‘MultiLink’ is a type of advanced internal communication; it refers to a way of connecting two or more electric tuggers together so they can work in sync to make the movement of long, awkward or heavy loads simpler to achieve. Our engineers have come up with a unique way of doing this that allows a single operator to control a ‘network’ of machines – we call this ‘MultiLink’ technology.
MultiLink was designed to make the movement of larger loads safer and easier. Our machines regularly move equipment costing in excess of $1.5 million; these loads are far too expensive and costly for their movement to be left to chance, so by investing in the right equipment, our customers lower the risk of potentially costly incidents caused by sub-standard or inappropriate equipment or movement processes.
MultiLink in Action
The following video demonstrates MultiLink in action, showing two of our PowerSteered electric tuggers 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 airplane wing. Using MultiLink technology, you can position two machines on either end of the load. Both machines work in sync and under the control of a single operator, who is able to move the load via remote control. This allows the operator to stand well back, giving them better visibility and putting them in a safer position.
MultiLink technology means only one operator is required to move large loads, reducing manpower and increasing operating efficiency by ensuring people can spend more time doing tasks of higher value-add.
Multiple electric tuggers can be linked at any one time, so loads with a larger size profile can be moved by deploying electric tuggers at each corner or appropriate point, all controlled by a single operator.
Combined, our machines can maneuver well over 100 tons.
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 airplane wing. With a single electric tug, maneuvering 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 maneuver well over 110 tons. 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 tons (based on what we regard as typical operating conditions of 7% rolling resistance). Combined, four PS3000+ machines can move over 110 tons.
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 airplane wing. An electric tug positioned at the center 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 utilizing electric tugs for such tasks is that independent units can be used separately from the group.
So whilst operating together, four PS3000+ electric tuggers may move a load of 110 tons. But if you have a requirement to move a load of 16 tons, 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 minimizes delays and downtime and makes your manufacturing process more robust.
Which MasterMover Machines Use MultiLink Technology?
Our Power Steered range comes with the MultiLink technology as standard: