Nashville, TN 37207 (615) 350-6700 (888) 464-7811 Bowling Green, KY 42101 (270) 781-3267 (800) 728-5117

We Care

In the never-ending quest to improve our level of service, Garrison Service Company would like to hear from you. "We Care" about the level of service we provide you.

Please take a moment to submit our brief online survey.

"We Care" Take Survey

CMCO Live

Syndicate content
Updated: 1 day 2 hours ago

How to Choose Hoists & Cranes for Offshore Applications

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 03:00

Proper selection and specification of hoists, cranes and rigging hardware is always essential to safe overhead lifting, but in no environment is this more critical than on offshore oil and gas facilities.

In offshore oil and gas applications, there is a higher potential for flammable gases to be present. Therefore it is extremely important that proper safety precautions are taken to protect workers aboard these vessels and prevent equipment damage. It is important that the individuals responsible for specifying and purchasing material handling equipment for use in these environments can properly identify any hazardous locations or areas per the U.S. National Electric Code (NFPA 70), IEC Standard 60079, and other applicable local, national and international standards to ensure compliance with these regulations and safe operation. Additionally, the use of mechanically spark-resistant materials should be strongly considered, although these materials are not specifically addressed within many of the referenced standards.

In the absence of a definitive industry standard specifying what constitutes spark-resistant construction for hoists and cranes, it is frequently left to the knowledge and discretion of the seller to determine what materials will be used unless the purchaser designates specific requirements. If not clearly defined in the bid specification, the product and spark-resistant features provided often depend on the sourcing channels utilized by the end user.

Columbus McKinnon manufactures many products specifically designed for applications that require spark-resistant features. Our diverse, made in-America portfolio of hoists and trolleys are built to suit, rather than a mass produced “one size fits all” approach. Many of the products lend themselves to modification and substitution of materials that allows us to configure our hoists and trolleys to the specific application.

  • Chester Hoist products utilize solid spark-resistant materials such as bronze hooks, trolley wheels and brake ratchets as well as stainless steel load chain, hand chain and hook latches. In some cases it is necessary to use nickel-diffused chains or copper-plated hooks due to headroom constraints or to reduce costs for equipment that will be used infrequently or in temporary applications. In these cases, Chester also can provide plated components to reduce costs. For equipment that is relied on heavily and is required to maintain spark and corrosion-resistant qualities for the life of the equipment, we actively promote the lasting protection of solid spark and corrosion-resistant materials rather than plated components. 

 

 

  • Yale Cable King wire rope hoists can be supplied in a wide range of capacities, lifting speeds and configurations with both spark and explosion resistance. The Cable King is  available in a spark-resistant pneumatic model and an explosion-proof electric model, for Class 1, Division 1 or 2, Group C & D; and Class 2, Division 1 or 2, Group E, F & G.

Special consideration should also be given to the environmental conditions at the work site, including temperature extremes, humidity, corrosive atmospheres and the potential for dynamic loading due to vessel motion. Special materials, testing, material certifications and design modifications may be required to ensure safe operation and minimal down time of lifting equipment. Additional factors such as headroom clearance, end approach, frequency of use and the availability of utilities (electricity, compressed air) must also be considered.

Reading and understanding applicable safety standards and consulting with experienced and reputable manufacturers are two important steps in ensuring operator and facility safety when selecting hoists, cranes and rigging hardware for offshore applications.

Interested in learning more about Explosion Proof vs. Spark Resistant Hoists?
Check out our recent Safety Webinar.

Columbus McKinnon is a leading designer and manufacturer of hoists, cranes and rigging hardware for offshore environments. With a long history in the industry, we have years of experience working on offshore applications, their unique challenges  and specifying the best products suited to harsh environments. Our Chester and Yale products have been used in these applications for decades and are relied on by end users around the world.

Sling Selection & Working Load Limits: What You Need to Know

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 19:00

Chain slings are a combination of chain, hooks, rings and other attachments used primarily for overhead lifting applications. Slings are often used in conjunction with cranes and other lifting devices and allow riggers to create custom configurations to lift loads depending on the needs of that specific application.

Standard chain sling configurations consist of chain branches that are affixed on one end to a master link or ring with some type of attachment. When building a sling, ASME, NACM and OSHA recommend that only alloy steel chain is used. Columbus McKinnon’s Herc-Alloy chain, available in Grades 80 and 100, is made of superior triple alloy steel and is a strong and durable option for building chain slings.

All chain slings should come with a metal identification tag that is affixed to the chain. The tag should include the following information: sling size, reach, working load limit, serial number, manufacturer name, grade of sling and number of branches.

How to Select the Proper Chain Sling
When choosing a chain sling there are a few things to consider:

  1. Weight and configuration of the load(s) to be lifted
  2. Type of chain sling required, according to weight and configuration
  3. Size of the body chain according to the working load limits. Be sure to take into consideration the effect of the required angle (see information below).
  4. Reach required to give the desired angle. This is measured from the upper bearing surface of the master link to the bearing surface of the lower attachment.
  5. The share of load on pick points and location of the center of gravity

What Determines a Sling’s Working Load Limit?
The working load limit indicates the maximum load that should be applied to the sling and should never be exceeded during use to ensure operator safety.

Sling working load limits are determined by the following:

  • Type of hitch
  • Material strength
  • Design factor
  • Diameter of curvature (D/d)
  • Angle of loading

The working load limit of a sling can also be affected by the conditions the sling is used in. For example, rapidly applying a load can produce dangerous overloading conditions. Also, the twisting and knotting of links or sling components can decrease a sling’s working load limit. Environmental conditions, such as elevated temperatures, can affect the working load limit of a sling as well.

Since slings are most often used at an angle, let’s review an example of how angle of loading affects a sling’s working load limit. In the diagram below, the percentages shown represent the maximum working load limit of the sling when used at the designated angle. In some instances the working load limit of the chain is reduced to 50%!

For example: One 3/8″ Grade 80 double sling used at 90˚ would have a working load limit of 2 times the working load of a 3/8″ Grade 80 single or 2 x 7, 100 lbs. = 14,200 lbs.

The same double sling used at 35º would have a maximum working load limit of 57% of 14,200 lbs. or .57 x 14,200 lbs. = 8,094 lbs.

For another example of how the angle of use can affect the working load limit of a chain sling, check out this past blog post: What is the working load limit of a 2 legged chain sling?

Want to learn more? View our Safety Webinar on Chain Sling Inspection

Why Use RFID in Material Handling?

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 01:00


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
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. We’re excited to be introducing RFID on select shackles and hoists in a few weeks. Stay tuned for more information!

Crane Compliance: Are all cranes regulated by OSHA?

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 02:30

There is some confusion in the industry regarding crane configurations and the application of OSHA regulations. In a recent article in Industrial Lift & Hoist Magazine, Tom Reardon, one of Columbus McKinnon’s training managers, discusses the issue and provides clarification for crane users.

OSHA 1910.179(a)(1) states that “A ‘crane’ is a machine for lifting and lowering a load or moving it horizontally…” As most overhead cranes can fit into this description, they tend to get grouped together and are assumed to be subject to OSHA’s regulations. This is not the case.

OSHA 1910.179(b)(1) defines the types of cranes that fall under its regulations –these regulations do not apply to underhung cranes, overhead hoists or monorails, which are covered by ANSI B30.11 and ANSI B30.16.  As a general rule, if both the crane bridge and trolley hoist travel on top of a rail or equivalent, the crane is subject to OSHA 1910.179 regulations. If any load-bearing member of a crane or monorail travels on an internal or external lower flange or equivalent, it is not subject to OSHA regulations.

Even though these types of cranes are not regulated by OSHA 1910.179, ASME and ANSI both have standards regarding the construction, installation, maintenance, inspection and safety of these cranes. OSHA may use the standards set forth by organizations like ANSI and ASME to regulate these cranes under its general duty clause. OSHA will issue a General Duty Citation for serious circumstances where employees are exposed to hazards that present a substantial probability of death or serious injury.

Therefore, when using cranes, it is important to understand the regulations your specific crane falls under and the steps you need to take to ensure your employees are safe and your crane is in proper working order. To read Tom’s full article regarding this topic, visit ILH online.

The Low-down on Plate Clamp Inspection and Operation

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 00:00


Crane & Rigging Hot Line
recently published an article on plate clamp inspection and operation based on a presentation given by one of Columbus McKinnon’s corporate trainers, Chris Zgoda, at the ACRP Conference in San Antonio, TX.  Below are a few of the highlights:

Plate Clamp Operation
Plate clamps are most often used to lift and move steel plates from both horizontal and vertical positions. CM’s clamps operate through a self-actuating spring that engages when the clamp is attached to a plate. When using plate clamps, it is important that the load is close to the clamp’s working load limit – weighing no less than 20 percent of the clamp’s working load limit.

Inspecting a Plate Clamp
Lifting clamps are just like any other piece of machinery and therefore require frequent inspection and maintenance. Clamps should be inspected every one to four weeks, depending on frequency of use. Plate clamps should be degreased and cleaned regularly and should be lubricated as needed to ensure smooth operation. When inspecting clamps it is important to check the teeth, handle, shell plates and other components like bolts, nuts and chain.

To read the full article in Crane & Rigging Hot Line, click here.

Can hoist hooks be repaired?

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:00

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?

Garrison Toyota Material Handling

  • Sales
  • Rental
  • Parts
  • Service
  • Training

Hoist and Crane
Company

  • Hoist Sales
  • Hoist Parts
  • Hoist Service
  • Hoist Inspection
  • Hoist Training

Distribution Solutions
Company

  • Warehouse Design
  • Warehouse Products
  • EPM