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Developing a new lifting safety app to prevent systems overload

Straight Point Logo

s5_logo_220x56Straightpoint is a leader in developing load cells, which check the load forces involved in lifting operations to ensure that lifting systems are not overloaded.

To create its latest load cell remote monitoring software, Straightpoint turned to CoreRFID for its mobile application development capabilities. Together, they created a new generation of software that uses Bluetooth technology and runs on iOS or Android platforms, making the Straightpoint control application available on a wide range of devices.

“CoreRFID share our passion for innovation. Their development skills in mobile applications have helped us to set a new standard in usability for load testing products.”
– David Ayling, CEO, Straightpoint (UK) Ltd.

Leadership in load monitoring

Founded in 1978 by an Oxford University engineering graduate, Straightpoint was the first to offer the lifting industry a robust and reliable electronic measurement device to replace cumbersome mechanical units.

The company is the world leader in its field with sales on all continents. Its products combine strain gauges with high quality yet easy-to-use electronics, and can be used in conjunction with lifting shackles, beams, cables and other lifting gear and built into third party lifting equipment to embed safety checks into the crane, hoist or lift itself.

The company prides itself on its approach to innovation. It was the first to launch, worldwide, an off-the-shelf wireless centre of gravity system and the first to incorporate RFID tags in all its ‘link’ load cells as standard, allowing for unique product identification in the field. Other developments include the creation of an ATEX compliant wireless dynamometer.

Remote monitoring of load force in real time

hhp-appCoreRFID helped Straightpoint to develop a new generation of software – the HHP (Hand Held Plus) Load Test Application – and deployed it on iOS and Android platforms with an interface suitable for mobile phone and tablet type devices.

The two companies had previously worked together to develop Proof Test Plus (PTP), an application designed just for the Windows platform, which also allowed for production of test certificates. The HHP application was built to include support of Straightpoint’s latest product features and also to add features requested by Straightpoint users.

It allows users to remotely monitor the level of force being measured by a Straightpoint load cell in real-time. Once the app has been installed on to a smart phone or tablet it can be connected wirelessly to any Bluetooth-enabled Straightpoint product. The Bluetooth link allows connection from up to 50m distance, so users can be a safe distance from the load carrying device.

Easy-to-use interface reflects users’ needs

Screenshot_2018-04-18-13-07-05-200x320A key feature of the HPP mobile app is the easy-to-use interface, engineered by CoreRFID using the same principles developed for its CheckedOK inspection and certification application. The interface is tuned to the needs of Straightpoint’s users, providing the most commonly used features under single buttons on the main screen, with the current reading from the load cell dominating the display.

The mobile app allows users to choose from up to four different measurement units, depending on their preferences. A ‘Peak Hold’ button allows for a one-touch selection to only display the highest measurement from the connected device. Associated with this is the option to set an audible alarm to alert the user when a new high or low measurement value is detected. The application can also be set to record values from the Straightpoint device at predetermined intervals or whenever the user presses the “record” button on the application. Logging can be restricted to periods when the load cell is either over-loaded or under-loaded. An additional feature allows users to work in “simulation mode” so that they can practise with the application before using it in the real world.

CoreRFID arranged the necessary approvals to make the application available via the App Store free of charge. CoreRFID continues to work with Straightpoint on enhancements to the app. New features added since the start of the project include an alternative speedometer-style load display (shown above), recording the GPS coordinates of where readings are taken, adding the ability to set a load as a tare value and adding support for different language versions for Straightpoint’s global business.

Read about our earlier work for Straightpoint here: CoreRFID & Straightpoint’s Proof Test Plus and learn more about Straightpoint on their web site.