Technotron develops controls for the Holmatro synchronous-positioning system4 May 2017
As early as 2013, the idea was raised at Holmatro to develop a synchronous-positioning system, to lift large loads using relatively small hydraulic cylinders. The controls for the system needed to link up with the company's basic principles in order to develop an extremely user-friendly, accurate and safe lifting system. Holmatro developed its own vision of the necessary controls, contacting Technotron regarding development of these controls.
The combination of Technotron’s knowledge of mechatronics and Holmatro’s expertise in the field of high-pressure hydraulics and lifting applications, enabled the creation of a centrally-controlled operating system with synchronous lifting and lowering functionalities. This operating system was recently enhanced with the addition of more advanced options, such as levelling of the load and determining the centre of gravity. Levelling makes it possible to position lopsided objects horizontally in a very accurate and controlled manner.
The first operating system with levelling option has been delivered to Holmatro and is now being successfully operated by the end client, House Lifters / Meccanico in New Zealand.
House Lifters lifts and relevels earthquake-damaged buildings in Christchurch and Canterbury. The buildings include commercial properties, residential homes, monumental buildings and churches. House Lifters required a flexible, easy-to-use and extremely accurate synchronous-positioning system for safe and controlled lifting, lowering and levelling of heavy objects. As complex lifting procedures often go hand in hand with tilting, this function was a must-have in a new operating system. Holmatro developed the 2,000-tonne synchronous-positioning system, with Technotron in charge of developing operating software and the control system.
According to Rod Moore, owner of House Lifters and Meccanico,
“Six years after the Canterbury earthquakes we noticed a shift in our work from private homes to commercial buildings.
So, we needed a heavier lifting system. During my search for a new, suitable system I discovered that these types of lifting systems were very heavy and big.
This would mean an additional investment in a lorry. The Holmatro systems seemed relatively small compared to these, which means they are easier for us to operate without the additional requirements. That's why I decided to purchase the computer-controlled hydraulic-lifting system from the Dutch hydraulics manufacturer. They developed a completely customised positioning system. When the order was delivered in New Zealand, two engineers from Holmatro gave my employees and me an intensive training session and helped us get started professionally. It was a great success. We were able to lift the concrete floor of a 340-tonne building in Ferryman, Christchurch 200 mm and reposition it. After placing 25 jacks, coupling the hydraulic pumps and connecting the wiring on the computer, the system could measure the heights directly. With other systems, I needed several guys to keep an eye on all the lifting points when simultaneously lifting multiple cylinders. This system controls all the points at the same time as the building is slowly lifted. If a problem occurs, such as the sudden collapse of a lift-support structure, the system will automatically sound an alert and the process will stop without causing any damage or breakage. Once the building was lifted, we propped it up. Holes that had been formed were located with a radar test and the floors were checked for subsidence. We were able to remove all faults from the floor and were able to restore it back to its original form with a maximum difference of 0.1 mm.”