Category Archive: News and Events Post

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing in Chester County

Chester County hosted its annual award ceremony for Dream It Do It Pa’s, “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest at Penn State Great Valley. The contest was sponsored by the Manufacturing Alliance of Chester & Delaware Counties and the Chester County Economic Development County Community. American Crane & Equipment Corporation was thrilled to be able to attend the awards ceremony for Chester County’s contest and our Executive Vice President, Karen Norheim participated as a judge.

We were excited to have the opportunity to be included in the award ceremony, showcasing American Crane & Equipment Corporation to students, teachers, parents and other local manufacturers.American Crane VR at Chester County Event

The, What So Cool About Manufacturing video contest has been a huge success, and has become extremely popular since it was started.  The video contest promotes the importance of STEM and explores the manufacturing industry, showing students how cool manufacturing really is!

We often associate manufacturing with greasy factories, smoke stacks, and steam engines. It is important to spread the word about how fun and exciting the manufacturing industry can be. By participating in projects such as this one, we are truly able to inspire others and share our passion for manufacturing. Involving students in manufacturing can expose them to an industry which they may normally overlook, and hopefully, inspire them to join the manufacturing industry in the future.

All of the videos entered in the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest hosted by Dream It Do It were wonderful. Each of the students did a fantastic job! We had a great time participating in this contest and we look forward to getting involved again next year.  To check out the videos and learn more about the contests, visit:  http://dreamitdoitpa.com/video-contests/

Dream It Do It: What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Award Ceremony

We are so proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of “Dream It Do It: What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest.  Last week, Dream It Do It had their annual video contest award ceremony for Berks County and we were thrilled to be there to witness it!

The contest was a huge success, recognized nationally and across the entire state of Pennsylvania.  The objective of the video contest was to promote STEM and the manufacturing industry disproving the myth that manufacturing isn’t cool!

In today’s world, oftentimes when we discuss manufacturing, our thoughts are immediately drawn to greasy factories, smoke stacks, and steam engines. It is important to remind the future generations of how exciting the manufacturing industry can be.

We hope to inspire others to be as passionate about manufacturing careers as we are.  It is projected, that over the next few years the manufacturing industry will have over 2 million open positions.  The manufacturing industry is one of the most important industries in our society.  We need to get more people involved and to fill those jobs and future ones!

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest gave kids the chance to explore the world of manufacturing first-hand. Student teams were assigned to different manufacturers in their local areas.

Once the groups were assigned to a manufacturing company, they arranged an appropriate time to tour the facility with a GoPro and other camera equipment.  During their days at the manufacturing facilities, the students used the equipment to record video footage that would express why they thought manufacturing was cool.

The students had the opportunity to edit their footage in creative ways that would get the message across.  Once the project was completed, the videos were made public and entered in a contest which voters could access and vote on their favorite videos.

American Crane & Equipment Corporation was assigned to a group of six female students from the Daniel Boone Middle School.  We had a great time hosting the students and showing them around our facility.

The students were able to see, step-by-step, the process of what it takes to manufacture one of our cranes.  They also had the chance to operate our cranes with the supervision of our maintenance manager.

There will be several other “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contests hosted by Dream It Do It as we make our way through the spring.  To check out the videos and learn more about the contests, visit:  http://dreamitdoitpa.com/video-contests/

How to Choose the Best Crane Service Provider for Your Application

Overhead lifting systems can yield major cost and space savings for manufacturers and material handling companies alike. To remain in continuous operation and comply with strict regulations, these systems demand proper crane service, routine maintenance checks, and regular quality inspections. American Crane & Equipment Corporation can provide these services for not only their own equipment but for other Overhead Equipment Manufacturer’s products as well.

To ensure these standards are met, production is optimized and downtime is minimized — Buyers should keep a few key considerations in mind when choosing a crane service provider. Below, we’ve outlined eight important factors to take into account.

Best-Crane-Service-Provider8 Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Crane Service Provider

1. OSHA Standards

When crane maintenance crews conduct installations and repairs, OSHA’s strict compliance directives should always be at the forefront. Overhead and Gantry Cranes, specifically, have their own set of rules under OSHA 1910.179.

2. Monthly and Yearly Crane Inspections

While OSHA crane inspections are mandated; OSHA (1910.179 (j) inspection (ii)(b)), many companies don’t realize they must also maintain their cranes on a more regular schedule; OSHA (1910.179(j) inspection (ii)(R))  based on the duty cycle of the equipment. It is important to always have a service provider who is familiar with these OSHA requirements.

3. Supply Parts on Short Notice

It’s important to have access to a large inventory of top-name crane parts and components, especially since technicians work on all different makes, models, and sizes of cranes and hoists. This will prevent delays, as procurement and maintenance teams will not be scrambling to get machines back up and running after inspections.

4. Versatile Technicians

When a crane repair is needed, you’ll want to work with technicians who have extensive knowledge of different types of cranes across various industries, as well as a full understanding of the cranes used specifically in your facility. With this expertise, technicians will be able to offer valuable insight and provide easily interchangeable parts if necessary.  You should only use a company whose technicians meet or exceed the crane inspectors’ certification requirements.

5. Load Testing

To comply with OSHA crane safety standard 1910.179 (k) testing (z), test loads cannot exceed 125% of the rated load. Owners must show a historic record proving they are in compliance with this standard and respect the safe working load for the crane.

6. Capabilities to Rebuild Existing Cranes

When assembling your crane service team, look for partners who can provide a wide range of services — a team that can help out with minor headaches but also take full control of complex or involved projects, such as rebuilding existing cranes.

The benefits of overhead cranes are only as good as the maintenance team ensuring their proper working order. To maximize run time, maintain OSHA compliance and outline the best possible project plans, plant managers should carefully select their crane service team.

Additional Resources

American Crane has been partnering with strategic resource managers for years as a third-party service team to ensure safe, smooth operation of all facilities. Whether these managers are looking for an expert in specialized crane systems or a generalist with broad industry knowledge, American Crane can help.

To learn about what to look for when selecting a crane service provider, download our free Crane Buyer’s Guide.


Choose the Right Crane

Why You Should Support Local STEM Education Programs

Revitalizing Manufacturing in America

Here at American Crane & Equipment Corporation, our company’s culture is rooted in supporting STEM education — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — for local students. We believe that increasing diversity and representation in these fields will not only help revitalize manufacturing’s outdated reputation but also allow the industry to evolve and prosper.

As part of our ongoing efforts to promote STEM education, we participate annually in Manufacturing Day (the first Friday of every October), offering tours of our facility for local students, educating people about the many exciting careers available in the field, and celebrating manufacturing in America. As a U.S.-based manufacturer, we’re proud to be a part of such a dynamic, innovative industry.

Our Executive Vice President of American Crane, Karen Norheim, is especially passionate about sharing her industry knowledge with students. As an alumnus of Penn State and a member of its Professional Advisory Committee Board, Karen often participates in university events, serving as a mentor for students interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing.

MorningStar Solar Home: A Project in Sustainability

img_5014Through Karen’s close relationship with Penn State, members of the American Crane team recently toured the school’s lauded MorningStar solar home as part of our efforts to support local organizations that promote innovation and engineering solutions for social good.

The MorningStar solar home was built by more than 800 students for the 2007 Solar Decathlon competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The solar home won fourth place among 20 universities competing internationally. Since then, the student-driven project has propelled the school to invest more resources in classes on sustainability and solar power.

Considered a “net-zero home,” MorningStar creates just as much, if not more, energy than it consumes. It’s completely powered by renewable energy, employing an adjustable photovoltaic (PV) array, a dedicated DC/LED lighting power system to eliminate conversion losses, and a ground-source heat pump and radiant floor and shower wall system for efficient temperature control.MorningStar Solar Home

In addition to these energy-efficient features, the structure of MorningStar is made from locally sourced natural resources, including Pennsylvania black slate, Pennsylvania bluestone, Pennsylvania recycled steel, native hardwoods. Many of them are from dead elm trees found on Penn State’s campus and a wall of glass milk bottles, which are filled with water during the day and stored on shelves in front of the windows to help absorb the sun’s heat. Not only are all of these materials environmentally friendly, they’re also celebratory of Pennsylvania’s local industries, forests, and craftspeople.

After earning fourth place at the Solar Decathlon, the MorningStar solar home received a $560K grant from the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association to finance its relocation from Washington, D.C. to Penn State’s campus to serve as a teaching space. The solar home now resides at The University’s Center for Sustainability, where it serves as a renewable energy research lab for both students and the community.

Learn More

The American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO) team was truly inspired by our recent visit to the MorningStar solar home. This was a perfect example of the many opportunities for STEM mentorship and education. Projects like these not only benefit the people directly involved, who gain valuable networking skills and career opportunities, but also the community, industry, and economy overall.

To learn more about our community initiatives that support STEM and diversity in the manufacturing space, visit our YouTube channel, where you can find a Manufacturing Day plant tour and videos on choosing a career in manufacturing.





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Our Latest Innovation: The Norheim Hoist Line Engineered for Safety, Reliability & Flexibility

A Tradition of Service and Expertise

In 1960, as the sun rose above the town of Lygra, Norway, a young man left his home to begin a journey that would ultimately lead him to the United States in search of the American Dream. As a new engineer, he traveled lightly, bringing just a quest for knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Now, as American Crane & Equipment Corporation’s President and CEO, Oddvar Norheim channels this passion for learning, innovation and excellence into every product our company manufactures.

American Crane TeamFor over 45 years, in markets ranging from energy to aerospace, American Crane has become a leader across industries, helping customers solve their material handling problems.

Keeping quality and functionality at top of mind, our team has addressed challenges and developed solutions for countless applications, and we are proud to apply these years of expertise to our latest innovation: The Norheim Hoist Line.

Introducing the Norheim Hoist Line

The American Crane Norheim Modular Hoist Line is the result of years of engineering culminating into a high quality, configurable design utilizing readily available, commercial components.

The Norheim Hoist can be tailored to meet your exact requirements, providing versatility across applications and with unmatched reliability, ruggedness, and cost effectiveness.

The Norheim Hoist Line is easily configurable to match the unique needs of different industries, allowing for flexibility in speed, capacity and operational requirements.

Available in capacities ranging up to 160 tons, the Norheim Hoist can be fitted to monorails, top-running trolleys, and dual rail underhung trolleys, with single and double reeved configurations.

Download Equipment Guide

The Latest Evolution in Design

The Norheim Hoist’s standard control configuration is an inverter drive in conjunction with a compatible motor. The inverter offers optimum utilization of the motor’s output and allows precise positioning of the load.

For enhanced productivity, the hoist’s lifting speed can increase for loads weighing up to 30% the rated load capacity, and two-speed hoists and trolley controls are available up to 20 Horsepower, using standard magnetic contactor controls.

The Norheim Hoist Sets Itself Apart With:

  • Capacities Up to 160 Tons
  • Competitive Pricing for a Configurable Hoist
  • Versatility for a Wide Variety of Applications
  • Engineering for Safety, Reliability & Flexibility
  • Utilization of Readily Available Components
  • Increased Speeds for Loads Up to 30% of Rated Capacity
  • Long Lift Capabilities
  • Being Built to Last
  • Easy Configuration for Foot Mounted, Monorail, or Double Rail

The flexibility customers receive when choosing American Crane’s Norheim Hoist makes this product perfect for all customers and applications in any industry and for every project.

Commitment to Excellence

Duobox CraneThe new Norheim Hoist Line reflects both extensive industry expertise and a deep understanding of what it means to meet our customers’ needs.

At American Crane, we provide quality products backed by industry experience and technical know-how. Our commitment to outstanding customer service has been our leading driver in developing a hoist with the best quality in the market at a competitive price.

The Norheim Hoist Line meets the requirements for both the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) Spec # 70 and the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI) Class H-4 Hoists.

Duty Class Ratings in accordance with CMAA:

  • CMAA CLASS D Duty up to 60 Ton Capacity
  • CMAA Class A & B from 70 to 160 Ton Capacity
  • For CMAA Class E & F and Custom Designs, Consult Factory

Our extensive experience ensures customers the most reliable option for overhead material handling solutions. We believe proper lifting systems are essential in helping to operate manufacturing facilities safely and efficiently. To ensure the safest possible environment, we maximize floor space and systems to the highest potential, enhancing the best environment for workers.

The American Crane Norheim Hoist Line is built to last, providing top of the line ruggedness that ensures durability. American Crane sets high-quality standards by maintaining in-house resources for engineering, manufacturing, fabrication, installation and field service.

When you buy an American Crane Norheim Hoist, you can buy with the confidence that it will be on the job for many years to come.

Learn more about our solutions by downloading the American Crane Overhead Equipment Guide, or reach out to our team for more information about the new Norheim Hoist Line.


How Overhead Equipment Can Help Your Business

Benefits of Crane Inspection Certification

Written by Tom Reardon, Technical Instructor specializing in Hoists and Overhead Cranes for Columbus McKinnon Corporation

Crane owners are increasingly requesting certification to ensure that the individuals inspecting their cranes are fully qualified. To demonstrate their crane inspecting qualifications, many inspectors rely on Specification 78, published by the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), as the most widely accepted industry standard.

RELATED: CMCO Product Catalog

crane operatorEven the most experienced crane technician benefits greatly from getting certified, in ways such as:

  • Enhanced and Continuing Education: Certification promotes education and continued education for technicians throughout their careers. This leads an employee to be more productive, which can lead to lower costs and better efficiencies.
  • Reduced Risk of Inspection Oversight: Certification drastically decreases the risk that a technician will miss something during an inspection and creates a safer work environment for all employees involved in crane operation.
  • Awareness of Industry Updates: As certifications expire, a technician must come back for training to prepare for re-certification. In the process of doing so, they learn about any new changes in safety standards, technical papers, and manufacturers’ recommendations.

What Does Crane Inspection Certification Training Cover?

new-training-centerColumbus McKinnon Corporation (CMCO)’s Crane and Hoist Inspection and Certification training was professionally developed by our full-time training staff. The program, the most comprehensive training course available in the industry today, applies to all brands of cranes and hoists.

Columbus McKinnon certified crane inspectors receive 24 hours of specialized training covering all aspects of cranes and hoists, including suspension, structure, motors, controls, gears, wheels, brakes, testing, and more.

In CMCO’s newly built 3,000 sq.ft., state-of-the-art training center, a 20-foot, top-running crane structure allows classes to perform hands-on inspections as they would in the real world. To add another layer of complexity into the practical evaluation of the crane technician, the course instructor intentionally incorporates deficiencies into the crane during the test inspection.

By the end of the course, a CMCO certified technician is knowledgeable of OSHA regulations, familiar with all pertinent ASME standards, and has passed a challenging written examination. Inspectors certified by Columbus McKinnon meet — and often even exceed — the requirements of CMAA Specification 78.

Many of our Channel Partners, like American Crane & Equipment Corporation, have taken advantage of CMCO’s Crane and Hoist Inspection Certification training. By investing considerable time and resources to certify their inspection personnel, American Crane & Equipment Corporation ensures that the inspections their team conducts for customers are thorough, accurate, and honest.

6 Tips for Increasing Crane Safety in Your Facility

Over the past 50 years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) specifications for crane safety have remained relatively unchanged. To begin enhancing the training and safety opportunities in the overhead lifting industry, OSHA has recently renewed a five-year alliance with the Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance (CHM).

A yellow caution sign warns of the need for safety glasses.The partnership demonstrates OSHA’s confidence in CHM as a trusted resource in an ongoing effort to increase workers’ safety. In a recent EHS Today article, OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels said, “Our alliance with CHM has been invaluable in helping to reduce and prevent serious or fatal incidents in the material handling industry.”

To follow the example that these industry leaders have set, here are six ways that you can increase crane safety within your own facility:

  1. Create Accountability with Your Inspection — Develop written guidelines for your crane and hoist inspection and maintenance programs; implement this code to train every operator on proper crane equipment use and safety protocol.
  2. Schedule Your Inspections — Create a pre-planned schedule to stay on top of equipment functionality through preventative maintenance. Having a schedule will help to avert any breakdown repairs by ensuring that your equipment always meets the necessary safety requirements.
  3. Read the Manual — It may sound silly, but it is crucial that every operator has read the manufacturers’ operation manuals. Implementing this practice will add an extra level of protection at your facility.
  4. Conduct Pre-Shift Inspections — Crane operators should understand the applicable OSHA, national, state, and local inspection requirements for their machinery and ensure that all products are in compliance with these specifications at the start of each shift.
  5. Implement a Lockout/Tagout Procedure — Lockout procedures safeguard employees by cutting equipment off from the energy source before any maintenance work. This precaution helps prevent accidental or unexpected operation from stored energy, as well as the resulting risk of injury.
  6. Know Your Equipment’s Limits — Employees should always be aware of crane load limits as well as the capacities of each payload.

By taking these simple precautions, you can increase everyday workplace safety for your operators. To learn more about how to increase crane safety in your facility, we invite you to download our maintenance troubleshooting guide, “What Your Cranes Wish You Knew.”

Download Your Free Crane Troubleshooting Guide

New Maintenance & Safety Resource Center

American Crane is proud to announce the launch of our completely redesigned website, which will facilitate user engagement with our content and give visitors a positive experience with every page view. One of the most important and helpful features of our new site is the revamped online resource center.

ResourcesFrom equipment drawings to case studies covering real-world applications of our material handling solutions, our recently redesigned resource center provides customers with the ultimate library of information. The content was developed especially with maintenance, safety, and operations managers in mind.

Over the decades of serving customers, we have accumulated innumerable industry insights and hours of hands-on experience. Now, with the new website, we will have one easy-to-access space where we can share all of this information with our customers. By reviewing our top resources, you’ll be able to learn about increasing your production efficiency and improving safety in your facility.

At American Crane, we provide everyday solutions to complex material handling challenges. Working across industries such as aerospace, food and beverage, oil and gas, nuclear, chemical, transit, and more, the American Crane team works hard to meet a variety of industry-specific compliances with products like clean room cranes and aerospace critical lifts.

We are a leading manufacturer of standard and custom crane systems, monorails, hoists, and other material handling equipment for a broad range of applications. Whether you need a small replacement part or an entirely customized system, the American Crane team can help you every step of the way.

For more information about crane terminology and important considerations to make before investing in a lifting system, we invite you to download an essential eBook from our new resource center, “How to Choose the Right Crane: A Crane Buyer’s Guide.” Be sure to check out the other resources on the new website as we continue adding to the library over time.

Can’t find a source you need or have any feedback to share regarding our latest materials? Let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Choose the Right Crane

Top 10 Crane Terms to Know

Choosing the right crane for your business can be challenging. If you are exploring different material handling systems for your company, here are the top 10 terms you will need to know to help narrow down the search:

1. C.M.A.A. – Crane Manufacturers Association of America, Inc. (formerly known as EOCI – Electric Overhead Crane Institute).

2. Critical Load – A load that, if released or moved without the proper control, could compromise the safety of the entire system. A crane lifting a critical load requires a single failure proof feature (defined below as term #8) so that any possible failure will remain isolated and not halt the rest of the load.

3. Dictionary and magnify glassExplosion Proof Crane – Specially designed cranes with electrical components that keep any potential explosions contained within the components, therefore preventing any accidental ignition of hazardous materials in the surrounding air.

4. Flux Vector Drive – A closed loop system that uses an adjustable, incremental encoder to monitor the speed and direction of a crane’s motor shaft. This control provides systems lacking a mechanical load brake with more reliability and a greater range of speed.

5. Lift – The highest safe point at which the crane’s hook, magnet, and buck can move.

6. Load Block – The assembly of all crane accessories including the hook, swivel, bearing, sheaves, pins, and frame, suspended by the hoisting ropes.

7. Overhead Crane – A type of crane that works from an overhead fixed runway structure. It includes a moveable bridge carrying either a moveable or stationary hoisting mechanism.

8. Single Failure Proof – Mentioned earlier as a consideration for critical load (#2), single failure proof safety features ensure that the failure of one component will not compromise the rest of the load. The crane will maintain control of a critical load, even if one component fails.

9. Top Running Crane – A model of overhead traveling crane that runs along rails with truck ends attached to runway support beams.

10. Wheelbase – The length from the center of each wheel, measured parallel to the support rail.

The American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO) is a leader in standard and custom cranes, hoists, and lift systems across various industries. With over 40 years of experience, American Crane thrives on a problem-solving culture to find the right system for your needs.

When you work with American Crane, you work with an entire team dedicated to strategizing your solution, including a project manager who understands material handlers’ language.

For more considerations to make when deciding on a lift system, we invite you to read our eBook, “The Crane Buyer’s Guide.” Inside the comprehensive resource, we’ve included the ultimate crane terminology glossary.

American Crane Donates 3,600 Pounds of Food to the Greater Berks Food Bank

We are proud to announce that we donated 3,600 pounds of food to the Greater Berks Food Bank (GBFB) this holiday season. We would like to extend a sincere thank you to our customers, whose help and kindness made this donation possible.

Last month, we announced the kickoff of our November food drive for the GBFB. For every parts order placed during the month of November, American Crane vowed to donate one can of food to the food bank to feed hungry families. GBFB, which commits to feeding over 60,000 people in Berks and Schuylkill counties each year, depends on donations like ours to meet its goals.

Food Donation“The standard equivalent for a meal is 1.2 pounds,” said Greater Berks Food Bank’s Manager of Marketing and Development Doug Long. “So, [the American Crane & Equipment Corporation] donation would equate to 3,000 meals for the hungry.”

Our team is committed to supporting our home community of Berks County, Pennsylvania. In addition to the food drive, our team’s regular outreach programs include participating in the Berks County Manufacturing Day (MFG) activities for students interested in manufacturing and engineering careers, running a Bike Build program for charity, and supporting other local campaigns.

Every project we conduct focuses on a spirit of collaboration, whether it’s for our business or the greater community. The American Crane team thrives on a problem-solving culture; we pride ourselves on finding solutions to complex material handling challenges and creating real customer impact by fostering creative diversity through trust, respect, and openness.

Buying a crane is a significant investment of both time and resources, so it is important to work with a collaborative, supportive team that will help guide you toward a solution. When you choose American Crane, you will work with a dedicated project manager and a team of experts. From the early stages of research to the final design and implementation, our seasoned team will ensure that your crane meets every engineering standard and unique specification. To learn more about working with the American Crane team, download our free eBook, “The Crane Buyer’s Guide.


Choose the Right Crane

 

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