Page 71 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - August 2018
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same device that captures data and is                                 updated version features a number of
         already on their person, like a mobile                                major enhancements including the ad-
         or  cell  phone.  However,  the  extent  to                           dition of an analogue load indicator to
         which  the  technology  was  embraced                                 the main screen; and new languages
         was overwhelming, as was the positive                                 in Dutch, Spanish, Norwegian, Japa-
         feedback we received and requests for                                 nese, and Chinese. Further, the app
         enhancements.”                                                        now automatically adds GPS coordi-
           Ayling reiterated that Bluetooth is                                 nates into data logging reports, and
         designed for use over relatively short                                features updated overload and warn-
         distances. The app takes its name from                                ing alarms to accommodate manual
         SP’s Handheld plus display unit, which                                value entries.
         has a range of up to 700m  (2,300ft.),                                  Ayling  concluded:  “I spoke  upon
         while the Multiple Wireless Load Cell                                 launch  of  the  first  versions  of  these
         Controller (SW-MWLC) software pack-                                   game-changing technologies about the
         age displays and logs data from up to                                 increasing  importance of  the Internet
         100 SP  wireless  load cells  simultane-                              of Things and, fittingly, Bluetooth 4.2
         ously. However, this technology is bet-                               specifically incorporates extra IoT fea-
         ter suited to more demanding, special-                                tures. Once again, credit is owed to our
         ist applications—not the focal point of                               network  of partners in  industry  who
         the Bluetooth concept.                                                have  taken  an  SP  innovation,  which
           The app itself was released earlier   Straightpoint has  updated its Bluetooth   was  already cutting-edge, and chal-
                                            capability and launched an enhanced
         this year, available for download and   version of its popular app. The app now   lenged us  to improve it even  further
         easy connection to any SP load cells   automatically adds GPS coordinates into data   to make their use of it even more con-
         that possess the same technology. The   logging reports.              structive at the coalface.” n

         BOOK REVIEW                      by Jennifer Brown

                 Riding the High Wire, Aerial Tramways in the West by Robert A. Trennert
           Even author admits he was unaware   cable car system and produced the first   sustainable and eliminated some of the
         of the extent of the integral role that wire   wire cable on the Pacific Coast in 1856.   problems and danger of the single wire
         rope tramways played in the mining in-  Halladie made the wire rope by melting   ropeway. Almost fifty photographs, art-
         dustry. Trennert is the former President   down horseshoes,  and employing this   ist renderings, and maps in the book il-
         of  the  Mining  History  Association,  and   wire rope as cables for mine hoists. By   lustrate a close look at the inventions
         Professor at Arizona State University. In                             and their environment.
         a groundbreaking study, he offers a de-                                 Even  with  improvements  the  mine
         tailed description of the use of wire rope-                           tramways did not last. Mines were un-
         ways for mining transport.                                            earthed, mined, and deserted. Trennert
           Images of mining deep into the earth                                writes, “Given the vagaries of under-
         may be a familiar image. A far less reg-                              ground mining, it should be no surprise
         ular sight is of mine work happening                                  that many tramways, so carefully con-
         in the air. As you read through the 108                               structed, were abandoned or dismantled
         pages, prepare to open your imagination                               within an incredibly short time. Others
         to the world of the mining industry in                                served a much longer life, although they
         the American West. In this world, min-                                too were subject to the ever-changing
         ers constructed towers and transported                                dynamics of western mining. In short,
         ore, supplies, and sometimes people,                                  no matter how well built, aerial tram-
         along tramways made of wire rope. The                                 ways  could  never  be  a  permanent  fix-
         rough  and  treacherous  terrain  around                              ture. After 1920 numerous factors con-
         the mines made some system of trans-                                  spired to bring most of these spectacular
         port necessary. Ore had to be carried up                              structures to a standstill.”
         steep inclines and over deep gorges. Be-                                The rise and fall  of the mine tram-
         fore tramways, mules were the primary                                 ways are part of our American story of
         mode of transportation and progress                                   improvement, innovation, and creative
         was slow and dangerous. The work con-                                 industry. In operation before airplane
         tinued to be hazardous because of high                                flight was so universal, they provided
         winds  and  avalanches  but  the  tram-                               a “spectacular” aerial perspective and
         ways helped the industry save money,                                  saved countless hours of labor. Profes-
         time, and labor.                   1900 it was common to see tramways   sor Trennert urges readers to visit ex-
           The California gold rush that began   hauling coal, salt, silver and gold ore.  isting remains of tramways in National
         in 1848 brought thousands of people.   In  the  1870s  and  1880s,  Halladie’s   Parks such as the Kennecott Mines
         More mining followed and the far West   Endless Wire  Ropeway was  improved   in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park,
         opened up. Trennert writes about An-  by the German technology of Albert   Alaska and the Keane Wonder Tram-
         drew Smith Halladie, an industrialist   Bleichart  and  the  Double–Rope  sys-  way in Death Valley National Park,
         who later developed the San Francisco   tem. The Double-rope system was more   California, while we can.

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