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A KHL Group

The knowledge

TopLift result

Components

Heavy lifting

ITC review

Wind energy

Official magazine

THE MAGAZINE FOR EQUIPMENT USERS AND BUYERS

THE KNOWLEDGE

Central focus

F

A topic central in more eared by many, understood by few, Finding out

the centre of gravity (CoG) is the Lets start the exercise with a simple way

ways than one both to single most under estimated and of determining the centre of gravity.

under valued property of a load. Since This method can be applied to every

lifting and transport the vast majority of all transports and lifts object of which the CoG needs to be

comprise loads with a fairly centralised determined. Observe Figure 1, this is a

operations is centre of CoG there is not much incentive to dive two-dimensional object, for example, a

into the theories of something that cannot steel plate with a random shape, for which

gravity. CoG can be an be seen or measured with a tape. the CoG needs to be determined. This

If the CoG is not centralised, however, cannot be done in one step, but has to be

issue that makes or or the load is close to the limit of the performed in a series of separate steps.

transport or lift equipment, it becomes an

breaks a project, writes increasingly more important property that NOTE: the distances are given in metres but

can make or break the success of a project. this can be any unit of measure: feet, yards,

MARCO VAN DAAL What is the centre of gravity? In etc. For the results of the calculation this

mathematical terms, The centre of gravity makes no difference.

is the point at which an objects entire

mass can be assumed. This may sound a

FIGURE 1 bit abstract but with the below examples STEP 1

y y(pos) this will become clear. The CoG is not Choose the location of the x-axis and

x(neg) x(pos) determined by shape or size, just by the the y-axis. These can be chosen in any

weight and the location (co-ordinates) of location because the outcome will remain

y(neg) each of its individual components. the same if these axes are chosen in a

It may be clear that the centre of gravity different location. Try it.

of a square box is right in the centre of For this example in Figure 1 the

2m that box and that handling, lifting, jacking x-axis is chosen at the base of the object

or transporting it is not a complicated and the y-axis is chosen so that it runs

exercise from a mathematical point of straight down between the triangular and

1m

x view. That changes when it comes to rectangular shapes.

2m 3m objects built up from many individual

1m items. Sooner or later everybody will

get into this situation, where it becomes STEP 2

much more challenging. Such objects can Choose which side of the x-axis is the

ABOUT THE AUTHOR be skids that contain components from positive side and which one is the negative

Marco van Daal has different suppliers or, for example, vessels side. This is necessary because a 1 metre

been in the heavy with varying diameters, oilers with a distance from the y-axis could be on either

lift and transport pressure vessel located on one side or just side and without the + or - designation

industry since a wooden crate with unknown contents there is no way of knowing this and, by

1993. He started at and a hand painted CoG mark that you definition, the outcome of the calculation

Mammoet Transport may or may not be able to trust. will be wrong.

from the Netherlands

and later with Fagioli

PSC from Italy,

both esteemed companies and leading

authorities in the industry. His 20-year FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3

plus experience extends to five continents y y

and more than 55 countries. It resulted

in a book The Art of Heavy Transport,

available at: www.khl.com/books/the-art- 2.5 m

of-heavy-transport/ 3

Van Daal has a real passion for sharing 2

knowledge and experience the primary

reason for the seminars that he frequently 1

holds around the world. He lives in 2m

1.5 m

1m

Aruba, in the Dutch Caribbean, with his x x

wife and daughters.

1.5 m 1m

THE KNOWLEDGE

STEP 3 STEP 5

We now need to divide the object into Arrange all the numbers in order to perform the CoG calculation.

smaller sub-objects for which we can

easily determine the CoG. See Figure 2 OBJECT X- CO-ORDINATE Y- CO-ORDINATE WEIGHT/AREA

and Figure 3. There is no science behind 1 +1.0 +1.0 (3 * 3) / 2 = 4.5

choosing these smaller objects. Anything 2 -1.5 +1.5 (3 * 3) = 9

will do, as long as the total object is 3 -2.5 +2.0 (1 * 2) = 2 (**)

covered, obviously nothing should be (**) As object 3 is actually a void, the weight (area) needs to be entered as a negative value in

forgotten or left out. In this example I have the formula in Step 6.

chosen;

1.) a triangle (a 3 x 3 m square cut in half)

2.) a square (3 x 3 m). Note that this box STEP 6

includes a void The formula to calculate the CoG is The CoG can be found at the

co-ordinates (-0.35, 1.13), see figure 6.

CoG = D*W

3.) a rectangle (1 x 2 m). This is the void of

the square mentioned above at 2.

W NOTE: When performing such calculation

on a more frequent basis and experience

STEP 4 In words it reads that the location is gained, some of the above steps can be

Of each of these sub-objects the CoG of the CoG can be found by summing combined to speed up the process.

should be determined and expressed () the multiplication of the distance

in co-ordinates. See figures 4 and 5. By by the weight (area) and divide it by the CoG calculations and, more important,

drawing assist lines (in red) from one summation of all the weights (areas). the reliability of

corner to the opposite one the CoG can Since this is a two-dimensional object, an accurate CoG,

be found for squares and rectangles. By this calculation should be performed in can become a very

drawing (assist) lines from one corner to x-direction as well as y-direction. For a important property.

the centre of the opposite side the CoG three-dimensional object it should also be The transport in the

can be found for triangles. This CoG is performed in the z-direction. photograph illustrates

found at the intersection of these assist this. The CoG is marked

lines. The result is as follows: In x-direction the formula can be almost at the top of the

CoG 1. (+1.0, +1.0) rewritten as white board that covers

the intake. It is above

CoGx = Dx*W

CoG 2. (-1.5, +1.5)

CoG 3. (-2.5, +2.0) the light post at the left

W of the transport.

Simplification

Earlier I stated that the CoG is determined Similarly for the y-direction NOTE: Every effort is made to ensure the

by the weight and location (co-ordinates)

CoGy = Dy*W

accuracy of the contents of these articles. If

of each of the individual components. you find any mistakes, a brief notification and

Here is a hint to make the calculations W explanation would be appreciated.

easier. For two-dimensional objects, like

the one in this example, the area of the In numbers;

object is proportional with its weight.

When the area is twice as large, the weight

also doubles. CoGx = (+1,0*4.5) +(-1.5*9) + (-2.5*-2) = -4 = -0.35

For three-dimensional objects the (4.5+9-2) 11.5

volume of the object is proportional

with its weight. These hints allow you

to calculate CoG without knowing the CoGy = (+1,0*4.5) +(-1.5*9) + (+2.0*-2) = 13 = 1.13

objects weight or what it is made of. (4.5+9-2) 11.5

y y y y(pos)

x(neg) x(pos)

y(neg)

2.5 m

3

2

2m

1 0.35

2m

1.5 m 1.13

1m 1m

x x x

2m 3m

1.5 m 1m 1m

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