Air Technical Industries (ATI) announces the development of a new “Reversible, Convertible Self-Propelled Mobile Crane” designed especially for NASA.
NASA has the unique and challenging task of lifting and maneuvering hydraulic cylinders on a test stand. Multiple heavy cylinders from 800 to 2100 pounds need to be lifted and positioned at different angles for assembly. Working in tight areas with little clearance and low headroom created a major challenge in accomplishing these tasks safely.
The RBC-3000SPBLL-M (airtechnical.com) has been equipped with regular telescoping boom and swivel eye hook for some common crane boom tasks. The crane is convertible and can be changed to a double parallelogram boom with three-axis manipulator for pitch, yaw and roll operations with a pair of special adjustable forks and holding straps to secure the cylinders during articulation.
The cylinder can be lifted in vertical or horizontal orientations and the yaw axis allows the cylinder to swing left or right for precise positioning. The pitch axis adjusts the vertical alignment to allow the cylinder to be tilted backwards, then raised and plugged into the proper orientation in a tight spot for installation.
The yaw adapter of the manipulator can be removed and replaced with traditional lifting forks for handling standard pallets. The conversion from regular boom to parallelogram boom takes about 15 to 20 minutes and provides NASA with more flexibility and cost savings by having one piece of equipment handling four different tasks.
The RBC is constructed out of heavy duty welded steel. The tilt back mast allows for space saving and provides better safety with less counterweight requirements, making the equipment lighter for easier mobility and longer battery life.
The crane is self-propelled battery powered with infinitely variable speed control from 0-4mph and the steering is 90° to left and right which is ideal for making sharp turns in crowded areas, narrow isles and tight spaces. The unit has built in battery charger that is 120-volt operated.
The propulsion is electro-mechanical with built in automatic braking. The mobility is provided on roller bearing mounted cushion-type wheels for quiet, smooth operation, protecting the floor, and minimizing point loads on the work platform.
All the functions are hydraulically activated which includes the boom lift, telescopic boom and pitch actions. The hydraulic cylinders are equipped with chrome plated shafts for smooth operation and to prevent corrosion. Hydraulic cylinders are equipped with holding valves to prevent loss of load in the event of a hydraulic failure. The hydraulic systems is protected with safety relief valve to prevent over-pressurizing.
All the control functions are push button pendant remote controlled so that the operator can be hands on where precision alignment is required. Hydraulic controls are also built into the steering handle allowing complete operation of the boom and drive functions from one location.
The RBC is truly an ideal tool that is, unique, versatile, mobile, agile, ergonomically safe to help NASA in deep space exploration.