Straightpoint Load Cells Weigh RNLI Equipment for Saving Lives at Sea

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) uses a load cell to weigh and test boats and other components critical to the ongoing work of the charity that saves lives at sea.

A 5t Wirelink Plus and Handheld Plus digital display were recently delivered to the RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Centre (ILC).

The ILC is respected across the globe as a centre of excellence for the building and maintenance of inflatable and rigid inflatable lifeboats, including the B class and D class lifeboats, and the lifeguards’ inshore rescue boat, the Arancia (constructed under licence from Arancia of New Zealand). A team of over 70 boat-builders, fitters and electricians are employed at ILC, including apprentices and supporting office staff.

John Urry, technical support manager for the RNLI ILC, explained that the load cell and display are used for two specific purposes—to weigh critical components, assemblies and complete boats; and to provide data from destructive and non-destructive load testing of critical components and assemblies as part of ongoing research and development. The Atlantic 85, for example, weighs 2.2t, while the D-Class weighs in at 440kg.

Urry said: “The load cell and display contributes to good health and safety practice by allowing operation from a safe working distance, outside of the lift area and clear of any equipment such as cranes, davits, tractors and trailers.”

Manufactured from aerospace grade aluminium and utilising an advanced internal design structure, the range of non-indicating load cells are lightweight, easy to handle and are used worldwide in an array of industries for lifting, pulling, proof and structural load testing.

Urry, who is responsible for the acquisition of such equipment at ILC, said: “A robust and corrosion-resistant component was a requirement.”

The Wirelink Plus is supplied with a 10-metre cable as standard, but usable cable length varies and is available to 1,500 metres depending on output format.

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