Page 34 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - June 2019
P. 34

1979-2019 Celebrating Our
                         40th Year Serving the Industry,

                               Wire Rope News & Sling Technology
                                   asks long-time experts to share

                                   memories and comments on…
               Our Industry Over the Past 40 Years

                          Roland Verreet, owner of Wire Rope Technology Aachen
                          (wire rope designer, inspector, consultant and speaker)
               Editor’s note: This article is an ex-                         was drawing strand and rope cross-
              cerpt of Roland’s 54 page brochure                             sections all day long, and it made a
              titled  “Ropes  and  reeving  systems:                         lasting  impression  on  my  children.
              The last 40 years”.                                            When I did not need the printouts
                                                                             any more, I gave them to my children
               was  born  in  June  1950,  and  in                           who  then  coloured  and  finished  the
              I  June 2015 I reached my discard                              “flowers” (see illustration).
              state, as rope engineers would call it.                          When recalculating existing rope
              But I did not retire. The crane and                            designs I found a great number of
              the rope business are too interesting.                         mistakes  in  the  designs,  and I es-
               I started school at  the age  of 5,                           tablished a set of design rules which
              one  year  earlier  than normal. The                           are still valid 40 years later.
              effect of that was that wherever  I                              Recently I inspected a hoist rope
              went, I was always the youngest. I                             of  a  reactor  crane  in  a  nuclear
              was the youngest in school,  I was                             power plant. The rope was in ser-
              the youngest at college and then I                             vice since 1969. I was not worried
              was the youngest at the university.                            by the age of the wire rope, I was
               And when I started as an engi-                                worried  by  the  fact  that  this  rope
              neer in the wire rope industry, I was                          (which  was  working  in  a  safety
              the youngest again.             told me you sit in your office all day   critical application) dated from a
               You get used to a situation like   long and draw flowers.”    time when ropes were not yet de-
              that. But one day you look around   I quickly found out where the mis-  signed using computers.
              and  you  find  that  something  has   understanding  came  from:  The  first   The last 40 years of the rope and
              changed:  your  former  colleagues   plotters were not only extremely ex-  crane industry have been very in-
              have all retired and now you are the   pensive, they were also very loud and   teresting, and I am pleased that I
              oldest. That is shocking!       a pen was moving at high speed in one   could take an active part in it.
               Then you start to realize that all   direction while the paper was moving   We have solved many of the prob-
              these youngsters around you have   underneath it in another. The plotter   lems surrounding our products, but
              no  idea how  their  industry  looked                          don’t worry, we have left enough
              like  40 years ago. Many  of them                              challenges for the coming generation
              were not even born at that time.                               of wire rope and crane engineers.
               When I was asked to give a pre-
              sentation at the 21st International                              You can read Roland’s entire pa-
              Offshore  Crane & Lifting Confer-                              per “Ropes and reeving systems: The
              ence I decided to present a very                               last 40 years” here:
              personal view of the last 40 years of                          bro_engl/Bro_Last-40-Years_en.pdf.
              the development of ropes and reev-
              ing systems in which I have always                               We’re highlighting statements from
                                                                                 leaders in the material handling
              taken an active part.                                            industry. If you know someone who’s
               When my older son started school                                 been involved for the last 40 years
              his teacher asked me if I was an                                    that would like to contribute,
              artist. I told her: “No, I am an engi-                            please contact us and we’ll include
              neer.” She was surprised: “Your son                                 them in an upcoming issue!

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