SPX PowerTeam Gives Museum Project A Lift

This type of stuff is always interesting to us just to see how groups configure their hydraulic systems for large jobs like this one. We deal with Power Team Hydraulic Equipment on a daily basis, and whether the job is small or very large every situation brings different challenges. That being said if you ever need help configuring a hydraulic system do not hesitate to call Ohio Power Tool 888-242-4424; there are several guys who have decades of experience and will be happy to lend a hand. In the meantime check out the challenge/solution documented by Power Team below.


Situation: Considered a landmark building, a museum in the United Kingdom was undergoing a $67m renovation to transform the magnificent Victorian building and its facilities into a world-class, 21st century visitor experience for Scotland — and a showcase for international visitors. The project included the creation of 14 new galleries, two hands-on discovery centers, a larger gallery for international touring exhibitions, new facilities for education and a state-of-the-art learning center. A new floor was also to be created beneath the main hall, forming a new street level entrance, restaurant, shop, cloakroom and visitor reception area. During the renovation project, more than half of the museum property was to stay open to the public.

Challenge: Among the challenges faced by the contractors and engineers on the project was to lower the basement floor by 4-1/2 feet, removing the basement walls to open up space for the new facilities and street-level entrance. This area runs the length of the main hall which is situated directly above it. One of the specific tasks involved was to prestress the beams that would hold up the new entrance and inner walls. Steel beams have various stress values, which determine sheer, bending and other behaviors, along their length. Pre-stressing the steelwork, which creates permanent stresses in the beams, is critical for improving their behavior and strength under various load conditions. A limited budget ruled out use of a computer-controlled synchronized lift system, requiring the team to seek out alternative methods to safely and successfully prestress the beams.

Solution: When asked to supply equipment to help in creating the new entrance, a distributor called in their Power Team® Sales Manager, Ian Harris, for assistance. Mr. Harris, along with the subcontractor, met with the architect and main contractor to discuss how various Power Team tools could be used in conjunction with each other to efficiently achieve the same results as a synchronized lift system but in a much more cost-effective way. The solution devised involved using several Power Team hand pumps and sets of cylinders that would be spread out along each beam. Cylinders were selected that could fit in the very tight gaps available to accommodate the lifting equipment. Hand pumps were operated a few strokes, and measurements taken at the stress points along the length of the beam. As each point reached its required stress, the cylinders were locked off. The process was repeated until all points had achieved the required stress. Each lift took one to two days.

The PowerTeam lifting equipment specified for the task included:
5x  P300 hand pumps
15x  RLS200 cylinders
5x  9765E hoses
5x  9635 manifolds
20x  9682 fittings
15x  9670 tee adapters
15x  9575 shut off valves
25x  9798 couplers
15x  9764E hoses
15x  pressure gauges

Result: Installation of the beams to support the inner walls and new street-level entrances is complete. The museum reports that the renovation project is running on time and on budget, with an anticipated grand opening in 2011.

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