Radius first in UK to control tower cranes from the ground

Northampton, UK-headquartered tower crane hire and contract lift service provider Radius Group claims to be the first lifting provider in the UK to operate a tower crane using a teleoperated ground control system.

The company has announced a partnership with Skyline Cockpit that it says marks a monumental leap forward for the crane and construction sector.

Skyline Cockpit is an Israeli company formed by Skyline Cranes and Technologies, one of the largest tower crane owners in Israel.

According to Radius the use of Skyline Cockpit’s control system transforms traditional operator cabins into state-of-the-art computerised, ground control cockpits. Through new technology and advanced camera systems Radius Group’s crane operators can now manage and control tower cranes from the ground which, the company claims, ushers in a new era of efficiency and safety.

The Skyline Cockpit harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) to provide operators with what Radius calls ‘unparalleled precision and situational awareness’.

As operators no longer need to climb up and down daily Radius says accidents and incidents are reduced significantly. Comprehensive data recording means that any issues that do occur can be easily identified.

From the comfort and safety of an on-site ground cabin, users can navigate the tower crane using an advanced technological interface displayed on three large panoramic screens. Radius says this provides operators with an unobstructed view of the load line and the entire construction site. Offering a clear line of sight minimises the chances of collisions or accidents caused by limited visibility. This proactive approach enhances safety measures, ensuring the wellbeing of individuals and protecting the surrounding environment, it adds.

Additionally advantages Radius highlights are that operators can benefit from improved working positions, promoting their wellbeing, while fostering inclusion and diversity by accommodating older, infirm and disabled individuals. Furthermore, operator welfare is significantly increased with less isolation and a more convivial working atmosphere, resulting in a more efficient, quicker workflow on site.

Radius believes that using the Skyline Cockpit system will help save businesses valuable time, it estimates typically over one hour a day, and it enables seamless crane switching on multi-crane sites in just 10-15 minutes, significantly cutting costs. Automated data recording will also ensure that productivity is measured accurately and labour calculated efficiently.

Using the system reduces risks, eliminates the need for rescue teams, and simplifies safety procedures, says Raduis. This not only results in lower insurance costs also reduces the crane downtime on construction sites, it adds.

Utilising advanced algorithms and machine learning, Skyline Cockpit offers intelligent assistance and analytics features. The system can predict potential risks, provide recommendations for optimal lifting techniques and optimise crane performance based on historical data. This empowers operators to maximise productivity while ensuring the highest levels of safety.

The system provides real-time data on critical factors, such as load weight, wind speed and direction, crane height, work speed, and more. With this comprehensive information at their fingertips, operators can confidently position the crane’s hook with pinpoint accuracy, mitigating risks and optimising productivity.

By leveraging AI and AR, the system can promptly detect any tower crane discrepancies, enabling immediate preventive maintenance actions to ensure uninterrupted workflow and enhance overall equipment reliability.

Michael Fryer, managing director of Radius Group, expressed his enthusiasm for the launch, stating: “Radius Group has never been afraid to do things differently and by embracing cutting-edge technology and prioritising safety, efficiency and inclusivity, we continue to set new benchmarks and shape the future of the construction sector.

“We are very excited by the potential of Skyline Cockpit to truly revolutionise the construction industry and we are therefore extremely proud to be the first tower crane supplier in the UK to offer this pioneering innovation on live sites.”

Skyline Cockpit CEO and co-founder, Zachi Flatto, added: “Skyline Cockpit leverages the company’s long-standing experience and understanding of market needs, with the goal of bringing real change to the construction and cranes industries, in terms of productivity, efficiency and safety through technological innovation. We are proud and excited to have Radius Group lead the way with us to the forefront of crane operation and construction evolution.”