Winery Hoist 1

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.

Winery Hoist 2 Winery Hoist 3

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.

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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.

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Summer Concert Series: Where is your CM Hoist?

June 30, 2014

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 [...]

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The CM Man Guard: CSA Approved for the Canadian Market

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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 [...]

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The True Meaning of the Name “Lodestar”

May 20, 2014

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 [...]

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Advantages of Lifting with Chain Slings vs. Synthetic Slings

April 29, 2014

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 [...]

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How to Choose Hoists & Cranes for Offshore Applications

April 16, 2014

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 [...]

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

March 26, 2014

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 [...]

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Why Use RFID in Material Handling?

March 3, 2014

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 [...]

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Crane Compliance: Are all cranes regulated by OSHA?

February 11, 2014

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 [...]

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