely revised innovative control system ensures even greater ease of operation. In addition to this, the new, much wider assembly plank ensures better accessibility during assembly. The lifting speed is 40 m/min, and the Geda Uni-X-Mast is used as the mast system.
Raxtar launched its unique RX Common Tower at bauma to help maximize the transport of people. It is based around the idea of a single logistical hub. By concentrating hoisting in one area, the RX Common Tower system allows building facades to be installed around the open faces of the building, while keeping a limited access point open from the common tower. It enables finishing work to start at an early stage for the construction process while the main structure is still under construction.
The company’s RX twin mast hoists that can carry large size material, like prefabricated bathroom and kitchen pods, can be used with the RX Common Tower system and lift up to 5000kg with a lifting speed of 42m/min. Inside, dimensions are 5.5m x 3 x 2.7m
The RX Common Tower has been designed to be completely independent of other job site resources for erection and dismantling. They do not require the use of cranes during the erection and dismantling, and says the tower requires 20% less labour time than conventional systems.
There is no climbing or heavy lifting for the crew and no rope lifting. While the modularity of the common tower supports different hoists and common tower layouts.
SAE Climber was presenting its E20 single or twin cage model at Bauma, with two tonnes capacity per cage; and the E30 single or twin cage model, with 2.8 tonnes capacity per cage.
Both models have a speed up to 60 m/min with inverter, automatic landing system and modularity from 3.2m to 4.5m. There is a ‘C’ 3m-long lateral door in aluminium for smooth operation and a pole system for landings, plus a cable trolley for single or for twin cage. The advantages are flexibility thanks to the cabin modularity and the big lateral door for loading long items, and easy erection. In addition, the digital floor stop programme and diagnostics digital display are designed for ease of use.