Category: Made in America

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

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



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.

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.

In-Stock Guarantee Sets New Industry Standard

In-Stock Guarantee Sets New Industry Standard

We are changing the way we do business.
Changes that not only affect Columbus McKinnon and our Channel Partners, but the entire material handling industry.

We are committed, and now prepared, to ship our most popular chain and forged attachment products in 3 days – and we guarantee it. This is our In-Stock Guarantee (ISG). This is not a promotion, but a new industry-changing way of doing business.

The ISG business model has been developed from the top down, with a focus on providing best-in-class service and the most popular chain and forged attachment products that our end-users use every day. For our Channel Partners and distributors, it means that they can reduce their inventory while increasing their cash flow. It also means that they’ll be able to deliver products to their customers on time, every time.

Made-USACurrently, Columbus McKinnon offers more than 135 chain and rigging products that are guaranteed to be in stock and ready to ship — and made in America.

Watch our video to learn more about the In-Stock Guarantee, and meet some of the hard-working CMCO Associates who are committed to ship in 3 days.

Gary Krypel

Gary Krypel is the Marketing Communications Manager for Columbus McKinnon.

Buy American Act: Columbus McKinnon Helps you Understand and Comply

Buy American Act: Columbus McKinnon Helps you Understand and Comply

buy american actMany of you have been asking us about the Buy American Act (BAA),  whether our rigging products are made in America, and if they comply with BAA requirements.  Did you know that, unless an exception applies, the BAA requires domestic manufacturing of an end product and that more than half the cost of its components be derived from U.S. made components? Canadian-made products may not be a BAA-governed purchase.

Columbus McKinnon offers a full complement of made in America rigging and hoist products that comply with the Buy American Act.

What is the Buy American Act?

The BAA dates back to 1933 and, absent an exception, generally requires in covered procurements the furnishing of domestic end products for supplies or construction material. Some of the limited exceptions to the BAA’s requirements include the Government’s grant of a public interest waiver or the non-availability of (or unreasonable pricing of) viable domestic sources.

Other Buy American/Buy America Regimes

If your project is funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a similar, but not identical, domestic sourcing requirement applies.

In 2009, with the intent of stimulating and reinvigorating the U.S. economy with new projects designed to put Americans back to work, Congress included a similar “Buy American” requirement in the ARRA—Section 1605. Similar to its 1933 predecessor, unless a narrow exception applies, Section 1605 provides that no ARRA funds may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work in the U.S. unless all iron, steel and manufactured goods used as construction material in the project are produced or manufactured in the United States.

The BAA and the ARRA’s Section 1605 do not, however, stand alone. For instance, projects funded by sub-agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) impose other unique “Buy American” or “Buy America” requirements to projects they fund. DoT components imposing such unique requirements include the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”), Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”) High Speed Rail Program, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“AMTRAK”), and the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”).

Why Compliance Matters and Why We Have Seen An Upsurge in Inquiries In This Area?

Compliance with the BAA and other domestic preference regimes is critical. They typically are part of a contract, so non-compliance can result in a price reduction or default termination. However, contract liability is not the only risk factor. Because compliance typically is certified by contractors, an inaccuracy in the certification can lead to other civil, administrative, or even criminal action, such as the initiation of suspension/debarment, False Claims Act, or False Statements Act proceedings. The bottom-line is that it is essential that companies supplying end products to the Government get it right.

In recent years, there has been a clear trend of Government contracting personnel and auditors focusing upon and testing contractor compliance with the BAA, TAA, and other applicable regimes. With respect to the ARRA in particular, the statute included significant funds for audits relating to its many requirements, including Section 1605’s Buy American requirement. Auditors are circulating in large numbers to make sure that companies are complying.


There are many statutes that govern these federally funded projects. For those requiring the manufacture of end products in the U.S. and/or domestic components, you need to know that the products you purchase are of US origin. Columbus McKinnon’s products for government contracts are manufactured in the United States. These rigging and hoist products comply with the BAA and the ARRA’s Section 1605.  Make your life easier by partnering with Columbus McKinnon, and support American manufacturing in the process.

Public Resources:

Section 1605 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Buy American Act
U.S. DOE Buy American Act Webinar

** The above is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as same. Readers should seek independent legal counsel if they have questions related to BAA compliance or compliance with other domestic preference-type regimes.

This blog post was updated on April 20, 2017 to keep the content current.

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

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

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


At Columbus McKinnon, our success in the global marketplace is dependent not only on the knowledge and expertise to design and manufacture hoists, cranes, and rigging equipment; but also the business processes to facilitate consistent quality across our broad portfolio of products.

Our commitment to introducing new and innovative products, along with our desire to appeal to and reach overseas markets, prompted our Wadesboro, North Carolina Hoist Operations to seek ISO 9000 Certification — the international quality standard.

This is a tremendous investment in our facility and people, as well as a rededication to our local community. “We have been wanting to do this for years; the incoming products were just a catalyst,” says Joe Ombrello, General Manager of our Wadesboro Operations. “Having the ISO Certification enables us to go to new markets including Asia and Europe.”

Manufactured in Wadesboro, these hoists and overhead cranes are marketed to industries such as manufacturing and assembly, entertainment, utilities, power generation and mining:

Click here to see ALL of our American-made product built in Wadesboro and our other U.S. facilities.

The ISO 9000 certification process started in late 2010 with the guidance of the Industrial Extension Service at North Carolina State University (IES). The process began with the basics. “We started training our leadership in what ISO meant,” says Justin Dawkins, who began at Columbus McKinnon as an engineering student and is now Interim Quality Assurance Manager. “Then we began progressing through the standard, developed a quality manual, and developed training programs and processes within each area. ”

In April 2012, Columbus McKinnon received a banner from IES in recognition of its ISO achievement in a ceremony on the production floor of its 186,000 square foot plant. “It’s really an achievement of people in the plant, so we want to do something for them,” says Ombrello. The plant employs almost 220 employees.

Only three months into the roll-out of ISO 9000, Columbus McKinnon anticipates a 25 percent reduction in the cost of non-conforming material in the long term. The savings could be significant, allowing for reinvestment into the company.

Alongside the ISO 9000 certification process, our plant also engages in continuous improvement. Our JLC electric chain hoist product series just underwent a lean manufacturing improvement process. These units were previously built in batches and painted as complete assemblies prior to shipping. As a result of lean, we have now implemented a true one- piece flow pull system.  Our parts get painted prior to assembly so the unit is ready to ship once assembled. What does this mean to our customers? Reduced manufacturing times from 5-10 days down to 2-3 days.  Should our customer need a 1 day turnaround,  we can meet this request.


As focused as our plant is on quality, our Associates still make time for giving back to the community. Over the past several years our Wadesboro facility has been involved in Relay for Life, at one point leading the county as one of the top 3 fundraisers. Our HR Manager and 18-year Columbus McKinnon veteran, Bob Stowe, speaks regularly at local high schools, addressing work skills and career preparation to current students. He also serves on a regional work force development board involved in aligning training opportunities with career opportunities. We believe in supporting manufacturing technologies and equipping the workforce of our future.

Excerpts of this post were taken from an original blog post “Columbus McKinnon Lifts Quality Standard,” written by the Industrial Extension Service at North Carolina University.

Gisela Clark

Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

New CM Lodestar Hoist Addresses Maintenance Downtime for Plants

New CM Lodestar Hoist Addresses Maintenance Downtime for Plants

Industrial Lodestar We are proud to announce our newly designed CM Lodestar® Electric Chain Hoist in capacities from 1/8 to 3 tons. Lodestar – iconic in name and legendary in performance – is recognized as the standard in the overhead lifting industry. Generations of users have relied on the Lodestar electric chain hoist for consistent operation throughout its long service life. With a history of unsurpassed performance and over a million units sold, the next generation of Lodestar continues this legacy.

The hoist boasts numerous features that set it apart from other hoists in this category:

  • The real benefit is less maintenance required through a Heavy-Duty DC brake for long service life, a lifetime grease-lubricated Gear Box eliminating the need for oil changes and a clutch outside the gear box for easy access and reduced downtime.
  • Easier access – the hoist boasts finger-safe wiring and plug-and-play connectors in an open design; allowing for quick voltage change and access to terminal strips and simple fuse installation.
  • The CM Lodestar is quieter – a full 80% sound reduction as compared to the Classic Lodestar
  • Clutch placement outside the load path not only prevents slipping of the load in an overload condition, but makes it easy to access.  This quick access helps reduce hoist downtime.
  • The CM Lodestar comes standard with a fabric chain container and a rigid hook suspension.
  • Features a LIFETIME WARRANTY and is Made in the USA.
  • Eco-friendly – no disposing of hazardous oils after oil change, RoHS compliant and shipped in recycled material boxes.

This post was written by Joshua Karczewski, former Distributor Marketing & Product Launch Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.