Page 34 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - December 2018
P. 34

1979-2019 Celebrating Our
                         40th Year Serving the Industry,

                               Wire Rope News & Sling Technology
                                   asks long-time experts to share
                                   memories and comments on…

               Our Industry Over the Past 40 Years

                              By Peter von Bleichert, Ph.D., great-great-grandson of
                      Adolf Bleichert (1845-1901), wire ropeway pioneer and industrialist

               Wire  rope  is  in  my blood, and  ago, only a few specialists manu-  been no greater change to the de-
              many of my family and friends  factured eight-strand rope. As  sign,  manufacture,  and  mainte-
              around the world are what I call  more manufacturers acquired eight  nance  of wire  rope than the  intro-
              ‘wire rope heads’; fascinated by the  bobbin closers, the use of this supe-  duction of computers. Prior, wire
              technology  and  uses  of  this  versa-  rior rope design expanded .  rope design  had used experiment
              tile  product and its  applications   Since 1982, rope diameter, length  and observation, correlating strand
              in transport and lifting systems.  and weights  have increased,  with  diameters, wire  diameters, and
              When the world was younger and  120mm (4.72 inches)  diameter be-  strand and rope lay lengths.  This
              there were still monsters at the  coming commonplace. In 2015,  empirical approach relied on trial
              edge of the map, it was wire rope                              and error and, often, use by custom-
              pioneers—Albert, Bleichert, Haz-                               ers was the final test . Coupled with
              ard, Newall, Roebling, Seale, Stone,                           new high-speed and high-resolution
              and, White—that helped industry                                cameras, computers have facilitated
              penetrate the wilds and extract re-                            advanced image processing  tech-
              sources, and move goods and people                             niques for visual inspection of wire
              to heretofore impassable  heights.                             rope. Utilizing machine learning,
              There  are  new  pioneers:  engineers                          computers  brought  feature  extrac-
              and companies that continue to in-                             tion  and  classification  to  a  new
              novate, expanding the capabilities                             level.  A  patent  filed  by  engineer
              and uses  of wire rope. These new                              Roland Verreet in 2012 uses three
              pioneers  have driven  the  industry                           cameras to continuously image a
              forward in the last 40 years…                                  moving wire rope thereby detecting
               Wilhelm Albert’s invention and                                damage.  Once  damage  is located,
              design of wire rope avoided internal                           the position is mapped with optical
              crossovers  by  utilizing  fiber  cores.                       or radioactive markers, or by count-
              However, industry eventually want-     Peter with bust of his  ing the number of lays .
              ed greater strength, and Thomas        great-great-grandfather   The  last  40  years  have  seen  in-
              Seale introduced the independent                               credible developments in the wire
              wire rope core (IWRC). Though  Guinness Book of World Record rec-  rope  industry.  Trends  include  the
              stronger, IWRC had its own prob-  ognized Gaylin, a Singapore-based  US as the  largest  producer  and
              lems, such as internal wire breakage  provider of rigging and lifting so-  consumer of wire rope, and China,
              that escaped visual detection. Plastic  lutions,  and,  Kiswire,  a Malaysian  as it ascends economically and in-
              infill was developed and patented in  wire rope manufacturer,  for the  dustrially, is the quickest growing
              the late 1970s whereby plastic filled  thickest wire rope which measured  region. As a new generation of in-
              the voids between the IWRC and  175mm (6.88 inches) in diameter .  novative engineers enter the field,
              the  rope’s  outer  strands,  protecting   In the  last 40 years,  there  has  and new technologies, such as ex-
              the core from moisture, maintaining                            panded  use  of  carbon  fiber,  come
              its lubrication, and cushioning the   1. Verreet, R. (2018). Ropes and reeving systems: The   online, the next 40 years are cer-
              rope’s outer strands .          last 40 years. Wire rope technology Aachen. pp. 7-8.  tain to be just as incredible. n
                                              2. Verreet, p. 9.
               Six-strand wire rope dominates   3. n.a. (2015, July 30). Gaylin and Kiswire Set World
                                              Record for Largest Diameter Wire Rope. Wire rope ex-
              the industry. However, eight-   change. Retrieved from  We’ll be highlighting statements
              strand rope offered greater contact   news/view/6575/gaylin-and-kiswire-set-world-record-  from leaders in the material handling
                                                                               industry. If you know someone who’s
              area between outer strands and the   4. Verreet, p. 5.            been involved for the last 40 years
                                              5. Schlanbusch, Rune & Oland, Espen & Bechhoefer,
              sheave, resulting in lower bearing   Eric.  (2017). Condition monitoring technologies  for   that would like to contribute,
              pressure, greater resistance to fa-  steel wire ropes - A review. International Journal of   please contact us and we’ll include
                                              Prognostics and Health Management, p. 8.
              tigue,  and  longer  life.  Forty  years   Photo courtesy of Peter von Bleichert  them in an upcoming issue!
                                                                                                continued on page 34
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