Author: Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Answers to Your Top 7 Crane and Hoist Questions

Answers to Your Top 7 Crane and Hoist Questions

cranecrane

During the hundreds of classes Columbus McKinnon’s training team has conducted over the years, there are a variety of questions that arise regarding the use, maintenance and inspection of overhead cranes and hoists. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to outline seven of the most common concerns, myths and misconceptions we’ve received from crane and hoist operators and technicians during our classes.

1. Question: Do monorails need to be labeled with their rated load?

Answer: According to ASME B30.11, rated load markings are not required on monorails but are recommended. Before marking the monorail, a qualified person must determine the rated load on the monorail beam. Once the monorail is marked, the rating should be legible from the ground floor. ASME’s recommendation also applies to marking the rated loads of hoists on the monorail. For more information on hoist marking guidelines, see ASME B30.16.

2. Question: Can rated loads for hoists and trolleys be different from the crane’s rated load?

Answer: The short answer to your question is “yes.” However, ASME B30.16 stipulates that when a system is comprised of components with different rated capacities, the rated load of the “system” shall be based on the lowest rated individual component.
System is defined as the combination of Monorail, Hoist and Trolley in the case of a Monorail and Crane; Hoist and Trolley in the case of an Underhung Crane.

ASME B30.16-1.3.2 states that the supporting structure, including trolleys, monorail, or crane, shall be designed to withstand the loads and forces imposed by the hoist for the rated load.

3. Question: Are yearly load tests required on a hoist and crane?

Answer: There is no specific time period during which load tests must be performed once the initial installation is inspected and load tested. Some states require operators to load test hoists and cranes every four years, but, in most cases, if the hoist is not altered, repaired or modified, it can remain in service indefinitely without a load test being required.

4. Question: Are monthly records of inspection required for hoists, wire rope, chain and hooks?

Answer: This depends on the type of crane. OSHA regulation 1910.179 applies to top-running overhead and gantry cranes with top-running trolley hoists. For these types of cranes, monthly inspections of the hoist’s chain, wire rope and hooks are required with a recorded certification. This certification record must include the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the identifier of the chain, wire and hook that was inspected. If a hoist and trolley are underhung, frequent inspections are required, but written documentation is not.

5. Question: Do you have to be certified to inspect and repair hoists and cranes?

Answer: According to ASME standards, you must be a “qualified person” to inspect and repair cranes and hoists. A “qualified person” is a person who, by possession of a recognized degree or certificate of professional standing, or who, by extensive knowledge, training and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter and work. These individuals do not have to be professional engineers.

6. Question: Do you need to disassemble hoists for yearly inspections?

Answer: Hoist disassembly is not always required for yearly inspections. What is found during the inspection typically determines how far you need to break down the hoist. Be sure to reference the manufacturer’s OEM manual when disassembling any hoist.

7. Question: Do chain slings require latches on hooks?

Answer: According to OSHA 1910.184 and ASME B30.9, slings do not require latches on the hooks, unlike hoist and crane hooks where latches are required unless they constitute a hazard.

To learn more, check out our Safety Webinar covering these same questions. I hope you find this information useful when using, repairing or inspecting overhead hoists and cranes.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Nine Important Rules to Follow When Using Shackles

Nine Important Rules to Follow When Using Shackles

shackles

Shackles are used every day in a variety of rigging and load securement applications. Before you use a shackle, there are nine important rules to keep in mind.

Rule 1:

When making a sling, attach multiple sling legs to the bow, not the pin. Attaching legs to the pin can damage and weaken the sling.

Rule 2:

When point loading shackle to shackle, connect bow to bow or bow to pin. Never connect pin to pin.

Rule 3:

Do not side load “D” shaped shackles such as chain shackles or long reach shackles. These shackles are designed and rated for in-line applied tension. Therefore, the center line of the load should coincide with the center line of the shackle. Anchor body style shackles (screw pin style, as pictured above, or bolt nut cotter anchor body style) can be side loaded. Always refer to reductions in rating charts when performing this type of rigging.

Rule 4:

When securing a load, the bow of the shackle should be put into the running side of a choke.

Rule 5:

When using a shackle with wire rope, the shackle must be equal to or larger than the wire rope diameter.

Rule 6:

If using a shackle with synthetic slings, ensure the shackle is big enough to avoid pinching or binding the sling.

Rule 7:

Shackles should not be subjected to high or low temperatures that could affect thermal treatment and the strength of the shackle.  -4 degrees F to 400 degrees F is the operating range for full working load limit.

Rule 8:

Always ensure shackle pins are properly engaged. Screw pin shackles need to have threads fully engaged on the shackle ear. (The pin should be flush with the outside of the shackle body or slightly past). The pin head should make contact with the shackle body. Bolt nut and cotter shackles need to have the bolt and nut properly secured with the cotter pin attached.

Rule 9:

Use bolt nut cotter anchor style shackles, if shackles will remain in place as a semi-permanent application or if they will be suspending a load. Screw pin shackles are used when the shackles are removed after the lift is complete. If a screw pin shackle is being used to suspend the load for any length of time, it is advisable that you mouse or tie off the pin to the body of the shackle with wire.
Want to learn more about safe shackle use? Here are some additional resources:

Shackle Markings, Materials and Appropriate Standards
New CM Shackle Markings and Pins Lead to Improved Operator Safety
Customer Concerns over Recommended Shackle Pin Length
Safety Webinar: Proper Use of Shackles 

Last updated on 12/21/15

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Pfaff-silberblau Provides Specially Designed Lifting System for Flood Protection Gate in Germany

Pfaff-silberblau Provides Specially Designed Lifting System for Flood Protection Gate in Germany

CMCO Sperrwerk Greifswald
Anyone who lives or works along a body of water knows that flooding is always a concern. In the North/Baltic Sea region, the city region of Greifswald and the urban district of Greifswald-Wieck in Germany know this all too well. Due to its exposed location, this region is one of the most vulnerable in the area. So, this summer, the first steps were taken to protect this area from storm surges with the construction of a flood barrier in Griefswald. This barrier utilizes Pfaff-silberblau brand SHE worm gear screw jacks, manufactured by Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products in Germany, to move the sliding gates of the harbor pier into place to protect against flood waters.

The new flood barrier in Greifswald is part of what is currently the largest coastal protection project in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. If a flood warning is issued, the main gate of the flood barrier is locked with the aid of a revolving segment to protect against high tide. At the same time, sliding gates that are approximately 55.7 ft (17 meters) wide and weigh 19.8 tons (18 metric tons) are closed on the south and north pier of the flood barrier. These gates run on railway tracks similar in principle to an oversized sliding door. This is precisely where the worm gear screw jacks from Pfaff-silberblau come in.

In the event of an emergency, and also for maintenance purposes, each sliding gate has to be lifted from its parked position in the sliding gate chambers of the dam. This is done using a rocker with travel wheel to lift the gate up to 5.9 inches (150 millimeters) and then safely lower it onto the rail. The wheel is lifted at a speed of 1.96 inches (0.05 meters) per minute by means of an electromechanical drive unit designed specifically for this application by Pfaff-silberblau.

CMCO Sperrwerk Greifswald
This drive unit consists of a 25 Series worm gear screw jack with a rotating and self-locking trapezoidal screw, special travelling nut, absolute encoder, special grease and a bevel gear box motor with 2 hp (1.5 kW) actuating power. In case of an emergency, the drive unit also features a hand wheel at the motor.

When designing the drive unit, the team also took special care to ensure the harsh conditions of this outdoor maritime application would not affect its functionality. The screw jack has a special flexible protection boot. All other driving elements are made of weatherproof materials and are protected with special high-quality paint. The electrical components are designed in compliance with protection class IP66. Because of these features, the drive solution from Pfaff-silberblau can also withstand outdoor use in temperatures ranging from -4°F to +122°F (-20°C to +50°C.)

This is a great example demonstrating how Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products designs special systems to meet tough and challenging customer applications.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Pfaff-silberblau Products Perform in “The Miracle of Bern”

Pfaff-silberblau Products Perform in “The Miracle of Bern”

Photo Courtesy of http://www.stage-entertainment.de/

Columbus McKinnon recently supplied Pfaff-silberblau brand products for a new musical venue in Hamburg, Germany. Stage Entertainment constructed the ultra-modern performance venue, “Theater an der Elbe,” capable of holding more than 1,800 spectators for the production of “The Miracle of Bern.”

Stage Entertainment commissioned Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH, based in Kissing, for the design, project planning and construction of the stage upper machinery and the “iron curtain” for the venue.

For the technical fire-protection equipment and the stage upper machinery, the company invested in tried-and-trusted stage technology from Pfaff-silberblau – our powerful DELTA electromechanical wire rope winches. These winches are designed to move the stage scenery and props quickly and precisely, while ensuring a maximum level of safety for the performers on the stage in accordance with the safety regulations for public performance venues BGV C1 and DIN 56950.

For the daily performances of the musical, more than 28 DELTA winches are used. Designed for loads between 650 kg and 1,500 kg, they move stage scenery and props with a speed of 1.2 m/sec and approximately 8 km of wire rope. The winches are anchored in a fly loft, which Pfaff-silberblau designed, produced and installed to meet specific customer requirements. Altogether, Pfaff-silberblau engineers installed a total of 15 tons of structural steelwork for the theatre’s fly loft. This is a great example of Pfaff’s products at work in a tough and challenging application.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Santa Fe Springs Warehouse and Training Center Serve West Coast Market

Santa Fe Springs Warehouse and Training Center Serve West Coast Market

Santa Fe Exterior

Whether you’re located in the eastern United States or the northwest region of Canada, Columbus McKinnon is nearby. With warehouses located in Atlanta, Georgia; Tonawanda, New York; Edmonton, Alberta and Cobourg, Ontario, Canada; we are strategically located to meet the needs of customers across North America.

Further improving our ability to serve our customers, we recently opened a new warehouse and training center in Santa Fe Springs, California, to ensure product availability and local training for the west coast market.

“With its close proximity to Long Beach Port in California, Santa Fe Springs is strategically located to serve our customers in the entire West Coast market,” said Randy Lewis, General Manager – Warehouse Operations. “With 30,000 square feet, the new warehouse facility has twice the space as our previous location in Santa Fe Springs. That means we can stock more product and in greater volumes.”

The larger facility has not only allowed us to increase standard stock levels of a broader product selection, but also provides a more efficient layout. And, because incoming and outgoing containers can be unloaded more proficiently and inspected thoroughly, our customers receive their product sooner and with fewer errors.

As part of the new warehouse we also opened a training center to meet the growing need and request for CMCO entertainment training classes on the west coast. The space is designed to accommodate larger classes, provide ample room to display product and allow students to get hands-on training with our hoists and rigging equipment. The Santa Fe Springs location also acts as our west coast sales office which means we can service our regional customers better.

Together, our new Santa Fe Springs training center and warehouse will help us better meet the needs of our Channel Partners and end users on the West Coast, ensuring they get the products and training they need when they need it.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Columbus McKinnon now Better Equipped to Support Customers in Asia

Columbus McKinnon now Better Equipped to Support Customers in Asia

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Columbus McKinnon China officially opened its new facility in Hangzhou, China, on August 21, 2014. Many of our valued customers and distributors witnessed the event, alongside nearly 200 CMCO Asia Associates.

Columbus McKinnon invested $6.4 million in the new facility. This investment will enable a 40% increase in capacity and give us the ability to manufacture additional western-designed products in China such as Global King wire rope hoists for the Asia-Pacific region.

Besides capacity improvements, Columbus McKinnon established the first regional Endurance Test Center in the new Hangzhou facility. This facility enables us to shorten the time to market for products designed in Asia.

At the facility’s grand opening event, Tim Tevens explained that “For 140 years, Columbus McKinnon Corporation has focused on continually exploring ways to grow and strengthen our company. We have made investments around the world to broaden our reach into markets that require safe and productive lifting of heavy loads. From continent to continent, we have established a meaningful presence and competed to be the best in those markets. Along the way, we have also developed capable products to help our customers work safely and productively.”

For CMCO China, the opening of this new facility is a significant milestone and marks a new era for the region. The bigger, more modern facility improves our production processes, boosts CMCO’s corporate presence in the region and allows us to better service our customers throughout the Asia Pacific market.

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Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Yale Lifting Solutions Works to Improve Mine Safety

Yale Lifting Solutions Works to Improve Mine Safety

During trials

Yale Lifting Solutions, a subsidiary of Columbus McKinnon, has developed a product that significantly enhances safety and efficiency in underground mines. Located in South Africa, Yale Lifting solutions specializes in material handling needs of the mining industry and was well-suited to provide expertise for this application.

PHOTO 1 RE-RAILING DEVICE WITH TAURUS JACK

An Unsafe Practice
In underground mining operations, locomotives and hoppers operating on rails are used to transport ore and other materials. Derailing is a common occurrence, and getting the unit back onto the rails can be a very time consuming and extremely dangerous process. A common long-standing practice is to repeatedly jack up the locomotive and push it, until it’s close enough to be dropped onto the rails. Needless to say, this re-railing method is very unsafe.

A Better Way Of Doing Things:
The Taurus Jack & Re-Railing Device
Yale Lifting Solutions recognized the current re-railing practice as unsafe, and developed a patented re-railing device that could be used in conjunction with their existing Yale Taurus Jack.

The Yale re-railing device is placed across the rails. The Taurus Jack is then positioned on it and used to raise the front of the locomotive. After the unit is raised, the re-railing device can be manually operated to carefully move the locomotive sideways to align it with the tracks below. Once in place over the rails, the locomotive or hopper can be gently lowered on the rails using the Taurus Jack.

The re-railing device had to meet special weight and size requirements so it could be easily stored in the cab of the locomotive. One-person operation was also extremely important because sometimes train derailment occurs in a remote area of the mine and the locomotive operator has to re-rail the locomotive on their own.

After months of fine tuning, Yale Lifting Solutions’ re-railing device was approved by the mines and is now being requested at a rapid rate. This application story is a great example of how CMCO’s commitment to improving safety and partnering with customers can help solve unique challenges with practical solutions.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Pfaff-silberblau Lifting Systems Help Boost Safety for Montreal’s Metro System

Pfaff-silberblau Lifting Systems Help Boost Safety for Montreal’s Metro System

Montreal’s metro system, “STM”, is Canada’s busiest underground transportation system. In 2006, the Canadian provincial government of Quebec decided, as a measure to reduce the number of private cars on the roads, to extend local public transport facilities by 16%. Montreal undertook this project in the metropolitan area, which soon led to a 22% increase in the use of local public transportation.

To transport the additional passengers quickly and comfortably, modern trains were ordered from a consortium made up of the two leading train manufacturers, Bombardier and Alstom. In total, an order was placed for approximately 468 MPM-10 trains, each consisting of nine coupled carriages.

These trains run on quiet, low-vibration rubber tires rather than on steel wheels. Since safety is exceptionally important where railways are concerned, the bogies (wheel sets) have to be serviced and replaced at regular intervals. To accomplish this, a system capable of lifting the entire train with all nine carriages in sync (+/- 3mm) would be required. This system would be installed at the Youville depot, which is where trains used for the STM system are serviced.

Choosing a lifting system
As far back as 2008, a team of external consultants began researching and examining lifting equipment to determine what would be most suitable for this massive undertaking. The team visited reference installations of the world’s leading lifting system manufacturers to find the best option. During a trip to Europe, Pfaff-Silberblau invited this team to Austria, where they were particularly impressed by the underfloor lifting system used by the Wiener Linen (Vienna Lines). This lifting system had been supplied a few years prior by Pfaff-silberblau. Some of the most important parameters and features of this lifting system, which up to that point was the longest of its kind, were later incorporated into the specifications for the system required at the STM Youville depot in Montreal.

It took until 2011 for the project team to put out an official bid for an underfloor lifting system and two turntables. Many of the original competing companies had to drop out, either on account of technical and financial deficiencies or due to the lack of references for similar systems. For these reasons, Pfaff-silberblau Rail Technology in Kissing was awarded the contract later that year.

Designing the lifting system
After winning the bid, Pfaff-silberblau went through a variety of steps before their system could be put into place. This included: technical and commercial consultations, the design and manufacturing of the system, a factory acceptance test by STM and construction of a prototype.

Project at a Glance

Number of wheel lifting platforms

18

Number of body supports

36

Lifting capacity of the system

306 tons

Lifting height of the system

1.7 meters

Length of the system

160 meters

The system had to be designed in accordance with the European standard for vehicle lifting platforms EN1493, while at the same time observing North-American welding and electrical standards. The STM planning team also used key data from Pfaff’s lifting system used by the Wiener Linen to develop specifications for the Youville depot.

To build the system, Pfaff had to work closely with Canadian suppliers. This entire process proved to be challenging given the multi-lingual global project team. Pfaff-silberblau was able to complete the project to the customer’s detailed specifications and within the predefined time schedule and plan.

Installing the system
Once constructional pre-conditions had been met at the Youville depot and the foundations were built, the installation commenced in late 2013. At this time, Pfaff shipped the lifting system to the customer, which included 18 containers measuring 40 feet long with a combined weight of 280 tons.

The lifting system was installed under the strict scrutiny of the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Throughout the entire duration of the installation, there was neither an accident nor a negative report issued by health and safety officials. The delivery of the new trains began in May 2014.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

The CM Man Guard: CSA Approved for the Canadian Market

The CM Man Guard: CSA Approved for the Canadian Market

CM Man Guard

Columbus McKinnon recently launched the CM Man Guard electric chain hoist with CSA approval for the Canadian market. To explain the importance of CSA approval and discuss the features of this great hoist, we interviewed our Canadian National Sales Manager, Chris Siabanis.

What is CSA approval?

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is an independent third-party testing and certification organization. CSA tests products and their components, as well as audits manufacturing processes to ensure products meet or exceed the necessary codes, specifications and accredited standards for sale into the Canadian marketplace. Products must be CSA approved to be sold in Canada.

Since its launch in September 2011, the CM Man Guard has been well-received in the U.S. So, we felt that it would be an excellent addition to our Canadian product portfolio as well. That’s why we pursued CSA approval.

What are the key features of the CM Man Guard?

CM Man GuardKnown for reliable performance and best-in-class safety features, the CM Man Guard is a competitively priced hoist option and is available in capacities ranging from 1/4 to 3 tons with standard lifts up to 20 feet. It also has a lifetime guarantee.
Some key features of this hoist that are most important to customers include:

  • H4 duty motors that allow the hoist to be used in high-duty-cycle environments. We are able to achieve H4 duty rating using higher quality components and do not require the aid of a fan to cool the motor, unlike competitors’ hoists.
  • Efficient low-cost operation that saves you money. The Man Guard’s specially engineered motor and precision-machined gearing reduce the electrical demand required to operate the hoist. Single-phase and three-phase amp draws are, on average, 50% less than the equivalent competitors’ models. Less electrical demand per hoist can add up to big operating cost savings.
  • Made in the USA and stocked in Canada ensuring availability. Manufactured in our Damascus, Virginia facility, these hoists and repair parts are readily available for delivery from our Canadian warehouses located in Cobourg, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta.

What is ISG and what are the benefits to the customer?

Aside from all its great features, the CM Man Guard is part of our In-Stock Guarantee (ISG). Our In-Stock Guarantee (ISG) is our commitment to shipping our most popular chain, hoists and rigging products in 3 days or less. The CM Man Guard is our first electric chain hoist available through ISG, with more than 40 models in-stock and ready to ship, including 575V 2-speed units. This is a game changer for the industry.

Man Guard models available through the In-Stock Guarantee include:

  • Hook mount 1/4, 1/2, 1 and 2 ton units with 10, 15 and 20 foot lifts at 16 fpm
  • Hook mount 3 ton units with 10, 15 and 20 foot lifts at 5 and 10 fpm

Are there new features or changes coming soon for the CM Man Guard?

We are currently developing a lug mount for the CM Man Guard that can be used with the Universal Trolley. The UT Trolley allows you to use one trolley with a variety of CM air and electric chain hoists. It provides flexibility with inventory while reducing the need to stock trolleys for each model of CM chain and air chain hoist you use or carry, including the Man Guard.

For more information on the CSA Man Guard, visit our website.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Crane Compliance: Are all cranes regulated by OSHA?

Crane Compliance: Are all cranes regulated by OSHA?

CRANE Power Mast There is some confusion in the industry regarding crane configurations and the application of OSHA regulations. In a recent article in Industrial Lift & Hoist Magazine, Tom Reardon, one of Columbus McKinnon’s training managers, discusses the issue and provides clarification for crane users.

OSHA 1910.179(a)(1) states that “A ‘crane’ is a machine for lifting and lowering a load or moving it horizontally…” As most overhead cranes can fit into this description, they tend to get grouped together and are assumed to be subject to OSHA’s regulations. This is not the case.

OSHA 1910.179(b)(1) defines the types of cranes that fall under its regulations –these regulations do not apply to underhung cranes, overhead hoists or monorails, which are covered by ANSI B30.11 and ANSI B30.16.  As a general rule, if both the crane bridge and trolley hoist travel on top of a rail or equivalent, the crane is subject to OSHA 1910.179 regulations. If any load-bearing member of a crane or monorail travels on an internal or external lower flange or equivalent, it is not subject to OSHA regulations.

Even though these types of cranes are not regulated by OSHA 1910.179, ASME and ANSI both have standards regarding the construction, installation, maintenance, inspection and safety of these cranes. OSHA may use the standards set forth by organizations like ANSI and ASME to regulate these cranes under its general duty clause. OSHA will issue a General Duty Citation for serious circumstances where employees are exposed to hazards that present a substantial probability of death or serious injury.

Therefore, when using cranes, it is important to understand the regulations your specific crane falls under and the steps you need to take to ensure your employees are safe and your crane is in proper working order. To read Tom’s full article regarding this topic, visit ILH online.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.