Rated Capacity Indicators (RCI): Everything you need to know
What is a rated capacity indicator (RCI)?
RCI systems monitor load in real time to prevent excavators from lifting more than their safe working capacity. Maintaining excavator stability, this protects personnel and assets by warning operators when restrictions are approached. RCI systems are referred to by some as Load Moment Indicators (LMI).
To maximise safety, advanced RCI solutions – known as Rated Capacity Controllers (RCC) – use motion cuts to restrict unsafe movement if limits are reached.
Why do I need a rated capacity indicator (RCI)?
According to European standard EN474-5, you need a Rated Capacity Indicator (RCI) if you want to lift over 1 tonne loads with your excavator. If the rated lifting capacity for an excavator is greater than 1 tonne (or the overturning moment is greater than 40,000Nm) then the machine must be fitted with:
- an acoustic or visual warning device which indicates to the operator when the object handling capacity or corresponding load moment is reached
- a boom lowering control device on the raising (main) boom cylinder(s)
LOLER compliant systems – such as our PME range – enable you to safely complete heavy lifts without the cost and hassle of sourcing dedicated lifting equipment. Demonstrating a high safety standard across your operations, this technology can grant access to major projects that mandate EN474-5 and other safety requirements.
Safe excavator lifting also secures your profits. By mitigating the risk of overloading, RCI systems help to prevent damage to machines, allowing you to avoid machine downtime and expensive repair bills. This protects operators while keeping your budget targets on track.
For safety-critical rail projects, all road-rail vehicles (RRV) used in any line open (ALO)lifting operations must be equipped with a Rated Capacity Limiter (RCL) by law. Rigorously tested in JF Prolec’s UK production facility, our RRV RCL systems are fullycompliant with the strictest regulations, including UKRIS1530 and Europe’s EN15746 standards.
What can I install it on?
Our Rated Capacity Indicators are designed to protect mono and triple boom excavators.
What solution fits my operations?
There are multiple factors to consider to ensure that you find the right Rated Capacity Indicator (RCI) for your business.
Although all RCI systems alert operators when pre-set load limits are approached, some systems feature motion cuts that automatically restrict excavator movement. Systems with motion cuts leave nothing to chance, mitigating user error to protect operators and assets from the risks of overloading.
To maximise safety for our customers, all systems in our PME range include motion cuts as standard.
Avoiding surrounding hazards
While RCI systems across the market protect against overloading, the most advanced systems combine RCI with height, reach, slew and depth limiting. These are essential if you want to safely use your excavator for digging and lifting inside tunnels, alongside traffic, underneath live power lines, or within any other confined urban space. Fitting machines with an all-in-one solution is increasingly favoured by Health & Safety managers for major projects, who expect the highest levels of safety to be maintained at all times.
Additionally, our PME range uses virtual wall technology to give operators more working room when compared with other systems. Designed for the restricted spaces of highways and railwayprojects, operators can easily set singular, dual-point and multi-point virtual walls to avoid multiple hazards in busy environments, improving productivity by minimising set-up time.
Safe system use
Ensuring that RCI systems are used correctly is a vital part of safe excavator operation. As ease of use is key to this, our PME range allows operators to set limits accurately with its simple interface and display. Read our PME Quick Start Guide to learn more.
If you want to make sure that your systems are used as intended, upskilling your operators with accredited training is proven to enhance operational safety and productivity.
Override key switch
On rare occasions, Rated Capacity Indicators (RCI) will need to be overridden to respond to exceptional circumstances. Our PME systems come with override key switches as standard, enabling site managers to move machines in such situations.
Managing access to limits
Supervisors will sometimes want the option to set safe working zones for their operators, particularly on sites with multiple hazards. Our PME technology allows site responsible individuals to set and manage permissions directly from the device.