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Updated: 12 hours 26 min ago

Yale Cable King Hoist Helps Turn Grapes Into Wine

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 23:00

The Wine Industry may seem like a glamorous business, but taking a grape from the vineyard and transforming it into your favorite wine is no easy feat. Just ask HECO Pacific Manufacturing.

HECO is a California-based crane manufacturing company that specializes in the production of turnkey winery hoist systems. HECO has built systems for some of the largest wineries in California and Washington. Their standard configurations range from 5 to 10 ton capacity and come with HECO’s trolley system. These systems utilize our heavy-duty Yale Cable King wire rope hoists together with a right angle mounted trolley with modifications for outdoor service.

The Application
So how are these systems being used? HECO’s winery hoisting systems are used to move large vats of freshly picked grapes to the crushing machine. Once in place, the hoists are used to tilt the vat and pour the grapes into the crushing mechanism. This is no easy task – just look at the size!

Knowing your Environment
At Columbus McKinnon, we often speak about the importance of knowing the environment where your product is used. These systems are being used outdoors in an earthquake-prone area, which can make for unique operating conditions. HECO knows these conditions well and designed its systems to meet the latest Seismic Zone 4 requirements (for earthquakes) as well as ANSI B 30.11 safety standards.

We are always on the search for unique applications like this one where our products are being used. Please contact me if you have an application story to share.

Pfaff-silberblau Lifting Systems Help Boost Safety for Montreal’s Metro System

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 23:30

Montreal’s metro system, “STM”, is Canada’s busiest underground transportation system. In 2006, the Canadian provincial government of Quebec decided, as a measure to reduce the number of private cars on the roads, to extend local public transport facilities by 16%. Montreal undertook this project in the metropolitan area, which soon led to a 22% increase in the use of local public transportation.

To transport the additional passengers quickly and comfortably, modern trains were ordered from a consortium made up of the two leading train manufacturers, Bombardier and Alstom. In total, an order was placed for approximately 468 MPM-10 trains, each consisting of nine coupled carriages.

These trains run on quiet, low-vibration rubber tires rather than on steel wheels. Since safety is exceptionally important where railways are concerned, the bogies (wheel sets) have to be serviced and replaced at regular intervals. To accomplish this, a system capable of lifting the entire train with all nine carriages in sync (+/- 3mm) would be required. This system would be installed at the Youville depot, which is where trains used for the STM system are serviced.

Choosing a lifting system
As far back as 2008, a team of external consultants began researching and examining lifting equipment to determine what would be most suitable for this massive undertaking. The team visited reference installations of the world’s leading lifting system manufacturers to find the best option. During a trip to Europe, Pfaff-Silberblau invited this team to Austria, where they were particularly impressed by the underfloor lifting system used by the Wiener Linen (Vienna Lines). This lifting system had been supplied a few years prior by Pfaff-silberblau. Some of the most important parameters and features of this lifting system, which up to that point was the longest of its kind, were later incorporated into the specifications for the system required at the STM Youville depot in Montreal.

It took until 2011 for the project team to put out an official bid for an underfloor lifting system and two turntables. Many of the original competing companies had to drop out, either on account of technical and financial deficiencies or due to the lack of references for similar systems. For these reasons, Pfaff-silberblau Rail Technology in Kissing was awarded the contract later that year.

Designing the lifting system
After winning the bid, Pfaff-silberblau went through a variety of steps before their system could be put into place. This included: technical and commercial consultations, the design and manufacturing of the system, a factory acceptance test by STM and construction of a prototype.

Project at a Glance

Number of wheel lifting platforms

18

Number of body supports

36

Lifting capacity of the system

306 tons

Lifting height of the system

1.7 meters

Length of the system

160 meters

The system had to be designed in accordance with the European standard for vehicle lifting platforms EN1493, while at the same time observing North-American welding and electrical standards. The STM planning team also used key data from Pfaff’s lifting system used by the Wiener Linen to develop specifications for the Youville depot.

To build the system, Pfaff had to work closely with Canadian suppliers. This entire process proved to be challenging given the multi-lingual global project team. Pfaff-silberblau was able to complete the project to the customer’s detailed specifications and within the predefined time schedule and plan.

Installing the system
Once constructional pre-conditions had been met at the Youville depot and the foundations were built, the installation commenced in late 2013. At this time, Pfaff shipped the lifting system to the customer, which included 18 containers measuring 40 feet long with a combined weight of 280 tons.

The lifting system was installed under the strict scrutiny of the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Throughout the entire duration of the installation, there was neither an accident nor a negative report issued by health and safety officials. The delivery of the new trains began in May 2014.

Summer Concert Series: Where is your CM Hoist?

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 18:30

Who doesn’t love the summer time and seeing a great concert with your favorite band from the past or present? A few of my associates recently shared photos from their favorite summer concerts: Charlie Daniels Band (past!) and the Arctic Monkeys (definitely the present).

The reason they shared them is because they were excited to see our CM hoists in action!

We know that many of you have some great things planned for this summer, so we started a photo album on Facebook to capture some of your cool photos of Columbus McKinnon products working hard at concerts and events. If you spot them being used, please snap a photo and send it our way. We will post your pictures on our Facebook photo album and each month we will choose a lucky winner who will receive a box of some great CM promotional items!

There are many ways you can share your photos with us – choose your favorite channel!

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Google+

Or via email at cmcolive@cmworks.com

Looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful places you will visit this summer!

 

The CM Man Guard: CSA Approved for the Canadian Market

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 01:00

Columbus McKinnon recently launched the CM Man Guard electric chain hoist with CSA approval for the Canadian market. To explain the importance of CSA approval and discuss the features of this great hoist, we interviewed our Canadian National Sales Manager, Chris Siabanis.

What is CSA approval?
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is an independent third-party testing and certification organization. CSA tests products and their components, as well as audits manufacturing processes to ensure products meet or exceed the necessary codes, specifications and accredited standards for sale into the Canadian marketplace. Products must be CSA approved to be sold in Canada.

Since its launch in September 2011, the CM Man Guard has been well-received in the U.S. So, we felt that it would be an excellent addition to our Canadian product portfolio as well. That’s why we pursued CSA approval.

What are the key features of the CM Man Guard?
Known for reliable performance and best-in-class safety features, the CM Man Guard is a competitively priced hoist option and is available in capacities ranging from 1/4 to 3 tons with standard lifts up to 20 feet. It also has a lifetime guarantee.

Some key features of this hoist that are most important to customers include:

  • H4 duty motors that allow the hoist to be used in high-duty-cycle environments. We are able to achieve H4 duty rating using higher quality components and do not require the aid of a fan to cool the motor, unlike competitors’ hoists.
  • Efficient low-cost operation that saves you money. The Man Guard’s specially engineered motor and precision-machined gearing reduce the electrical demand required to operate the hoist. Single-phase and three-phase amp draws are, on average, 50% less than the equivalent competitors’ models. Less electrical demand per hoist can add up to big operating cost savings.
  • Made in the USA and stocked in Canada ensuring availability. Manufactured in our Damascus, Virginia facility, these hoists and repair parts are readily available for delivery from our Canadian warehouses located in Cobourg, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta.

What is ISG and what are the benefits to the customer?
Aside from all its great features, the CM Man Guard is part of our In-Stock Guarantee (ISG). Our In-Stock Guarantee (ISG) is our commitment to shipping our most popular chain, hoists and rigging products in 3 days or less. The CM Man Guard is our first electric chain hoist available through ISG, with more than 40 models in-stock and ready to ship, including 575V 2-speed units. This is a game changer for the industry.

Man Guard models available through the In-Stock Guarantee include:

  • Hook mount 1/4, 1/2, 1 and 2 ton units with 10, 15 and 20 foot lifts at 16 fpm
  • Hook mount 3 ton units with 10, 15 and 20 foot lifts at 5 and 10 fpm

Are there new features or changes coming soon for the CM Man Guard?
We are currently developing a lug mount for the CM Man Guard that can be used with the Universal Trolley. The UT Trolley allows you to use one trolley with a variety of CM air and electric chain hoists. It provides flexibility with inventory while reducing the need to stock trolleys for each model of CM chain and air chain hoist you use or carry, including the Man Guard.

For more information on the CSA Man Guard, visit our website.

The True Meaning of the Name “Lodestar”

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 23:15

Our entertainment trainer, Dave Carmack, travels the world to teach and share important information about entertainment rigging and hoisting safety. At the end of his classes, he likes to stump his students with this question: “Can you tell me why we spell our hoist, LODESTAR, instead of LOADSTAR?”

Dave was asked this question many years ago by a student, which prompted him to do some research.

Reaching out to Columbus McKinnon engineers, Dave finally found the answer.

“Lodestar” is defined as a guiding star. In 1955, when the first industrial Lodestar was introduced, many of our hoists had galactic names like Meteor, Satellite and Comet. It was the first of many unique products that Columbus McKinnon brought to the material handling industry, which also included aluminum hoist frames, the Weston-Type brake, and the first alloy chain.

In a recent CM-ET class, Jamie, a CMCO training course attendee from Canton, Michigan wrote this answer:

“A Lodestar is one that serves as an inspiration, model or guide. The Lodestar hoist was engineered and designed to be a leader and model in the entertainment industry.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Want to learn more about entertainment motors? In case you missed it, here is a link to the recording for the session listed below: http://owl.li/x8D4C .  This is one you won’t want to miss!

Advantages of Lifting with Chain Slings vs. Synthetic Slings

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 00:00

Overhead Lifting Slings are generally used in conjunction with a crane, powered hoist, manual or lever hoist or some type of lifting device. There are numerous types of materials used for building overhead lifting slings – each with specific advantages and disadvantages – including:

  • Chain
  • Wire rope
  • Synthetics
  • Metal mesh.

Understand the Application Before You Spec a Sling
Before you select a sling it is important to fully understand the application and gather specific information on how the sling will be used. When choosing a sling, you must know the weight, center of gravity, number of attachment points for a balanced lift, sling angles, reach, upper and lower fittings and ambient conditions. Communicate or obtain as much background information as you can about the load being lifted, then decide what type of sling works best. This will help ensure you choose the right sling material and configuration for the task at hand.

Alloy Steel Chain: Recommended by ASME, NACM & OHSA
When using chain slings, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommend only the use of alloy steel chain for overhead lifting. Grades 63, 80 and 100 are the alloy steel chains used throughout the industry. They contain elements that give them their unique strength, abrasion resistance, durability and toughness. Per ASTM Standards, alloy chain slings must have the ability to elongate at least 20% when overloaded in order to have a visual indicator to the rigger that the sling is overloaded. Once any stretch is discovered, the chain sling must be removed from service. Synthetics do not have any such indicators as standard.

Advantages of Chain slings versus Synthetic slings

Durability:

  • Resists impact, cuts and abrasions
  • Resistant to chemicals and UV radiation
  • Can be used in oily or dirty environments
  • Can be used at higher temperatures range -40oF thru 400oF with not reduction of WLL (synthetic slings can be used in temperatures no higher than 194oF)
  • Minimum elongation when lifting or tensioning
  • Long service life compared to synthetic slings

Versatility:

  • Easily adjustable (synthetic slings cannot be adjusted and therefore are often used incorrectly)
  • Can be constructed in the field

Inspection & Maintenance:

  • Easy to inspect
  • Completely reparable (cannot repair load bearing fibers in synthetic slings)

139 Years of Chain & Forging Know-How
Columbus McKinnon’s chain manufacturing roots date back to the 1800′s. We hold patents for chain and chain link design as well as the chain manufacturing processes, which help ensure our chain is the strongest and most reliable chain on the market today. We also invented the first alloy chain in 1933 – the forerunner to our industry-changing Herc-Alloy® 800 and 100 chains. In addition to chain, we also manufacture a variety of dual-rated hooks, links, sub-assemblies and other attachments that complement our chain offering.

For additional information on the safe and proper use of chain slings, check out our Safety Webinar on Chain Sling Inspection.

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.

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