Apr
30

Hot off the press: how load cells keep printing presses rolling

LC---Printing---Apr-2021

A few years back, business leaders went crazy for the concept of the ‘paperless office’ or indeed, a Utopian ‘paperless world’. While it’s certainly true we all print out information a lot less (when did you last print an email?), it’s also true that we still need printed items, from books and newspapers, to food packaging and information leaflets. Even the much-touted COVID vaccination ‘passport’ cannot be entirely app-based, as it discriminates against those without smart phones (and those with smart phones but flat batteries!).

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Apr
15

Waiting for the hammer to fall: load cells and pile load testing

LC---PileDriving---Apr-2021

Pile driving is an intrinsic part of many major construction projects, so it is important that they are up to the job. Testing these piles to ensure they can take the load and forces required, both at THE start of a project, and ongoing as required. As CMWGeosciences say:

“Testing of piles is routinely carried out in order to verify that the design and construction of the piles are in line with expectations or to assist in the design of piles ahead of the main piling construction works.”

Load cells are there to measure the force applied, safely relay the data, and help engineers ensure that the piles meet national standards and the contract specifications.

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Mar
29

You say tomato, I say Global Tomato Congress: Load cells and autonomous greenhouses

LC---Tomato---Mar-2021

One of the joys of designing and manufacturing load cells is to discover the diverse range of uses in a myriad of industry solutions, from the Mars rover arm to developing better ways to grow the food we all enjoy every day.

One of the hot topics at the Global Tomato Congress was new software systems for commercial greenhouses. This is to:

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Mar
11

Moving house the hard way: load cells and building relocation

LC---House-move---Mar-2021

Last week San Fransisco resident turned out in their droves as Tim Brown moved his home six blocks from Franklin Street to Fulton Street. But this was no ordinary house move. The two storey, 139 year old building known as the Englander House was literally uprooted, loaded onto a set of wheels and gently towed to a new site at a snail’s pace speed of 1mph.

House moving specialist Phil Joyhad to secure permits from more than 15 separate city departments to make the move possible. In perhaps the understatement of the week, Mr Joy said the move was initially more challenging because the first section of the journey involved going downhill. “That’s always difficult for a house,” he said.

 

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Feb
25

Is there life on Mars? Load cells help find the answers

LC---Mars---Feb-2021

If like us you’ve watched the Mars Perseverance Rover touch down gently on the surface of the red planet, you’ll know just what a nail-biting landing this was. Since it launched in July 2020, the rover has travelled 293 million miles across space, finally touching down in the Jerezo Crater.

The Perseverance is about the size of a car, being 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall (excluding arms), and weighs just over 1000kg. It was successfully lowered down to the surface on three mechanical cables. While we don’t know if the cables had load cells attached, load cells would have certainly been used in the testing and process of getting the $2.2billion rover sitting safely on six wheels in Martian dust.

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Feb
15

Weighing wind turbine blades; a local(ish) load cell stor

LC---Turbines---Feb-2021

We’re thrilled that we’re able to feature a local (ish) news story involving load cells, the Isle of Wight and the landmark former oil refinery at Fawley in Hampshire!

It also enables us to share our latest favourite trivia fact, so we’ll start with a teaser question: how many rotations of a wind turbine with three 80m blades would it take to power the average UK home for 29 hours?

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Jan
28

Let it snow: load cells and the white stuff [Updated January 2021]

LC---Snowed-in---Jan-2021

The first snowfall of 2021 has decorated our part of Berkshire this week. Needless to say it’s made headline news, despite the fact that northern England and Scotland have had it for several days already…) Deep,long-lasting snow is a rare event, and certainly south the the Scottish Highlands, there are very few businesses that depend on British snow for their income.

For other countries, snow is much more part of their economy, and load cells have played their part in helping measure and assess the impact, qualities and properties of snow on all its various forms.

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Jan
18

Structural safety, wind farms and Ducati motorbikes: new load cell stories for a new year

LC---3-load-cells---Jan-21

Now that the decorations are down and the kids in their second week of home schooling, it’s time for three new load cell projects that caught our eye for 2021.

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Dec
22

Twelve days of load cells: our 2020 Christmas quiz

LC---Christmas-quiz-2020

Test your knowledge of load cells and general trivia with our Christmas 2020 quiz. 

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Dec
10

Ready to assemble (almost): NASA’s Artemis 1 and load cells

LC---Nasa-Rocket---Dec-2020

How do you assemble a space rocket? According to NASA’s latest update on the Artemis 1, very very carefully - and slowly.

As NASA themselves explain,

“Artemis I, formerly Exploration Mission-1, will be the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.”

 

The launch involves the building of the “most powerful rocket in the world”, currently being assembled at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, USA. The launch is scheduled for November 2021, but that deadline involves stacking eight Booster motor segments on top of two foundation element of the whole vehicle, the SLS aft booster assemblies.

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Nov
27

Load cells stories for the end of lockdown

LC---LoadCell-links---Nov-2020

Good news, England’s lockdown is almost over! To celebrate, we’ve put together a snacking selection of load cell stories that have tickled our fancy in November.

 

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Nov
12

On your marks, get set - bake! Load cells and loaves

LC---LoadCell-bread---Nov-2020

If like us you are glued to the Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 , you’ll know the challenges of baking bread to a deadline! In tribute to the plucky amateur bakers battling it in the Bake Off tent, we take a look at how load cells are helping produce artisan bread, and the role they play in our own kitchens.

 

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Oct
22

A load off your mind: how to choose the right load cell for your materials testing

Screen-Shot-2020-10-22-at-13.52.18

The mantra ‘test, test, test’ isn’t just for viruses. Testing of materials and products to ensure their safety and quality is happening every day across the world. One of the key methods is force testing, measuring how a given material or product responds to the application of force. And load cells are crucial to the accurate and consistent measurement of force.

Force exerted on an object can either be:

  • a push, resulting in compression
  • a pull, resulting in tension

Force can be measured in Newtons (N) or pounds-force (lbF). At The Load Cell Shop, we show the working range of our load cells in Newtons (N).

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Oct
09

Looking after your load cells

LC---recalibrate---Oct-2020

Load cells are remarkably hard-working, robust and reliable technology, but over time their accuracy may start to diminish. Whether used regularly or continually for weighing, for example, you need to look out for the signs that your load cells need a little attention, and perhaps recalibrating or replacing.

Here are our top five potential issues to look out for. All the specifications quoted below are for our own brand 100 series low profile load cells, as an example. You can download the data sheet here:

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Sep
30

Strumming, shredding and bending: tensile testing for guitar strings

LC---Strings--Sep-2020

For those of use who learned the classical guitar strung with slightly saggy basic strings, or scraped away on a school violin, today’s modern instrument strings are a whole new breed. Composite materials have helped develop a whole range of strings for both orchestral and guitar players. These can now be made, for example, for the precise guitar type and playing style, but also the player’s personal preferences for brightness of tone or sustained notes.

Strings comes in various gauges (thicknesses), from super-light to heavy, and are measured in 1/1000th of an inch. Therefore a lightweight 9-gauge string is a mere 0.009 inches thick. In electric guitars, the four lower strings strings have an outer layer of would wire, which can be either round or flat.

(For a full explanation of guitar string gauges, outer wire windings, metals used, tonal qualities and detailed comparisons of leading guitar string brands for good measure, check out this website)

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Sep
15

Down on the farm; load cells in agriculture

LC---farming---Sep-2020

As the last of the straw bales disappear from the fields and the grain harvest is in, load cells continue to play vital roles both in traditional and automated farm setups.

Load cells feature in almost every aspect of modern farming. You’ll find them in four-wheel steering systems for agricultural vehicles, enabling them to manoeuvre in small spaces and maximise crop yields. They also feature as

 “Linear position and load sensors that are part of advanced mobile autonomous vehicles linked to the GNSS for vehicle guidance and load weight measurement …  Other automated and autonomous machine tasks comprise the sensing component as part of closed-loop systems where often multiple functions are synchronised, such as with vision systems and linear motion positioners or rotary actuators for tasks including in-row weeding or selective crop harvesting.”

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Aug
28

Supporting a sagging ship: HMS Victory and load cells

LC---victory

It’s probably the most famous ship in the Royal Navy that doesn’t actually float any more, but HMS Victory has been saved from ‘sagging’ in its dry dock with the help of load cells.

Launched in May 1765 from the docks at Chatham, and at the time the largest ship build for the navy, HMS Victory was Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar. Now it sits in dry dock at the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) in Portsmouth.

 

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Aug
07

“A statement in its understatement”: the new Genoa San Giorgio Bridge

LC---Genoa-bridge---Aug-2020

The Morandi Bridge, opened in 1967, was seen at the time as the way forward for bridge building, using pre-stressed concrete and cable-supported spans. Sadly, on 14 August 2018, during a heavy storm, one of the cable-stayed towers and adjacent spans collapsed, killing 43 people on the bridge and in housing below.

Now, just two years on, a brand new bridge has been completed. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the Genoa San Giorgio Bridge was built by 1,200 construction workers in just 15 months of 24/7 activity, working on the bridge despite strict lockdown conditions due to coronavirus. The only day work stopped was Christmas Day 2019.

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Jul
28

Blow the wind southerly: load cells and wind turbines

LC---wind-turbines---July-2020

Wind turbines are a common site now in the UK, whether spread over high hillsides or spinning gently on the horizon out to sea. Despite the initial scepticism, wind power now provides a very significant proportion of power to the National Grid. In December 2019, the winds of Storm Atiyah resulted in a record-breaking day when wind turbines contributed over 44% of the total British power needs for that day. That compared with nuclear power (20.5%) and gas (12.8%) on the same day.

 

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Jul
16

Back on track: load cells and sports

LC---Sport---July-2020

It’s sport, Jim, but not as we know it… The coronavirus pandemic has changed the face of UK sport, with most sporting fixtures cancelled and the few remaining held behind closed doors. So, to celebrate a cautious and staged return to sport, we’ve been looking at the continuing role load cells play in various beautiful games!

 

Football

Football is back, albeit in empty stadiums and on TV channels where you least expect it! Load cells play an important role in testing and assessing the kit used by professional footballers, from boots to shin pads. Footballs go through rigorous testing and are also studied in terms of their impact on the human body, as with the findings around headers and young players.

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Contact Us

Richmond Industries Limited

Unit B9, Acre Business Park

Acre Road

Reading

RG2 0SA UK

 

Phone: +44 1189 310 396

Email: sales@loadcellshop.co.uk

Company No. 2813623

 

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