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the latest material handling developments from Columbus McKinnon
Updated: 2 hours 42 min ago

Customer Questions Acceleration Time on Variable Frequency Drives

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 02:00

Tom, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asked the following question on variable frequency drives:

3-step infinitely variable control is 1st detent slow speed, 2nd detent HOLD, 3rd detent acceleration. If the application absolutely requires less than 2.0 second acceleration (Lodestar) can anything be done to accommodate?

Chris Zgoda, Corporate Trainer and webinar presenter, answers:

Thank you for your question. When the power is on and applied to the inverter, you can access the “U” parameters. The “U” parameters are the monitor parameters that allow the user to see what is happening. Too low of an acceleration time could present the following two issues:

  1. It could pull too much voltage off the DC Bus too quickly and cause a Uv (Under Voltage) fault.  Viewing the “U” parameter that monitors the DC Bus voltage you will see the DC Bus has approximately 340 Volts on it for a 230V hoist.  With an UP run button press you will note the voltage drops significantly at the first button press. With too quick of a ramp-up time, the voltage will drop even more causing an Under Voltage.
  2. Another potential fault is an Oc fault (Over Current) fault, meaning the inrush current that energizes the motor stator. Generally, the inrush current is about 150% of full load amps. The faster you take that motor from 0 RPM to 1725 RPM, the more current “energy” it will need.  So you could have a huge inrush current, especially if you have a heavy load on the hook, which may cause the drive to fault out, too.  You can also monitor the output current from the drive in the “U” parameter.

I might also note that the acceleration times are based on the full scale frequency of operation,  meaning an acceleration time of 5 seconds is from 0 to 60 Hz. If you press the pendant button for the 1st speed, it would not take 5 seconds to reach 6 Hz. It would be approx. 0.5 seconds.

Always follow factory service procedures when making adjustments to products.

For additional information, check out our Variable Frequency Drives Safety Webinar.

OSHA update: Facts about Current Sling Regulations

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 02:00

February 19, 2015  Today, we are posting updates to this blog article originally posted in 2011. This article continues to be one of our most visited, and we feel it our duty to keep this very important safety information up to date.

 
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the following regulations for slings:

  • 1910.184 (general industry)
  • 1915.122
  • 1915.113
  • 1915.118 (for shipyard employment)
  • 1926.251 (construction)

Effective June 8, 2011, all slings, chain, synthetic & wire rope, are required to have identification tags/labels permanently attached to them. This regulation applies to slings sold and used in the United States.

Historically, companies did not require wire rope slings to have permanently affixed identification tags/labels on them; it was not required per OSHA 1910.184. This has since changed. Tags/labels are now required.

Also, original load capacity tables found in the OSHA standards were based on information found in ASME B30.9 dating back to 1971.  New tables reflect the current industry standards for working load limits for slings, chain, and synthetic or wire rope.

Changes include:

  • All load charts for slings have been updated to current industry standards.
  • All slings, regardless if made of chain, wire rope or synthetic, must be marked with a tag/label. Now only properly tagged/labeled slings can be used.
  • Slings with detached tags/labels must be removed from service until new tags/labels can be permanently reattached.

To view the OSHA changes made in 2011 in its entirety or to download a copy go to: http://www.osha.gov/FedReg_osha_pdf/FED20110608.pdf

For information on Rigging training, please click here.

Chain and Sling In-Depth Inspection Part #1: Twisting & Bending

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 23:00

This article is Part 1 of a 6-part blog series that will cover what professional riggers should consider when performing a chain & sling in-depth inspection. Today, we’ll discuss the effect of twisting and bending.

Consider that chain is evaluated by applying loads in a pure tensile link end-to-link-end fashion and rated accordingly. Rigging chain around edges or corners alters the normal loading pattern significantly. A lack of proper padding or consideration of the D/d ratio (see above) for chain will result in twisted and bent links. Once a chain is twisted or bent it will alter inner link stresses which can result in failure. For this reason all chain containing twisted or bent links must be removed from service immediately.

National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM), representing domestic manufacturers of welded and weldless chain since 1933, has conducted D/d testing on alloy chain. As a result of this testing, the NACM came out with the chart below which shows reductions in working load limits based on D/d ratio of alloy chain rigged around an edge or  a corner. Consult the manufacturer for any D/d below 2. The latest revision ASME B30.9 2014 released for sale this month has adopted this chart into the new standard.

Using proper sling protection, following the D/d capacity reductions and exercising proper rigging practices will eliminate damage to your alloy chain slings.

To learn more, view our Chain Sling Inspection Safety Webinar.
Want to get trained? Check out our Qualified Rigger 3 day Workshop.

Does Welding Spatter Warrant the Replacement of a Chain?

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 00:00

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

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 20:01

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.

Columbus McKinnon now Better Equipped to Support Customers in Asia

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 00:00

Columbus McKinnon China officially opened its new facility in Hangzhou, China, on August 21, 2014. Many of our valued customers and distributors witnessed the event, alongside nearly 200 CMCO Asia Associates.

Columbus McKinnon invested $6.4 million in the new facility. This investment will enable a 40% increase in capacity and give us the ability to manufacture additional western-designed products in China such as Global King wire rope hoists for the Asia-Pacific region.

Besides capacity improvements, Columbus McKinnon established the first regional Endurance Test Center in the new Hangzhou facility. This facility enables us to shorten the time to market for products designed in Asia.

At the facility’s grand opening event, Tim Tevens explained that “For 140 years, Columbus McKinnon Corporation has focused on continually exploring ways to grow and strengthen our company. We have made investments around the world to broaden our reach into markets that require safe and productive lifting of heavy loads. From continent to continent, we have established a meaningful presence and competed to be the best in those markets. Along the way, we have also developed capable products to help our customers work safely and productively.”

For CMCO China, the opening of this new facility is a significant milestone and marks a new era for the region. The bigger, more modern facility improves our production processes, boosts CMCO’s corporate presence in the region and allows us to better service our customers throughout the Asia Pacific market.

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 00:00

As we look back at 2014 and begin planning for 2015, it’s interesting to see which of our blog topics were the most valuable and interesting to 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 aim to address your hottest questions, share interesting and unique application stories and offer how-to videos and tips that you can use day to day.

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 safety blog posts for 2014:

1. Forging vs. Casting: Which is better?
2. OSHA Update: Facts about the New Sling Regulations
3. Should a Warning Device be Continuously on When the Bridge Crane is Traveling?
4. The Low-Down on Chain Tie Downs
5. Grounding of Overhead Crane Systems
6. The True Meaning of the Name Lodestar
7. What is the Working Load Limit of a 2 Legged Chain Sling?
8. D8 Hoists Suspending Loads in Entertainment
9. The 3 Most Asked Questions from our CM-ET Motor Hoist Schools
10. Why use RFID in Material Handling?

While we’re at it, we thought we would share our most viewed Safety Webinar in 2014 with over 25,000 views. You can check it out here:

This is just one of the many safety webinars that we presented last year. 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. Our entire team at Columbus McKinnon would like to wish you a great start to the New Year! We look forward to connecting with you in 2015.

Safety Takes Center Stage at Columbus McKinnon with Second Annual Safety Calendar Contest

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 02:00


Throughout Columbus McKinnon’s 140 year history, safety has always been an important part of the way we do business. Not only is the safety of our Associates important, but the safety of our customers is also a primary focus in the development of our products, services and training programs.

In the spirit of our focus on safety, we kicked off our second annual Safety Calendar Contest last year. We asked the children and grandchildren of our Associates around the world to submit drawings on the theme of “Safety at Work, Home or Play.” The children truly took this contest to heart and we received nearly 100 entries from 14 of our locations in 10 countries around the world. The entries we received were quite creative!

We asked an artist from Buffalo, N.Y., C. Mari Pack, to choose 15 winners and 16 runners-up that would be featured in the 2015 calendar. Judging was based on originality, artistic merit and expression of the safety theme.

In addition to creating great artwork, it is encouraging to see the safety messages our children are expressing. As the future workforce, it is important to instill a safety-conscious work ethic in children at a young age.

It’s our goal at Columbus McKinnon to help our customers lift, position and secure items in a safe and productive way. Throughout 2015 and into the coming years, we will continue to focus on safety and help our customers meet this goal. Happy New Year to all of you. Stay tuned for more great articles on material handling product safety, training courses and other helpful topics to keep you working safe all year long.

Do Chain Slings Need to Be Load Tested After a Repair Has Been Performed?

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 02:00

Xavier, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor, asks the following question:
“I am doing some research on the guidelines and laws concerning repairs made to chain slings. I found some very conflicting information from OSHA and ASME. To summarize, ASME states that chain slings do not need to be load tested after a repair has been performed. OSHA says that new and repaired chain slings must be load tested before being returned to service. I was hoping to get your opinion and maybe Columbus McKinnon’s official stance on this issue.“

Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager, answers:
Thank you for reaching out to us with your concern. This is a great question. If the chain is a welded assembly (only certain companies are authorized to do this) and a welded link was repaired, then the sling needs to be load tested. If the sling is made up of mechanical components and those components have been individually load tested by the manufacturer, no load test needs to be done.

For example, I have a single-leg sling and I replace the top oblong link. The oblong link is connected with a mechanical coupler, such as a Hammerlok, and has been tested by the manufacturer. Under these conditions, I do not have to load test the sling, but I would recommend inspecting the sling, link by link, to be sure all components are safe to use per ASME B30.9 and OSHA 1910.184.

For additional information, check out our Chain Sling Inspection Safety Webinar or our new Rigging Catalog.

Free Safety Webinars to Resume in January 2015

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 02:00

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!

Chester Hoist Develops Hand Chain Hoist for Demanding Customer Application

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 00:00

Chester Hoist, a Columbus McKinnon brand, specializes in the design and manufacture of high-quality, custom-made hoists for unique and challenging applications. So, when our customer came to us with a special need for a hand chain hoist to raise and move large rolls, Chester Hoist was put to the task.

The customer had a long list of specific requirements that the hoist needed to meet. Requirements included:

  • 4-point pickup hand chain hoist with an incorporated hand geared trolley to run inside of 5” channels
  • Hook spacing that had to be 12” perpendicular to the runway and spaced to accommodate the 12” diameter roll parallel to the runway
  • 42” hand wheel extensions on the trolley and hoist mechanism
  • The ability to time all four hooks to raise simultaneously
  • Chain containers
  • 13” maximum headroom

To meet these requirements, our Chester Hoist engineering team started with a standard 4-plate low head and severely modified the unit. The real challenge the team faced was coming up with suitable hook spacing and to run the hooks in opposite directions with a single hoist mechanism.

The trolley and hoist hand wheels were mounted on a separate support trolley located 30.5” outside the hoist trolley channels.

Special gearing and sheave arrangements were added to the modified low-headroom hoist. Because of low operating height, the customer also required special guards over the gearing. The Chester team fabricated special shields to fit between the outboard and inboard side plates to guard the gearing arrangement.

To achieve the 13” headroom within the compact design, a special roller chain trolley drive was incorporated into the unit.

When the custom engineering was complete, the team provided the customer with a hoist that met all of their requirements and could be used to raise and move large rolls for their application.

Chester Hoist specializes in developing specially engineered products for unique applications ranging from low headroom manual hoists for military applications to spark-resistant hoist and trolley combinations for use on offshore oil platforms. Let us know how we can help you with your application!

 

Columbus McKinnon Associates Touching Lives One Charity at a Time

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 02:00

Thanksgiving is here and we have a lot to be thankful for. One of the best ways to show gratitude is to give back to our community by helping those less fortunate.

At Columbus McKinnon, volunteering and working with our local charities is very important to us. We know that many of you feel the same way and invest your time and resources in community service. We want to honor the charities that you support.

For the next six weeks, we would like you to share a photo with us of a community service event you did with your company or your family along with a link to the charity. Please send your photos to [email protected] or you can post them on our Facebook page. We will create an album there and would love to have your event and charity included!

To kick things off, I would like to share three recent community outreach events within Columbus McKinnon and the charities we supported:

Ok, now its your turn. There are so many great causes out there deserving of our time and investment. Share your story! We can’t wait to hear about the difference you are making in your communities!

A Chain Sling Question from the Mining Industry

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 02:00

Here is a question from Adam, a mobile crane operator working in the mining industry, who regards proper rigging equipment and practices as a major safety priority:

“We have a 1-inch GR80 chain sling, 30 feet in length that is around ten years old and in good condition, although there is inner link wear throughout the sling at its bearing points. The narrowest measurement in link diameter at any point was .945″, which is well away from removal criteria. No components in the sling show any evidence of a stretch condition, and the sling has not been subjected to overload to the best of our knowledge, though I cannot guarantee that.

“The reach of the sling is approximately four inches longer than its tag indicates. According to my calculations, this stretch is due to the contact wear in each link. The chain moves freely and there is no binding or restriction of movement. Is this legitimate? If so, does the tag need to be replaced or modified to indicate its current length? Our inspections have always been completed by a company assigned employee.”

Response from Peter Cooke, training manager:

Thank you for reaching out to us. For your reference, I have included a section on alloy rigging chain inspection from our Columbus McKinnon rigging catalog here. Be sure to do a link-by-link inspection and follow the rejection criteria from OSHA 1910.184 and ASME B30.9. Be sure there are no stretched links. Reference the “Allowable Chain Wear Allowance tables” from the manufacturer and ASME B30.9.

Not knowing your exact configuration, I will use a standard DOS 1-inch grade 80 x 30’ reach sling as an example. If we just isolated the chain (taking out the master link, coupling links and hooks) you have approximately 106 links of chain. If you determined the minimum thickness to be 0.945” at the bearing points, that is approx. 0.055” of wear from the nominal dimension. 1” grade 80 chain has a pitch length of approx. 3.07” (dimension from the top inner link radius to the lower inner link radius) Let’s assume that wear occurred at both ends of the chain link. The pitch length would increase by 0.11”. Over the entire chain length you could see an increase in reach of approx. 11.66” (0.11” x 106 = 11.66”)

As long as there are no stretched links or deformation this would be acceptable. There is no rejection criteria for reach other than stretch. Wear is not stretch.

There is also no statement in 1910.184 and ASME B30.9 to replace the tag in this event with the correct reach.

A good practice would be to retag the sling with the current reach. The new tag would be considered a repair so your company’s name or initials would have to be on the tag. A load test would not be required. Lastly, lubricating the chain is an excellent way to minimize wear.

Going to LDI? Stop by and Visit Columbus McKinnon

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:00

The 27th annual Live Design International (LDI) Show kicks off next week. This year, show organizers are expecting more than 8,000 attendees – representing 72 countries – who work in theater, concert halls, outdoor production venues, houses of worship, theme parks and a variety of other live entertainment venues. They are coming to LDI to see the latest and greatest products in action, get a refresher on industry knowledge, and visit with old friends. LDI expects more than 300 exhibitors providing live demos and many discussion opportunities about lighting, sound, projection and special effects equipment.

You can find CM Entertainment Technology (CM-ET) at Booth #2075. Make sure you check out our new booth design featuring a dedicated training center, speaker array application, motors and rigging products, including:

Plus, check out a circa 1950s CM Lodestar. It’s pretty cool! Our sales, product management and training teams will also be available to address your questions about any of our products.

While You’re Visiting, Get Trained
On Friday & Saturday, attend one of our training demonstrations on the CM Lodestar or the top myths about entertainment motors. Times: 11:00am, 1:30pm & 2:30pm.

Or if you have interest in something bigger, you still have time to register for our Road Hoist Technician Certification Class next week.

We will have a strong representation of associates at our booth this year, including members of our North American Entertainment Technology team, CM-ET Training team, Sales and Customer Service.

Please don’t be a stranger. Tell us what you enjoyed most about LDI this year by posting your comments and photos on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We would love to hear from you!

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