Category Archive: News and Events Post

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 We believe that increasing diversity and representation in these fields will not only help revitalize manufacturing’s outdated reputation but also allow the industry to evolve and prosper.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.

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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.

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

 

Manufacturing Day at American Crane

Berks County Celebrates Manufacturing on October 3rd

We couldn’t be more excited to join the Greater Reading Economic Partnership on October 3, 2015, to celebrate MFG Day. The nationwide event is designed to bring awareness to manufacturing training and careers. We’re thrilled to join the Berks Manufacturing Community for a day of great events.
MFG Day Logo

Students and guests will begin their morning at Reading Area Community College and the Schmidt Training and Technology Center. At Schmidt, guests will have the opportunity to meet representatives from different companies to talk about their unique facilities and the careers they offer before — or instead of — taking tours.

Tours are a pre-registered event. Remember that if you’d like to tour American Crane or any other Berks manufacturers, registration for the Berks Manufacturing Day is required.

We will be open for facility tours between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Guests will be able to see our in-house processes and six manufacturing bays firsthand. They will experience machining, material preparation, electrical assembly, welding, and more, in addition to a full tour at Brentwood’s facility.

Please wear closed shoes during the tour. Individuals 17 years old and under must have adult supervision. Additionally, all registrants are invited to bring up to 4 guests to the tour.

Last year, we were fortunate to host 35 Exeter High School students for MFG Day as part of a new STEM initiative. In addition to a tour and information session about cranes, the students were able to ask questions about different types of careers — electricians, machinists, mechanics, fitters, and designers, to start. Additionally, we covered the various types of engineers on our team: mechanical, electrical, structural and welding.

Participants involved in the Berks County Manufacturing Day event include:

  • American Crane and Equipment Corporation
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • Brentwood Industries
  • Cambridge-Lee Industries
  • Carpenter
  • East Penn Manufacturing
  • Reading Plastic Fabricators
  • Remcon Plastics
  • And many more!

We strongly believe that programs like MFG Day and STEM Education are essential to the future of manufacturing. Our industry depends upon inspiring and educating young people, and we want to give them every opportunity to learn.

Though American Crane has participated in the national event before, we are proud to join with local educators, economic partners, and manufacturers for the first-ever dedicated Berks Manufacturing Day. Having over 20 facilities involved in the program is inspiring for both students and the community overall, and offers plenty of unique opportunities for tours and career exploration.

 We are committed to mentoring aspiring engineers because we believe that it is part of our job and our future as a company and a community. Find out more about our facility tours and register for the 2015 Berks Manufacturing Day by clicking here. We look forward to meeting you on October 3rd.Manufacturing Day Post Card_eletronic

Famous Cranes & Hoists in Hollywood: Service to the Stars

Hollywood glamour isn’t just for the stars. Some of our favorite flicks feature hard-working cranes and hoists, both on and off-screen. Check it out!

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Director: James CameronHollywood Film Set

Year: 1991

Notable Scene: In the iconic final scene of the second Terminator film, the T800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sacrifices himself for the good of humankind in spectacular, tear-jerking style: by being lowered into a vat of molten, flaming metal by Sarah Connor — on a chain hoist using a pendant station.

Did you know? The steel mill used for shooting had been closed for over ten years, but the effects were so convincing that some of the plants former workers thought it was up and running again. (h/t IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103064/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv)


Jurassic Park

Director: Steven Spielberg

Year: 1993

DinosaurNotable Scene: No one wants to get close enough to turn into the raptors’ dinner. As per the original park design (raptors being contained in an enclosure, that is), the feeding process involves a live cow being lowered into the pen by an overhead crane —and only the mangled below-the- hook equipment returning.

Did you know? According to Fandango, the price tag on a bonafide real life Jurassic Park is $23,432,400,000 in USD. That includes $200,000,000 a year for dinosaur food. (h/t IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107290/trivia)

Tommy Boy

Director: Peter Segal

Year: 1995

Notable Scene: Tommy Callahan III, Chris Farley’s ill-equipped auto parts factory heir, makes an excellent impression with his karate skills — on a series of moving monorail cranes.

Did you know? Reuniting a team of talent from “Saturday Night Live,” the film is stacked with Easter Eggs and references, including Marquette University (Chris Farley’s real-life alma mater) and a preview for Naked Gun 33 1/3, another film by director Peter Segal. (h/t IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114694/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv)

American Crane’s Star-Powered Inventory

With decades of experience connecting business in a wide range of industries with cranes for almost any application, American Crane has seen it all. Contact us today to find out how we can provide you with the cranes you need…even one with a star-studded Hollywood pedigree!

Clean Room Cranes: Applications & Features

American Crane and Equipment Corporation was recently contracted to build a critical lift crane. We produced a customized 25 Ton Top Running Double Girder Crane, which was installed at the Kennedy Space Center and used to build the Orion spacecraft.

This crane was not only a critical lift crane, but it was also a clean room crane.

Clean Room

A clean room is a manufacturing environment that, because of product requirements, must be kept as free from environmental pollutants as possible. Industries that commonly have clean room requirements include the electronics, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and, as was the case with the Orion spacecraft, aerospace industries.

The food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries produce products that are ingested by humans, so those products must be contaminate-free. Products produced in the electronics and aerospace industries are sensitive and could fail if exposed to contamination during production.

Because freedom from contamination is so important to the products developed in clean rooms, all equipment introduced into clean rooms — including critical lift cranes — must comply with strict clean room standards.

American Crane’s Clean Room Features

To meet NASA’s stringent clean room standards, American Crane designed their critical lift crane with these special features:

  • All fasteners are stainless steel and self-locking to ensure that no bolts or debris fall from the crane
  • The walkways are equipped with continuous kick plates to capture any dirt or debris
  • Stainless steel diamond-shaped track is used with the festoons to eliminate places that debris could gather
  • The runway conductor bars are covered in extruded plastic to prevent debris from escaping
  • There is a debris shield underneath the lower block to prevent any wire rope debris from reaching components of the Orion spacecraft
  • All electrical enclosures are shielded to ensure that no RFI or EMI reach the spacecraft
  • All axes of movement have extremely slow speeds, less than two inches per minute, to allow for the successful mating of critical components without risk of collision or damage
  • The crane control system utilizes a “watchdog” PLC system that checks each movement against what the operator commanded and stops erroneous motion.

For more information about American Crane and how we can custom build cranes that meet your clean room requirements, contact us today.

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