Latest news from Loughborough University

13 Nov 2015

Loughborough IP named most innovative product by LIFTEX2015

Aero-Beam, a breakthrough in crane operation technology, has won the Most Innovative Product Award at the LEEA LiftEx 2015 exhibition and conference.

The aerodynamic lifting aid reduces drag and improves stability of loads so that work on construction sites – particularly of tall buildings – can continue in adverse weather conditions.

Winding off is a major issue limiting crane operations. Lighter loads with a large sail area – for example, facade panelling – cause particular problems with high winds causing loads to behave unpredictably – limiting safe lifting, handling of the load and operation of the crane itself.

To ensure workforce and public safety, and avoid damage to machinery and property, high winds often halt lifting operations.

The start of the millennia has seen unprecedented demand for iconic tall buildings. Wind speed increases at altitude, exacerbating the problems faced by crane operators and increasing the time lost due to weather.

Developed in partnership with HTC Wolffkran, LEEA and Speedy, Aero-Beam is an aerodynamic lifting aid which improves load stability and reduces drag, allowing safe operation in adverse wind conditions.

Suitable for high sail area loads – such as concrete shuttering, panels and glazing units – it is passively-stable, keeps the load pointing into the wind, and its innovative design minimises the time taken to rig and de-rig.

The Wing allows the lifting of building materials by a tower crane in higher speed and less stable wind conditions, reducing delays in a construction programme.

IP Officer Colm Watling says of the Award: “We are delighted by the reception of Aero-Beam at the LiftEx exhibition and conference. The Award highlights the potential of the developing technology, and we hope that it will encourage potential partners to get involved in its global roll-out.”

Notes for editors

Article reference number: November News

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. It was 2nd in the 2015 THE Student Experience Survey and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise.

LEEA is the globally recognised trade association for all involved in the design, manufacture, hire, repair, maintenance and use of lifting equipment.

German company HTC Wolffkran designs and builds tower cranes. Its products serve the international construction industry.

Speedy is a UK tools, equipment and plant hire company, operating across the construction, infrastructure and industrial markets.