Wireless Control Revamps Truck-Scale Loading Equipment

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Tiffin Loader Crane—a company in Ohio that creates lifting, loading, and handling solutions—adopted a wireless motion-control system that integrates directly with its mobile equipment for loading truck- and rail-weighing scales. Combined with proportional electro-hydraulics, the wireless controls improved the accuracy, safety, and motion range of the trolley and winch that load the scale carrier and testing weights into the back of a truck trailer.

The wireless system was custom-engineered by Magnetek and S. G. Morris to operate with Tiffin’s existing scale-loading system for weighing truck and cargo loads against rail or road limits. It leverages a Flex Pro Transmitter and an Enrange MHR Radio controller that send radio signals to receivers that energize the hydraulic valves in the winch arm and actuators. In addition to supplying instantaneous control of the winch-arm height and speed, the wireless system can be used to place limits on its movements.

When the winch’s load-carrying arm reaches a forbidden height, an external limit-switch automatically breaks the command signal to operate the winch coil. In addition, an emergency-stop button on the Flex Pro transmitter can break all signals to a receiver on a blocking valve. This causes the blocking valve to seize all oil flow within the hydraulic system so that the arm will hold its static position.

By leveraging hydraulic static pressure, the new system improves the winch’s holding power and significantly reduces damage from high-shock loading. Uninterrupted wireless communication with receivers on hydraulic valves enable smoother tracking and lifting motions for the trolley and winch, and decreases the risk of dropped loads. It also smoothes out acceleration and deceleration of the truck ramp.

As S.G. Morris worked with Tiffin to install Magnetek’s controls, it also trained the Tiffin team in learning how to modify the MHR controller to operate with existing valves in the system without the need for programming via an external PC. The installation is expected to improve Tiffin’s workflow with an easy-to-use truck load-weighing system with minimal wiring and smooth operation.

The Flex Pro Transmitter and Enrange MHR Radio controller are also employed in other loading systems, such as JT Cranes' D40 Tracked Carrier— an automated, ground-level carrier that can transverse up to 40-degree ramps and maneuver tighter workspaces than traditional forklifts. Read more here.

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H&P is a global fluid power content provider in many areas – print, web, and in-person. Our blogs offer a more casual look at fluid power technology.

Contributors

Alan Hitchcox

Alan joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics in 1987 with experience as a technical magazine editor and in industrial sales. He graduated with a BS in engineering technology from Franklin University and...

Leah Scully

Leah Scully is a graduate of The College of New Jersey. She has a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering with a mechanical specialization.  
Contributors

Alan Hitchcox

Alan joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics in 1987 with experience as a technical magazine editor and in industrial sales. He graduated with a BS in engineering technology from Franklin University and...

Leah Scully

Leah Scully is a graduate of The College of New Jersey. She has a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering with a mechanical specialization.  
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