Class Pic CMCO U_v1

Working for Columbus McKinnon for the last fifteen years, I have had the privilege of working with a lot of great people and products. Wanting to get a bit more hands-on experience with CMCO hoists and rigging products, I recently completed our CMCO University course at our Niagara Training Center and am more motivated than ever about who we are as a company and what we do.

CMCO University is a training that we offer to educate our Channel Partners and Distributors on the fundamentals of our hoist and rigging products. Being on the marketing end of things, I am the messenger of our product and safety messages, so it was nice to have some hands-on time to explore the products that I speak about on a daily basis across our social media channels.

The class was packed with great information presented by various experts on our team. I truly enjoy listening to our product managers and trainers who are so passionate about what they do.

Henry's Rigging Class_v1

Corporate Trainer, Henry Brozyna, teaching students about rigging.

There were three highlights to my week at CMCO University:

  • Getting to meet our Channel Partners and learn about their daily challenges. I heard many great stories about applications in the field and how our products are used on a daily basis along with excellent application-specific questions.
  • Being inspired by our Product Managers and Trainers, particularly Henry Brozyna. I felt like I received a class in Rigging 101. His passion and enthusiasm for what he teaches really came through. I was impressed (and humbled) to learn how extensive the options are for everything “rigging” and the considerations that need to be made before making a product decision.
  • What stood out most to me was the hands-on product experience, particularly with the 360 degree rotation of our CM Hurricane 360° hand chain hoist. I have seen the video demonstrating its competitive advantages at least 100 times, but using it in person in this drifting application made me a real advocate of its benefits. (Click here to see it in action!) I think that our participants will agree – nothing beats hands-on experiences when it comes to learning.

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If you want to learn more about Using Hand-Chain Operated Hoists (Chainfalls) at an Angle, plan to join our upcoming safety webinar this Friday. I will be hosting our live event and it would be great to meet you there!

Aside from all of the learning that took place, we still had time to see the sights of Buffalo and the Niagara region and get to know our fellow classmates better. CMCO University was a great experience for me and the other attendees and I encourage you and your teams to attend as well. It is a great investment that will pay significant dividends for your business and your own development as a material handling professional.

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Arctic Pipeline Arctic application

With increasing demand for the exploration and production of natural resources in North Dakota, Alaska and other northern regions in the U.S. and Canada, there is a growing need for cranes and lifting equipment that can withstand exposure to ultra-cold temperatures. When selecting and specifying these products, careful consideration must be given to site conditions that could affect the safety and use of these heavy-duty lifting devices.

Choosing the correct hoists, cranes or rigging products for an application is always critically important due to the inherent risks involved in overhead lifting. If specified incorrectly, the potential for costly equipment damage, personal injury and lost productivity resulting from failure of overhead lifting equipment can be very significant. While reputable manufacturers of lifting equipment utilize sound engineering, quality materials and have safety factors designed into their equipment, it is important to note that most manufacturers’ standard capacity ratings and duty classes do not take into account the impact that extreme cold temperatures can have on structural steel and other construction materials. This fact is borne out in a variety of industry standards.

Some of these include:

  • ASME (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers) ASME HST-2-1999 Performance Standard for Hand Chain Manually Operated Chain Hoists states “The hoists and trolleys covered by this Standard are intended for industrial use in ambient temperatures from 0° F (-18° C) to 130° F (54° C).”
  • ASME HST-1-1999 Performance Standard for Electric Chain Hoists and ASME HST-4 Performance Standard for Overhead Electric Wire Rope Hoists both state “hoist equipment is designed to operate in ambient temperatures between 0° F (-18° C) and 104° F (40° C).”
  • DNV Standard for Certification No. 2.22 Lifting Appliances, June 2013 states that for shipboard/industrial cranes (including derrick crane, gantry crane, overhead traveling crane, knuckle boom cranes) if not otherwise specified a design temperature of -10° C (14° F) shall be applied. This is a reference temperature to be used as a criterion for the selection of steel grades.
  • ASME B30.20 Below the Hook Lifting Devices states that additional considerations need to be taken if the working temperature is outside the range of -4 degrees C to 66 degrees C. It suggests that engineers either de-rate the capacity or use steel that is better suited for low temperature service.

The Impact of Cold on Steel and other Construction Materials
These and other standards reinforce the point that “standard” lifting equipment may not be suitable for use in extreme cold. The temperature limitations set forth in these documents may vary slightly from one standard to another, but they all recognize that temperature can negatively affect the safe working capacity of lifting equipment.

Cold temperatures can adversely affect the tensile toughness of many commonly used materials. Tensile toughness is a measure of a material’s brittleness or ductility. Ductile materials can absorb a significant amount of impact energy before fracturing, resulting in deformations (bending) that can alert the operator to an overload situation before a failure occurs. Brittle materials, on the other hand, can shatter on impact. Many materials experience a shift from ductile to brittle if the temperature drops below a certain point. The temperature at which this shift occurs is commonly known as the “ductile-to-brittle-transition” temperature (DBTT). Any brittle failure will be catastrophic and the failure will not necessarily be predictable. It can occur from a random impact, dynamic loading or can propagate out of a stress riser such as a crack or nick.

The Effect of Cold on Other Components
In addition to the effects of cold on steel and other construction materials, we must also consider the suitability of items such as motors, control components, hydraulic fluids, gear box lubricants and welding in these environments. It is important to consider the minimum ambient temperatures that may be present in the location that the hoist, crane or rigging will be used. Cold can cause some oil to become so thick that it cannot be pumped or be relied on as a “splash lubricant”. Grease can become stiff and solidify, causing grease-lubricated rotating parts to seize up.

Ensure Safety when Selecting Lifting Equipment for these Environments
Reading and understanding applicable safety standards and consulting with experienced and reputable equipment manufacturers are two important steps in ensuring operator and facility safety when selecting hoists, cranes and rigging equipment for cold temperature applications.

  • Columbus McKinnon offers cranes, hoists, trolleys and rigging hardware designed and manufactured to order in North America, rather than being mass produced and warehoused. Many of these products lend themselves to modification and substitution of materials, allowing the equipment to be tailored to a specific application. Our Application Engineers are available to work with customers to determine the correct equipment, special componentry and any required design modifications based on a customer’s operating environment, capacity, and service requirements.
  •  Chester Hoist and Yale Cable King hoists, trolleys and crane components can be offered with special cold temperature steels, heated control enclosures, gear box heaters, artic-duty motors, low-temperature lubricants, special material certification (Charpy’s V- Notch ), material traceability reports, NDT of load bearing welds, and certificate of suitability for arctic duty (includes minimum temperature rating).
  •  CM DNV Shackles and DNV Master Sub- Assemblies are certified to meet DNV standards for Offshore Container Specifications and comply with DNV Lifting Appliances Requirements. These products also exceed Charpy’s V-notch impact strength of 42 Joules at -20°C (31 ft-lb at -4°F) as per DNV 2.7-1.

Working with Columbus McKinnon Application Engineers to address your low-temperature equipment needs, along with adhering to proper maintenance procedures and operator training, should allow for safe and uninterrupted operation of hoists and cranes even during periods of extreme cold. Be sure to take into consideration the specific stresses that cold-temperatures put on heavy-duty lifting products to keep your workers safe and prevent dangerous accidents on your worksites.

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Resources for Rigging Safety at your Fingertips

September 26, 2014

Many of you work with chain and rigging equipment every day; that’s why Columbus McKinnon works hard to promote the safe and proper use of all rigging products regardless of industry or application. Relying on 139 years of experience in the material handling industry, we’re continually striving to expand and improve our comprehensive offering of [...]

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Can Lever Tools be Used to Adjust Slings?

September 17, 2014

Richard, a salesperson for a CMCO distributor and recent safety webinar attendee, asks:  “Is it acceptable to use lever tools to shorten or lengthen slings? Are there any concerns of locking up the lever tool brake?”   Peter Cooke, CMCO Training Manager and Safety Webinar presenter, answers: Your first step is to go to the [...]

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Look for us at the CVSA Annual Conference in Buffalo, NY, September 14-17

September 10, 2014

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will be hosting a conference and exhibition in Buffalo, New York from September 14-17 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.   The CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico. [...]

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Does your Overhead Crane Meet OSHA Regulations?

September 2, 2014

Jason, an Assistant Manager with one of our Channel Partners, asks: “I received a call from a customer for whom I had conducted an inspection. The customer stated they received an OSHA reprimand for not having monthly inspections on their cranes. They have 2 top-running bridge underhung trolley-type cranes. OSHA referenced 1910.179 J2IV and 1910.179 [...]

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Taking Entertainment Rigging Training to New Heights

August 11, 2014

  In the entertainment industry, rigging can be both a challenging and dangerous task. To help provide entertainment professionals with hands-on rigging experience, Robert Lannon of RPL Building Services, LLC, kicked off his first Rigging Climbing Camp in June of this year. Sponsored by Atlanta Rigging Systems and held at Southeastern Rope Access Training Facilities in [...]

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Know your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders

August 4, 2014

Do you know the origin of your Transport Binder Chain Assemblies and Load Binders? If you’re comparing costs and quality, or trying to meet domestic-only product requirements for a project, it’s important that you know the country of origin. In fact, there are a number of things to consider when buying and selling Transport Binder [...]

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Yale Lifting Solutions Works to Improve Mine Safety

July 28, 2014

Yale Lifting Solutions, a subsidiary of Columbus McKinnon, has developed a product that significantly enhances safety and efficiency in underground mines. Located in South Africa, Yale Lifting solutions specializes in material handling needs of the mining industry and was well-suited to provide expertise for this application. An Unsafe Practice In underground mining operations, locomotives and [...]

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Yale Cable King Hoist Helps Turn Grapes Into Wine

July 21, 2014

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 [...]

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