Tuesday 27 March 2012

Load cells for offshore

The CPA Series of Compression load cells from LCM Systems are often the sensors of choice for companies constructing Centre of Gravity (CoG) systems. When a long standing customer approached the company for the standard load cells to be used as part of a large offshore jacking system, engineers at LCM suggested that a modified version would be more suitable as they were to be used with specified hydraulic cylinders. In fact, after further discussions the customer realised that LCM could supply a complete CoG system, together with customised PC software, saving them both time and money.

The engineers at LCM Systems were faced with another design challenge. Firstly, the load cells had to be compatible with a specific Enerpac cylinder and had to be easy to mount and dismount. Secondly, the load cap had to be versatile enough to self align a +/- 2 degree angular loading scenario, at the same time being restrained for safety. And last but not least, it was essential that the load cells were manufactured in stainless steel and environmentally protected to IP67 minimum while having an accuracy of < 0.25% with full multi-point calibration and complete traceability.

Within only 6 weeks, the company took delivery of the complete system that comprised 30 load cells, completely constructed as specified and supplied calibrated, with a calibration certificate, traceable to UKAS. 17-4PH and 316 stainless steel were used to manufacture the fully welded load cells and the cover and mounting base respectively. For ease of mounting on the hydraulic cylinder, LCM Systems designed an integral connector for quick and easy commissioning and the load cap has a spring load retaining system for versatility and safety. Finally, with the installer in mind, carry handles were incorporated for safe and ergonomic transportation.

This special load cell design is a perfect example of how LCM Systems can adapt standard products to meet a customer’s exact requirements. Generally, this approach adds no extra cost or only a minimal extra cost to the standard load cell price, but quite often offers reductions in the client's overall costs.

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