Automating the Optimal Selection Process of Subassembly Sections of a Modular Spreader Beam Used in Lifting Operations

Tom Wheatley, Perk Lin Chong, Hossein Habibi, Wan Djawad

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Spreader beams used in lifting operations undergo a purely compressive load to spread apart the ends of a sling which enables large payloads to be lifted from a single point, such as a crane hook, without damage. A modular spreader beam can be made using subcomponents of different standard sizes to create a spreader beam of any length, making them more versatile and cost-effective than non-modular spreader beams. However, while the manual calculation and selection of an optimum number of subsections for a single beam is straightforward, the process for the multiple range of spreader beam is very challenging and is labour-intensive in a lifting company. The main aim of this study was to develop an automated system for determining the optimal configuration of the modular spreader beam which leads to increasing the efficiency of the lifting company through saving the associated labour and time costs. The automated system is underpinned by designing an algorithm based on a dynamic programming optimisation search to test every possible configuration and return the optimal configuration. Hence, the main novelty in this study is the development of a computer-based system to automate the selection process of the modular beam’s subsections, which generates an optimal package immediately to create different lengths with the fewest sections needed for a lifting operation. Eventually, the process of generating quotation for clients can be significantly accelerated while the risk of human errors can be also eliminated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number808
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022


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