Category: Training

Columbus McKinnon Holds Hoist Workshops in Russia

Columbus McKinnon Holds Hoist Workshops in Russia

Hoist Workshops in Russia
Mr. Nikolay Goch, Managing Director of CMCO Russia, teaches the class. Photo Credit: Julia Pleshan

To showcase Columbus McKinnon and its products for the entertainment industry, the company presented two hoist workshops in Russia last year. Held at the Global Show Trade (Coda Audio) in Moscow, the first workshop was on January 20 and the second on May 12. More than 30 guests from leading Russian rental, installation and rigging companies took part in each session.

The workshops were conducted by Columbus McKinnon Associates, including Nikolay Goch, Managing Director of Columbus McKinnon LLC (Russia); Igor Alyamskiy, commercial director of CMCO Russia; Chris Jones, senior technician and CM-ET trainer at Columbus McKinnon Corporation Limited (UK); and myself.

In the first part of the workshop, presenters provided an overview of CMCO’s history and discussed CMCO’s entertainment product portfolio. The focus was primarily on the CM Lodestar electric chain hoist. The team presented different Lodestar models, pointing out the different requirements and laws that each met. The compact Prostar electric chain hoist was also discussed. Attendees received information on usage standards and rules, hoist structure, safety and maintenance procedures. The workshop concluded with a question and answer session.

During the second part of the workshop, Chris Jones gave demonstrations on the structure of CM Lodestar hoist in action, including a design overview, troubleshooting methods and maintenance recommendations. The workshops proved to be very successful and great opportunities to engage with our customers. Columbus McKinnon plans to hold similar workshops for customers in the future.

Reading RFID Chips on Rigging Equipment

Reading RFID Chips on Rigging Equipment

RFID chip

Mike, a Lead Rigging Technician for an equipment rental company in the entertainment industry and recent safety webinar attendee, asks:

“How far away should you be to read a RFID chip for rigging equipment tracking and inspection?”

Troy Raines, Columbus McKinnon Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager and safety webinar presenter, answers the RFID chip question:

This is an excellent and frequently asked question.  The simple answer is that it depends on the type of RFID chip being used in the product. For CM Smart ID, we chose a chip that would require the user to touch the reader to the chip. While this might seem inconvenient, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages for the following two reasons:

  1. To properly inspect any piece of rigging hardware, the qualified person must actually handle it. It wouldn’t be safe or effective to “inspect” rigging hardware from any distance. There is too much risk that a minor issue could be overlooked until it became a more serious safety hazard.
  2. To effectively track inventory, it wouldn’t be accurate to accidently scan the wrong shackle because multiple shackles in the area could be read at the same time. The count would frequently be wrong because you wouldn’t know which shackles were and were not scanned.

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on RFID: Simplifying Rigging Hardware Inspection and Tracking.

Does Welding Spatter Warrant the Replacement of a Chain?

Does Welding Spatter Warrant the Replacement of a Chain?

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Joe, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asks: “Does welding spatter warrant the replacement of a chain?”

Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers:
Yes, weld spatter does warrant chain replacement. Weld spatter should be considered as heat damage. Because hoist chain is heat treated, any heat 410 degrees F and up could have an effect on the chain’s integrity. Weld splatter is molten metal at temperatures above 2,000 degrees. When it comes into contact with the chain, weld spatter adversely affects the heat treat properties of the link or links and the chain must be replaced.

To learn more about hoist chain inspection & lubrication, we encourage you watch the following safety webinars:

Hoist Chain Inspection and Maintenance
Hoist Chain Lubrication: Why is it so important?

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.

Free Safety Webinars to Resume in January 2015

Free Safety Webinars to Resume in January 2015

Each month, the Columbus McKinnon training team hosts a free online safety webinar. We will not be holding a webinar in December, but to keep you focused on safety during this holiday break, we had a little fun making a video featuring five important tips to get you through the season safely.

We hope to see you in January, when our monthly safety webinars return with
Hoist Chain Lubrication: Why is it so Important?Register now.

Need a stocking stuffer idea?
Order the complete set of Safety Webinars!
We’ve compiled all of our 2014 recorded webinars on one convenient USB thumb drive. As an added bonus, we have also included all of our 2013 Safety Webinars.

Order by Christmas and we’ll include a free CM Rigging Guide!

We would like to thank all of our past safety webinar attendees for their time and interest, with a special call out to our Safety All-Stars for 2014:

  • Standard Crane, the company who attended the most CMCO Safety Webinars
  • Patrick Cox of Westech Rigging Supply, the individual who attended the most CMCO Safety Webinars

Thanks for all of the great feedback we have received on our safety webinars this year. Stay tuned for more engaging content to help you work safer in 2015!

A Day in the Life of CMCO University

A Day in the Life of CMCO University

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Working for Columbus McKinnon for the last fifteen years, I have had the privilege of working with a lot of great people and products. Wanting to get a bit more hands-on experience with CMCO hoists and rigging products, I recently completed our CMCO University course at our Niagara Training Center and am more motivated than ever about who we are as a company and what we do.

CMCO University is a training that we offer to educate our Channel Partners and Distributors on the fundamentals of our hoist and rigging products. Being on the marketing end of things, I am the messenger of our product and safety messages, so it was nice to have some hands-on time to explore the products that I speak about on a daily basis across our social media channels.

The class was packed with great information presented by various experts on our team. I truly enjoy listening to our product managers and trainers who are so passionate about what they do.

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Corporate Trainer, Henry Brozyna, teaching students about rigging.

There were three highlights to my week at CMCO University:

  • Getting to meet our Channel Partners and learn about their daily challenges. I heard many great stories about applications in the field and how our products are used on a daily basis along with excellent application-specific questions.
  • Being inspired by our Product Managers and Trainers, particularly Henry Brozyna. I felt like I received a class in Rigging 101. His passion and enthusiasm for what he teaches really came through. I was impressed (and humbled) to learn how extensive the options are for everything “rigging” and the considerations that need to be made before making a product decision.
  • What stood out most to me was the hands-on product experience, particularly with the 360 degree rotation of our CM Hurricane 360° hand chain hoist. I have seen the video demonstrating its competitive advantages at least 100 times, but using it in person in this drifting application made me a real advocate of its benefits. (Click here to see it in action!) I think that our participants will agree – nothing beats hands-on experiences when it comes to learning.

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If you want to learn more about Using Hand-Chain Operated Hoists (Chainfalls) at an Angle, plan to join our upcoming safety webinar this Friday. I will be hosting our live event and it would be great to meet you there!

Aside from all of the learning that took place, we still had time to see the sights of Buffalo and the Niagara region and get to know our fellow classmates better. CMCO University was a great experience for me and the other attendees and I encourage you and your teams to attend as well. It is a great investment that will pay significant dividends for your business and your own development as a material handling professional.

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Taking Entertainment Rigging Training to New Heights

Taking Entertainment Rigging Training to New Heights

 

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In the entertainment industry, rigging can be both a challenging and dangerous task. To help provide entertainment professionals with hands-on rigging experience, Robert Lannon of RPL Building Services, LLC, kicked off his first Rigging Climbing Camp in June of this year. Sponsored by Atlanta Rigging Systems and held at Southeastern Rope Access Training Facilities in Atlanta, Georgia, the three-day course was designed to teach basic climbing, rigging and aerial platform operation to entertainment professionals to prepare them for real-world rigging scenarios.

“Most of the riggers I know had no training whatsoever the first time they stepped out on a beam, pulled a point or drove a lift,” said Dave Gittens of Atlanta Rigging Systems. “The first place a rigger performs any of those tasks should not be in an arena roof structure. That was the motivation for this class.”

Twelve entertainment professionals attended the camp, including myself and CMCO’s Entertainment Business Development Specialist, Jennifer O’Leary. We kicked off the training by first discussing personal protective equipment, including harnesses, lanyards and helmets, as well as fall protection, structure climbing and beam walking. We also learned rope access techniques, including ascending, changeovers, descending and edge negotiations.

Other critical skills covered during the hands-on training included:

  • Utilizing motor control systems
  • Moving trusses
  • Rope management
  • Rescue pick offs from a structure
  • Aerial platform operation, including scissor and boom lifts

Using a 30 foot truss supplied by Atlanta Rigging, we pulled together everything we learned to conduct beam walks, climb a wire rope ladder, use horizontal life lines and rappel from the top of the structure. As we got more comfortable navigating the structure, product and tasks, you could see everyone push themselves and gain confidence in their skills.

Columbus McKinnon rigging training is a perfect complement to Rigging Climbing Camp, educating attendees on rigging fundamentals, safety practices, regulations and inspection techniques. When paired with the hands-on experience provided by the Rigging Climbing Camp, entertainment professionals will have a well-rounded understanding of proper rigging practices as well as real-life rigging situations and challenges encountered at entertainment venues.

To see our full selection of material handling products for the entertainment industry, visit www.cm-et.com.

Columbus McKinnnon Brings CMCO University to Mexico

Columbus McKinnnon Brings CMCO University to Mexico

CMCO University de Mexico

Columbus McKinnon recently opened “CMCO University” in Mexico. The facility will be used to give training to customers, channel partners, and employees. The campus is located within the Santiago Tianguistenco manufacturing plant, near the city of Toluca. It includes 80 square meters of classroom training space and 300 square meters of laboratories and workshops.

“CMCO University is 100% dedicated to delivering knowledge for the operation, installation and repair of hoist and rigging products.” said Rosangel Garcia, Training Coordinator for Latin America. She continued, “When we designed the facility, we modeled the classroom and workshop after the training facility in Tonawanda, New York, USA.”

The modifications to the classroom building and shop floor were completed in November 2012 and officially opened for internal training at that time. The first training class for Columbus McKinnon customers was held in February.

Future plans include additional training classes for customers throughout the Latin America region. The ability to provide education within the region, in the customers’ local language, is a key element in the CMCO strategy of staying close to the customer.

CMCO University de Mexico CMCO University de Mexico

CMCO University is off to a great start!

CMCO University is off to a great start!

CMCO University

Last month Columbus McKinnon kicked off its inaugural session of CMCO University with great success. More than 15 distributor associates from across the country came to our  Niagara Training Center in Tonawanda, N.Y.,  to “Profit from Knowledge,” learning detailed information about our products and how to best sell and position them in the marketplace.

CMCO’s Niagara Training Center is one of the most comprehensive hoist, crane and rigging training centers in the country. With more than 40 hoists, including powered and manual hoists, as well as a variety of crane components and rigging products, attendees gained valuable experience operating the products. They were able to see the interior workings of the hoists, learn about their unique features and conduct hands-on product comparisons.

Testing out Products

Not only did the distributors learn about our products, they also had a chance to enjoy the unique sights and tastes of Buffalo, N.Y., including a trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – Niagara Falls; a visit to downtown Buffalo and First Niagara Center for a Buffalo Sabres hockey game; and various meals to experience Buffalo’s famous cuisine.

With the success of our first session, CMCO University classes are filling up fast. Keep an eye out for information on upcoming sessions – we’ll be scheduling throughout 2014.

To learn more about all of our training opportunities, visit our web site.

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

CM de Mexico Achieves ISO 9001 Certification

CM de Mexico Achieves ISO 9001 Certification

ISO-9001

CM de Mexico received ISO 9001:2008 certification recently from Quality Services Registrars (QSR). The certification is valid through November 2015.

The project was planned and launched in November 2011 and required less than a year to complete the activities. The longest phase of the project was the documentation and establishment of the policies and procedures which took 10 months to complete.

Daniel Cuevas, plant manager remarked, “The project was a team effort. Everyone throughout the plant was involved, but I want to give special thanks to Leonel Lara and Pablo Alvaro as our Management Representative and Internal Quality Auditor.”

CM de Mexico did not use any external consultants on the project. Instead they relied on the expertise of numerous associates that already had ISO 9001 experience.

“I was very pleased with everyone’s participation and enthusiasm.” Daniel continued, “Now it is important for us to maintain the system. We need to improve every day.”