Straightpoint - know the load
For 40 years Straightpoint has manufactured and supplied cabled and wireless telemetry loadlink, load shackles, load cells, digital dynamometers, compression loadcells, crane scales, running line tensiometers and software solutions as well as a range of intrinsically safe load cells.
Safety, reliability and quality are paramount in the lifting and rigging industries and so Straightpoint designs and manufactures to the highest standards including ISO9001, DNV-GL Type Approval, ATEX and IECEx, whilst holding other accreditations and active memberships in key associations such as LEEA, AWRF, SC&RA and ASME.
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Impact Block for Arboriculture Science
Straightpoint’s (SP) Impact Block, which measures the shock load and weight of branches as they are cut during tree felling or maintenance, is being used for education and site work in Finland.
It is another example of the product filling gaps in knowledge about the forces put through rigging equipment and the weight of loads as they are cut away from trees. It has proven as important as a training device as it is a practical onsite tool, once again.
Utilising wireless dynamic load monitoring electronics and strain gauge technology, real time data can be displayed on a handheld controller, tablet or laptop at speeds up to 200Hz. Importantly, this eliminates the estimation work that often goes into arborist applications. Further, the aesthetic curves of the Impact Block combine with strength and durability to ensure a rope-friendly surface.
Mika Vainionpää, a climbing teacher at Finnish arborist school, Sedu (based in Ähtäri), said: “Unlike crane-related or other typical rigging scenarios, in tree applications professionals do not always have an anchor point above the lifting point. It’s a type of negative rigging. Every tree is different. There are no labels in a tree that say to the climber how much the rig can take. You have to study and learn where those limits are. Branches are one thing—leaves and smaller branches can limit the force—but logs can be more unpredictable.”
Vainionpää, who also owns an arborist company (arborist.fi), recently utilised a 60 kN version to measure how big the heaviest weights are during a normal climb and recorded the weights of the top and base anchors. Impact Block can be installed at the top of a tree or lower in the canopy before starting to cut limbs off. Vainionpää said he predominantly uses 12mm or 14mm Teufelberger Sirius Bull ropes.
He added: “The Impact Block adds weight and rigging to our projects, but that is outweighed by the education it gives us. Trees are very complicated and normal rigging rules don’t apply. However, we are at the lower end of our learning curve with this technology and must continue to conduct tests and deliver education before it can make a widespread difference across arboriculture. For that reason, it remains more of a training product than a site-only tool.”
Impact Block is an integral product in Vainionpää’s armoury, which includes a 27-tonne metre knuckle-boom crane that can be fitted with a grapple saw or bucket; a mobile elevated work platform; stump grinders; and a machine for pruning branches and removal of felled loads.
Caption: Impact Block measures the shock load and weight of branches as they are cut.
Caption: There are no labels in a tree that say to the climber how much the rig can take.
Caption: In tree applications professionals do not always have an anchor above the lifting point.
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Straightpoint, a UK manufacturer and part of The Crosby Group, has been providing load cells to companies around the world to ensure their loads are safe to lift, offload, pull or push for over 40 years. Straightpoint’s products are currently being used within a wide range of industries such as oil and gas, shipping, construction, renewable energies, lifting and cranes, mining, staging, test and inspection, and military applications. Products are available to buy or rent. http://www.straightpoint.com