Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company specializes in the design, manufacture and sales of telescopic and lattice boom cranes, with headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. Link-Belt has emerged as a market leader by being committed to the design, manufacture and service of quality products that satisfy the needs of their customers worldwide. While operating on the principle of continuous quality improvement, Link-Belt turned to Gantner Instruments for their data acquisition needs.
Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company needed to find an automated way to obtain stress analysis measurements for the quality testing of telescopic and lattice boom cranes. As new designs or modifications are implemented, it is required that their cranes be tested for safety, reliability and overall performance. Link-Belt’s test team is responsible for performing a number of static and dynamic tests in order to validate the load capacities of their cranes against specification. They provide valuable feedback detailing the overall structural soundness of these new designs. Critical performance defects such as fatigue are quickly identified during testing allowing for their engineering team to make additional design modifications prior to their systems being released into production.
Link-Belt’s extensive quality testing process directly translated into the need for a highly specialized and custom tailored data acquisition system. Prior to Gantner, the first system designed by Link-Belt to accomplish quality testing involved the use of specialized I/O modules that were connected via serial communication lines back to a central computer which gathered all the data and displayed it via a custom operator interface. The system was highly customized, complicated and susceptible to installation weather conditions while at the test site. As testing system components began to fail due to weather and other handling conditions, it was clear that Link-Belt needed a more robust system designed for the flexible requirements needed from one test to the next. This idealized system needed to be able to sample more sensor types such as various strain gage inputs and at higher sample rates. Most importantly, it was required that this new system have an open architecture that allows for the use of an operator interface that closely matched the one already being used by Link-Belt, since their test team was already trained using this software.
Link-Belt wanted a system that was reliable (10+ year system life expected), flexible, weatherproof, scalable (from a few dozen channels to hundreds of channels), synchronized, fast (up to 10 KHz sampling for dynamic tests), compatible with their existing software and affordable. Who else but Gantner Instruments?
The modular, high density nature and diverse selection of the Gantner Instruments Q.series provided Link-Belt a wide variety of options to custom tailor a turn-key solution as needed to successfully complete their project. Gantner Instruments was also willing to provide custom enclosures for each of the distributed systems; just another example of how far Gantner Instruments is willing to go to meet the ever evolving demands of its customers. Gantner’s proposal included the following: