Category Archive: News and Events Post

How Our Vision, Mission, & Core Values Reflect Our Culture

Core Values

At American Crane & Equipment Corporation, our company’s culture is deeply rooted in the values that shape our identity and guide our actions. Our vision, mission, and core values, encapsulated by the mantra “GRIT Matters: Perseverance, Heart, & Integrity,” serve as a compass for every aspect of our organization. In this blog post, we will explore how these principles resonate throughout our culture at ACECO and define who we are as a company.

Our Vision: Respected for Our People and Products

At the heart of our mantra lies our vision: to be the overhead lifting company most respected for our people and products. This vision speaks to our profound appreciation for the contributions of our employees and the value we place on delivering exceptional products and services to our customers. By prioritizing respect, we foster a culture that values collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement.

Our Mission: Delighting Our Customers and Making Lives Easier

At American Crane, we are passionately dedicated to delighting our customers. Our mission is to make their lives easier by delivering on our commitments, executing tasks with excellence, and ensuring promptness. By consistently providing high-quality solutions and exceptional service, we build lasting relationships with our customers, earning their trust and loyalty.

The Importance of Our People

At ACECO, we firmly believe that people are our most valuable asset. We understand the significance of creating a culture that fosters growth, empowerment, and safety for our employees. By investing in their personal and professional development, we cultivate a team of highly skilled and motivated individuals who are committed to delivering excellence in all that they do.

Embracing GRIT: Perseverance, Heart, & Integrity

At American Crane, we embody the spirit of “GRIT Matters” by infusing every action with perseverance, heart, and integrity. This ethos resonates throughout our organization, from the shop floor to the boardroom, driving us to overcome challenges, approach tasks with passion, and uphold the highest ethical standards.

Our Core Values:

Our core values serve as guiding principles that define us and guide our decisions and behaviors. Let’s explore some of these values that shape our culture:

1. Keep It Simple:

At ACECO, we believe in keeping things simple. We avoid unnecessary complexity and focus on clear goals and straightforward solutions, enabling us to solve problems effectively and deliver optimal outcomes.

2. Be Lean:

Continuous improvement is ingrained in our culture. We encourage curiosity, eliminate waste, and constantly seek areas for improvement. This mindset fosters a culture of innovation and efficiency.

3. Work Hard:

Our success at American Crane is the result of the dedication and hard work of our employees. By pulling together and going the extra mile, we accomplish our goals and achieve collective success.

4. Practice Follow-Through:

Actions speak louder than words in our company. We place a strong emphasis on delivering on our commitments, following through on our premises, and taking responsibility for our actions.

5. Be Passionate:

Passion fuels innovation and drives excellence at ACECO. We encourage our employees to do what they love, creating an environment where dedication and enthusiasm thrive.

6. Be Humble:

Humility is a cherished value within our organization. We remain grounded, value the contributions of others, and work collaboratively toward our shared goals.

7. Life Matters, Be Safe:

Safety is paramount in our operations. At American Crane, we understand that investing in safety is not only a moral imperative but also an investment in the well-being of our employees and the overall success of our business.

At American Crane & Equipment Corporation, Our Vision, Mission, and Core Values are the foundation of our culture. By embodying the principles of perseverance, heart, and integrity, we create a culture that fosters excellence, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Together, we strive to maintain our position as a leader in the overhead lifting industry, delivering outstanding products and services to our valued customers while creating a fulfilling and empowering environment for our employees.

Driving Innovation and Excellence: How MHI & CMAA Elevate ACECO in the Overhead Lifting Industry

Driving Innovation and Excellence: How MHI & CMAA Elevate ACECO in the Overhead Lifting Industry


At American Crane and Equipment Corporation (ACECO), we have been proudly serving the overhead lifting industry for over 50 years. Our commitment to being Expert, Craftsman, and Partner has made us a trusted name in the industry. In this blog post, we will explore how our mission to make your life easier aligns with our involvement in industry associations like MHI and CMAA, as well as the benefits of repurposing content to provide you with the best possible solutions.

The Power of Partnerships: MHI and CMAA

The Material Handling Industry (MHI) and the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) hold significant importance in the overhead lifting industry. At ACECO, we recognize the value of these associations and actively participate in them to ensure that we provide the best possible solutions to our clients.

MHI serves as a reputable trade association, acting as the voice of the material handling and logistics industry. By being a part of MHI, ACECO stays informed about industry trends, standards, and technological advancements. Our membership in MHI grants us access to valuable resources and networking opportunities, enabling us to deliver cutting-edge solutions that make our customers’ lives easier and more efficient.

Similarly, ACECO’s affiliation with CMAA, a respected trade association representing manufacturers of overhead cranes and hoists, highlights our commitment to upholding the highest quality and safety standards. CMAA plays a vital role in establishing specifications and guidelines for overhead cranes, ensuring that they meet industry regulations. By aligning our operations with CMAA standards, we prioritize the reliability and safety of our lifting equipment, providing our customers with solutions they can trust.

Our participation with MHI and CMAA showcases our dedication to staying informed, collaborating with industry leaders, and contributing to the advancement of the industry. These affiliations reflect our company’s commitment to being your Expert, Craftsman, and Partner. We strive to deliver superior products and services while upholding the highest standards of quality, safety, and professionalism. Through these associations, we leverage knowledge, resources, and networking opportunities to lead the industry with our new Smart Crane Technology and other innovative solutions.

Learn more about CMAA and MHI here:

Making Information Accessible

At ACECO, we recognize the importance of knowledge in making well-informed decisions. That’s why we embrace dynamic information dissemination strategies. By adapting and sharing valuable insights across multiple platforms, we ensure industry expertise is accessible to a broader audience, including our esteemed partners.

Through collaborative efforts, we reinforce our position as thought leaders in the overhead lifting industry. Whether it’s through our blog, social media channels (YouTube, Facebook), or contributions to reputable industry publications, we offer diverse formats to cater to various learning preferences. The inclusive approach enables us to actively engage with our partners, providing the essential information necessary to navigate the ever-changing landscape of our industry.

At ACECO, we do what we commit to do, we do it well, and we do it on-schedule. Our goal is to make your life easier, and we are dedicated to solving your most complex problems.

Together, we evolve, innovate, and build a brighter future in the overhead lifting industry.


Contact us to learn more.

From Lygra to America: A Journey for the Pursuit of Happiness

Oddvar Norheim Next to a Duobox Crane


On the anniversary of our nation’s independence, we are reminded of the framework that makes our nation stand out among the many great nations of the world, particularly the rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Even though we have waivered as a nation throughout the years, the heroes of this land fight to make sure that freedom is felt from sea to shining sea. Therefore, we have been a beacon to the world, “This is where you can make a name for yourself, the land of opportunity where anything is possible,” Lady Liberty says as she gazes upon glistening skyscrapers that stand as testaments to the heights one can reach if they dream big.

Oddvar Norheim was one of those dreamers, born on a small island off the coast of Bergen Norway called Lygra. After receiving his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, from Bergan Technical College, in Norway, and serving in the Norwegian NATO army, Oddvar sought to travel to the United States where he built our company, American Crane & Equipment Corporation. He created several patents, such as SafLift™ (a process used to transport nuclear fuel). He fostered a friendly and collaborative environment within his company, where no idea was out of the question and the impossible seemed possible; and in 2010, he visited the White House, to discuss trade policy alongside government officials and President Obama. 

When Oddvar became a U.S. citizen, on May 6, 1987, he was given the opportunity to present a speech to the recipients about why he decided to become an American citizen:

 “I believe that America is the country that gives the most opportunities to its people and that the American dream is still achievable. The traditional spirit of the U.S. society that describes the nation as a democratic land of opportunity in which social, political, economic, and religious freedoms prevail—is alive and well; one man is as good as another and any man can achieve his dreams, if only he will. America took on a difficult task after the second world war when it became the nation to protect the freedoms of the world. Of course, this has given many countries and individuals the opportunity to blame America for everything that is wrong, but the strength and determination of this society continues the fight to achieve peace and freedom—showing the kind of people this country is made up of and the strength of our Constitution and the values we so strongly believe in. The willingness of this country to defend freedom around the world is something we all should be proud of. The beauty of this country is no better described then through the words of Samuel A. Ward when he wrote “America the Beautiful” – spacious skies, majestic mountains, and amber waves of grain. America surely does have it all. And we cannot forget the bountiful American highways and king size American cars. It’s hard to find words to express my feelings today as I become part of this grand society, and there is not one factor that made me decide to become a U.S. citizen, but all the things mentioned above and more.”     

Oddvar saw hope in the aspects of America we often take for granted, and in that hope, he achieved his dreams and was able to forge a legacy grand enough to influence the lives of many and present a future for his kin, before passing in October of 2021. Oddvar saw and came to represent the true essence of what it means to be an American; the idea that no matter where you are from, your beliefs, or background—if you are willing to work hard and out of love, not hate, you can elevate your life and the lives of those around you. That’s why here at ACECO we honor Oddvar’s GRIT and determination every day, committing to foster the growth, empowerment, and safety of the people we work with and the customers that hire us.

At ACECO we value our people and everything they have to contribute; so, on this 4th of July, we ask that you remember to value the people of this nation, because without our differences and melting pot of ideas…America would not be the great nation it is today. 

Bringing GRIT to MHI’s Board of Governors

Just a couple of months ago, in December 2021, I was honored to be named to the MHI Board of Governors. Established in 1945, MHI is an international trade association that has represented the material handling, logistics, and supply chain industry for more than 75 years. The organization offers education, standards development, networking, and solution sourcing for its members, their customers, and the industry through programming and events — including the MODEX and ProMat tradeshows.

Leading MHI is its appointed Board of Governors. This group consists of the Officers and Board Governors of MHI plus the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of the corporation. The Board of Governors serves as the Board of Directors for MHI.

In American Crane’s 50 years of operation, participation in MHI has always been important to our company. As a forward-thinking, innovative company, taking leadership within the material handling field as a whole has been part of our organization’s vision from the beginning.

I was particularly honored to discover that I am only the second woman to ever have been appointed to MHI’s Board of Governors. It’s no secret that the material handling field — like many industries — has long been dominated by men. As a woman who grew up in this industry, I feel that increasing diversity among all levels is critically important to its continued success. For that reason, I was delighted to join MHI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee when it was first formed a year ago.

Creating inclusive and diverse workplaces brings different perspectives together on the same team. That variety of viewpoints and experiences allows companies — and industries — to solve problems more effectively. It’s a perspective we embrace fully at American Crane. It’s been a delight to share our company’s vision with other MHI members as they work to create an environment that fosters the appreciation of all employees’ creative diversity through trust, respect, and openness.

Further, American Crane has proudly served as a long-standing Executive Member of Crane Manufacturer’s Association of America (CMAA). An independent trade association that is affiliated with MHI, CMAA’s vision is to be the most trusted knowledge resource for overhead cranes. It works to achieve that objective through its mission: to deliver technical specifications and resources that promote safety in the design, operation, and maintenance of overhead cranes. CMAA’s engineering specifications are widely recognized as the preferred design standard for overhead traveling cranes, integrated crane systems, and crane components.

My father, Oddvar Norheim — American Crane’s past President and CEO — believed strongly in MHI, and in CMAA’s mission in particular. Not only did he serve a term as CMAA’s President, but he also assisted in the development of those recommended standards and specifications by dedicating several of American Crane’s own engineers to help in their development. Today, that tradition continues as I, too, have been heavily involved in CMAA since I joined American Crane two decades ago. Currently, I serve as CMAA’s President.

My involvement in these industry groups was among the reasons MHI CEO John Paxton cited when announcing my new Board of Governors role. He writes:

Karen provides clear, direct, and results-focused leadership of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA). She brings her leadership experience as the President and CEO of American Crane and applies that to raise the Overhead Crane industry for all members. Based on her success leading CMAA, Karen was recently elected to the MHI Board of Governors’ where she provides those same leadership skills into the MHI strategic planning process.

In addition, she is a member of the MHI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee. I really enjoy working with Karen. She is a collaborative leader who is direct, to the point, and has a passion for delivering results. Her company mantra is “GRIT Matters,” and she brings that GRIT to the MHI Board. We really appreciate her time as a volunteer supporting several MHI initiatives.

I look forward to continuing to give back to the industry while helping to chart its course for the future as a member of the MHI Board of Governors.


The Hydro “Power House”: Case Studies on Hydro Energy Equipment

American Crane offers leading design and manufacturing services for electric overhead traveling cranes and wire rope hoists. We offer our clients a range of equipment with capacities as high as 1,000 tons.

American Crane currently supplies specialized equipment to a number of dam projects. These projects tend to concern dams responsible for the production of hydroelectric power. We supply a variety of equipment and services for these applications, such as turbine cranes, gate hoists, intake equipment and rebuilds

The following two case studies demonstrate American Crane’s unparalleled commitment to customer service, product quality, and improved profitability and efficiency.

Case Studies

The George B. Stevenson Dam Project

American Crane accepted a request for partnership from teams working on the George B. Stevenson Dam. We were asked to provide gate hoists that could facilitate precise positioning of the dam’s flood control gate. We supplied two 170-ton gate hoists, along with a 100-ton, top-running double girder crane.

These systems allowed dam personnel to operate the George B. Stevenson Dam gate hoists from remote locations. Not only did this simplify the work process for the dam team, it also helped ensure that employees could maintain a safe distance from the dam while performing their duties.

The Shasta Dam Project

Our team was also called in for assistance during a project on the Shasta Dam. The American Crane team assisted with a complete overhaul and upgrade of the Shasta Power Plant’s draft tube stop log gantry crane. This upgrade included implementing a supply of modern hoisting systems with two independent hoisting brakes.

Other aspects of the overhaul also benefitted dam personnel. The upgrade involved the installation of all-new electrical controls in weatherproof enclosures. This improved employee safety, productivity, and even equipment longevity. We also performed a thorough structural and mechanical inspection of the dam following the project in order to ensure compliance with ANSI b30.2 and OSHA 1910.179.

The Conowingo Dam Project

We recently completed a project at Exelon’s Conowingo Hydro-Electric Dam in Darlington, Maryland. We were asked to add a 20-ton Rooftop Crane to the existing runway structure at the top of the dam to support a large painting project. The previous crane expired from service and its replacement had to sit idle in harsh conditions for long periods of time and still be ready for operation at a moment’s notice.

The project began by repairing the top of the existing runway to ensure that it would support the new equipment. Much of the steel under the existing runway structure was badly corroded, so we reduced the surface to bare metal and filled the voids with Belzona epoxy to add the necessary strength for the new crane. This process took weeks over the hottest part of the summer, but we were able to sufficiently repair the runway.

With the runway repaired, we were able to remove the existing 20-ton Niles crane and install a new 20-ton ACECO trolley with open deck industrial hoisting machinery. To prevent damage from the operating environment, the machinery was protected with motor heaters, stainless steel coverings, and operated with two-speed contractor controls from within a NEMA-4 stainless steel enclosure. Our shop also accommodated all of the application-specific cribbing and rigging requests to ensure safe operation.

Once everything was installed, we discovered that the existing carts and splices for getting equipment through the damn were severely rusted and inoperable. We accepted an additional order to repair this equipment as well, which allowed us to get test weights in place and ensure the efficacy of our new installation.

Why American Crane? We are your Expert, Craftsman & Partner

At American Crane, we know that our clients depend on us for a variety of reasons. We maintain the in-house resources necessary to engineer, manufacture, and install the parts and equipment that our customers need the most. Our field service capabilities also position us as an ideal partner for projects that involve complex setups and upgrades.

All of this is in the pursuit of consistent and impeccable product quality, strict schedule adherence, and industry leading customer service. Thorough facility maintenance ensures that American Crane’s equipment and staff are always ready to assist clients at a moment’s notice.

Our engineering staff consists of seasoned mechanical, electrical, and structural engineers who partner with world-class seismic scientists in order to determine the best courses of action for our clients.

We also offer a range of additional services to provide a truly end-to-end lifting solution. American Crane’s experienced Service and Parts Department provides clients with services such as:

  • Load testing
  • Outage support
  • Retrofit and upgrades
  • OSHA inspections
  • On-site service and repair
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Custom fabrications
  • Product support

The American Crane team knows that the projects we collaborate on are about more than successful construction or installation. These applications revolve around reliable components and impeccable installation and inspection. That’s why our team commits itself to providing hydro energy clients with unbeatable service and product quality.

Interested in learning more about our team’s capabilities in hydro energy applications? Please contact us and one of our experienced staff members will be happy to speak with you concerning your project’s unique requirements.


Show Your Crane Some TLC

Your cranes show you love year-round, keeping operations running smoothly and efficiently. Be sure to return the favor by taking the time to assess the condition of your material handling equipment, ensuring optimal performance and safety. Not only does this minimize the chances of unexpected breakdowns and worker injuries, it also helps avoid costly downtime and extra labor needs while ensuring you remain compliant with all necessary regulations.

Our Crane Servicing Capabilities

At American Crane, we proudly service cranes and hoists of all types, makes, and sizes. We understand the importance of thorough assessments and clear communication for keeping operations running smoothly. For instance, when our team goes onto a worksite, they provide comprehensive reports to the site contact each day, detailing all completed work and outlining any potential issues.

We’re also available for 24/7 emergency services as needed; offering this around-the-clock service provides our clients peace of mind and ensures problems are addressed immediately, before they cause more serious issues.

Our main services are listed below:

We also have a large inventory of over a million dollars’ worth of crane parts and components, including items from top brands such as American Crane, Munck, Columbus McKinnon, Coffing, Yale, and Shaw Box. Our service trucks remain stocked at all times, so we can quickly and easily cater to clients’ on-demand part-replacement needs.

Learn MoreService and Repair Brochure

All American Crane technicians are certified to meet current inspection codes and standards, and are in complete compliance with OSHA requirements. For more information on our emergency services, plus a list of FAQs regarding crane service and inspections, download our detailed service and repair brochure today.

Your machines work around the clock for you, so don’t forget to show them some love! Not only will it help keep your workers safe, it will also ensure smooth, efficient, and timely operations without the risk of extra expenditures or downtime.

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing in Chester County

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Choose the Best Crane Service Provider for Your Application

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

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

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

1. OSHA Standards

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

2. Monthly and Yearly Crane Inspections

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

3. Supply Parts on Short Notice

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

4. Versatile Technicians

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

5. Load Testing

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

6. Capabilities to Rebuild Existing Cranes

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

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

Additional Resources

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

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

Choose the Right Crane

Why You Should Support Local STEM Education Programs

Revitalizing Manufacturing in America

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

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

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

MorningStar Solar Home: A Project in Sustainability

A Project in SustainabilityThrough 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.Morning Star Solar Home

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

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

Learn More

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

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

Visit YouTube Channel