Reducing A-Frame installation time

May 26, 2015

Our most common question when a client enquires about renting our A-Frames has and always is:

 

"How long do they take to install?"

 

Its a completely understandable question and an aspect that we place a lot of focus on.  Pleasingly, over the years, we have been able to significantly reduce the time taken to install - and also have a higher degree of certainty regards our timeframes.  In our early years, the installations took between three to four days whereas our latest installation took one and a half days.

 

Some items that we have focussed on include:

  • Closer management / attention to key installation assets, such as:

    • Torque tools;

    • Water bags; and

    • Load cell shackles.

  • Improved base design;

  • Improved to ship connection design; and

  • Custom installation tools.

Our largest time saving occured with the introduction of custom installation tools, an additional bonus was that these tools significantly improved safety during the installation phase.

 

Due to extremetly tight connection pin tolerances, it was difficult to push the pins through to connect the various A-Frame components.  On one early project we needed to apply over 60t using makeshit tooling as the pins had become stuck. As a result of this we identified that without specifically engineered tools, there was a potential for considerable time delays as well as increased risk of injury.

 

As such we designed and manufactured a pin pushing tool (right) and a pin pulling tool (above) that were capable of pushing and pulling the pins into place by safely exerting up to 45 tonnes of force on the pins per tool.  In addition, as required they are are capable of working in unison to apply a 90t load on a single pin.
 

These tools have now given us confidence that we can install all of the pins in less than 4 hours.

 

An interesting challenge with the design was ensuring that the tools could be man handled.  We set a maximum weight of 20kg per tool for manual handling.  This presented a significant design challenge as using traditional Grade 350 steel, the first design came in at 63kg!  With significant FE Analysis and using Grade 700 steel, we managed to reduce the overall weight to achieve our manual handling requirement and came in with a maximum weight of 19.3kg.

 

 

 

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