Category: Application Stories

Learn how other are using Columbus McKinnon products in their industries.

Unique Uses for CM Industrial Rigging Equipment

Unique Uses for CM Industrial Rigging Equipment

As a manufacturing and engineering company, Columbus McKinnon places high value in STEM education – education encouraging students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But, in recent years, STEM education has evolved into STEAM education, which aims to connect art to these areas of study to demonstrate how industrial products can contribute to creative artistic pursuits.

A perfect example of STEAM in a real-world application was initiated by our Channel Partner, American Crane. Artist, Janet Echelman, created an aerial art sculpture entitled “Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks” in Vancouver, Canada, that is suspended from the 24-story Fairmont Waterfront Building and the Vancouver Convention Center. Weighing more than 3,500 lbs., the sculpture is made of 145 miles of braided fiber and 860,000 hand/machine made knots.

To keep pedestrians safe as they walked below the sculpture, American Crane relied on CM Master Links and CM Master Rings. Known for their strength and durability, CM rigging products were perfect for this unique application with working loads limits ranging from 10,000 up to 86,000 lbs and a 4:1 design factor.

Without the use of heavy-duty equipment and engineering know how, such an impressive art installation would not have been safe or possible. This is just one unique example of how industrial technology contributes to making the world a more beautiful place.

A big thank you to our Channel Partner, American Crane, for sharing this unique application story with us!

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Chester Hoist Develops Hand Chain Hoist for Demanding Customer Application

Chester Hoist Develops Hand Chain Hoist for Demanding Customer Application

Chester Hoist application

Chester Hoist, a Columbus McKinnon brand, specializes in the design and manufacture of high-quality, custom-made hoists for unique and challenging applications. So, when our customer came to us with a special need for a hand chain hoist to raise and move large rolls, Chester Hoist was put to the task.

The customer had a long list of specific requirements that the hoist needed to meet. Requirements included:

  • 4-point pickup hand chain hoist with an incorporated hand geared trolley to run inside of 5” channels
  • Hook spacing that had to be 12” perpendicular to the runway and spaced to accommodate the 12” diameter roll parallel to the runway
  • 42” hand wheel extensions on the trolley and hoist mechanism
  • The ability to time all four hooks to raise simultaneously
  • Chain containers
  • 13” maximum headroom

To meet these requirements, our Chester Hoist engineering team started with a standard 4-plate low head and severely modified the unit. The real challenge the team faced was coming up with suitable hook spacing and to run the hooks in opposite directions with a single hoist mechanism.

Chester Hoist application

The trolley and hoist hand wheels were mounted on a separate support trolley located 30.5” outside the hoist trolley channels.

Special gearing and sheave arrangements were added to the modified low-headroom hoist. Because of low operating height, the customer also required special guards over the gearing. The Chester team fabricated special shields to fit between the outboard and inboard side plates to guard the gearing arrangement.

To achieve the 13” headroom within the compact design, a special roller chain trolley drive was incorporated into the unit.

When the custom engineering was complete, the team provided the customer with a hoist that met all of their requirements and could be used to raise and move large rolls for their application.

Chester Hoist specializes in developing specially engineered products for unique applications ranging from low headroom manual hoists for military applications to spark-resistant hoist and trolley combinations for use on offshore oil platforms. Let us know how we can help you with your application!

 

Joe Runyon

Joe Runyon is a Vertical Market Specialist for Oil & Gas at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Ask Questions, Share Stories, Get Engaged on Social Media

Ask Questions, Share Stories, Get Engaged on Social Media

We decided to shift gears this week and show you a little of what we’ve been up to on social media lately. We have many exciting conversations and interactions happening there every day with our Channel Partners, end users and material handling professionals around the world. All of you reach out to us for different reasons. Here are just a few examples:

  • Some of you have a question you want answered. We received a tweet from a distributor in Mexico who requested special paperwork for border clearance. We got it to him within hours. This was one happy distributor!
  • Others have a cool picture from an exciting concert or event they attended, so we started a collection on Facebook. We love seeing photos from your kid’s sports game or stage performance or while on vacation. If you are lucky enough to get an application story that you can share, we could feature it right here on our blog. Just send it my way!
  • Some of you need expert advice on specific topics. We have addressed many of your questions here. Below are are few of our most popular posts:

Missing Chain Sling ID Tags and who is to Blame
What is the Working Load Limit of a 2 Legged Chain Sling?
The 3 Most Asked Questions from our CM-ET Motor Hoist Schools
Does your Overhead Crane meet OSHA regulations?
Can Lever Tools be Used to Adjust Slings?

  • We also enjoy your tradeshow engagement on Twitter & Facebook and sharing in your fun. Check out these cool beanies from USITT!

IMG_0654 Beanie Cap #3

Beanie Cap #1
Please feel free to reach out to us 24/7 on our social media channels. We are here to promote safety on the job and help you get the answers you need for any of your material handling questions. The first person to engage with us on each of our social media channels below and tell us your favorite CM product and why will receive a CMCO shirt!

(This means 6 winners in total.) We look forward to connecting with you!

Facebook
Twitter (Industrial Products)
Twitter (Entertainment)
LinkedIn
YouTube
Instagram
Google+

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing 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.

Yale Cable King Hoist Helps Turn Grapes Into Wine

Yale Cable King Hoist Helps Turn Grapes Into Wine

Winery Hoist 1

The Wine Industry may seem like a glamorous business, but taking a grape from the vineyard and transforming it into your favorite wine is no easy feat. Just ask HECO Pacific Manufacturing.

HECO is a California-based crane manufacturing company that specializes in the production of turnkey winery hoist systems. HECO has built systems for some of the largest wineries in California and Washington. Their standard configurations range from 5 to 10 ton capacity and come with HECO’s trolley system. These systems utilize our heavy-duty Yale Cable King wire rope hoists together with a right angle mounted trolley with modifications for outdoor service.

Winery Hoist 2 Winery Hoist 3

The Application
So how are these systems being used? HECO’s winery hoisting systems are used to move large vats of freshly picked grapes to the crushing machine. Once in place, the hoists are used to tilt the vat and pour the grapes into the crushing mechanism. This is no easy task – just look at the size!

Knowing your Environment
At Columbus McKinnon, we often speak about the importance of knowing the environment where your product is used. These systems are being used outdoors in an earthquake-prone area, which can make for unique operating conditions. HECO knows these conditions well and designed its systems to meet the latest Seismic Zone 4 requirements (for earthquakes) as well as ANSI B 30.11 safety standards.

We are always on the search for unique applications like this one where our products are being used. Please contact me if you have an application story to share.

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing 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.

D8+ Hoists and Suspending Loads over People in the Entertainment Industry

D8+ Hoists and Suspending Loads over People in the Entertainment Industry

D8+ Hoists

Suspending loads above people is common practice in the entertainment world and requires great precautions. In Europe, one voluntary Code of Practice guides the product specifications and installation requirements surrounding these applications: SQP2 Chain hoists (2010).

U.S. interest in this European Code of Practice is growing as this code is being adopted in U.S. entertainment installations. Our distributor, Atlanta Rigging has recently completed installations at Bankers’s Life Fieldhouse, in Indianapolis, Indiana (shown above) and at the Barclays Center in New York which include D8+ hoists and meet this voluntary European code.

European Code of Practice and the D8+ Code

The SQP2 defines the D8+ as “The D8 Plus Electric chain hoist is constructed and dimensioned in such a way that the moving of overhead loads is possible provided that no persons are standing under the load and that it is not necessary to install safety backups when the hoist is switched off.”

Once the load has been lifted, is in place and the hoist has been switched off, then it is acceptable to suspend the load above people without the secondary support. While the load is moving all personnel should be out from underneath the load.

How the D8+ Code can be attained

The D8+ “code” can be achieved by having a minimum of 10:1 design factor, double brakes and a clutch. The clutch can be used as protection against overloading when the hoists are used for statically determinate loads. A statically determinate load is defined in the SQP2 as a load on individual electric chain hoists (point load), distributed loads on two electric chain hoists, hinged, linked single span girders on more than two electric chain hoists, and distributed loads on three electric chain hoists.

Banker’s Life Fieldhouse Application

Banker’s Life Fieldhouse Application – Indianapolis, Indiana

The Banker’s Life Fieldhouse installation shown utilizes twelve (12) Columbus McKinnon D8+ Model RR Chain Hoists with 123’ of lift. There are two (2) hoists used per speaker line array and a total of six (6) arrays.

The control system, provided by Motion Laboratories, consists of the following: 16‐Channel Controller with Soft Limit System, Touchscreen Handheld Remote and Remote E‐stops.

Learn more about Atlanta Rigging’s installations.

Learn more about the CM-ET Lodestar D8+ electric chain hoist and other entertainment motor and rigging equipment by attending one of our intensive training programs designed for specifically for the entertainment industry.

Art Zobal

Art Zobal is an Application & Product Specialist, for Columbus McKinnon.

CM Cyclone is Hoist of Choice for Chimney Construction Project

CM Cyclone is Hoist of Choice for Chimney Construction Project

At Columbus McKinnon, we always enjoy seeing how our products are used in the industries we serve.  So when this application photo (above) from a construction site featuring our products crossed our path, we had to share it. This photo shows 70 of our CM Cyclone hand chain hoists being used for the construction of a reinforced concrete chimney in South Carolina.

The project, completed by Commonwealth Dynamics for Santee Cooper’s Winyah Station, involved a jumpform method of construction that utilized CM Cyclones to lift concrete forms as each section of concrete was poured. Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s largest power producer, built the chimney for a wet flue gas desulphurization (Wet FGD) system. The chimney, which took more than 16 months to complete, measures 407 ft. tall and is 60 ft. in diameter.

Why was the CM Cyclone the best choice for this project?
The Cyclone, which is made in America, is ideal for long lift applications with complex hoist configurations. As you can see from the photo, the chimney construction did not involve a typical hoist setup, but instead required numerous hoists in various positions and angles to lift concrete in a uniform manner.

The CM Cyclone is also built for heavy usage and high efficiency operation, which this project required, as well as applications that require easy inspection and low maintenance.  The Cyclone is part of our comprehensive portfolio of manual hoists that include the CM Hurricane 360 and the CM Bandit ratchet lever hoist.

Cyclone Training
If you are interested in learning more about our Cyclone hand chain hoist, take a look at our recent Safety Webinar featuring maintenance tips for our CM Cyclone & 640 Puller. The webinar walks you through setting a load limiter on the CM Cyclone and and retrofitting and setting a load limiter on the CM 640 Puller.

 

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Webinar Teaches Inspection & Maintenance of CM Hurricane 360 & Short Handle Puller

Webinar Teaches Inspection & Maintenance of CM Hurricane 360 & Short Handle Puller

Do you want to learn how to inspect our new CM Hurricane 360 chain hoist?
Peter Cooke, our Training Manager for Rigging & Load Securement, will teach you how to properly disassemble, inspect and reassemble our popular CM Hurricane 360 hand chain hoist in our free Safety Webinar.  Peter will also walk you though how to set the brake on our CM Hurricane 360 and explain how it can handle your most challenging applications.

Do you have applications that call for drifting a load, standing above a load, or working in confined spaces?
Unlike traditional hand chain hoists, the Hurricane 360 may be used in any direction due to its patented hand chain cover. It rotates 360 degrees allowing a convenient way to move loads without standing under or near the load. The hoist allows for positioning, pulling and lifting of loads from virtually any angle – making it the only hoist of its kind in the industry.

If you have dealt with these tough conditions when operating a hoist, check out our above videos and see how well the Hurricane handles the job.

Plus, Learn How to Inspect a CM Short Handle Puller
During the webinar, Peter will also cover proper inspection techniques for our CM Short Handle Puller. This hoist has a similar brake, yet requires a different approach to set it than your typical Weston type brake. This mechanism was designed for precision positioning and is weatherized.

CM Hurricane 360˚and CM Short Handle Puller Safety Webinar

 

 

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Recent Sight and Sound Theatre Installation Incorporates the Latest of American Technology

Recent Sight and Sound Theatre Installation Incorporates the Latest of American Technology

 

PA-Theatre-Interior

Sight and Sound Theatre, the largest faith-based theatre in America, partnered with Mountain Productions to complete a full and permanent hoist/motor installation at their Lancaster County, PA theatre.  Using all American Made chain hoists provided by Columbus McKinnon, Mountain Productions prepared and coordinated the package for ease of installation, while Motion Labs provided the electrics, controllers and programming. Sight and Sound continues its tradition of using the most state-of-the-art equipment to maintain the highest quality productions for which the theatre is famous.

D8+ Chain Hoists are the hoist of choice in theatre applications.

IMG_7798
Sight and Sound selected our new model Lodestar D8 chain hoists, (1 ton -Model L – and 1/2 ton – Model F), featuring a double brake on each hoist.  The Lodestar D8 is legendary in the industry, and we have recently added several features to the hoist, further ensuring steady and reliable operation.

Along with the Lodestar D8 units, Prostar chain hoists were also installed. The Prostar is a lighter, quieter and more portable hoist that is designed for unique rigging applications in tight quarters. Combined, the Lodestar D8 and Prostar offer versatility, allowing for a variety of rigging configurations at the theatre.

The motor control and load monitoring systems were supplied by Motion Laboratories, a cutting edge company known for their high quality power distribution and motor control systems. The state-of-the-art PLC touchscreen system handles motor control and load monitoring at the theatre. The ability to program specific presets into the system makes the PLC an efficient motor control/load monitoring solution. Sight and Sound’s professional riggers will be able to lower and raise loads with ease, and rely on the system’s precision to always keep equipment on point.  Load Cells will be used for accurate load monitoring, supporting the safety of the system.

New rigging grid reduces maintenance time and show preparation.

One of the key benefits of this system is the amount of time the theatre will save on maintenance and preparation for shows. Glen Broderson from Sight and Sound led his team in making the decision to install the new rigging grid. He expressed how much easier it will be to pinpoint individual electrics for maintenance thanks to the soft limit system. This also makes prep time between productions quicker and more convenient. “With the new system, going from a 40 ft trim to a 30 ft trim is just a push of a few buttons,” Glen shared. The whole process has been valuable to Glen and his team.  Everyone is excited to see how the theatre will use the installation in future productions.

Sight and Sound Theatre

Always striving to push the envelope with new technology and productions, the Sight and Sound Theatre remains an innovator in the theatrical industry. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, consider checking out their latest production of Noah. 

Thank you to Mountain Productions, for sharing this application story and to the Sight & Sound Theatre  for use of their photography.  For more original photos of this installation, check out  Mountain Productions’ Blog.