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the latest material handling developments from Columbus McKinnon
Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago

We Are Where You Are: Columbus McKinnon Opens New Modern Warehouse in Houston

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 23:00

As some competitors are closing and consolidating their distribution centers, Columbus McKinnon continues to invest in its network of warehouse facilities in North America. We’ve worked hard to strategically position our facilities across the country to align ourselves with the critical needs of our customers – one of which is fast delivery of our products.

With that said, we are excited to announce a new expanded warehouse facility in Houston, Texas. To get the news firsthand, I reached out to Randy Lewis, our General Manager of our Warehouse Operations, to learn more about our new warehouse. Here is what he had to say:

“We already had a 30,000 square foot warehouse in Houston. Why did we decide to move?”
Several reasons factored into this move, but one of the main reasons is that this new facility gives us an additional 10,000 square feet of warehouse space. The building is greener with new high-efficiency lighting to save on energy costs.

“What are the benefits of the new facility to our customers?”
In the new building we have higher ceilings. With more vertical space, we increased our storage capacity to better support our customers in the central United States. More stock in Houston will decrease transportation lead times for central U.S. customers. It also provides additional storage for In-Stock Guarantee products and hoist-related goods.

The additional space in the new facility also makes us better equipped to handle the loading and unloading of trucks, resulting in a quicker turn around for will-call customers.

The location of the new facility is a big benefit. Within close proximity to refineries in the area, we will be better equipped to support the oil and gas markets.

“So, has the new facility opened its doors yet?”
Yes! We began operations on March 16.

“Where are CMCO’s warehouses located?”
We are where our customers are. We are in 4 of the 5 North American time zones and are strategically located near global transportation hubs and the major North American trade corridors.

Our warehouse locations include:

United States
Atlanta, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Houston, Texas
Santa Fe Springs, California
Tonawanda, New York

Canada
Edmonton, Alberta
Cobourg, Ontario

Providing best-in-class service and delivery to our customers is a critical part of the way we do business. This new facility along with our existing warehouses in the U.S. and Canada puts us closer to our Channel Partners and end-users, no matter where they are located. This allows us to provide better service while reduce shipping times and costs for our customers.

Do You Need to Load Test When You Replace the Wire Rope in an Underhung Hoist?

Sat, 03/14/2015 - 00:00

Richard, a recent safety webinar attendee, asks:

“Do you need to load test when you replace the wire rope in an underhung hoist?”

Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers:

The replacement of wire rope or chain for underhung hoists is specifically excluded from load test requirements. The wire rope should have already been tested by the manufacturer during the production process. The technician should perform a test without a load to check lifting and lowering function, brake operation and to check limiting devices. Reference ASME B30.16 for further details.

Some wire rope manufacturers recommend breaking in the rope. After installing the rope and starting with a light load (based on manufacturer’s recommendations), run through 20-25 lifting and lowering cycles at a reduced speed, gradually increasing the weight up to full capacity, if possible. This will allow the rope to adjust and properly seat itself. After this break-in procedure, secure the hook block and disconnect the rope end to relax or correct any possible torque or twists developed during the new installation and break in.

Want to learn more about Wire Rope Inspection and Maintenance of Underhung Hoists? Check out our recent safety webinar for yourself:

Columbus McKinnon Products and Services on Display at Tradeshows

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 02:00

Daniel Brandao, Duff-Norton Applications Engineer, answering a customer question.

Columbus McKinnon’s Booth at Expo-Manufactura

Trade shows are a great way for us to meet Channel Partners and end users, and to showcase our latest products and services. We’re always excited to connect with business associates and make new friends.

Representatives from our Columbus McKinnon de Mexico and Duff-Norton facilities participated in Expo-Manufactura, a trade show held recently in Monterrey City, Mexico. The main purpose of the show was to make Mexican and Latin-American manufacturers aware of solutions provided by global industries to optimize precision processes, energy savings and sustainability. We are expanding our efforts to build our presence in this region through our participation in local trade shows and the addition of staff at our regional offices.

Our CMCO Associates in the states are heading to Cincinnati and Chicago later this month for the following two trade shows.  We hope to see you there!

USITT
March 18-21, 2015
Cincinnati, Ohio
Booth: 1433

USITT (United States Institute for
Theater Technology) is the Association of design, production and technology professionals in the entertainment industry.

ProMat 2015
March 23-26, 2015
Chicago, Illinois
Booth: 1912

ProMat is the largest exposition for manufacturing and supply chain professionals in North America.
Learn more about why this event is one you won’t want to miss!

What trade shows will you be participating in this year?
Check out the shows that we’ll be attending in 2015.

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.

In-Depth Chain and Sling 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 can 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!

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