Cranes, chickens and backpacks; three interesting load cell stories for November 2022

Published On: November 14 2022

Overcoming decommissioning issues in the oil industry

Oil platforms have a finite life, and decommissioning them can present engineers with multiple issues and challenges. Even the equipment that’s already in place may itself be reaching the end of its lifespan, such as marine cranes.

As an article in OGV energy magazine explains, this problem can be overcome by hiring marine modular cranes, where the modules are within the current crane’s lifting rating. (Which can be checked with load cells, of course!). Modules can be safely lifted into place and the crane assembled in situ.

A major element that can be recovered during the decommissioning process is the mattresses. In this case a mattress is:

“A flexible protective cover made of concrete blocks – known in industry as a mattress – over a laid cable or pipeline on the surface of the seabed.”

By using a reliable rental crane rather than existing cranes,

“Focusing solely on recovered materials the rental crane can safely and efficiently manoeuvre and stack concrete mattresses on deck (that) allows for recovered mattresses to be stacked higher and more efficiently.”

Flock health monitoring

As of November 3 2022:

“All poultry and captive birds must be housed in England until further notice, following an increase in the number of detections of avian influenza in wild birds and on commercial premises. Bird keepers are required to shut their birds indoors and implement strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the threat.”

It’s a worrying time for all bird keepers, but a recent article for Farmers’ Weekly highlighted the latest technology to allow farmers to keep a close eye on their birds.

Reducing footfall (and therefore risk of contamination) is a key part of keeping avian flu out of a flock. A app-based feed silo monitoring system allows farmers to monitor feed levels remotely by relaying information gathered by load cells that weigh the feed silos:

“The app warns users of falling feed levels to avoid outages, provides seven-day forecasting to allow better delivery management, 30-day history and daily use summaries.”

(We also admired the smart use of tech in the animal welfare system that collects data on the sounds, emissions and behaviour of flocks via a cable-hung sensor system. No load cells involved as far as we can judge, but clever none the less!)

“Software then analyses the elements collected – such as hen calls, ammonia levels and movement patterns – to create an animal welfare index score. When this is combined with productivity data the score creates a measure that can be used to assess and improve animal welfare and compliance.”

Load cell in a hunter’s backpack

Kurt Racicot, founder of US mountain gear manufacturers Stone Glacier, needed a lightweight backpack that allowed him to hunt in extreme terrains and bring out the game he bagged. As an article in Gear Junkie magazineexplained:

“Racicot tried a few alpine shapes, but they didn’t have the load capacity, and most lacked the volume. So he took matters into his own hands.”

The result was a self-designed backpack with a load cell on the internal frame to carry the game back without overloading the wearer. (Just a note to remind our UK readers that the rules on hunting here are very strict on what you can hunt, when and how. See for more details.)

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