How Load Cells are Used in Crane Measuring Systems

Cranes are crucial to lifting and lowering large and heavy objects, an integral part of innovation. Determining whether or not the crane can handle a specific load is essential to crane safety. Michigan Scientific provides accurate and reliable load cells that help in many critical crane measuring applications. 

Load Cells in Crane Systems

Since the primary role of practically every crane being used is to lift or lower loads, these transducers are used to monitor the force being exerted on vital points along the crane’s rope by the load. Most importantly, load cells are used to make sure no part of the crane or its rigging is carrying more load than it can handle. It should also be noted that a crane’s load includes the weight of the rope being used, which can be especially heavy during large operations.

It is important to consider just how many points there are on a crane’s rope that require force measuring. There are a variety of locations along the rope that can, and should, use load cells. These include above the hook, below the hook, in the hook block, and at a rope’s dead end. There are also a number of mechanisms that can be used at each of these locations:

Load Block (Hook Block)

The load block is where the suspended rope connects with any load being lifted or otherwise below the hook. Simply put, the load block is the system of parts that work together to be the crane’s hook. The load block is comprised of many different pieces, including mechanisms like trunnions, sheave pins, swivels, and more. Load cells can monitor the forces being applied to the load block, which helps prevent dangerous accidents.

Below the Hook

Devices found below the hook are usually used for lifting and are dependent on the application. Load cells are used in below the hook devices as a way to monitor the force being applied to the device itself. Some of the mechanisms used in below the hook lifting applications includes shackles, magnets, canisters, beams, and more.

Furthermore, load cells can be used below the hook at a rope’s dead for applications dealing with A2B (Anti-two-block) systems, wedge sockets, and line riders, among others.

Above the Hook

Above the hook devices are the mechanisms that are used to control how and where the hook, and subsequently the crane’s load, move vertically and laterally. Quality load cells measure loads in the following, critical, locations:

  • Drums – Rope(s) wound around drums to facilitate lowering/raising a load
  • Sheaves (aka Pulleys) – Help make operation smoother, lessens rope wear, improves safety
  • Trolley – Device that moves rope laterally along the length (note: not height) of the crane