The heavy cranes carrying ladles filled with pig iron or liquid steel represent the most important transport device in every steel plant. As these cranes transfer the ladles to different locations of the steel making process, the installation of an weighing system inside leads to essential benefit for the entire mass totalling and production data acquisition and control.
Whether the integration of a weighing system inside the transfer car or the transport crane is the best solution in general terms cannot be stated, because it depends essentially on the process logistics and the possibilities to implement the required mechanical modifications. If the decision has been taken to integrate a weighing system inside the ladle transport crane, the following principle installation places can be considered:
Weighing inside the crane trolley, or weighing inside of the spreader beam / crane hook.
Experience with many ladle transport crane scales has proven that from the maintenance point of view considered in this article weighing solutions integrated in the crane trolley offer a higher degree of safety and should therefore be preferred to spreader beam solutions for the following reasons:
Easier mechanical integration inside existing structures, so no need to manufacture a new spreader beam, unlike in the case of weighing systems integrated in the spreader beam there is no vertically moving energy and signal cable, which is always prone to failure by heat or mechanical destruction, the elasticity of the crane ropes significantly reduces dynamic loads, the big vertical distance from the ladle significantly reduces thermal loads
The three main mechanical installation areas for weighing systems inside the trolley of large ladle transport cranes are