Category Archive: Aerospace

Elevating Excellence: American Crane’s Aerospace Industry Solutions

Aerospace Industry

In the aerospace and aircraft industry, precision, efficiency, and safety are paramount. When it comes to material handling equipment, you need a partner who understands the unique challenges and demands of this sector. American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO) is that partner. With over 40 years of experience, ACECO has solidified its position as a leader in providing top-notch material handling solutions for the aerospace and aircraft industry. From aircraft manufacturing to satellite construction and maintenance, ACECO has a proven track record of delivering tailor-made equipment that exceeds expectations.

Tailored Solutions for Aerospace and Aviation

In the aerospace and aviation sectors, the deployment of cranes and hoists is crucial for a multitude of tasks, ranging from the precise assembly of aircraft to the safe transportation of high-value aerospace satellites. These industries demand equipment that can handle potentially hazardous or highly sensitive loads, and this necessitates a strong focus on performance, efficiency, and safety in their engineering. With more than four decades of experience in designing and manufacturing machinery for intricate lifting configurations and high-risk applications, our seasoned engineering team is well-equipped to deliver tailor-made solutions for even the most complex aerospace and aviation lifting jobs.

Diverse Product Range

ACECO provides a wide array of material handling equipment with solutions suited for various applications within the aerospace and aviation sectors. From ready-made products to a diverse set of custom engineering and manufacturing capabilities, our offerings range from small 1/2- ton ratchet lever hoists to large 300-ton overhead cranes. Beyond equipment supply, we also provide spare parts and crane upgrades to ensure that your material handling equipment remains in optimal working condition.

Specialized Equipment

In addition to standard cranes, ACECO offers critical lift cranes, cleanroom cranes, and other specialized material handling units and accessories. These can be customized with features that enhance safety and performance, including redundant hoist reeving systems, overspeed and misreeving protection mechanisms, emergency hoist brakes, precision control systems, remote operator stations, and EMI filters.

Comprehensive Support and Services

At ACECO, we are more than a manufacturer, taking pride in offering comprehensive services and support to our customers. Our dedicated team is well-versed in a spectrum of services, including design and engineering, product support, outage support, retrofitting, upgrades, load testing, inspection, and training. This holistic approach ensures that our clients receive not only top-tier equipment but also the guidance and assistance necessary to optimize its performance and lifespan.

Our Commitment to Certifications and Standards

ACECO invests in quality employees and cutting-edge equipment. Our facility boasts state-of- the-art material preparation and CNC machining units, as well as a UL508 certified panel shop. Furthermore, our welders are certified to American Welding Standard (AWS) D1.1 and D14.1 and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) W47.1, ensuring the highest quality standards are met.

Partner with ACECO Today

For all your material handling equipment needs in the aerospace and aviation industry, ACECO is your expert, craftsman, and partner. We offer a range of standard and custom equipment solutions to fully meet your requirements.

To learn more about ACECO’s products and services and how we can serve the aerospace and aviation industry, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. Request a quote or speak with one of our representatives to explore how ACECO can elevate your aerospace material handling operations to new heights.

Aerospace Overhead Cranes: A Match Made for the Skies

Aerospace Overhead Cranes

So you’re in the aerospace business, where precision, reliability, and durability are not just buzzwords but daily necessities. Let’s face it, when you’re manufacturing or maintaining anything that’s designed to take to the skies, there’s no room for error. Whether it’s assembling massive jet engines or handling sensitive composite materials, you need equipment that meets your lofty standards. That’s where aerospace overhead cranes come into play.

Why Overhead Cranes Are Crucial for Aerospace

The aerospace industry is unique—planes aren’t cars, and rockets aren’t trains. Standard material handling equipment just doesn’t cut it. Enter overhead cranes. These are not your average cranes; these are specialized systems designed for the intricate and sensitive tasks that aerospace demands. Picture this: You have a colossal jet engine that needs to be moved from one end of the warehouse to another. Sure, you could try using a forklift, but do you really want to gamble with a multi-million-dollar piece of machinery?

Material Handling You’ve Never Seen Before

An overhead crane system can easily, safely, and efficiently handle your most valuable aviation assets. We’re talking about bridge cranes that span your workspace, fitted with hoists specifically engineered for precision lifts. Say goodbye to the awkward maneuvers that come with standard material handling equipment. Overhead cranes can move smoothly along their track, carrying everything from wings to engines as if they were feather-light.

Built for Endurance and Precision

Manufacturing in aerospace means dealing with a wide range of materials and components. You’re often managing delicate composite materials one minute and robust metal alloys the next. Aerospace overhead cranes can be customized to meet the unique needs of each manufacturing stage. Hoists can be outfitted with special grips and lifts to handle the most sensitive materials, ensuring that they reach their destination in perfect condition.

No Job Too Big or Small

In aerospace, size matters. You may be assembling small drones one day and working on jumbo jets the next. Versatility is a must. With modular designs and customizable features, aerospace overhead cranes are made to adapt to your evolving needs. You can modify the track, adjust the jib, and even switch out the hoists to meet the specific requirements of any project.

Safety and Maintenance, Front and Center

Let’s not forget about the importance of regular inspection and maintenance. Aerospace overhead cranes are built for longevity, but they’re not invincible. Regular check-ups and timely maintenance ensure that your material handling systems are always in tip-top shape. After all, a faulty crane could be more than just a productivity bottleneck—it could be a safety hazard.

The Right Crane for the Right Job: Customization is Key

Choosing an aerospace overhead crane isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Every aviation project has its own set of challenges and requirements. Maybe you’re dealing with the tight constraints of a small workshop, or perhaps you have a sprawling manufacturing floor that’s bustling with different activities. Either way, customization is your best friend. Most overhead crane systems offer a range of options, from the type of hoist to the length of the bridge and track. This adaptability ensures you’ll have a material handling solution that fits your workspace like a glove.

Future-Proofing Your Operations

Technology is constantly evolving, especially in an industry as dynamic as aerospace. That’s why it’s essential to invest in overhead cranes that are upgradable. Whether you’re anticipating changes in material types, weight capacities, or even automation features, a modular crane system can grow alongside your business. This way, you’re not just solving today’s challenges but preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities as well.

Reducing Downtime, Maximizing Productivity

In aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, time is money. Delays in material handling can have a cascading effect, disrupting tightly coordinated schedules. Aerospace overhead cranes are designed for speed and efficiency. Their intuitive controls and high-speed hoists enable your team to move materials swiftly, cutting down on downtime and boosting overall productivity.

Why Choose American Crane?

You might be wondering, with all the options out there, why go with American Crane? Well, we bring decades of expertise and a solid track record to the table. We understand the aerospace sector’s complexities and nuances and commit to delivering robust, reliable, and tailored solutions that meet your specific needs. With American Crane, you’re not just getting a piece of equipment; you’re entering into a long-term partnership. We stand by our products and offer ongoing support, from the initial consultation to routine maintenance and inspections. Our aim is to make sure your material handling systems are always functioning at their best, so you can focus on reaching for the stars.

Cranes in Aerospace: A Challenging Lift for NASA

Aerospace manufacturers regularly lift, turn, and position large components when assembling their products. These lifts are deemed critical since the items being hoisted are usually cumbersome, sensitive to damage, and extremely expensive. The margin for error in these applications is slim, and any mistakes can result in significant production delays.

With so much at stake, aerospace cranes tasked with lifting must be carefully selected and specially designed to meet the stringent standards of the industry. In recent years, American Crane has proudly supplied several prominent companies in the industry with lasting solutions to these difficulties.

How NASA Used a Double Girder Crane

NASA Used a Double Girder CraneLockheed Martin contracted American Crane to design an assembly crane for The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Orion, its first spacecraft designed for long-term manned space flight and exploration. NASA faced the challenge of lifting the vessel’s spacecraft crew module to its final position atop the service module.

To successfully lift and install the crew module, NASA needed a crane suited to the job. Since the Orion capsule weighs 22,899 pounds (about 11.45 tons), its crane needed enough capacity to handle to the weight of the module, with additional capacity as a safety margin.

Mounting aerospace components is a delicate process that requires highly accurate equipment. NASA’s crane needed to accommodate precise movements to ensure the proper alignment of the separate components during installation. In addition, sensitive handling was required to minimize the possibility of damage due to improper handling or falling debris.

With NASA’s specifications in mind, American Crane designed a top-running double girder crane with a 25-ton capacity, more than twice the weight of the capsule. To provide NASA with greater control over movement during assembly, the crane also featured micro speed movements.

Our crane included specific ‘clean room’ features such as self-locking stainless steel fasteners to prevent the loosening of bolts, walkways equipped with kick plates to capture falling debris, and runway conductor bars enclosed in a plastic housing. Special coatings were applied to prevent corrosion.

NASA successfully uses the double girder crane to lift the Orion module to its final position. Permanently installed at the Kennedy Space Center, the double girder crane continues to be used for other sensitive hoisting applications such as telescope arrangement, lens management, and spacecraft maintenance.

Other Cranes for Aerospace Industry

Double girder cranes are just one of the many types of cranes used in the aerospace industry. Facility size, maximum lifting weights, and clearance heights are some of the factors that need to be taken into consideration when searching for an aerospace crane.

In another example of our work, Boeing hired American Crane to produce a material handling system for its manufacturing plant in North Charleston, SC, where it constructs the 787 Dreamliner. The system needed to be able to access all areas of the 460,000 square foot facility while allowing users to intricately and precisely lift any component.

For this particular application, we created an 80-ton underhung crane consisting of multiple bridges. To promote access to the entire facility, the crane was designed without columns so that the bridges could be interlocked, allowing the trolley to cross from one bridge to the other. Its precision control design further enables Boeing to safely lift objects with difficult centers of gravity regardless of their size.

For more than four decades, American Crane has proudly worked with Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and other authorities in the aerospace industry to solve their manufacturing challenges. Specializing in start-to-finish design and fabrication, we’re pleased to be recognized as the leading provider of crane and hoist solutions in the industry.

To learn more about the various types of overhead cranes used in the aerospace industry, download our eBook, Building Toward the Sky: Overhead Cranes for Aerospace.