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No more need for a third hand

November 25, 2015

The Hook Latch Trigger was conceived in response to a real challenge. It’s one example of how internal R&D collaboration and close cooperation with customers can result in innovations that help improve productivity, ergonomics and safety.

Employees of Konecranes’ service branch in Tasmania noticed that at customers’ sites, safety latches on crane hooks were often deliberately broken or taped open to facilitate easier operation when putting chains in or taking them out. This practice is highly unsafe and is prohibited for many reasons.

Without a properly functioning safety latch there is a risk of the load falling during the lifting process. Also, the safety latches on large hooks are quite strong, posing a risk of hand injury while loads are being attached.

Aiming to provide a solution, local Konecranes service personnel built a hook with a handle that the user could push down to get the safety latch open without having to put their fingers in the hook’s opening. While the solution wasn’t technically optimal, it raised attention about an existing need and sparked further development.

Continuous development and testing

Konecranes’ R&D function got hold of the concept for the Hook Latch Trigger through the company’s global innovation work. Since then, employees from Finland and India have joined in and developed several iterations. Each phase has brought new technical features and responded to new needs.

The very first version of the Hook Latch Trigger was developed and implemented on a customer crane. In the later stages, as the technical solution was developed, prototyping and testing were done at Konecranes and at selected customer sites. Customers have been heavily involved throughout the development of the product. Konecranes has analyzed usage and conducted user interviews to understand the benefits of the solution. Feedback has been highly positive, and most of the participating customers want to continue using the product.  

Patents are pending for the Hook Latch Trigger, which is available now as standard for SMARTON and UNITON cranes and with limited availability by request for CXT cranes. Find out more in the video above.

Key advantages:

  1. The latch trigger locks the latch in an open position, leaving the operator with both hands free to attach or detach the load.
     
  2. The product lowers the risk of injuries that could occur if, for example, fingers were to get caught in the way of the latch.
     
  3. The latch closes automatically after the load is attached. When used properly the latch trigger helps prevent the risk of the load falling due to a forcefully opened or removed traditional safety latch.

 

Text: Patricia Ongpin Steffa
Photo and video: Konecranes

Authors

Lari Heikkilä, Product Engineer, Konecranes Business Supplies and Equipment

Olli Kuismanen, General Manager at Konecranes