Category: Made in America

New CM Shackle Markings and Pins Lead to Improved Operator Safety

New CM Shackle Markings and Pins Lead to Improved Operator Safety

Over the past few years, our forging operations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have been working vigorously to improve product quality and deliveries. As you have seen with our In-Stock Guarantee, we remain committed to manufacturing the highest quality products in the market, stocking over 275 of our most popular chain and forged rigging attachment products and guaranteeing to ship them in 3 business days.

As part of this commitment to quality, we implemented some changes that resulted in even higher quality shackles. These changes include larger CM shackle markings and a new shackle pin design.

CM shackle markings

Enhanced Shackle Identification Markings

The forged identification markings on our CM shackles are now the largest and most user-friendly on the market.  The lettering has draft and rounded edges for use with synthetics. Some of the benefits of the larger and more legible lettering are:

CM shackle markings
Old Shackle Size
CM shackle markings
New Shackle Size

Improved operator safety by reducing the risk of users misreading or not being able to read important size and WLL information.

Reduction in replacement costs by decreasing necessary out-of-service issues due to worn and illegible identification.

Easier identification of the product as a CM shackle with a larger CM logo forged into the side.

CM shackle markings
Old Shackle Logo
CM shackle markings
New Shackle Logo

New Pins

We have also changed the shackle pins on our Screw Pin Anchor shackles (SPA) to provide more efficient thread fitting inside and outside of the shackle.

CM shackle marking
New High Strength Pin

Both the enhanced ID markings and the new pins are now on all shackles we ship today. We will continue to look for even more ways to improve the safety and durability of our shackles, to ensure we are providing the highest quality products to our customers.

This article was originally posted on June 13, 2013. Updates were made on April 6, 2017 to keep our information current.

Tim Lewis
Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Unified Industries Helps Automotive Manufacturer Solve Assembly Line Challenge

Unified Industries Helps Automotive Manufacturer Solve Assembly Line Challenge

Unified ETA‐8 enclosed track aluminum system
Enclosed Track Aluminum Rail System

To help solve an ergonomic problem they were encountering on their assembly line, a large automotive OEM approached Columbus McKinnon’s Unified Industries and our Channel Partner for assistance.

At the facility, employees working at the customer’s final assembly unload station were having difficulty moving the existing steel trussed overhead crane system – to the point that it even caused operator injury.

To address this issue, Unified and the Channel Partner visited the facility and developed an economical and effective solution. Together, they decided to remove the existing steel trussed rail system and replace it with the Unified ETA8 enclosed track aluminum system. Steel is much heavier than aluminum, so Unified’s aluminum system would make it much easier for the operators to move the crane system.

The team presented two options to the customer, each with difference performance features. The first option was a fully integrated Unified system with articulating end trucks that would allow for the easiest movement for the crane system. The second solution was the same Unified system with rigid end trucks that functioned similarly to the existing system they were currently using but was much lighter.

New Articulating System Reduces Push/Pull Force by 66%
After the demonstration, the customer decided to go with the articulating system due to their application requirements. The entire Unified ETA‐8 rail system was installed over the course of a single weekend –half the time it took to install their existing system. The customer was very impressed with the quick installation, specifically the fact that the Unified product came pre‐assembled unlike competitors’ steel trussed systems that have to be assembled in the field.

To compare the old steel system to the new Unified ETA8 system, the customer performed an internal push/pull test and found that they had reduced the push/pull force by 66%, which was a huge factor in helping to reduce operator injuries and making the system easier to operate. The customer was impressed with every aspect of the Unified ETA8 system, from the start of the project to its completion, and is looking forward to seeing the continued benefits the new rail system will provide.

Learn more about Unified Industries.

Anthony Alessi
Tony Alessi is a Marketing Manager at our Unified Industries division.
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.
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.
Resources for Rigging Safety at your Fingertips

Resources for Rigging Safety at your Fingertips

Many of you work with chain and rigging equipment every day; that’s why Columbus McKinnon works hard to promote the safe and proper use of all rigging products regardless of industry or application. Relying on 139 years of experience in the material handling industry, we’re continually striving to expand and improve our comprehensive offering of rigging training and product resources to help you do your job efficiently and safely. These tools are easy to access and available to you whenever you need them, whether you’re in the office or out in the field.

Rigging Catlog

The Ultimate Rigging Resource
Rigging equipment end-users need information on the proper selection, use and care of rigging products, as well as insight on application and industry requirements. We took all of this information and combined it into one world-class resource – the CM Chain and Rigging Attachments Catalog.

This catalog was a major collaborative effort between our product, application, industry and training teams with feedback from a number of our Channel Partners and end users. It’s more than just a product catalog; it’s the ultimate rigging resource.

To order copies of our new Chain and Rigging Attachments Catalog, fill out our online form or contact CMCO customer service at 1-800-888-0985. You can also download a copy of the new catalog on our website.

Free Safety Webinars
Since their inception in early 2014, our monthly safety webinars have been a tremendous success. These webinars are not sales pitches. These 1/2 hour educational webinars cover safety best practices that you can use everyday. From pre-operational hoist inspection to determining the center of gravity when rigging a load, these free webinars have something for everyone.

Some of our most popular rigging safety webinars include:

If you ever miss one, don’t worry they’re recorded and available online on our YouTube Channel.

Classroom & Hands-On Safety Training

CMCO Training Class

Columbus McKinnon offers classroom and hands-on rigging training from basic to advanced. Our team of full-time instructors are material handling product and safety professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience in the industry. Like our safety webinars, these courses are not sales pitches; they are intense learning experiences that leave attendees with the knowledge and experience they need to safely select, use, inspect and repair overhead cranes, hoists and rigging equipment on a day-to-day basis.

Visit us at www.cmworks.com/training for more information and a complete training schedule.

In-Stock Guarantee (ISG)
In addition to training, we also work hard to ensure our rigging products get to you fast, so you have them when you need them. With that in mind, we are continually expanding our In-Stock Guarantee to ensure shipment of our most popular hoists, chain and rigging products in three days or less. Currently more than 275 products are available through our In-Stock Guarantee.

Product Improvements
We have also made a number of significant product improvements to our rigging portfolio. For example, our shackles now have enhanced markings as well as a new pin design for increased operator safety. We have also expanded our selection of dual-rated rigging products to help customers reduce and better manage their inventory.

Professional riggers, maintenance workers, plant engineers and safety specialists rely on us for knowledge and expertise on material handling products and use – and we hope you do too, using the variety of resources made available to you by Columbus McKinnon.

This article was originally published on June 6, 2013 and was updated with new content on September 26, 2014.

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Know your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders

Know your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders

Binder Chain AssemblyDo you know the origin of your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders? If you’re comparing costs and quality, or trying to meet domestic-only product requirements for a project, it’s important that you know the country of origin.

In fact, there are a number of things to consider when buying and selling Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders. I will highlight a few things you should look for to ensure you are comparing apples to apples and getting the product that best meets your needs.

CM Offers 3 Types of Binder Chain Assemblies

Short Link Chain Assemblies with Domestic Hooks are our premium, 100% American-made Chain Assemblies that feature US-made short link chain and US-made hooks. CM is the only manufacturer of short link chain and set the standard for it years ago with the introduction of Gold Standard (gold chromate) chain. The smaller dimension of the short link chain is preferred by users because it allows for easier take up and better cornering. This means that the chain links are less likely to bend when they go around a corner.

Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Domestic Hooks, like our short link assemblies, feature US-made chain and US-made hooks manufactured and assembled at our Tennessee facilities. The longer pitch of the standard link chain translates into less overall weight. Standard link chain is common in most US-made assemblies.

Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Imported Hooks are competitively priced assemblies that feature domestic-made chain with imported hooks. This type of assembly is very common in the industry and is made by many competitors domestically.

View a comparison chart of our three types of binder chain assemblies.

Does your job require proof that your equipment was made in America?

Whether Binder Chain Assemblies or Load Binders, you should be able to find the name of the country of origin printed or embossed right on the unit. All CM domestic products will have a forged “USA” clearly visible. Binder Chain Assemblies

Competitors may put their markings in inconspicuous places where it is less likely to be seen. On some competitors’ ratchet load binders you need to really look to find “China” discreetly hidden on the side of the thumb switch. Always check your Ratchet and Lever Load Binders thoroughly to make sure they’re made in the USA.

For domestic chain and hooks, Columbus McKinnon goes one step further by featuring trace codes. These trace codes allow you to not only trace the steel that was used to make the product, but also the date of manufacture and the processes used in manufacturing the product.

Lastly, CM offers full disclosure with a Certificate of Conformity (COC) and a Certificate of Origin (COO) on all of our Transport Binder Chain Assemblies, Ratchet Load Binders and Lever Load Binders. These COCs and COOs are available for download on our Distributor website or by request from a Columbus McKinnon customer service representative.

Meeting Industry Standards

The transportation industry uses a large assortment of Binder Chain Assemblies that come from all over the world. Some of these products meet multiple recognized standards while others do not meet any specifications at all. It’s truly “buyer beware.”

However, Columbus McKinnon transport binder chains and assemblies meet all regulatory requirements for transportation in North America, including NACM 2014, ASTM A413 and D.O.T. requirements.

Comparing Costs: Apples to Apples

When comparing CM products and pricing to the competition, it is important to make sure that you are comparing equivalent products.

The majority of our competitors offer assemblies with domestic-made chain and imported hooks. These mixed assemblies are designed to be economical, and our Standard Link Chain Assemblies with Imported Hooks match up nicely in price and quality. Assemblies that use components with mixed countries of origin are fine for applications where domestic-made products are not required.

In contrast, you can’t compare CM Standard Link Chain Assemblies and Short Link Chain Assemblies that feature domestic hooks to the competition that uses imported components. Our 100% US-made assemblies are premium, high-quality products proudly manufactured in Tennessee. Comparing these premium units to imported products (whether fully imported or made with imported components) would be comparing apples to oranges.

So, there’s a lot to consider before you buy or sell your next load binder or binder chain assembly. For more information, contact a Columbus McKinnon Sales Representative at 800-888-0985. If you’re interested in getting professional, hands-on Load Securement Training click here.

Tim Lewis
Tim Lewis is a Business Development Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Advantages of Lifting with Chain Slings vs. Synthetic Slings

Advantages of Lifting with Chain Slings vs. Synthetic Slings

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Overhead Lifting Slings are generally used in conjunction with a crane, powered hoist, manual or lever hoist or some type of lifting device. There are numerous types of materials used for building overhead lifting slings – each with specific advantages and disadvantages – including:

  • Chain
  • Wire rope
  • Synthetics
  • Metal mesh.

Understand the Application Before You Spec a Sling
Before you select a sling it is important to fully understand the application and gather specific information on how the sling will be used. When choosing a sling, you must know the weight, center of gravity, number of attachment points for a balanced lift, sling angles, reach, upper and lower fittings and ambient conditions. Communicate or obtain as much background information as you can about the load being lifted, then decide what type of sling works best. This will help ensure you choose the right sling material and configuration for the task at hand.

Alloy Steel Chain: Recommended by ASME, NACM & OHSA
When using chain slings, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommend only the use of alloy steel chain for overhead lifting. Grades 63, 80 and 100 are the alloy steel chains used throughout the industry. They contain elements that give them their unique strength, abrasion resistance, durability and toughness. Per ASTM Standards, alloy chain slings must have the ability to elongate at least 20% when overloaded in order to have a visual indicator to the rigger that the sling is overloaded. Once any stretch is discovered, the chain sling must be removed from service. Synthetics do not have any such indicators as standard.

Advantages of Chain slings versus Synthetic slings

Durability:

  • Resists impact, cuts and abrasions
  • Resistant to chemicals and UV radiation
  • Can be used in oily or dirty environments
  • Can be used at higher temperatures range -40oF thru 400oF with not reduction of WLL (synthetic slings can be used in temperatures no higher than 194oF)
  • Minimum elongation when lifting or tensioning
  • Long service life compared to synthetic slings

Versatility:

  • Easily adjustable (synthetic slings cannot be adjusted and therefore are often used incorrectly)
  • Can be constructed in the field

Inspection & Maintenance:

  • Easy to inspect
  • Completely reparable (cannot repair load bearing fibers in synthetic slings)

139 Years of Chain & Forging Know-How
Columbus McKinnon’s chain manufacturing roots date back to the 1800’s. We hold patents for chain and chain link design as well as the chain manufacturing processes, which help ensure our chain is the strongest and most reliable chain on the market today. We also invented the first alloy chain in 1933 – the forerunner to our industry-changing Herc-Alloy® 800 and 100 chains. In addition to chain, we also manufacture a variety of dual-rated hooks, links, sub-assemblies and other attachments that complement our chain offering.

For additional information on the safe and proper use of chain slings, check out our Safety Webinar on Chain Sling Inspection.

Henry Brozyna
Henry Brozyna is a Product Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement 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 ShopStar Brings Speed and Safety to Stewart-Haas Racing Team

CM ShopStar Brings Speed and Safety to Stewart-Haas Racing Team

If you follow NASCAR then there’s no doubt you are familiar with Stewart-Haas Racing – the title-winning NASCAR Spring Cup Series team made up of Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick.

But did you know that Stewart-Haas Racing relies on CM ShopStar electric chain hoists to build and repair their cars? To find out more about how they’re using the ShopStar, Ken Tilson, CMCO Product Manager – Powered Chain Hoists, and I took a trip to their headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Stewart-Haas Racing utilizes an overhead crane system featuring six CM ShopStar electric chain hoists that are paired over three car-assembly areas to position NASCAR design templates onto cars under construction in their primary garage. An additional single CM ShopStar with 500 lb. capacity is used in their Research and Development Area.1-ShopStar

Why did they choose the CM ShopStar?
In the past, the Stewart-Haas crew used a common electric wire rope winch mounted to a mobile A-frame gantry to lift and position their car design templates. That system had slow lifting speeds and an unreliable brake that made this process both tedious and dangerous for the crew. The team converted to the CM ShopStar for its speed, dependability and dual braking system to make the process more efficient and safe.

To learn more about CM’s involvement with Stewart-Haas Racing, check out the full case study or view our video online.

Special thanks to the entire team at Stewart-Haas Racing for the opportunity to tour their facility and the time they took to show us how they are using our product.
Gary Krypel
Gary Krypel is the Marketing Communications Manager for Columbus McKinnon.
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

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.