Tag: Hoist Maintenance

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

popular blog posts of 2016As we look back at 2016 and are busy planning for 2017, it’s interesting to see which of our blog topics were the most popular with our readers last year. With all of our blog posts, we look to provide you with valuable information to help keep you safe and make your job easier. We want to address your hottest questions, share interesting and unique application stories and offer how-to videos and tips that you can use in your day-to-day jobs.

We received a lot of comments and views on our stories and we are thrilled with your response!

So without further delay, here is the list of our top 10 most read Columbus McKinnon blog posts for 2016:

1. Forging vs. Casting: Which is Better?
2. Understanding the Difference Between Chain Grades and How They are Used
3. Nine Important Rules to Follow When Using Shackles
4. OSHA Update: Facts About the New Sling Regulations
5. The Low-Down on Chain Tie Downs
6. Should a Warning Device be Continuously on When the Bridge Crane is Traveling?
7. Does your Overhead Crane Meet OSHA Regulations?
8. Sling Selection & Working Load Limits: What You Need to Know
9. Shackle Markings, Materials and Appropriate Standards
10. Grounding of Overhead Crane Systems

While we’re at it, we thought we would share our most popular Safety Webinar ever. You can check it out here:

This is just one of the many safety webinars that we have presented over the last few years. If you are interested in receiving notifications for future safety webinars, you can subscribe here.

We want to take this time to thank you for reading our blog and sharing its messages across your various social media channels. Whether you’re a distributor or end user, we are grateful for all of your interest in our products and services. We look forward to connecting with you in 2017.

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
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:

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.
Hoist Pre-Operational Safety Inspection Part 6: Operation Inspection

Hoist Pre-Operational Safety Inspection Part 6: Operation Inspection

This article is Part 6 of a 7-part blog series that will cover what operators should consider when performing a pre-operational hoist safety inspection. Today, we’ll discuss operation inspection.

When testing the operation of the hoist, it’s important to test the upper and lower limits. A limiting device protects the hoist from getting damaged, from running the hook block into the hoist or running chain out of the hoist.

There are two types of hoists – hoists with a limit switch and hoists with a slip clutch.

If you have a hoist that uses a slip clutch in the up direction as its limiting device, like the CM ShopStar and the CM ValuStar, you should not do this test during your pre-operational inspection. This test would only be done during a periodic inspection.

If you have a hoist with a limit switch, you should conduct this test during your pre-operational inspection. If you are testing a two-speed hoist, you should test the limit switch at both speeds.

Before testing the limits of a powered hoist, there are a few safety precautions you should observe:

  • Ensure the area under the hoist or crane is clear of obstructions. Also, check that there is no one under or in theoperation inspection path of the hoist, including yourself.
  • Ensure there is not a load on the hoist.
  • Be prepared to stop the hoist by releasing the controller.

After taking these precautions, follow these steps to test the hoist’s upper and lower limits:

  1. With no load on the hoist, start running up the hoist.
  2. Listen for strange noises.
  3. The limit switch should stop the hoist prior to the hook block hitting the hoist. If it fails to operate, or you think it will fail, do not run into the bottom of the hoist. This can damage the hoist.
  4. If the limit switch fails, the hoist needs to be removed from service.
  5. Next, lower the hoist hook to test the operation of the lower limit switch.
  6. Follow the same steps you took when testing the upper limit switch. As it is lowering, listen for unusual sounds.
  7. Check the chain or wire rope for defects.
  8. Again, if the limit switch fails, remove the hoist from service.

Testing your hoist’s upper and lower limits is an important part of your hoist pre-operational inspection. If at any time you have questions about the functioning of the limit switch on your hoist or think there is an issue, take the hoist out of service and contact the manufacturer.

Additional Resources:

Learn more about hoist inspection and maintenance

Peter Cooke
Peter Cooke is a Training Manager specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Answers to Your Top 7 Crane and Hoist Questions

Answers to Your Top 7 Crane and Hoist Questions

cranecrane

During the hundreds of classes Columbus McKinnon’s training team has conducted over the years, there are a variety of questions that arise regarding the use, maintenance and inspection of overhead cranes and hoists. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to outline seven of the most common concerns, myths and misconceptions we’ve received from crane and hoist operators and technicians during our classes.

1. Question: Do monorails need to be labeled with their rated load?

Answer: According to ASME B30.11, rated load markings are not required on monorails but are recommended. Before marking the monorail, a qualified person must determine the rated load on the monorail beam. Once the monorail is marked, the rating should be legible from the ground floor. ASME’s recommendation also applies to marking the rated loads of hoists on the monorail. For more information on hoist marking guidelines, see ASME B30.16.

2. Question: Can rated loads for hoists and trolleys be different from the crane’s rated load?

Answer: The short answer to your question is “yes.” However, ASME B30.16 stipulates that when a system is comprised of components with different rated capacities, the rated load of the “system” shall be based on the lowest rated individual component.
System is defined as the combination of Monorail, Hoist and Trolley in the case of a Monorail and Crane; Hoist and Trolley in the case of an Underhung Crane.

ASME B30.16-1.3.2 states that the supporting structure, including trolleys, monorail, or crane, shall be designed to withstand the loads and forces imposed by the hoist for the rated load.

3. Question: Are yearly load tests required on a hoist and crane?

Answer: There is no specific time period during which load tests must be performed once the initial installation is inspected and load tested. Some states require operators to load test hoists and cranes every four years, but, in most cases, if the hoist is not altered, repaired or modified, it can remain in service indefinitely without a load test being required.

4. Question: Are monthly records of inspection required for hoists, wire rope, chain and hooks?

Answer: This depends on the type of crane. OSHA regulation 1910.179 applies to top-running overhead and gantry cranes with top-running trolley hoists. For these types of cranes, monthly inspections of the hoist’s chain, wire rope and hooks are required with a recorded certification. This certification record must include the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the identifier of the chain, wire and hook that was inspected. If a hoist and trolley are underhung, frequent inspections are required, but written documentation is not.

5. Question: Do you have to be certified to inspect and repair hoists and cranes?

Answer: According to ASME standards, you must be a “qualified person” to inspect and repair cranes and hoists. A “qualified person” is a person who, by possession of a recognized degree or certificate of professional standing, or who, by extensive knowledge, training and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter and work. These individuals do not have to be professional engineers.

6. Question: Do you need to disassemble hoists for yearly inspections?

Answer: Hoist disassembly is not always required for yearly inspections. What is found during the inspection typically determines how far you need to break down the hoist. Be sure to reference the manufacturer’s OEM manual when disassembling any hoist.

7. Question: Do chain slings require latches on hooks?

Answer: According to OSHA 1910.184 and ASME B30.9, slings do not require latches on the hooks, unlike hoist and crane hooks where latches are required unless they constitute a hazard.

To learn more, check out our Safety Webinar covering these same questions. I hope you find this information useful when using, repairing or inspecting overhead hoists and cranes.

Christie Lagowski
Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
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!

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.
Why Use RFID in Material Handling?

Why Use RFID in Material Handling?

RFID in material handling
Is there anyone out there who’s having to do more with less? Do you have a large inventory to manage or equipment to inspect, and all of it requiring thorough documentation to comply with regulations? Are you having a difficult time finding a good inspector or ensuring your inspectors are doing a quality job?

Well, good news, RFID tagged rigging hardware and hoists can help with all these issues and more. Let’s start with what RFID is and how it works.

An Overview of RFID in Material Handling

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and it is now being used on almost everything. There are RFID badges for security and time clocks. There is an RFID chip in my dog in case he gets lost or stolen. RFID chips are even available in rigging hardware and on hoists. There are two main types of RFID chips: active and passive. Active chips are larger, have a longer read range, and are battery powered. Passive chips can be as small as a grain of rice, have a shorter read range, and are remotely powered.

There are many reasons why passive RFID chips are better suited to rigging hardware and hoists. Size is an obvious one. The smaller a chip is, the smaller the equipment it can be mounted in. The short read range makes the inspector actually touch the equipment being inspected, so there is no confusing the item being inspected with other nearby products. Passive RFID chips are also super tough and durable. Rigging hardware and hoists can be banged up, dropped and virtually destroyed and the chips still work flawlessly.

The Benefits of RFID Inspection

So how does RFID help you do more with less? One of the biggest selling points for RFID rigging hardware and hoists is how much faster and efficient it can make the inspection process.

Imagine this: an inspector merely touches the RFID chip in a shackle, chain sling or hoist with an RFID reader and he/she can instantly see the product’s serial number, description, traceability code, working load limit, size, certificates of compliance and origin (some material handling product manufacturers even associate this information with the chip and load it to the web for you). In addition to product information, inspectors can see previous inspections complete with pictures and notes, the next scheduled inspection date, inspection criteria, and even information on how to inspect the product.

The inspector can also use the RFID chip and reader to log information from the current inspection he/she is performing, complete with notes and pictures. Recoding the information can happen right at the point of inspection with a tablet or laptop. There isn’t any need to record information for someone else to transcribe or log later. That’s a huge time saver!

What about the issue of never having enough good inspectors?

We have already talked about how RFID-based inspection systems save time by allowing fewer inspectors to do more inspections. Have you thought about how much time and money it takes to train an inspector to acceptable levels? RFID systems can decrease training time while increasing inspection accuracy and detail. The ability to have a software package that walks an inspector through the inspection process is beneficial. The software can help identify things the inspector should look for during an inspection and provide acceptance/rejection criteria, pictures of concerns or wear areas from previous inspections for that specific product, and other reference materials to help ensure proper inspection.

Another issue inspectors can run into is not being able to read the serial number or tracking number on the hoist or rigging hardware. Sometimes the serial number can wear off or become difficult to read. With an RFID chip this will never be a problem.

Inventory/Serialization

RFID can also help with tracking and serialization of products. If you have a thousand pieces of rigging hardware or multiple hoists being rented or used in multiple locations, it can make the inventory process so much easier. When you scan an RFID chip, you can record the location of the product. This allows you to easily track its location later. Some RFID inspection software systems can also be designed to directly interface with your business system for automatic billing. There are so many time-saving opportunities!

Are you as excited by the possibilities of RFID as I am? Are you already using a RFID-based system to track the inspections for your hoists and rigging products?

Columbus McKinnon recognizes the value and possibilities for RFID technology in inventory and inspection management, as well as other applications.

Troy Raines
Troy Raines is the Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager at our CMCO Chattanooga Forge Operations.
Can hoist hooks be repaired?

Can hoist hooks be repaired?

LodestarHook During my training sessions, I am frequently asked if hoist hooks can be repaired if they are damaged or broken. OSHA and ASME regulations provide specific requirements for hoist hook repair to help answer this question.

According to OSHA 1910.179 (L)(3)(iii)(A), hook repairs by welding or reshaping are not generally recommended. If such repairs are attempted they shall be done under competent supervision and the hook shall be load tested before further use.

While OSHA 1910.179 specifically pertains to a crane with top-running girders and top-running trolleys, it states that hook repair is allowed under certain conditions.

On the other hand, ASME B-30.10 Section 10-1.3 (d) states that “attachments, such as handles, latch supports, etc. shall not be welded to a finished hook in field applications. If welding of an attachment such as these is required, it shall be done in manufacturing or fabrication prior to any required final heat treatment.”

So the question remains, can hoist hooks be repaired?

Typically hoist hooks are forgings processed from hot-rolled alloy steel blanks of medium carbon content, such as grade AISI 4140. Hooks can be used in the “as forged” condition or further enhanced by thermal processing (heat treatment). Although fatigue strength improves with heat treatment, there is a resulting loss of ductility and elongation.

A repair that involves welding or any kind of heat treatment can affect the strength and ratings of a hook and therefore is not recommended.

Keep in mind, when a hook is damaged or broken, it can be an indicator that the hoist was overloaded, in which case the entire unit should be inspected for other damages.

In addition to referencing OSHA and ANSI requirements for hook repair, we also recommend that you always contact the manufacturer before making any questionable repairs on their products.

For more information on this topic, check out our Pre-operational Hoist Inspection video.

Further your education on crane and hoist operation and inspection. Check out these upcoming training courses from Columbus McKinnon:

Overhead Crane and Hoist Inspection Certification
CMCO Chain/Wire Rope Hoist Technician Certification

What other hoist or rigging questions do you have?

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

Luis Salazar
Luis Salazar is our Commercial Director at Columbus McKinnon 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.

Webinar Teaches Inspection & Maintenance of CM Hurricane 360 & Short Handle Puller

Webinar Teaches Inspection & Maintenance of CM Hurricane 360 & Short Handle Puller

Do you want to learn how to inspect our new CM Hurricane 360 chain hoist?
Peter Cooke, our Training Manager for Rigging & Load Securement, will teach you how to properly disassemble, inspect and reassemble our popular CM Hurricane 360 hand chain hoist in our free Safety Webinar.  Peter will also walk you though how to set the brake on our CM Hurricane 360 and explain how it can handle your most challenging applications.

Do you have applications that call for drifting a load, standing above a load, or working in confined spaces?
Unlike traditional hand chain hoists, the Hurricane 360 may be used in any direction due to its patented hand chain cover. It rotates 360 degrees allowing a convenient way to move loads without standing under or near the load. The hoist allows for positioning, pulling and lifting of loads from virtually any angle – making it the only hoist of its kind in the industry.

If you have dealt with these tough conditions when operating a hoist, check out our above videos and see how well the Hurricane handles the job.

Plus, Learn How to Inspect a CM Short Handle Puller
During the webinar, Peter will also cover proper inspection techniques for our CM Short Handle Puller. This hoist has a similar brake, yet requires a different approach to set it than your typical Weston type brake. This mechanism was designed for precision positioning and is weatherized.

CM Hurricane 360˚and CM Short Handle Puller Safety Webinar

 

 

Gisela Clark
Gisela Clark is an eMarketing Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.