What is MasterMover ‘MultiLink’ Technology?
Our MultiLink technology is a type of machine-to-machine wireless communication, referring to a way of connecting two or more electric tugs together wirelessly so they can work in sync to make the movement of long, awkward or heavy loads simple to achieve.
Our engineers developed and patented a system that allows a single operator to control a ‘network’ of machines – and we call this ‘MultiLink’.
MultiLink was designed to make the movement of larger loads safer and simpler. Our machines regularly move equipment ranging in weight up to one hundred tonnes and beyond, which demands precision and care. By investing in the right equipment, our customers minimise the risk of high-value damage caused by sub-standard or inappropriate equipment or movement processes.
MultiLink allows our machines to manoeuvre in a very specialised way, allowing operators the ability to handle loads safely – whether that be via rotation, sideways or more traditional forwards/backwards/steering direction.
MultiLink in Action
The following video demonstrates MultiLink in action, showing two of our PowerSteered electric tugs working together under the control of a single operator, as part of a demonstration for a customer.
What is MultiLink Technology Used For?
Say you have a long, awkward, expensive or especially heavy load you need to move, like an aeroplane wing or wind turbine blade. Using MultiLink technology, you can position two machines on either end of the load.
Both machines work in sync and can be moved under the control of a single operator, who can move the load via remote control. This allows the operator to stand at the best vantage point, improving safety and visibility for handling the load.
MultiLink technology means only one operator is required to move large loads, reducing manpower and increasing operating efficiency. An optional safety feature includes an independent emergency stop control, which can be used by a second operator working as a spotter to stop movement instantly should the need arise.
Multiple electric tugs can be linked at any one time, so loads with a larger size profile can be moved by deploying electric tugs at each corner, or the appropriate points, all controlled by a single operator.
MultiLink enables a modular, scalable system; heavier loads can be moved by simply adding further units. This means the load can be manipulated in a variety of different ways.
Freedom of Movement
When two or more electric tugs are combined through MultiLink, operators can take advantage of the type of movement they require to move the load.
Take our aeroplane wing. With a single electric tug, manoeuvring would take place much like that of a truck and trailer. However, with multiple electric tugs working together, the operator can move in any direction. While traditional machines pivot around fixed castors, the MultiLink machines have no fixed castors, meaning any movement is possible.
This could involve moving a unit forward or backwards as standard, but also sideways, rotationally, or around a designated point on site.
Combined Performance to Move the Heaviest of Loads
Combined, our machines can manoeuvre well over 100 tonnes. A network of machines can have a far greater capacity, for especially heavy loads.
Our PS3000+ model on its own can move up to 30 tonnes (based on what we regard as typical operating conditions of 7% rolling resistance). Combined, four PS3000+ machines can move over 100 tonnes.
Another technological aspect to MultiLink is our SmartCoupling.
Each coupling location on the load contains a sensor, which the electric tug reads when connected. This allows the electric tug to understand its position on the load. Every electric tug within the group can be used at any coupling point without any software changes.
Understanding the location on the load is important, as it allows each electric tug to use the correct ‘steer maths’ to deliver precise and coordinated movement.
For example, let’s a take a rotation of an aeroplane wing. An electric tug positioned at the centre of a load will move far more slowly than an electric tug positioned at one end. Failure to apply the correct steer maths would only risk damage to the electric tug, the coupling, or the load itself. SmartCoupling enables each machine to understand its own positioning to the load, so they are able to move independently while in sync as part of a greater movement.
Handling a Variety of Tasks
An added benefit of utilising electric tugs for such tasks is that independent units can be used separately from the group.
So whilst operating together, four PS3000+ electric tugs may move a load of 100 tonnes. But if you have a requirement to move a load of 15 tonnes, a single electric tug can be used for this task.
This offers an advantage over material handling solutions designed for a single purpose and helps drive ROI from the electric tugs.
Again, looking at single purpose material handling solutions, electric tugs offer far greater redundancy in terms of managing faults or maintenance.
If the single purpose system fails, production is delayed and no movement is possible. If an electric tug experiences a mechanical issue, it can simple be replaced with an alternative unit.
This minimises delays and downtime and makes your manufacturing process more robust.
Which MasterMover Machines Use MultiLink Technology?
Our PowerSteered range comes with the option of MultiLink technology:
- PS800+ – The PS800+ can move loads on castors up to 8,000kg with a single machine, offering a smaller and more compact solution for lighter loads.
- PS3000+ – The PS3000+ has the ability to manoeuvre loads of up to 30,000kg with a single machine.
- PS7000+ - The PS7000+ is our most powerful electric tug solution and enables an operator to move up to 70,000kg with a single machine.
Is MultiLink Right for Me?
If you’re looking to move long, awkward or heavy loads while cutting down on manpower and increasing safety and efficiency, the PowerSteered range – with MultiLink capability – could be ideal.
It’s also ideal if you need to move loads that are long and awkward in size because it provides far greater movement flexibility.
Talk to one of our team today to find out if it’s the right solution for you.