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Crane Load Cell Manufacturers: A Comprehensive Guide

Crane Load Cell Manufacturers: A Comprehensive Guide

Cranes are crucial tools for lifting and transporting huge loads in a variety of industries, including shipbuilding, mining, oil and gas, construction, and manufacturing. It is important to note, however, that cranes can also pose serious safety risks if they are misused or neglected. One of the most crucial components of a crane is its load cell, which enables it to operate safely and effectively.

Load cells are devices that measure the force or weight applied to them and then convert that measurement into an electrical signal. This signal can be received by a display or controller. Load cells are widely used for weighing applications such as scales, balances, and testing equipment. They are also crucial in crane operations as they provide accurate and real-time information about the load being lifted by the crane.

In this post, we’ll provide you with a thorough introduction to crane load cells, including their purpose, advantages, difficulties, types, selection criteria, installation advice, maintenance advice, and the world’s top producers. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know more about crane load cells and how to pick the right one for your requirements.

What are Crane Load Cells, and Why Are They Important?

The purpose of crane load cells and their basic operation

Crane load cells are special load cells created for measuring the tension or compression force applied to the load by the crane. They are typically fitted between the crane’s hook and wire rope or chain, or between the boom and crane mast. They can also be included in the crane’s outriggers or hydraulic cylinders, among other structural components.

Strain gauge technology, which is based on the alteration in an electrical conductor’s resistance as it is stretched or compressed, provides the basis for how crane load cells operate. A strain gauge is a thin metal foil or wire attached to a flexible backing and adhered to the surface of the load cell body. When a force is applied to the load cell body, it creates a tiny deformation or strain on the strain gauge, which changes its resistance. An electrical circuit can detect this change in resistance and translate the result into a proportionate voltage output.

The voltage output of the crane load cell is then transferred to a display or controller, which displays the weight or force value in digital or analog format. The display or controller can also be programmed to do other things, such as setting alarms, limitations, or triggers, logging data, calculating the center of gravity, and so on.

The Advantages and Uses of Crane Load Cells

Crane load cells offer various advantages to crane operators and owners, including:

  • Increasing safety Crane overloading and underloading, which can result in mishaps and harm to people or property, are prevented by crane load cells. Crane operators can prevent going over the safe working load (SWL) or crane’s rated capacity by continuously monitoring load mass or force. Additionally, they can see any load mismatches or instability that might jeopardize the crane’s stability.
  • Increasing productivity: Crane load cells optimize crane performance and productivity by giving precise and dependable information about the weight being lifted. Crane operators can alter their lifting speed, acceleration, deceleration, and positioning by being aware of the precise weight or force of the load. Additionally, they may better plan their lifting operations and minimize extraneous motions and travel.
  • Cost-saving: Crane load cells help save operational costs and boost profitability by reducing crane downtime and the need for maintenance, repairs, and replacements. Crane operators can increase the useful life and serviceability of cranes and their parts by avoiding overloading or underloading cranes. They can also minimize fuel usage and emissions by streamlining their lifting activities.

Crane load cells are used in many different sectors, including:

  • Construction: Crane load cells are used to measure the weight or force of building materials hoisted by tower cranes, mobile cranes, or crawler cranes. They are also used to gauge the tension or compression force of crane-installed structural components such as beams, columns, and trusses.
  • Mining: Crane load cells are used to measure the weight or force of minerals, ores, or rocks that are mined using draglines, excavators, or shovels. They can also be used to gauge the tension or compression force of cables, ropes, or chains that lift or descend workers or mining equipment.
  • Oil and gas: Crane load cells are used to measure the weight or force of pipes, valves, or fittings that are hoisted by offshore cranes, pedestal cranes, or knuckle boom cranes.
    Additionally, mooring lines, risers, and umbilicals that are attached to floating production platforms or subsea structures are measured for their tension or compression forces using these devices.
  • Shipbuilding: Crane load cells are used to measure the weight or force of ship components such as hulls, decks, or masts that are raised by gantry cranes, portal cranes, or floating cranes.
    The tension or compression force of rigging lines, slings, or shackles that are used to secure or release ship parts is also measured using these devices.
  • Manufacturing: In the lifting of products using overhead cranes, bridge cranes, or jib cranes, crane load cells are used to gauge the weight or force of the materials.
    They can also be used to gauge the tension or compression force of magnets, clamps, or hooks that are employed to hold or release objects.

The Challenges and Risks of Crane Load Cells


Crane load cells also encounter several difficulties and dangers that could impair their functionality and dependability, such as:

  • Environmental influences: Crane load cells are subject to a variety of environmental influences that could harm or interfere with their component parts. These variables include variations in temperature, humidity, dust, dirt, water, corrosion, shock, vibration, impact, lightning, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and radio frequency interference (RFI). The accuracy and stability of the crane load cell output may be impacted by several variables, necessitating routine calibration and maintenance.
  • Mechanical variables: There are a number of mechanical factors that crane load cells are exposed to, which could lead to component wear and tear or failure. These elements consist of fatigue stress cycles, bending moments, shear forces, and torsional forces.

How to Choose the Right Crane Load Cell for Your Needs

The Types and Specifications of Crane Load Cells

To meet the needs of diverse crane applications, crane load cells are offered in a variety of forms and specifications. The following are a few examples of typical crane load cells:

  • S-type load cells: These have an S-shaped body and can be installed in tension or compression. They are excellent for measuring small to medium loads and have good accuracy and precision. Overhead cranes, bridge cranes, and jib cranes are frequently utilized with them.
  • Shear beam load cells: These are rectangular-shaped load cells installed in shear or bending motions. They have a moderate level of accuracy and precision and can measure medium to high loads. For gantry cranes, portal cranes, or floating cranes, they are frequently employed.
  • Single-point load cells: These load cells are installed at a single point and have a small body. They have high accuracy and resolution and can measure tiny loads. They are frequently employed for crane-integrated scales, balances, and testing apparatus.
  • Pancake load cells: These load cells have a flat, circular body and are installed in compression. They are effective for measuring heavy loads but have poor accuracy and resolution. They are frequently utilized for crane-integrated draglines, excavators, or shovels.
  • Wireless load cells: These are load cells that have a wireless transmitter and receiver that converse through radio waves or Bluetooth. They do away with the need for cables or wires that could interfere with or harm the system. They can measure any load and vary in accuracy and resolution according to the strength and quality of the signal. For offshore cranes, pedestal cranes, or knuckle boom cranes, they are frequently utilized.

The following are some typical crane load cell specifications:

  • Capacity: The highest load the crane load cell can measure without going above its safe working limit (SWL) or rated capacity. Typically, it is measured in pounds (lb), tons (t), or kilograms (kg).
  • Accuracy: the degree to which the measured value is close to the real value of the load. It is commonly represented as a percentage of the full-scale output (%FSO) or as a percentage of the applied load (%AL).
  • Resolution: This is the smallest change in the load that the crane load cell can detect and display. Typically, it is stated as a percentage of the full-scale output (FSO) or as a number of divisions (d).
  • Output: The electrical signal generated by the crane load cell as a result of the applied load. Millivolts per volt (mV/V), volts (V), milliamps (mA), or digital units are typically used to denote it.
  • Excitation: This is the electrical power that is used to operate the crane load cell. Either a volt’s direct current (VDC) or a volt’s alternating current (VAC) is typically used to express it.
  • Temperature range: the temperature range in which the crane load cell may operate without impacting its performance or dependability. The standard units of measurement are degrees Celsius (°C) and degrees Fahrenheit (°F).

The Things to Think About When Choosing a Crane-Load Cell

There are a number of things to take into account when choosing a crane load cell for your requirements, including:

  • The crane’s size and type: You should select a crane load cell that corresponds to the kind and size of your crane, such as a tower crane, mobile crane, crawler crane, and so on. The crane’s lifting capability, the height at which it can lift, the radius of rotation, the length of the rope, etc. should all be taken into account.
  • When choosing a crane load cell, it is important to consider the type and weight of your load, whether it be construction materials, minerals, pipes, ship parts, or others. The load cell should be able to accurately and consistently measure these factors, taking into account the size, density, and center of gravity of the load.
  • Environmental conditions: Select a crane load cell that can withstand the environmental conditions in which your crane operates, such as temperature changes, humidity, dust, dirt, water, corrosion, vibration, shock, impact, lightning strikes, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and radio frequency interference (RFI). The protection class, ingress protection (IP) rating, and environmental compensation of your crane load cell are additional factors to take into account.
  • Installation and upkeep specifications: A crane load cell that is simple to install and maintain, such as a wireless load cell, a plug-and-play load cell, or a self-calibrating load cell, should be used. The mounting, wiring, calibration, and maintenance choices for your crane load cell should also be taken into account.
  • Budget and availability: You should select a crane load cell based on your financial situation and availability, such as affordable, high-quality, or custom-made load cells. You should also think about your crane load cell’s warranty, servicing, and support.

The Best Techniques for Setting Up and Keeping a Crane Load Cell

When installing and maintaining a crane load cell, you should follow some best practices, such as:

  • Examine the guide: You should carefully read the directions and guidelines provided by the company that produces the manual for your crane load cell. Additionally, make sure that your crane’s load cell matches both your load and the crane’s standards.
  • Select the proper location: You should select the proper location for your crane load cell to achieve the best performance and reliability. Extreme temperatures, high levels of humidity, filth, water, corrosion, vibration, shock, impact, lightning strikes, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and radio frequency interference should all be avoided. Additionally, stay away from spots that require too much effort to install or maintain.
  • Use the right tools and accessories. You should use the necessary tools and accessories for your crane load cell to ensure proper installation and maintenance. Use the equipment and accessories that the maker has supplied or that the manual suggests. Use the tools and accessories that are appropriate for your crane load cell type and specification as well.
  • Conduct routine calibration and testing: To ensure the accuracy and stability of your crane load cell, you should conduct routine calibration and testing. You should calibrate your crane load cell with standard weights or approved reference materials. Additionally, you must test your crane’s load cell using actual or simulated loads. Calibration and testing should be done at least once a year, if not more regularly, depending on the usage and environmental conditions of your crane load cell.
  • Regularly inspect and clean your crane load cell to ensure its durability and performance. The crane load cell should be inspected for any evidence of damage or deterioration, such as corrosion, cracks, dents, bends, or fractures, pollution, etc. Additionally, you must clean your crane load cell with a gentle cleaner or solvent, a soft cloth, or both. Avoid using anything abrasive or harsh that could harm or interfere with your crane load cell.

Who are the leading crane load cell manufacturers in the world?

There are many crane load cell manufacturers in the world that offer various types and specifications of crane load cells for different applications and requirements. Some of the leading crane load cell manufacturers in the world are:

There are numerous crane load cell manufacturers throughout the world who provide various types and specifications of crane load cells for varied purposes and requirements. The following are some of the top producers of crane load cells worldwide:

Advanced Sensor Technology by FUTEK, Inc.

The US-based FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. specializes in creating and producing high-quality sensors, transducers, instruments, and systems for a variety of markets, including aerospace, automotive, medical, industrial automation, and test and measurement. Numerous crane load cells, including S-type load cells, shear beam load cells, single-point load cells, pancake load cells, and wireless load cells, are available from FUTEK. Accessories from FUTEK include displays, controllers, amplifiers, software, cables, and connections, among others. Crane load cells made by FUTEK are renowned for their great precision, resolution, stability, longevity, and customizability. The webpage for FUTEK is here.

System LCM Ltd.

A UK-based business called LCM Systems Ltd. specializes in designing and producing high-performance load cells, load pins, load shackles, load links, and instrumentation for a variety of industries, including lifting and handling, marine, offshore, subsea, civil engineering, and aerospace. LCM Systems provides a diverse selection of crane load cells, including S-type load cells, shear beam load cells, single-point load cells, pancake load cells, and wireless load cells. Accessories from LCM Systems include displays, controllers, amplifiers, software, cables, and connectors, among others. Crane load cells made by LCM Systems are renowned for their high capacity, resolution, stability, robustness, and customizability. Web site for LCM Systems Tacuna Systems is {here}.

A US-based company called Tacuna Systems specializes in offering high-quality sensors, transducers, instruments, and systems for a range of industries, including test and measurement and industrial automation. A variety of crane load cells are available from Tacuna Systems, including S-type load cells, shear beam load cells, single-point load cells, pancake load cells, and wireless load cells. Accessories from Tacuna Systems include displays, controllers, amplifiers, software, cables, and connectors, among others. Crane load cells from Tacuna Systems are renowned for their great precision, resolution, stability, longevity, and cost. The website for Tacuna Systems is here.

METTLER TOLEDO

A Swiss company named Müller Toledo specializes in offering top-notch weighing systems, analytical tools, and process analytics for a range of industries, including pharmaceutical, chemical, food and beverage, biotechnology, and retail. A variety of crane load cells are available from METTLER TOLEDO, including S-type load cells, shear beam load cells, single-point load cells, pancake load cells, and wireless load cells. Additional accessories from METTLER TOLEDO include displays, controllers, amplifiers, software, cables, and connections. Crane load cells from Mueller Toledo are renowned for their great precision, resolution, stability, robustness, and innovation. Here is the website for Meltler Toledo.

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