Category Archive: News and Events Post

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 Buyers Guide.


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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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How to Improve Safety & Efficiency with Aerospace Critical Lifts

When you have an aerospace critical lift that could impact your project or the environment, it’s doubly important to follow all the proper procedures for safety and compliance. Many people are unsure of the exact legal requirements and the best way to ensure compliance. Here is a brief rundown on managing critical aerospace lifts.ACECO_Job_21033_Photo_2_640x480_300_RGB

Identifying Critical Lifts

A lift is considered critical if it has one or more of the following characteristics:

  1. If loss of control over the lifted item could invoke a declaration of a site emergency per the governing regulations such as NASA-STD- 8719.9.
  2. If the item to be lifted is vital to the project schedule or irreplaceable.
  3. If the item is lost during the lift, the resulting impact on cost or schedule might jeopardize program commitments.
  4. If the lift occurs in close proximity to items that fit any of the definitions in items 1 through 3.
  5. If the load exceeds 80 percent of the crane’s capacity, it is critical. If two cranes are used and the lift weight exceeds 75 percent of the rated capacity of one of the cranes, it is also considered critical.

Aerospace Critical Lift Requirements

If your planned lift fits into any of these categories, you are required to take certain safety precautions. The precautions may vary depending on the characteristics of the lift, but almost every aerospace critical lift will require specific safety precautions.

Lift Supervisor

This person is responsible for ensuring that every member of the lift team understands their role and has the proper training. The Lift Supervisor must also confirm that the equipment has been properly inspected and has the right safety ratings to safely carry out the lift plan.

Safety Representative

The Safety Representative cannot be the same individual as the Lift Supervisor. The Safety Representative is responsible for reviewing and checking all inspections, the lift plan, and must be on site during the lift to monitor the process and ensure adherence to the plan.

Critical Lift Plan

The Critical Lift Plan includes both a Hazard Report and a Lift Procedure. The entire team, but especially the Lift Supervisor and the Safety Representative should be familiar with the details of the plan.

Safety Review Meeting

Before undertaking the lift, the team must hold a Safety Review Meeting to ensure that all team members have a firm grasp on their roles and all lift procedures. The meeting can be held up to two weeks prior to the lift for very complex lifts, but two to three days is more common.

Equipment Requirements

For aerospace critical lifts, you must use equipment rated to handle the necessary load plus a margin of error. The equipment must meet these requirements whether it is leased or owned and must meet  minimum load rating for every item used in the lift, including rigging, jigs, cables and hoists.

American Crane Aerospace Equipment is designed to meet the requirements of aerospace critical lifts. American Crane Critical Lift Cranes are designed for durability, reliability and safeguarding equipment during lifts and to comply with appropriate industry guidelines. With over 40 years of experience designing and building the industry’s most respected cranes, American Crane products offer custom design and fabrication and a complete in-house quality assurance program to comply with standards. Before shipment, all cranes are completely tested and fully assembled to meet CMAA duty cycle requirements.

Inspections

You must have certificates of inspection and original rating certificates for all equipment. These should be part of the Lift Plan and reviewed and validated in the Safety Meetings.

If you are responsible for managing a project or program that may include an aerospace critical lift, consider working with the experienced team at American Crane. Our team of experts provide high quality equipment, safety and reliability in every aerospace critical lift.

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American Crane’s Online Store Offers a Variety of Standard and Customized Products

From construction to nuclear power, waste handling and warehousing, there are thousands of different applications for cranes.  American Crane has something in our inventory that can assist you with your heavy-lifting needs.  View our online store to see what we can do for you.

Meeting Your Heavy-Lifting Needs

American Crane can provide a wide variety of equipment for any application.  Whether it is for cargo-handling or bridge repair travellers, we have the equipment that you need.  Along with our in-house brand of equipment, we also provide products from manufacturers such as:

  • American-Crane-StoreBudgit® Hoists
  • Columbus McKinnon®
  • Yale® Hoists
  • Coffing® Hoists
  • Little Mule®
  • SHAW-BOX®
  • And Many Others

Our staff of highly-trained engineers will provide their expertise and skills to design cranes that meet all the demands of the applications for which they are being used.  Structural design analyses, dynamic modelling and other tests are conducted to ensure that your cranes can stand up to the task.

Custom Cranes for Specialized Jobs

One crane doesn’t fit all types of jobs.  Sometimes the workspace is unusual and requires something out of the ordinary.  Maybe your factory has low ceilings, but needs a crane to lift some of the heavy equipment or stock, or you handle hazardous materials.  American Crane can manufacture the material handling equipment that you need to keep your business running smoothly and safely.

We offer a wide variety of crane types including:

  • Single and multiple girder cranes
  • Open deck hoisting machinery
  • Gantry cranes
  • Jib cranes

These cranes can be customized to fit any type of job needs you may have up to a 1,000-ton capacity.  No matter what the application for your new crane, American Crane will be able to provide a pre-engineered or custom-engineered crane to suit your industrial handling requirements.

Cranes Parts and More

The American Crane product catalog offers over 80,000 items to ensure that any needs you have for repairs or new equipment are met.  Tractor drives, bases and counterweights, bridges, motors and more are all available to get your crane functioning normally again.  From something as small as a switch to much larger parts, we are able to assist you in keeping your business running smoothly.

Click here or select the button below to browse our online store’s inventory.

Browse Our Inventory



Join Us At The Used Fuel Management Conference!

Did you know that nuclear energy generates on-demand electricity around the clock? Not only is nuclear energy’s potential huge for providing power to millions around the world, but it is also essential in keeping the environment healthy as well. As climate change continues to make headlines, the need for reliable, clean and efficient energy is only going to become more essential.Saflift_P0001826_1024x1536_300_RGB

With that in mind, American Crane & Equipment Corporation, a leading manufacturer of cranes, hoists and other material handling equipment, is pleased to attend the upcoming Used Fuel Management Conference, which will be held May 5-7 at Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida. The Used Fuel Management Conference is hosted by the Nuclear Energy Institute, or NEI, of which American Crane is a proud member. The purpose of the conference is to help educate fellow NEI members and non-members on the importance of nuclear energy and how to operate an efficient facility.

Monumental for Fuel and Energy

The Used Fuel Management Conference is one of the premier industry events for the likes of nuclear plant managers, fuel storage project managers, licensing and compliance personnel, architect engineers and more. At Booth 1101, American Crane will be highlighting its cranes, hoists and specialized lift systems for the commercial nuclear industry.

“We’re really pleased to attend the Used Fuel Management Conference,” says Jami Rubendall, Vice President, Commercial Nuclear, American Crane & Equipment Corporation. “As the premiere event in nuclear energy, and as proud members of the Nuclear Energy Institute, we look forward to meeting like-minded professionals and showcasing how American Crane equipment can help their plants operate at maximum efficiency.”

The Used Fuel Management Conference will kick off Tuesday, May 5 at 7:30 a.m. for registration before the sessions begin from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Later that day, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., a welcome reception will be hosted by the NEI. Conference sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 and then conclude with 8 a.m. to noon hours on Thursday, May 7. On-site registration is $775 for NEI members and $1,350 for non-members.

Stop by Booth 1101 at the Used Fuel Management Conference to see how American Crane & Equipment Corporation can help with your operations. See you in sunny Florida at the Omni ChampionsGate! To learn more about American Crane’s products and services for the commercial nuclear industry, visit our nuclear industry resources page.

Trends in the Aerospace Industry

An industry doesn’t move forward without innovation. It doesn’t progress without people coming forward and challenging the status quo as a means of advancement and progression. That’s currently occurring at an unprecedented pace in the aerospace industry, as innovation and ingenuity is leading to better prototyping and manufacturing, better performance in aircraft and, ultimately, a better end product in the sky.

With that being said, here’s a look at some of the biggest trends that are moving the aerospace industry forward:

  • 3D printingNASA Orion Spacecraft

Also known as “additive manufacturing,” 3D printing is a manufacturing process that builds parts from the ground up, layer-by-layer. Once best utilized solely for the rapid prototyping of parts to test for form, fit and function prior to manufacturing runs, 3D printing has advanced to the point where it can now satisfy a variety of tasks. Most in the aerospace industry are using 3D printing to quickly fabricate complex prototype parts, but Boeing, for instance, is actually using the technology to create replacement parts for aircraft.

  • Eco-friendly flying

Reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy are being taken seriously on the ground in the auto industry – and the aerospace industry is paying more attention to this, too. Lighter aircraft are being developed, alternative fuels are being experimented with and various new engine technology is being integrated to reduce emissions in the sky, just to name a few.

  • MRO services

Maintenance, repair and operations, or MRO, is increasingly being outsourced to third-party specialists. Why? It’s because the airlines, who are mostly responsible for MRO, are putting more emphasis into their core business of passenger transport and choosing to leave these important, yet non-core tasks, to specialists who are more qualified.

  • STEM programs

The aerospace industry is only as good as the people that make it up. And more and more students are becoming interested in this booming field – and more and more educational entities and curriculums are following suit to meet this demand. A STEM program was recently started in the greater Los Angeles area, with a goal of helping middle schoolers and high schoolers get acquainted with real-world math and science applications, similar to those they would encounter in aerospace. Additionally, some 65 aerospace programs exist in higher education settings nationwide – 25 of which are standalone programs. Aerospace is currently the third most popular field for engineering students.

  • Individual jet packs

Seemingly straight out of the 1991 movie The Rocketeer, individual jet packs are becoming increasingly popular in aerospace. Take the Martin Jetpack or the “Body Jet,” for instance – personal flying might still be a ways off, but it appears that it could make the change from pipe dream to reality sooner rather than later.

The aerospace industry itself is evolving and growing – and American Crane is no exception to this trend. The developer of the Custom Underhung Crane System for Boeing is another example of innovation and advancement in the industry. For more information on trends and innovation in the aerospace industry, as well as the role that American Crane is playing in it, contact us today.

Reduce Outage Costs with the Telescoping Jib Crane

Power plant outages are one of the leading causes of utility costs. In only one day, these outages can cause millions of dollars in unnecessary expenses. These outages are also made worse by the fact that they become more frequent and severe during certain times of year.

Telescoping Jib CraneAs summer approaches, energy usage is expected to dramatically increase throughout the country. This will inevitably place tremendous strain on the power grid, thereby placing a greater demand on power plants. This additional demand will increase the chance for unplanned outages, presenting a variety of issues.

Preparing for Summer

Companies operating nuclear power plants have certain procedures in place to meet the peak demand of summer. In order to prepare for heavy use, many times plants schedule maintenance and refueling outages during the spring season.

Plant managers are well aware that these shutdowns can be very expensive, since activities are brought to a standstill, halting all production, and temporarily freezing revenue.

The Nuclear Telescopic Outage Jib Crane

At American Crane, our expert and skilled personnel have decades of experience servicing nuclear power plants, fossil power plants, chemical processing plants, and DOE sites. Our team is specifically trained to provide crane and hoist support during planned outages.
Our Nuclear Telescopic Outage Jib Crane increases a plant’s material handling capacity to up to 10 tons and features full 360 degree rotation, telescoping boom, non-hydraulic design, and wash-down capability among many other features, helping to speed up shutdowns. This crane is also nuclear rated in order to ensure compliance with regulation 10CFR50 Appendix B for containment buildings.

Visit us today to learn more about how our Nuclear Telescopic Outage Jib Crane can expedite your planned outage, getting you back to production sooner.

Making it Happen for Women in STEM

Throughout history, women have played a significant role in propelling science and technology forward. Consider the contributions made by Ada Lovelace who is touted as the mind behind the concept of computer programming, or Hedy Lamarr, the multi-talented actress who contributed to the discovery of Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum; women have brought creativity, dedication and balance to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This is why their underrepresentation in these fields is a major cause for concern.

Throughout history, women have played a significant role in propelling science and technology forward. Consider the contributions made by Ada Lovelace who is touted as the mind behind the concept of computer programming, or Hedy Lamarr, the multi-talented actress who contributed to the discovery of Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum; women have brought creativity, dedication and balance to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This is why their underrepresentation in these fields is a major cause for concern.

The Current State of Women in STEM:

Recruiters from major tech companies lament the fact that when they scan resumes for a position of responsibility, barely 5% belong to women. Most of these women are well-qualified but present themselves as less competent than they are.

Studies have shown that women tend to rate their skills lower than their male counterparts. They are also less bold in their approach and do not believe in interjecting conversations with thoughts and comments which may actually add value to the brainstorming process.

It is no small wonder that gender diversity is a pressing issue acknowledged by Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and several tech-based conglomerates.

Notable Female Leaders in STEM:

Despite the challenges, many women have stood tall and claimed leadership roles for themselves. Names like Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington come to mind.

Closer to home, we are proud of the accomplishments of our own Executive Vice President Karen Norheim. Karen has made a name for herself in the male-centric world of overhead electric travelling cranes, hoists and material handling equipment.

She has been profiled by the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce among other organizations for her efforts to promote participation of women in STEM. She regularly speaks about the importance of an inclusive mind-set where the future of tech is concerned, and has single-handedly increased sales and added innovative distribution channels to American Crane’s endeavours. Even at home, she’s always finding fun ways to get her nieces and nephews excited about simple engineering principles – like to how make a marshmallow launcher from everyday household items.

In honor of Women’s History Month, and the recently passed International Women’s Day, American Crane is issuing heartfelt thanks to ladies like Karen who are “making it happen” every day. If you would like to join Karen in bringing gender equality to STEM, find her on Twitter and see how you call follow her example as a promoter of women in STEM.

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