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Derek Sikora is the co-founder and CTO of Vita Inclinata Technologies.

The Vita Industrial Load Navigator is being trialed by lifting companies around the world. Innovative load stabilization technology utilizes a system of powerful air thrusters, and proprietary special awareness sensors that enable “precision load positioning.” This eliminates the need for taglines, as it stops loads from spinning, automatically repositions loads in controlled increments and can be manually controlled via remote down to 1° increment.

Derek Sikora, co-founder and CTO of Vita Inclinata, explains why the Load Navigator offers lifting companies a safer and more efficient system than taglines.

How do the Load Navigator and its load stabilization technology work?

The Vita Load Navigator is a remotely operated, suspended load system that utilizes load stabilization technology. The system uses an aviation sensor suited to sense position and motion and automatically stabilizes loads, ensuring high-precision lifts in even the most challenging environments. The Navigator captures well over 1,000 data points per second and feeds the motion control engine to dynamically adjust to load sizes, crane movement, and environmental conditions. Four independent electric thrusters’ pulse vectored air to reorient the load either autonomously, or by a user via the single-hand control pendant.

With what precision can a Load Navigator navigate and place loads?

The Navigator can continually hold loads with up to 1° precision, also enabling the operator to position and reorient a load within 1° of accuracy. The wireless system has a handshake feature that enables one operator to pass control to another operator in a different position that is optimally situated to place a load due to their line of site. Remote control response time is under a second, allowing for fast reactivity and reorientation.

Creative Lifting Services tests the Vita Load Navigator for a tower crane erection on a busy city block in Boulder, Colorado.

How does load stabilization technology increase the ability to use cranes in higher wind speeds (safety envelope)?

High wind speed exerts a large force on loads. This makes the crane use some of its load capacity to withstand this force and reduce its effective capacity. Neglecting the effect of high wind could lead to miscalculation of the crane capacity and raise serious safety concerns on the job site. High wind could also cause load spinning, which leads to job site accidents. The thruster technology in the Navigator stabilizes loads and enables control in wind gusts as high as 30 knots. This increase in wind envelopes allows the crane to operate on more occasions, thus increasing crane utilization and expediting construction progress.

What are the implications of eliminating taglines on the job site?

Taglines have been used for thousands of years, really. But they are inefficient, unstable, and more importantly, dangerous. With the Navigator, loads remain stable, in a pre-set orientation, despite wind or slew impacts on the load. This eliminates the need for long taglines and significantly enhances operational efficiency and safety. Load stabilization technology enables crews to place loads exactly where they want without running a tagline at the ground level. This is a much better utilization of space and labor. It is also much safer. According to MAC Safety Consultants’ research, utilizing stabilization technology can reduce crane-related fatalities by 75% and risk of a crane-related injury by 63%.

Are Load Navigators already in use on job sites in North America?

Yes, Navigators are already being utilized at construction sites. For example, Creative Lifting Services has also tested the Navigator for a tower crane erection on a busy city block in Boulder, Colorado, and was impressed by the performance. There is a Navigator deployed on a wind farm in Texas for tower construction, and another helping with construction at an oil refinery. Our customers are happy with the increased efficiency and safety they are seeing so far, and we anticipate widespread adoption of Navigators in the future.

The Vita Load Navigator enables Creative Lifting Services to eliminate the use of taglines, making the tower crane erection more efficient, precise, and much safer.