Low Headroom Below-the-Hook System Utilizes Straightpoint Wireless Load Pin

St. Louis, Missouri-based industrial lifting equipment provider McLaughlin Hoist & Crane has incorporated a Straightpoint Inc. load pin into a low headroom lifting beam application at a facility that machines components from metal bar.

The 7.5-ton capacity lifting beam, manufactured by The Caldwell Group, is utilized below the hook of an overhead crane at the company’s receiving and storage yard. The low headroom design allows it to handle material over and onto top racks of a multi-tier storage system.

McLaughlin frequently supplies Straightpoint’s force measurement, load monitoring and suspended weighing load cell equipment, including its most popular product, the Radiolink Plus, and its wireless load shackle. In this case, the load pin monitors the weight of raw bar stock when unloading trucks and picking material to send onto the machining floor.

A scoreboard display was mounted on the structure of the crane to allow the operator to monitor the load without having to hold an additional handheld display unit. Communication between the load pin and the scoreboard is wireless, so no additional cords are required.

John McLaughlin, manager, McLaughlin Hoist & Crane, said: “A tare circuit was wired into the crane controls to zero out the loads on the lifting device. Adjustable chain slings were utilized with the lifting device so that the operator could connect to the bar stock in a choker hitch and shorten the slings when needed to go atop or over the storage racks.”

He added: “We had originally considered using an inline load monitor, such as the Radiolink Plus. However, there was limited vertical space between the maximum hook height and the customer’s steel storage racks, which pointed us towards a low headroom solution. By going with a low headroom lifting beam and substituting the standard bail pin with a load pin, we were able to meet the customer’s headroom requirements while also providing them with a load monitor.”

The building contractor sourced the overhead crane, an integral part of this new facility, from a national supplier. Whilst a common process, it did not allow for a thorough evaluation of the application and the outcome was an insufficient hook height, requiring this unique low headroom solution. Mr. McLaughlin devised the below-the-hook solution; he worked with John Molidor, general manager, Straightpoint Inc. and Caldwell to design and manufacture the final product, which has been successfully integrated into the customer’s receiving and storage yard.

McLaughlin Hoist & Crane offers complete new crane systems, below-the-hook devices and auxiliary components to a range of industries including steel, concrete, paper, manufacturing, machine shops, heavy-equipment repair facilities and recycling centers. Its service area covers Missouri and surrounding states but sells and ships products nationwide and even internationally.

Straightpoint’s load pins are built to exacting standards, are suitable for use in exposed situations and can be supplied for use subsea. The range of load cells is proof loaded to 150% of the normal rated load.

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