Adding new technology to your crane system will enhance operational safety and improve productivity. Let our crane safety and modernization experts help you design a plan that best meets your needs and fits your budget.
Per OSHA 1910.179, cranes equipped with radio controls or cab controls are required to have buzzers, horns, or sirens to provide an audible warning to other personnel while the crane or loads are in motion. These are important safety devices to incorporate on your crane.
Warning lights and indicator lights can be built into the design of an overhead crane to provide personnel on the ground the ability to recognize that the crane bridge is overhead and where the hook will be. These lights are automatically on when the crane equipment is turned on and running — helping to reduce accidents, operator error and also help position the hoist and hook to make picks or position a load.
With the introduction of variable frequency drives, microprocessors now control all the components of the drive system and provide smoother acceleration and deceleration curves. This allows for smooth starts, smooth transitions, and smooth stopping which greatly reduces the strain on the gear boxes, couplers, girders, and other essential crane components. This also greatly prolongs the life of the brake system as the microprocessor controls and slows down the motor, while the brakes mostly act as a control to keep the crane from moving.
Also, by eliminating the abrupt starting and stopping of the crane, you get far less load swing because the crane moves in a controlled manner — making it safer for everyone on the floor.
Overhead cranes with older brake systems can benefit from newer technologies like wear sensors and auto-adjust features. Auto-adjust features make sure the brake is always in proper adjustment and doesn’t require maintenance or service personnel to manually and repeatedly adjust the brakes. This results in equal wear on the brake pads and less wear and tear on the moving components. When the sensors detect anything out of the predetermined variance, they can inform maintenance personnel when brake adjustment is needed.
Nothing is more important than the workplace safety. Given that collision avoidance systems have become popular as an automated way to control the motion of the crane to avoid accidents and collisions. Anti-collision technologies are becoming more common in facilities that are operating multiple cranes on one runway, have multiple runway systems in place, or have cranes operating in areas where there may be other obstacles or obstructions that can block the movement of the crane.
Collision avoidance systems use wired or wireless transmitters that emit radio waves, lasers, LED, or infrared light signals to transmit information to stationary receivers. These receivers process the signal from the transmitting device and use that information to determine the location of the trolley and bridge anywhere in the facility and what obstacles it may encounter. It can then slow or stop the motion of the crane or trolley if it determines there is the possibility for a collision. This helps prevent unintentional contact of the crane or trolley with mechanical end stops and other crane or monorail equipment in operation.
Limit switches can be used for a variety of motion controls on an overhead crane. There can be multiple limit switches used in sequence to slow down and stop the travel of an overhead crane’s bridge, hoist, or hook block before it makes hard contact with something that could cause load swing.
There can also be multiple limits set for the lifting and lowering motions of the hoist. When triggered, limit switches on a hoist can manage all of the following:
A wireless radio remote control transmitter sends a radio signal to a receiver unit mounted on the crane allowing for independent control of the crane. As a result, the operator can work on the floor safely away from hazards, but they’ll also get a better vantage point to perform the lifts effectively. The operator doesn’t necessarily have to walk with the load as it moves down the crane bay. Radio controls help keep the operator away from trip or fall hazards like obstacles on the floor, workers, and other machinery or equipment in operation. They’re also ideal for higher duty classes like D, E, or F where the crane runs up and down the runways more often, and at a faster rate.
Operators, production and maintenance personnel can view real-time diagnostic data through smart technologies embedded into many of these safety devices providing data including:
Maintenance personnel can monitor the time between recommended maintenance intervals for individual components and also use it as a tool to schedule preventative maintenance to help reduce equipment downtime. By monitoring the predictable preventative maintenance schedule of a crane’s hoist, you can help improve the crane’s safety by knowing when the hoist has reached the end of its useful life so that it can either be rebuilt (the internal components replaced) or an entirely new unit can be part of a planned purchase.
Cincinnati Crane & Hoist takes crane monitoring a step further than your average crane service provider. With our crane inspection software system, we can retain all of your safety inspections, crane operation manuals, load tests, preventative maintenance schedules, repair logs and usage data in one place. This data is available to you via the cloud and accessible anytime.
Energy Chain crane electrification systems supplies power to the hoist as an alternative to the traditional C-track festoon system. Electrification consists of power and control cables that are enclosed in a flexible chain. The chain rests in a guide channel that is fastened to the web of the bridge girder or that runs in a track. The free end of the chain bends into a U-shape and connects to the hoist tow arm while the other end fastens to the channel. Using energy chain helps you to achieve the best crane clearances and shop floor coverage. The compact design of energy chain along with optimized crane components and bridge girder design results in lower roof heights with maximum lifting heights and hook to wall dimensions.
Cincinnati Crane sells energy chain that is made of heavy duty nylon or of steel which is the best choice for applications with heavy loads and very harsh work conditions. Steel chains are available in zinc-plated or stainless steel, equipped with aluminum draw plates, steel rods or aluminum machined crosspieces. Typical applications are giant machine tools, foundries and steel plants, high-temperature machines, oil and gas for more caustic environments.