Rolls Royce Engine Test Facility - The ‘Red Brick’

Following the success of a project to install a bespoke rotational Transporter Bridge at Rolls Royce in Derby, SCX Special Projects were commissioned to build a Test-Piece Transportation Hoist (TPTH) for use in the same facility.

The Transporter Bridge was designed to rotate and manoeuvre two specialist hoist & lifting frame assemblies, that Rolls Royce termed the ‘Green Brick’ and ‘Yellow Brick’. These bricks used shot-bolt pins to couple with docking frames which in turn connected to jet engines so they could be distributed around the various maintenance bays of the facility.

To allow an additional procedure to take place in this same facility, SCX Special Projects designed, manufactured and installed a Test-Piece Transportation Hoist (TPTH), or ‘Red Brick’ that could be used in conjunction with the Transporter Bridge, but capable of lifting part- (90%) assembled engines via an underslung X-frame between various build and test stations.

'Red brick', a Test-Piece Transportation Hoist (TPTH) at Rolls Royce's engine test facility

The Red Brick’s controls integrate into the building’s Supervisory Control System (SCS) which monitors the locations and loads of all the lifting equipment in the facility, in order to prevent collisions. A digital display on the Brick clearly provides this information to the operator. 

Collage of a Test-Piece Transportation Hoist (TPTH) and modified twin-barrel Street Crane hoist

The twin-barrel modified hoist feeds four wire ropes to each corner of the x-frame lifting grapple, in order to provide a stable True Vertical Lift for the non-uniform weight distribution of the jet engines. Load cells inform the control system as to the weight on each corner, also enabling the system to assess the centre of gravity of the part-assembled engines for quality control purposes.

The brick is controlled by a radio remote from ground level, for increased operator visibility and flexibility. A separate button on the pendant operates a twist-lock pin coupling mechanism to secure the x-frame to the engines’ docking frames. Four actuators provide visual confirmation to the operator as to whether they are open or closed. Proximity switches ensure the x-frame is docked correctly prior to activating the pins.

25 Tonne SWL brick

The 25 tonne SWL brick is restricted to a ‘creep’ mode of 1.5m/min travel speed and 0.5m/min hoisting speed when loaded or when traversing the gaps between bridge and the building rails. Outside these restrictions in ‘fast’ mode, it travels at 15m/min and hoists at 5m/min. Power is supplied via A-cap conductor busbar and limit switches automatically slow the brick to a controlled stop as it reaches the correct positions within the bays.

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SCX Special Projects Ltd

Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield, S9 1GA, United Kingdom

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199