Technological Advances Bring Exciting New MEWP Options

Standards and technology have changed, so maintenance managers should review elevators.

OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEpt. 1: This pagept. 2: How to select the right MEWP

Each installation has unique specifications and requirements, which means that selecting the right MEWP for maintenance applications can often be difficult.

Technological innovations surrounding mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) mean that maintenance managers and engineers need to keep abreast of new industry standards. The new ANSI A92.20 standards for the aerial equipment industry have changed the design requirements for MEWPs, including aerial work platforms, scissor lifts and portable aerial work platforms, manufactured after June 1, 2020.

These design changes, which include many new features and technologies such as load sensing and tilt sensing, are intended to improve the safety of MEWPs, said Jennifer Stiansen, director of marketing at JLG.

“For load sensing, MEWPs now need to be fitted with sensors that actively monitor the machine platform load and trigger an alarm, as well as interrupt normal operations in the event of an overload,” says Stiansen.

To meet this requirement, the sensor technology integrated in MEWPs is sufficiently advanced to allow operators to react quickly and easily to an overload situation. By removing or unloading items from a platform, the MEWP will recognize when it has returned to its rated load capacity, allowing operations to be resumed without the need to recalibrate the machine.

The requirements for tilt detection in today’s standards are very similar to those for load detection. The tilt sensor triggers an alarm and turns off the boom and drive functions if the tilt exceeds the machine’s rated grade tolerance, Stiansen explains. Once the machine recognizes that it is back in its rated area, operators can reposition the machine or level the work area, to continue to complete the job within rated load and grade tolerance. the machine.

New advances

Recent advances in PEMP machine technology have been developed to handle work over rough terrain.

“There are new developments that contribute to operator productivity in areas with limited space,” says Stiansen.

MEWPs equipped with an electronic sensing system have strategically placed sensors that provide visual and audible alerts to notify the machine operator when approaching a structure. These sensors trigger the machine to slow down as it approaches the structure, emitting an audible beep that increases in rhythm as it approaches before stopping the unit completely.

“In situations where the MEWP needs to move closer to the structure once it is stopped, the operator can override the sensor technology to slowly advance toward the structure to place the machine closer to the desired work area.” , explains Stiansen.

The technology also continues to help advance product design in the lifting equipment segment, ranging from new safety features to improved lifting capacities and more environmentally friendly power solutions, said Matthew. Elvin, CEO of Snorkel.

“We have introduced a new variable tilt function which allows us to provide a lighter scissor lift capable of reaching the maximum working height and lifting the maximum capacity of the platform outdoors,” explains Elvin.

This feature allows scissor lifts to be used on steeper side slopes while the platform is below its defined height. As the platform is raised, the degree of side-to-side slope the machines can operate on decreases accordingly.

Like many other facility management products, elevators adopt lithium-ion battery technology, especially for mid-size aerial work platforms. Unlike existing electric aerial work platforms which are typically only used on concrete surfaces, the new mid-size aerial work platforms powered by lithium-ion batteries have full all-terrain four-wheel drive capabilities, in addition to being completely zero emissions. .

Another recent trend is a great diversification of heights and types of elevators geared towards more specific applications, says Austin Caskey, product line manager at Sunbelt Rentals. In the past, managers had limited options in terms of size, weight capacity, outward reach, and availability of basket accessories. There are now many other options.

“For example, facility maintenance managers and their crews previously had to rent a 19-foot scissor lift for any work performed on a standard one-story floor,” says Caskey. “Now they have lots of 10 to 20 foot height options and different lengths and compactness so they can fit in spacious or tight spaces. “

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