Category: Entertainment Industry

JLC Chain Hoists – American Pride and Almost 40 Years Strong

JLC Chain Hoists – American Pride and Almost 40 Years Strong

Teamwork around the JLC

The favorite part of my job is working with so many great people at Columbus McKinnon who work in the different facilities and departments of our organization. One thing I’ve discovered is that all of of my fellow associates take great pride in the products we produce, and their enthusiasm overflows into everything that we do. I was witness to another demonstration of this excitement during a recent discussion about our JLC chain hoist series and its upcoming 40th year anniversary.

So I made a call to Joe Ombrello, General Manager of our Wadesboro, North Carolina Operations, to learn more about this special electric chain hoist series. Here is what he had to say in response to my questions:

“When was the first hoist in the JLC Series built?”

As you know, the current JLC has 3 predecessors. Its lineage dates back to 1974 with the first JF Model. Next the ELC series with a clutch and an oil filled gear case started around 1979. Our JL version (JL1.0) went into production in 2002. It was then upgraded to our current JLC model in 2010. In a nutshell, we have been making this product series for almost 40 years!

“Did we purchase this technology from someone or did we develop it on our own?”

The technology was developed internally by our Coffing Hoist engineering department in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

“Please share with me the most interesting customer application story ever told about the JLC.”

Over 40 Coffing JLC hoists were used in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China to suspend trusses in the swimming arena.

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 “Is there anything else that you would like to share from your background and experience that you think others might find interesting?”

The Coffing JF hoists were used in the 1960’s by the United States military for nuclear warhead maintenance and handling. Our JF hoist was also the original concert hoist used by the Grateful Dead in the early 70’s. Today, our JLC hoist can be found in sporting and entertainment arenas all over the world and is used by touring concerts for Garth Brooks, Reba McIntyre and Toby Keith.

Best of all, the JLC product series – along with the CM Lodestar – are made in America. That is something everyone here in Wadesboro, North Carolina is very proud of. We share that feeling of pride with our fellow Associates at our Damascus, Virginia Operations who manufacture the CM Valustar, Man Guard and ShopStar electric chain hoists.

In what application do you use our JLC chain hoist?

Also read: Investing in America. Ready for the World. Spotlighting our Wadesboro, NC Operations

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

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

 

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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.

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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.

The 3 Most Asked Questions from our CM-ET Motor (Hoist) Schools

The 3 Most Asked Questions from our CM-ET Motor (Hoist) Schools

During our CM-ET training classes we receive many questions, especially about chain and proper lubrication. In my opinion, the chain is the most abused and neglected part of the motor. It is almost rare to find chain in the field that does not need to be lubricated unless it has just come from the factory. So here they are, your three most frequently asked questions along with our answers:

1. How do I know when the chain needs to be lubricated?

The easiest way to know if your load chain needs lubrication is by watching it as it goes into the chain bag. If it is stacking up on one side as it enters the bag, it is a sure indication that you are lacking proper lubrication.

In past years when riggers were using the old Klein type bags with the single hook connecting to the side of the hoist, the question would come up: How do I avoid the chain coming out of the bag?  When the chain is dry and it stacks up, it eventually comes out over the top of the bag.

If the chain is properly lubricated, it will flow evenly and disperse into the bag like water.

Another sure sign of a lack of lubrication is when you have a full load and you hear that “tell all” creaking sound as the chain is running over the lift wheel. What you hear is the chain actually wearing itself out by friction welding the links together and breaking that weld because there is no lube between the them. This is where you get chain wear.

2. What is the proper lubrication to use?

The oil recommended by Columbus McKinnon is 10R made by Lubriplate. There are many other brands that are available that you can get at your local hardware store. What is important is that the lube you obtain have an “EP” additive. The “EP” is short for extreme pressure. Without that additive you will not be able to keep your lubrication between the links while under a full load. Most chain saw manufacturers produce oil for their saws that contain this additive. Most bar and chain lubrications will work.

3. How do I properly lubricate the chain?

There are many ways to lube your chain but I recommend to drop your chain into a bucket and pour the lube over the pile of chain. It is important that the chain be loose and the links separated at this point. If you spray it on while the chain is hanging you might not be able to get between all the links. After adding the lube, hang it up and let the chain drip dry as long as possible and retain as much of the run off so that you can reuse it.  At this point I recommend taking some dry rags and wiping the chain down to remove as much of the excessive oil as possible. You will not be able to remove it between the links with this process, and between the links is where you want the lubrication. It is ok if the chain appears to be dry as long as the lube is between the links where it is needed.

Again, lubrication is very important and can not be neglected. Keep an eye out for dry chain.

If you have questions about any of the above or are interested in attending a training class,  please feel free to reach us on our new Entertainment Technology website: www.cm-et.com or at our training site  www.cmcodepot.com.

CM-ET Announces Online Lodestar Maintenance Training

CM-ET Announces Online Lodestar Maintenance Training

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For over 30 years, CM-ET has been conducting this 1-day motor class to help familiarize entertainment technicians and riggers on safe and proper general maintenance and repair of the CM-ET Lodestar. Starting today, this popular class is available online!

Get trained today!
Students can expect the same level of information they would get if they attended one of our hands-on classes at our Training Centers, but without the inconvenience and expense of traveling. Get trained online and learn at your pace and on your own schedule.

Who should take the class?
This is a great course for beginners or anyone needing a refresher. For those individuals looking to take the more advanced hands-on CM-ET Motor Certification Technician course, this class is the perfect place to start.

Course Overview
This online course walks students through the disassembly of the classic model “L” CM-ET Lodestar.  Topics include:

  • Function and inspection of key components
  • Adjusting limit switches
  • Inspecting and adjusting the brake
  • Understanding CMCO specifications
    and inspection requirements
  • Types of proper documentation
  • Understanding basic electricity and wiring diagrams
  • Performing a Load Test
  • General maintenance, inspection and troubleshooting

Testing & Completion
Throughout the training, students will be tested on the material covered. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a Certificate of Training.

Get Trained Today!

The Curtain Goes Up on the New CM-ET Website

The Curtain Goes Up on the New CM-ET Website

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Columbus McKinnon Entertainment Technology (CM-ET) announces the launch of its new website at www.cm-et.com.

The goal of this major redesign was to make the visitor experience more enjoyable, as well as educational. Aside from updating the site’s look and feel, we focused on improving the navigation. We know that visitors want to find what they’re looking for easily and quickly, so building intuitive and logical navigation was paramount.

Another priority was to make the site content rich and engaging by offering valuable and educational information. For example, our Side-by-Side comparison feature is a tool that will help visitors make a better choice if they‘re looking to purchase a powered or manual hoist. Related social media feeds, training information and tradeshow updates make the overall experience more enjoyable as well as timely.

Other key features include:

An Expanded Product Offering.
For the first time, we now have all CM entertainment products on line. From the CM Lodestar electric chain hoist to CM Chain Links, visitors can see all products we market to the entertainment industry.

A New Searchable Download Library
Visitors now have access to download all available CM entertainment literature in a new searchable library. Stop hunting, and find everything you need when you search by literature type or by keyword.

New Integrated Social Media
Get up to the minute industry news, product information and training updates through our Live Twitter and Blog feeds. Stay in touch when you sign up for our eNewsletter or follow us on Twitter.

Expanded Training Information
Learn more and register for any one of our entertainment classes. Discover how other rigging professionals have benefited from CM-ET training at our Alumni Spotlight.

This website launch is part of our focused effort to support the entertainment industry through online and social media campaigns.  Please make www.cm-et.com a favorite for product and industry news.

Five Intense Days at CM-ET Mega School: An Alumni Review

Five Intense Days at CM-ET Mega School: An Alumni Review

CM-ET Mega School

We love to talk about our entertainment training. We believe in teaching people how to be safer in their work environments. As much as I enjoy hearing stories from our training team, what gives me even greater pleasure is hearing this same enthusiasm echoed from one of our attendees.

Bart Wells from Cory’s Audio Visual Services recently attended our CM Entertainment Mega School. We hosted 45 attendees for 5 days together with instructors from across the country. Bart’s comments really grabbed my attention. But rather than me tell the story, I will let Bart do it himself:

CM-ET Mega SchoolIf you have ever considered attending a manufacturer hosted workshop or training seminar then you know that you run the risk of signing up for a ‘Sales Pitch’ with some education tossed in. Rest assured that if you attended the CM Entertainment Mega School – a 5-day hoist, truss, and rigging seminar – it is 100% education without any ‘selling’ going on the entire week.

“The week begins with a 2-day intensive ‘dive’ into the Lodestar electric chain hoist. Dave Carmack walks you, step by step, through every moving and electrical part of the hoist. Dave’s intimate knowledge of the hoist’s design, engineering and construction make it easy for him to demystify the hoist and allow every student to feel comfortable pulling it apart and putting it back together again.

“With the Road Technician Certification Class (RTC Class) the end of the second day brings an exam. If you passed, you will be rewarded with a CM certification identifying you as a qualified CM Motor Technician. This IS NOT a “gimme” course with a certification that is guaranteed just because you attend. The test is difficult and people do fail. But if you pay attention you will get all the information you need to pass from Dave.

“Day 3 covers truss theory and safe working practices with truss, taught by the president of James Thomas Engineering, Tray Allen.

“Days 4 and 5
are a formula filled frenzy of safe rigging practices, fall protection and rigging calculations. Eric Rouse shares his knowledge of theatrical and aerial rigging while easily relating it to the arena environment as well. His honest approach to safe and practical rigging practices provides the understanding that we are responsible for knowing our craft and keeping ourselves and our peers safe.

“Perhaps the most exciting part of the course is the math. Eric presents the most common formulas that are used in calculating bridal lengths as well as being able to provide load, force and tension calculations for any scenario. This overview provides attendees with the tools to not only “know” that something is safe, but to be able to back it up with numbers.

“In the end the CM Entertainment Mega School is truly a week of education. The instructors are working members of the industry, not salesmen. If you come to the course with the intention of learning 5 new things, you will leave the course with a great deal more than you ever expected. Do not miss the opportunity to become a better, safer and more educated member of the entertainment industry. Attend a CM-ET Mega School this year.”

Barton Wells
Cory’s Audio Visual Services

Helpful CM Entertainment Links:
The LDI Show and Stories from Vegas That We Can Share
What is Wrong with this Entertainment Application?
CM Entertainment Website
CM Entertainment on Twitter

The LDI Show and Stories from Vegas That We Can Share

The LDI Show and Stories from Vegas That We Can Share

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Last weekend Columbus McKinnon attended the 25th LDI show in Las Vegas and it was an event to remember. The show featured product innovations and refinements in lighting, sound, projection, special effects and more. Attendance at the show was the highest we have seen in the last three years. Whether you were there or not, below are five valuable nuggets from the show that you may have missed:

  • Innovative Products that were previewed and demonstrated during the three-day show, as written by Frank Hammel of PLSN News.
  • Daily in-depth commentary by Miles Dudgeon from Live Design called “Walking The LDI Show Floor.” Miles makes you feel like you are right there with him and includes many interesting observations.
  • Do you wish you had taken some snapshots to remember your time at LDI? If so, regret no more. Check out the images from #ldi #ldi2012 shared via @livedesignmag
  • Are you curious to know the recipients of the LDI 2012 Awards? If so, here is a complete  listing as presented this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
  • Last but not least, our big news at Columbus McKinnon is the launch of our new CM Entertainment website. It proved to be a crowd pleaser at LDI. Check it out and let us know what you think.

We look forward to bringing you more great products, services and training in the years to come!

Our Answer to this Week’s Post, “What’s wrong with this Entertainment Application?”

Our Answer to this Week’s Post, “What’s wrong with this Entertainment Application?”

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Thank you, Tim & Harris, for your comments. We also received interesting insights on our Facebook page. You know your rigging!  Here is my take on this application:

This is a wire rope support grid. These 1 foot squares allow a rigger to quickly position light loads in specific spots by dropping in a rope through the appropriate square. The anchor point is fixed up above the structure. Notice the strap in the background.

Let’s now address the problems:

  • The thing that jumped out  most to me was the construction of the grid.  The wire ropes must be woven or knitted together.  These were not.  Each overlap should alternate over and under.  This installation has all the ropes in the same direction and on the same side.  The weaving should run in the x and y directions.
  • U-bolts are used to connect each overlap. Since the grid installation itself is wrong, U-bolts are not an acceptable option. U-bolts are typically used for light weight or minor connections such as conduit to a pole. I do not think that you could get the clamping force needed using U-bolts to keep the wire rope cables from slipping under a side force. Wire rope clamps are designed for use with cables.
  • A few of you observed the missing nut on one of the U-bolt assemblies. Nice catch.

When a wire rope support grid is assembled correctly, it transfers the stresses.  When the grid is assembled like in this application, the neighboring ropes are not supporting anything, which can lead to very unfavorable consequences.

We are passionate about education and training.  If you would like to tap into training opportunities in the entertainment field, click here to see our schedule.

Thank you again to everyone who submitted comments. We love to hear from you!  Do you have an application you would like us to review?

 

Disclaimer

When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band* go on tour, the American Made CM Lodestar goes with them!

When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band* go on tour, the American Made CM Lodestar goes with them!

 

A Bruce Springsteen tour is an experience celebrated by fans around the world. At 62, Springsteen still knows how to rock the stage and give his audience a memorable show. During a time when entertainers are searching for a more intimate venue, Springsteen has made the experience for his fans up close and personal. How does he achieve this intimacy? With a state-of-the-art acoustic system including CM Lodestar electric chain hoists.

Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball Tour is a huge production consisting of 17 musicians, tons of acoustic gear (literally), wireless microphones, IEMS, and perfectly orchestrated logistics to make sure everything happens at the right time. For their rigging needs, the tour’s production team utilizes (9) two ton and (25) one ton CM Lodestar chain hoists.

Below are some reasons why the Lodestar is the hoist of choice in entertainment:

  • Meets international standards with the clutch outside of the gear train;
  • Quieter Operation with its precision helical gearing;
  • Less Maintenance with its heavy duty DC Brake and lifetime grease-lubricated Gear Box;
  • Easy Access to the control panel for quick voltage changes.

Interested in learning more about the internal components of the Lodestar? Check out this presentation.

 

For a detailed description of the rigging and acoustic set-up designed for Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” tour, please read Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band* by George Petersen, in the May 2012 issue of FOH Magazine.