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.


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.

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