Load Pins Help Crane Operators Reduce Maintenance Costs
In order to be operated safely, cranes need regular maintenance to replace parts that have come to the end of their service life. This can help prevent catastrophic failures in the future. Unfortunately, this maintenance often includes replacing and scrapping parts that are perfectly safe to keep using. The reason for this is that until recently, it was impossible to really know how much stress critical parts had experienced, and if they were really at the end of their service life.
To help reduce maintenance costs, new cranes have monitoring systems that actually monitor the stresses experienced by key crane components. These monitoring systems can measure and record the stresses, loads and time on the key components, and alert operators when the crane hits certain use “milestones.” The use of these systems can reduce maintenance costs by up to 75% for crane operators. That could add up to $75,000 per year or more.
Monitoring systems are also available to retrofit existing cranes. Several companies offer monitoring systems that you can use on older cranes, giving them essentially the same monitoring functionality now found on newer cranes. These systems help operators of older cranes also reduce their maintenance costs.
Strain gauged based sensors such as load pins and strain links are the critical sensing component of these systems. They replace clevis or pivot pins and allow crane operators to measure the forces at these critical points. By measuring and recording these forces over a long period of time, the crane monitoring system is able to predict the maintenance needs of the crane.