Fluid Power Talk

Wireless Control Revamps Truck-Scale Loading Equipment

The trolley and winch raise and lower the carrier and weights, and load them into the back of the truck onto the cargo scale and calibration system.

—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.

JT Cranes' D40 tracked carrier uses the same wireless controls as Tiffin's truck-scale loaders.

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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