Category Archive: Featured Products

Chain and Wire Rope Hoists: Knowing the Differences

Heavy lifting equipment is essential to every industry, whether it be aerospace, construction, automotive, or food & beverage.

By use of manual or electric operation, hoists can move heavy loads vertically using a drum or lift-wheel. Of these hoists, there are two main electric types that industry professionals rely on – chain or wire rope hoists. When analyzing a lifting task at hand, the most important factors to consider for each of these hoists is application type, environmental conditions, capacity and duty cycle.

Chain hoists lift by pulling the chain through sprockets and moving the chain into a chain holder. These sorts of hoists are more commonly used for applications with loads below 10 tons and require much less maintenance as opposed to wire rope hoists.

wire rope hoist

Chain hoists are also different in that they provide true vertical lift, meaning they rise straight up with absolutely no lateral movement.

True vertical lift is used for applications requiring extremely precise vertical placement. Chain hoists serve as an economical alternative for less demanding jobs in shops and rougher environments.

Chain hoists are suitable for such situations because they are usually enclosed and protected against chemicals or outdoor elements.

On the other hand, wire rope hoists lift loads by wrapping a cable around a grooved drum. For 10 tons and above, wire rope hoists are the optimal choice on the market. This category of hoists is generally known to offer a wider variety of options with very fast lifting speeds.

Wire ropes are the preferred choice for frequent use as chain hoists are more susceptible to wear and tear over time. Wire ropes, however, move loads very slightly laterally because the wire rope is wrapped around a grooved drum.

Although the lateral movement is negligible, true vertical lift is only achieved with chain hoists, and this is important to keep in mind for precise vertical placements for something like stripping molds.

Duty ratings are the final, and perhaps most significant piece in understanding which hoist type will provide the best durability for your application.

Defined by various institutions, hoist duty classifications are published standards for material handling and strength that can help identify which hoist is most suitable for a project. The three most commonly used classifications for electric hoists are FEM, HMI, and CMAA.

FEM refers to the European Federation of Materials Handling which uses two main factors to provide its classification: load spectrum and average daily operating time. This standard is uncommon in the United States, but may still appear in hoist specifications.

HMI is the Hoist Manufacturer’s Institute and reports its classification using factors like the number of lifts per hour, max number of stops and starts per hour, the average distance of vertical movement, and lifting frequency of the load.

CMAA is known as the Crane Manufacturer’s Association of America and bases its values on the crane’s number of lift cycles accompanied by its average load intensity. A huge difference to keep in mind when looking at HMI and CMAA numbers is that HMI only rates hoists and not the entire crane.

The most frequently used ratings are HMI and CMAA when comparing different hoists. For HMI, expect to see specifications ranging from H1 through H4, with H4 indicating high volume handling of heavy loads. When looking at CMAA ratings -which apply to cranes- they range from Class A through F, with F being the heaviest.

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These specifications are just a brief guide to better understanding the difference between chain and wire rope hoists. Considering factors such as the purpose and load of the lift and also analyzing durability and duty ratings will prepare you for making the right decision about a suitable hoist for your next project.

CM Series 646 Cyclone Hand Chain Hoist

One of American Crane & Equipment Corp.’s best-selling products, Columbus McKinnon’s (CM) Series 646 Cyclone Hand Chain Hoist offers superior reliability and durability. This hoist is available in capacities ranging from ¼ ton to 10 tons and is manufactured in the United States.

Of any product on the market, the CM Series 646 Cyclone Hand Chain Hoist offers the highest level of interchangeability of parts and includes a standard load limiter for simple automatic overload protection. A contoured Weston-type automatic brake allows for positive load control. With extremely high-efficiency spur gearing, greater lift can be achieved with minimum effort. The Cyclone also includes a rugged Hoistaloy chain for added strength and durability.

Fully machined and forged with liftwheel pockets for easy lifting and smooth free chaining, this versatile hoist features high-strength aluminum alloy castings in both the frames and covers. The CM Series 646 Cyclone Hand Chain Hoist has been inspected over 75 times to meet or exceed HMI and ASME/ANSI performance and safety standards. The standard hand chain drop for this particular model is 2 feet less than the lift.

CM Series 646 Cyclone Hand Chain Hoist options include:

  • Fabric chain bags
  • Metal chain containers
  • Zinc-plated load and hand chain
  • Unwelded hand chain
  • Latchlok hooks
  • Bronze hooks
  • Bullard hooks
  • Eye-type suspension

U.S.-made and metric-rated, the CM Series 646 Cyclone Hand Chain Hoist comes with a lifetime warranty from American Crane & Equipment Corp. Interested in purchasing a CM Hurricane 646? Visit our product page or reach out to the team today.

Columbus McKinnon Series 653 Lever Operated Hoist

One of our top-selling products here at American Crane, Columbus McKinnon (CM) Corp.’s Series 653 Lever Operated Hoist provides unmatched durability and strength for close-quarter pulling, stretching, and hoisting. Rugged and versatile, this steel hoist features a characteristic short handle, which requires minimal lever pull effort, making this tool well-suited for a wide range of applications.

With a lifting capacity of ¾ ton to 6 tons, the Series 653 is impact-resistant, featuring a stamped steel frame. Its lightweight gear case and cover are designed for optimal durability, and its powder-coated finish allows for superior corrosion protection. This lever operated hoist also includes hardened steel load-sharing gears, as well as a double-pawl arrangement for reliable load control.

Two chain guide rollers allow for positive chain engagement, while a Weston-type braking system enables positive load control and positioning. The 653 model also allows for simple, one-handed free chaining for fast load attachments.

Series 653’s hardened steel chain provides strength and long wear life and forged upper and lower hooks feature heavy-cast steel latches. Finally, its rubber handle grip provides added operator comfort.

Metric-rated and easily meeting the ASME B30.21 standard as well as the European CE standard, the Series 653 Lever Operated Hoist needs only minimal, standard maintenance and does not require any special tools. For added assurance, American Crane & Equipment Corp. offers a five-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

American Crane is a proud distributor of various Columbus McKinnon products, and we also offer a variety of CM parts and components for fast, easy replacements.

Interested in purchasing a CM Series 653 Lever Operated Hoist? Visit our product page for details, or reach out to the team today to discuss your specific needs with an expert.

Pull and Lift Loads at Any Angle with the CM Hurricane 360

American Crane & Equipment Corp. is a proud distributor of Columbus McKinnon (CM) Corp.’s Hurricane 360 Hand Chain Hoist.

One of our top-selling products, the Hurricane 360 offers unmatched flexibility for lifting and pulling. Easily meeting standard load limits for simple, automatic overload protection, this hoist features an exceptionally quiet braking system and allows for optimal operational safety and easy serviceability.

This Hand Chain Hoist can rotate a full 360 degrees, allowing for positioning, pulling, and lifting of loads at any angle.

Featuring a powder-coated finish for excellent corrosion protection, the Hurricane 360’s internal gears and pinions are all constructed of heat-treated steel for high strength and optimal longevity. This unique hoist also includes a chain guide and stripper, ensuring accurate load chain alignment with every use.

Its precision four-pocket LiftWheel is fully machined for better chain fit and reduced wear, allowing for accurate movement on the load chain, while its hardened steel chain includes an alloy-steel load change to ensure high strength and long wear life.

The Hurricane 360 hand chain hoist requires minimal maintenance and is very easy to disassemble. Requiring no special tools or servicing, Columbus McKinnon’s versatile hand chain hoist meets ASME B30.16, as well as the European CE standard.

At American Crane & Equipment Corp., we offer a comprehensive five-year warranty for all Hurricane 360 hoists. Interested in purchasing a CM Hurricane 360? Visit our online catalog or contact the team directly to discuss your next project with an expert.

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.

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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.


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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.

Identifying Critical Lifts

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

ACECO_Job_21033_Photo_2_640x480_300_RGB

  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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