An aerodynamic breakthrough in crane operation technology called Aero-Beam has been named as the Most Innovative product at LEEA LiftEx 2015.
The aerodynamic lifting aid reduces drag and improves stability of loads so that work on construction sites – particularly of tall buildings – can continue in adverse weather conditions.
Winding off is a major issue limiting crane operations. Lighter loads with a large sail area – for example, facade panelling – cause particular problems with high winds causing loads to behave unpredictably – limiting safe lifting, handling of the load and operation of the crane itself.
To ensure workforce and public safety, and avoid damage to machinery and property, high winds often halt lifting operations.
The start of the millennia has seen unprecedented demand for iconic tall buildings. Wind speed increases at altitude, exacerbating the problems faced by crane operators and increasing the time lost due to weather.
Developed at Loughborough University in partnership with HTC Wolffkran, LEEA and Speedy Services, Aero-Beam is an aerodynamic lifting aid that improves load stability and reduces drag, allowing safe operation in poor wind conditions.
Suitable for high sail area loads – such as concrete shuttering, panels and glazing units – it is passively-stable, keeps the load pointing into the wind, and its innovative design minimises the time taken to rig and de-rig.
The Wing allows the lifting of building materials by a tower crane in higher speed and less stable wind conditions, reducing delays in a construction programme.
IP Officer Colm Watling says of the Award: “We are delighted by the reception of Aero-Beam at the LiftEx exhibition and conference. The Award highlights the potential of the developing technology, and we hope that it will encourage potential partners to get involved in its global roll-out.”