Sensor Technology's LoadSense smart load sensor is claimed to provide all the information needed to optimise efficiency and increase profitability in a wide range of industrial lifting and handling operations. For instance, it can be used to determine how much material has been transported, or it can enable two or more materials being handled simultaneously to be accounted for individually.
LoadSense is an intelligent load sensor that can be integrated with a crane hook, fork lift or other handling device, thereby enabling weighing processes to be integrated fully with handling operations. Data is captured in real time and can be transferred to a database, stored, totalised and analysed. The LoadSense unit has an on-board single-chip computer for recording, analysing and archiving readings, plus wireless communications capability for transmitting data in real time to a host computer.
Designed and manufactured by Sensor Technology, the device features internal batteries to make operation completely autonomous. As such, it can be deployed with minimal disruption to operations, and automatically begins transmitting data. No special training is required to install or operate the unit.
Features and options
LoadSense is built around an intelligent load sensor, a handheld display and a receiver. The load sensor is based on proven strain gauge technology, and is calibrated as standard in the range 1-10 tonnes, with other ranges available on request. Multi-channel operation is a standard feature.
The transmitter (operating on a harmonized global 2.4 GHz waveband), enables accurate load data to be sent to the handheld display. In addition, the load cell provides data logging capabilities for subsequent downloading into a PC. Alternatively the load cell communicates with a PC via the receiver interface. LoadView software, a LabView-based virtual instrumentation display utility, is also available.
Sensor Technology's Tony Ingham explains: "Our main markets are materials handling and warehouse operations, where the intelligence will convert raw data into instant stock counts. We have already had enquiries about raising nuclear fuels rods, monitoring window cleaners' cradles on high-rise buildings, and winching and weighing building materials.
"Theatre stage hands could lift and lower scenery from the wings rather than from a remote control room. Using LoadSense with a tractor-mounted winch, you could assess roadside trees' susceptibility to wind speed. For applications involving liquid discharge, a system could be configured to monitor and control flow."
LoadSense could be wirelessly integrated into a SCADA or MES control system, producing instant operating reports and invoices for emailing to customers. It also improves operating safety because operators are free to remove themselves from dangerous locations.
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