World-First Technology Set to Revolutionise Crane Safety

The vocation of crane operation and rigging has existed since 600BC when the Greeks invented the first crane. While we have seen significant advancement in heavy machinery and cranes which has eliminated many high-risk manual duties, we have seen very little change in the role of riggers. To this day, riggers and dogmen must still collect and guide the taglines, which increases the risk of serious or fatal workplace incidents. Now, with the introduction of remote operation technology we are finally seeing significant improvement in safety outcomes for riggers and dogmen.

Verton Technologies is at the forefront of this progress, having launched a world-first technology which will revolutionise crane operations globally by improving safety and productivity. Verton has developed the R-series, the world’s first remote load-management system, to eliminate the need for human held taglines to control suspended loads.

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The solution is designed to dramatically boost productivity and safety in industries which use cranes and hoists. Many industries continue to rely on outdated and dangerous tagline methods. Moving heavy loads using cranes or hoists is dangerous with industry research showing proximity to a load, let alone actual contact, accounts for 80 per cent of crane-related fatalities. The R-series reduces the risk of these accidents occurring by ensuring no human contact is required for managing suspended loads.

"This world-first technology will revolutionise suspended load-management for the transport and construction industries," Verton CEO Trevor Bourne said. Mr Bourne said Verton had begun manufacturing the R-series and is ready to take orders from interested industries.

In its simplest form, the R-series is the world’s first remote-controlled electromechanical load-management system. The R-series features a single pair of gyroscopic modules and one handheld remote controller. The unit is attached to the load and its orientation is controlled using the remote. The R-series can be applied to suspended loads of all sizes and across numerous industries, such as engineering construction, general cargo shipping and resource development, defence and mining.

The R-Series was recently utilised on a high-risk project in Queensland. A condenser unit required removal and replacement in the roof cavity of a hotel complex on a prominent and busy intersection in the Brisbane CBD. The removal and installation works had to be executed at a height of 90m, with precise manoeuvring of the load into a narrow access point, and within a strict time frame to minimise traffic disruption. The R-Series was the ideal solution to address the risks associated with this lift, overcoming the problematic need for human held taglines to control free-swinging or suspended loads. At approximately 90m from ground, controlling the rotation of the load would have been extremely difficult using traditional rigging methodologies. With the user-friendly interface of the R-Series on a tablet, the loads were able to be lifted from and delivered to precise GPS coordinates. The R-Series significantly improved lift outcomes through:

  • Increased safety on site: prevented workers from being under loads and leaning out of the open space 90m in the air.

  • Addressed risks in site conditions: eliminated building damage and closed less roads by eliminating the required perimeter for tag lines.

Verton Founder and Chief Technology Officer Stanley Thomson said the R-series would also increase productivity and profitability of businesses operating or relying on cranes and hoists for orientating heavy loads. The R-series will reduce hook time (the time each load needs to be suspended in the air) by 50% or more and the overall cycle time by 25%, the biggest improvement in productivity since the crane was invented. 

This was demonstrated on the condenser unit removal and replacement project, saving around an hour on the day due to shorter cycle times. This further improved the safety performance of the project, reducing time on site for the lift team and eliminating risks associated with fatigue and prolonged intense concentration.

The R-Series is an exciting application of remotely operated crane technologies and will achieve safer and more productive work places for the crane industry. You can see the R-series in action here.

For more information contact Stan Thomson 0427 690 243 or visit www.verton.com.au. For media enquiries contact Esna Louwrens (Verton Marketing and Business Development Manager) on 0406 586 160.