Project Details


Versalift mount an array of lift platforms of a variety of vehicles ranging from 3.5T to 16.5T. For each of these job specific combinations a set of calculations need to be carried out by the engineers at Versalift to ensure the installation meets stability requirements whilst leaving enough payload as per the customer’s specification. The calculations are carried out in accordance with EN280 Mobile Elevated Working Platforms and although there is a vast array of installation types (lift Vs. vehicle), the EN280 standard defines a list of constants that must be applied to the moments generated from the lift and vehicle. These calculations are time consuming and intrinsically rely on the quality of the vehicle and list data; manual calculations can introduce human error.

The project proposes to develop an application scripted in MATLAB or/and Excel that carries out the necessary stability and weight calculations based on a user-defined input that can pre-select the lift and vehicle combination. Data would be stored in the application for all lifts and vehicles and the user would be scripted through a selection of questions.

Currently the stability calculation is carried at the worst-case scenario, i.e. 90 degrees at the farthest outreach (creating the largest moment). By calculating the moments for each subcomponent of the lift the geometry can be manoeuvred about the hinge points in the virtual space to give a calculated semi-sphere of stability, under the assumption the boom doesn’t decline below x=0˙, (rather than the stability circle hand calculated at present).

The data can then be used to calculate outrigger loadings (resultant forces due to the lift and its load) and specify the hydraulic ram diameter and pressure necessary. As above these calculations are done manually now and are time consuming. Outrigger material type and design is dictated through this exercise but as with the thought process above, outrigger selection data could be stored within the application so that the tool would select the best suited outriggers that met fit, form, and function requirements.

The project would output a script that would reduce human error at the front end of design validation and significantly save engineering resource. The data from the tool would act as a validity check to ensure the van/lift combination was possible within the requirements of EN280 and would export the forces and moments needed to design a frame that would support the lift and mount it to the vehicle. Typically, the engineer would then design the mainframe based on the stability and weight data and FEA test the structure before manufacture by placing the appropriate forces at the correct vectors as per the output data.

Project success would be a tool, with all current van and lift data, that would perform the installation validation process, output the stability semi-sphere, outrigger requirements, and moment and weight data. The project would save potentially 20% of Versalift’s project engineering resource.
Effective start/end date31/05/1931/07/19


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