Category: Q & A

When Your Chain Sling Tag is Missing

When Your Chain Sling Tag is Missing

chain sling tagNorris, a CMCO distributor sales representative, and recent safety webinar attendee, asked the following question about chain sling inspection:

If the tag is missing upon inspection, can the chain sling be retagged for service without knowing the original sling length?

Henry Brozyna, CMCO trainer and safety webinar presenter, answers:

No. If the chain sling tag is missing, there is no way an inspector can verify the true length of the sling, which is required for checking to ensure the sling has not been elongated.

When the frequent or pre-use inspections are being done by the rigger, it should have been communicated that the tag was in bad shape. This way, a new tag could have been made available while the original one was still in place.

Want to learn more? View our recent safety webinar!

Additional reference:  Missing Chain Sling ID Tags: Who is to Blame?

Henry Brozyna
Henry Brozyna is a Product Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Tips for Rigging with Eye Bolts

Tips for Rigging with Eye Bolts

Jubal, an entertainment rigger from Local One IATSE and recent safety webinar attendee, asked the following rigging question about eye bolts:

Is it necessary to use only one washer when securing eye bolts or can the washers be stacked if necessary?

Peter Cooke, Columbus McKinnon Training Manager and Safety Webinar Presenter, answers:

If more than one washer is necessary, the eyebolt may need to be turned to align with the rigging. Please see the example below.

eye bolts
A shim can be added to reposition the orientation of the eyebolt. Most importantly, you must maintain proper engagement or tightness. A shim can vary in thickness depending on how you need to align the eyebolt, as when a 3/8  eyebolt with 16 thread per inch is used.  With 16 threads per inch, one turn would relate to .062” of movement into the mounting plate. If we divide this by 4 to get .0156” for our shim, the result will be a change in rotational position of the eyebolt of 90 degrees, which can be used as a reference dimension for adjusting the spacer on the eyebolt to achieve the proper orientation with the load.

Want to learn more? View our recent safety webinar!

Peter Cooke
Peter Cooke is a Training Manager specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Does the Age of a Crane Prevent Installation of a Collision Avoidance System?

Does the Age of a Crane Prevent Installation of a Collision Avoidance System?

collision avoidance systemAl, a CMCO distributor salesman, trainer and recent safety webinar attendee, asks the following question about applying a collision avoidance system:

Does the age of a crane prevent it from having a collision avoidance system installed? 

Jon Walters, Magnetek trainer and safety webinar presenter, answers:

No. The age of a crane has no impact on whether a collision avoidance system can be incorporated, but there is some basic information that should be considered to ensure it is applied correctly.

Control Voltage

Confirm the necessary control voltage needed so the collision avoidance system can be matched to the existing control voltage. This ensures major changes will not be needed to existing crane control logic.  Magnetek’s collision avoidance systems are designed to operate with control voltages of 12-240 VAC or VDC.

Type of Existing Crane Control

Is it a contractor control, static stepless control or a variable frequency drive? Determining the existing control scheme defines how the output(s) from the collision avoidance system will be incorporated into the existing control logic. Older cranes may be operating with contactor controls, but still permit the installation of collision avoidance systems.

Type and Number of Crane Motions:

What crane motions will collision avoidance be applied to?  Motions may be:

  • Bridge to obstruction (such as a wall or no-go area)
  • Bridge to bridge
  • Trolley motion to end of travel on bridge
  • Trolley to trolley

The number of motions, along with any “no fly” zones, will determine the number of collision avoidance systems needed.

Distance

The distance at which a collision avoidance system will “trigger” is determined based on the distances and speeds of the traverse motions in accordance with what is deemed safe for a slowdown and stop function.

The above factors will help determine the configuration of a collision avoidance system that can be added to your crane, which, again, may be implemented regardless of crane age.

Want to learn more? View our recent safety webinar!

Jon Walters
Jon Walters is a Senior Engineer, Sales Application & Technical Trainer for Magnetek — a Columbus McKinnon company.
Chain Inspection: Hoist Chain vs. Rigging Chain

Chain Inspection: Hoist Chain vs. Rigging Chain

We recently received the following question on chain inspection from Slade, a utility crew supervisor working for a water district:

“I was wondering if you carry a “no-go gauge” for Columbus McKinnon chain to inspect gouges, nicks and stretching on the links. Our warehouse personnel struggle to determine the correct gauge for your chain.”

Perry Bishop, our technical trainer, answers: 

We receive this question on chain inspection often, so we thought it would be worthwhile to write a blog to explain the gauges we offer and identify which gauge is the most suitable for the type of chain in question.

For our electric, pneumatic, hand chain hoists and lever tools, we have the following go/no-go gauge:

chain inspection
Go/no-go gauge for CM’s hoist load chain

It is made for CM’s load chain only, such as Star and Disc Grade, and should only be used to measure that style of chain. You can purchase this gauge from your local CMCO distributor under the part #3191.

To find a distributor in your area, simply visit www.cmworks.com and click on the “Find a Distributor” button on the right-hand side of the page.

For our Herc-alloy 800 & 1000 rigging chain (alloy chain slings only) we have the following wear limit rigging chain gauge, part #CWGC.  It is used to check below the hook chain such as HA-800 and HA-1000.

chain inspection
Rigging chain gauge

You can request a rigging chain gauge for free by sending an email to: cmco.live@cmworks.com along with your name, company and mailing address.

A common mistake that happens quite frequently in our industry is that individuals use the wrong gauge on the wrong type of chain. Always ensure you are using the correct gauge and follow instructions on the gauges for proper measuring techniques.

Perry Bishop
Perry Bishop is a Technical Trainer for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Does the Age of a Crane Prevent Installation of a Radio Remote Control?

Does the Age of a Crane Prevent Installation of a Radio Remote Control?

radio remote controlAl, a CMCO distributor salesman, trainer and recent safety webinar attendee, asked the following question about applying a radio remote control:

Does the age of a crane prevent it from having a radio remote control installed?

Jon Walters, Magnetek trainer and safety webinar presenter, answers:

No, the age of a crane has no impact on whether a radio remote control can be incorporated.  There is some basic information that should be considered to determine the proper style of radio remote control and ensure it is applied correctly:

Control voltage:

Confirming the radio receiver voltage can be matched to the existing control voltage ensures no significant alterations are required to the crane.

In addition to standard AC control voltages, all Magnetek radio remote controls are adaptable to the most common DC voltage control voltages – 12/24/48/250.

Type of existing crane control:

Is it a contactor control, static stepless control, or a variable frequency drive? Determining the existing control scheme allows for the selection of the optimal radio control product. Older cranes may be operating with contactor controls, but still permit the installation of radio remote control.

The number of motions on the crane:

Is it a basic three-motion (bridge/trolley/hoist) crane or does it perform more or fewer motions? This will dictate how many crane motion outputs are needed on the receiver.

Transmission distance:

Is there a range limitation or is an extended range needed? The transmission distance is based on the crane application.  For example, in situations where the transported material is very delicate, precise positioning is critical. This requires the crane operator or spotters to be in close proximity to the load and range limitation would be advisable. If the crane is operating in a long runway with no obstructions and no areas are deemed unsafe, then an extended range may be considered.

The above factors will help determine the style of radio remote control you can add to your crane, which may be implemented regardless of crane age.

Want to learn more? View our recent safety webinar!

Jon Walters
Jon Walters is a Senior Engineer, Sales Application & Technical Trainer for Magnetek — a Columbus McKinnon company.
Is Changing a Hoist Brake Considered a Modification?

Is Changing a Hoist Brake Considered a Modification?

hoist brakeRod, a Canadian crane services manager and recent safety webinar attendee, asked:

“Is changing a hoist brake a modification?

Tom Reardon, Columbus McKinnon training instructor, responds to this hoist brake question:

Changing a hoist holding brake is not a modification simply because the brake is being replaced.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines modification as: “a change in something (such as a system or style).”

If we replace a holding brake on a hoist and it is original equipment from the manufacturer of the brake we are replacing and it is identical to the brake we are replacing, this replacement is not a modification. We have not changed the form, fit, function, size, system or style.

If we replace the original brake with a brake that will lend the same characteristics as the old or removed brake but is a different size, shape, bolt pattern, or is not according to the original equipment manufacturer’s specifications, it would be considered a modification.

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on “ASME Safety Standards Top 10 FAQs.”

Tom Reardon
Tom Reardon is a Technical Instructor specializing in Hoists & Overhead Cranes for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Customer Questions the Orientation of Ceiling Mounted Rail System Runway

Customer Questions the Orientation of Ceiling Mounted Rail System Runway

Ceiling Mounted Rail System
Below is a frequently asked question we receive on ceiling mounted rail systems:

“What is the benefit of hanging a ceiling mounted rail system with the runway running parallel versus perpendicular with the steel?”

When an application gives you the choice to hang the runway rail underneath (parallel) to the header steel, that is likely the best option. This allows you to place a hanger in any location under the steel. When you are able to control how many hangers can be used, you can do two things:

1. Strengthen the rated load of the runway rail by adding more hangers. This strength may help when you require more than one bridge to ride on the runway.

2. Reduce the runway profile height. If the span between hangers is significant, it may require a taller and heavier profile.

Want to learn more? View our recent safety webinar!

Anthony Alessi
Tony Alessi is a Marketing Manager at our Unified Industries division.
Rigging Manufacturing: Why Forge Parts Versus Cast?

Rigging Manufacturing: Why Forge Parts Versus Cast?

Jason, a product engineer and recent rigging safety webinar attendee, asks:

“Why or when would a rigging equipment manufacturer choose to use the forging method versus the casting method?”

Troy Raines, Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager at our CMCO Chattanooga Forge Operations, responds:

Please be patient with me, as I use the word “mold” as a general reference to all tooling used in both the casting and forging processes.

The forging method is appropriate when a manufacturer is:rigging

  • (To a large extent) making solid parts. Forged parts can have open sides, through-cavities and pierced holes; however, certain design considerations, such as a draft angle for mold release, have to be taken into account.
  • Producing high quantities of parts when an investment in tooling can be justified.
  • Needing smaller, lighter parts. Parts can be smaller and lighter due to increased strength, toughness and ductility.

The casting method is appropriate when a manufacturer is:

  • Concerned about high tooling costs or a large mold inventory. Cast tooling is less expensive and disposable.
  • Looking to eliminate draft angles. Draft angles are incorporated in the mold to allow the part to be removed from the mold. With casting, the mold can be considered disposable or sacrificial. So, because the mold will be destroyed, it eliminates the need for draft angles. Cast tooling is also cheaper, but it only makes one part before being sacrificed.
  • Minimizing required secondary operations because casting allows manufacturers to start closer to the finished shape.

Conclusion

Forged parts are always better for rigging equipment because of their part size (same strength from a smaller part), weight, strength, toughness and ductility properties. Cast parts are larger, heavier, weaker, more brittle and require more expensive inspection techniques due to the probability of internal defects. Unfortunately, many rigging manufacturers have resorted to cast rigging hardware because they have hammer size limitations. For years, even Columbus McKinnon has limited the size of its rigging hardware because of its desire to only have its name on forged rigging products.

With our recent acquisition of Stahlhammer Bommern (STB), we are now able to forge some of the largest rigging hardware in the world. I’m very excited about the possibilities. In addition, we now offer new high-capacity forged rigging hooks with capacities up to 60 tons. Check out our latest video to learn more!

Additional Resources:
Download our Heavy Duty Crane Hook Brochure
View our Safety Webinar: The Forging Process – Manufacturing Heavy Duty Hooks 

Troy Raines
Troy Raines is the Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager at our CMCO Chattanooga Forge Operations.
Understanding Horsepower Ratings on Hoists

Understanding Horsepower Ratings on Hoists

horsepower ratings on hoists

Chris, an ETCP certified rigger and recent safety webinar attendee, asks the following question about horsepower ratings on hoists:

“I don’t see Columbus McKinnon hoists rated with horsepower, however they are sometimes referred to by that rating. Does that relate to the FPM capability? I am guessing that a faster FPM hoist would have to have a ‘stronger’ electric motor. Looking forward to your comments.”

Dave Carmack, Columbus McKinnon Entertainment Trainer, ETCP Recognized Trainer and recent safety webinar presenter, responds:

To answer this question, let’s take a look at the history of horsepower. When steam engines were invented, the designers wanted to know how much work the steam engines could do in comparison to a horse of that day. This is where the term horsepower originated.

Horsepower is a measurement of power at the rate at which work is done. When we measure the power of a horse, we see that one horse can do 33,000 foot pounds of work per minute.

Now, the question of horsepower is: I want to move an object from one place to another in a specific amount of time. How much effort (or power) will this take?

Looking at the Lodestar, this hoist can have a variety of different horsepower ratings, depending on the capacities and speeds. For example, take a look at the 1/2-ton Lodestar below:

1. ½ ton unit with a lifting speed of 8 fpm is a ¼ hp
2. ½ ton unit with a lifting speed of 16 fpm is ½ hp
3. ½ ton unit with a lifting speed of 32 fpm is 1 hp
4. ½ ton unit with a lifting speed of 64 fpm is 2 hp

We also need to consider the gear ratio and the type or size stator we use in the motor to accomplish how much weight and at what speed the hoist needs to work.

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on: Frequently Asked Questions During our CM ET Motor Schools.

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Will Limit Switches Work Properly if the Motor is Reverse Phased?

Will Limit Switches Work Properly if the Motor is Reverse Phased?

limit switchesJoe, an outside sales and service representative for a Columbus McKinnon distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asks the following question about limit switches:

“Will limit switches work properly if the motor is reverse phased?”

Perry Bishop, Columbus McKinnon trainer and safety webinar presenter, answers:

When the up or down buttons are actuated, they pull in the proper contact for motor control, hence the up contactor or the down contactor. If the up or down buttons are actuated on a reverse-phased motor, the proper contact pulls in BUT the motor turns in the opposite direction.

If the up contact is in and the motor is headed in the down direction, it is going toward the lower limit switch. When the lower limit switch is activated the motor doesn’t stop because the lower contact is not controlling the motor – the upper contact is. This can lead to two problems:

1) Two-blocking, or running the chain completely out of the hoist, depending on the direction the motor is going
2) Tearing up the limit switch and possibly stripping the shaft

The UP button on the pendant should always be pushed first.

When discussing reverse phasing, it is critical that all customers (and installers) know that when activating the hoist for the first time, the UP button on the pendant should always be pushed first. By doing this, if the hoist is reverse phased, the hook will lower revealing that the motor leads are wired incorrectly. If the motor is phased properly, the hook will raise and the limits will function properly. Either way the potential for “two-blocking” is avoided.

In conclusion, limit switches will not work properly if a motor is reverse phased.

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on “Understanding Hoist Control Circuits.”

This blog post was updated on 10/22/2015 with additional content.

Perry Bishop
Perry Bishop is a Technical Trainer for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.