Normally, spring balancers, sold by our Columbus McKinnon’s Industrial Products (CMIP) division in Wuppertal, Germany, are used to relieve operators from the weight of hand tools. By using a tapered rope drum, the weight of the attached load is compensated so that loads up to 200 kg can be moved effortlessly along a vertical axis. Standard applications would include spot-welding guns, riveting machines or multiple-nut runners.
One unique use of CMIP’s spring balancers is a lifesaving application supporting horses.
In November, product management in Wuppertal, Germany, received a rather unusual call; a horse clinic needed immediate replacement of the existing spring balancer used at its facility.
The spring balancer was being used to provide support and relief for a horse with a badly injured hoof. The horse was wearing a sort of harness that was hung into one of our spring balancers with a capacity of 170 kgs. However, the horse had a panic attack and destroyed the supporting structure. Without it, the horse could not stand upright on its own, which would have sealed its fate as muscles and circulation have to be stimulated by regular activity.
After a quick call and a 1.5-hour drive, the clinic manager picked up the new balancer in Wuppertal and returned to the clinic. By that evening the horse was able to stand up again, ultimately saving its life. This proves that you really never know where a CMCO product is being used.
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