The lifting equipment must remain in good working condition before placing it into operation to secure workers and facilities.
You cannot ignore every aspect of equipment inspection when it comes to safety. Checking the equipment right before using it in operations is necessary to conduct crane inspection and maintenance.
The Crane load testing method is significant in ensuring the protection of EOT cranes and hoists. This is defined as the ‘technique of application of demand to a computing device or software system, to measure its response.
This helps to figure out how a device responds to regular and peak load conditions. This blog takes a deep dive into everything you need to know about crane load testing and its role in maintaining secure and reliable crane operations.
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Importance of Load Testing in Crane Safety
The usual inspection of site equipment can only generate less data. It requires in-depth evaluation and reviews to identify and fix the problems with the machinery.
For instance, the detection of damaged parts of the crane along with the suspicious areas of defects becomes beneficial only once the machine gets completely tested.
Discovering the weak spots and stress points of the equipment avoids the possible chances of critical failures. Performing strategic evaluations and tests in an enclosed supervised environment makes sure that all segments work as expected.
Crane load testing within the controlled evaluation phase helps you discover all possible damages, defects, and weak points which avoids malfunction while the crane is under operation as it bears thousands of pounds of weight.
What is Crane Load Testing?
Load testing of lifting equipment is essential which guarantees the functionality, reliability, and safety of the cranes.
Safety and evaluation testing also includes the repair and maintenance of machinery, installation, replacement of parts, etc.
Hence, even when the main crane body gets certified, but has got fitted to a repaired or fresh part, this is not anymore considered secure until it gets through another series of tests.
The evaluation processes will consist of a rated load test which gets prescribed in the operations manual of the specific crane. The test will thus measure if the crane can bear the rated load limits.
But, many crane owners also opt for the unconditionally affected test which uses heavy loads to push the crane and support the loads at least 20-25% beyond the rated limits.
Passing the second test would be another guarantee for the safety and reliability of the crane while managing the rated load ranges.
Classification of Crane Load Testing
Crane loading testing is classified into two:
1. Static crane testing
The installation of the crane happens with the help of a crane runway, with the trolley in a position that corresponds to the biggest bridge deflection.
The particular load gets elevated to 100-200 mm height and held in the same position for almost 10 minutes. Later, after the lowering of the load, the bridge crane gets tested for deformations of the crane bridge.
Once deformation is tested, it stops the crane from working. Further, the experts figure out the reasons and the possibilities of operating the crane in the future.
2. Dynamic crane testing
These tests use a load with mass that goes beyond the normal carrying capacity by 10% and involve checking the serviceability of the mechanisms of the crane and hoists, checking crane brakings, etc.
It includes multiple lifting and lowering of loads and making diagnostics of all features that combine the working motions provided based on the instructions.
Standards & Regulations for Crane Load Testing
Based on Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there are set rules and standards to implement crane load monitoring for routine crane maintenance.
Load testing and overhead crane inspection demand various levels of qualification. The Crane management team needs to dominate a concerned person who can act responsibly for the operator’s duties.
For EOT cranes and hoists, the skilled person should possess the required qualifications, technical expertise, and relevant experience.
Factors like the state of the overhead cranes, frequency of usage and the application context determine the crane inspection and load testing times.
While exposed to harsh temperatures and environments frequently, the overhead crane will require continuous attention.
As per OSHA, hoist chains, crane hooks, wire ropes, and various working parts need regular visual testing and inspection by overhead crane operators.
Extreme service load testing refers to the assessment of overhead crane capacity to operate in adverse weather, extreme or low temperatures, and pollution, dust, etc. A trained expert needs to perform this testing once every five months.
To ensure the overhead crane and hoists function well, heavy operation load monitoring should be performed once every six months.
This means using 80-100% of the rated load to perform over 10 lift cycles per hour during the daily operations, which should reflect on all load blocks.
Also, an externally accredited crane inspector must take care of the annual inspection of the cranes.
When do you need Crane Load Testing?
You need to implement crane load testing under the following conditions:
- New crane installations: The new overhead cranes should undergo loaf testing before you place them for service.
- Crane repairs and modifications: The existing cranes should go through load testing post-modification, re-rating, or any modifications.
- After prolonged disuse: When the equipment is left unused for long periods, then crane load testing helps to detect any possible malfunctioning.
- Periodic Load Testing: Regular load testing at least once in 12 months is advised to check for any potential inaccuracies, where a competent person should do crane inspections as necessary.
How is Crane Load Testing Conducted?
1. Preparation for load testing:
The pre-test procedures for the cranes primarily focus on the preparation of overhead cranes to function and make sure everything works in order. This should ensure the crane remains secure and keep the load testing experts well aware of the testing procedures.
2. Implementing the load test:
The new, modified, or upgraded cranes need to undergo inspection before they get used the next time. The test should include monitoring and analyzing the following functions: lifting, lowering, trolley running, limit switches, locking, bridge running, safety devices, etc.
3. Post-test analysis and reporting:
Generally considering the loading testing of overhead cranes, note that the test loads shouldn’t cross 125% of the total rated lifting power. The load testing reports need to be filed and should be accessible to the respective staff in charge.
Advantages of Crane Load Testing
Improved Safety for the workers and public
Load testing for cranes helps to reduce incidents and injuries in the workplace and the surroundings. The crane operators would not be well aware of malfunctions in the absence of load monitoring. Since cranes carry heavy loads frequently, the equipment parts would undergo wear and tear with time. Load testing detects functionality issues and addresses them to safeguard the lives of workers and the public alike.
Least risk of equipment failure
Besides preventing accidents, load inspections have many other benefits. Load testing offers useful insights into how the crane equipment operates and what are the possible faults which can take birth during operations at manufacturing and industrial facilities. Testing reveals flaws in equipment which would encourage the procurement of new machinery to resolve the possible concerns.
Compliance with the rules and standards
The crane and hoist systems should follow compliance and standards the Government sets. Manufacturing plants should take care of the maintenance and security standards. The high-quality standards reduce damages which could affect the various parts of crane and hoist systems. The periodic inspections are necessary for cranes to work at optimal levels.
Increased lifespan of equipment
Regular crane inspections can help you highlight even the precise issues and prevent them from evolving into major issues. It can avoid mechanical failure and concerns with the production facility. Resolving the short-term damages can let you eliminate the major problems with the overhead crane and hoist systems.
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Crane Load Testing with Oceanme
Securing the workers and facility needs to make sure that the lifting equipment remains in great working condition before placing it into operation.
Checking equipment for its safety before using it for operations is an essential part of inspecting and maintaining the equipment.
Ocean is engaged in providing comprehensive crane inspection, certification, and load testing services along with versatile crane inspection services.
We make certain that our crane maintenance services and load testing techniques adhere to the stringent regulations of equipment safety.
Being a leading company in providing the top services for EOT cranes, we perform voluntary and statutory inspections of the lifting equipment with quality at its epitome.
To know more about our crane load testing services, contact us.