Just a couple of months ago, in December 2021, I was honored to be named to the MHIBoard 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.
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.
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:
Retrofit and upgrades
On-site service and repair
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: https://dreamitdoitpa.com/video-contests/
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: https://dreamitdoitpa.com/video-contests/
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.
8 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.
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.
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
Through 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.
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.
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.
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.
For 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.
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
The 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.
Crane owners are increasingly requesting certification to ensure that the individuals inspecting their cranes are fully qualified. To demonstrate their crane inspecting qualifications, many inspectors rely on Specification 78, published by the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), as the most widely accepted industry standard.
Even the most experienced crane technician benefits greatly from getting certified, in ways such as:
Enhanced and Continuing Education: Certification promotes education and continued education for technicians throughout their careers. This leads an employee to be more productive, which can lead to lower costs and better efficiencies.
Reduced Risk of Inspection Oversight: Certification drastically decreases the risk that a technician will miss something during an inspection and creates a safer work environment for all employees involved in crane operation.
Awareness of Industry Updates: As certifications expire, a technician must come back for training to prepare for re-certification. In the process of doing so, they learn about any new changes in safety standards, technical papers, and manufacturers’ recommendations.
What Does Crane Inspection Certification Training Cover?
Columbus McKinnon Corporation (CMCO)’s Crane and Hoist Inspection and Certification training was professionally developed by our full-time training staff. The program, the most comprehensive training course available in the industry today, applies to all brands of cranes and hoists.
Columbus McKinnon certified crane inspectors receive 24 hours of specialized training covering all aspects of cranes and hoists, including suspension, structure, motors, controls, gears, wheels, brakes, testing, and more.
In CMCO’s newly built 3,000 sq.ft., state-of-the-art training center, a 20-foot, top-running crane structure allows classes to perform hands-on inspections as they would in the real world. To add another layer of complexity into the practical evaluation of the crane technician, the course instructor intentionally incorporates deficiencies into the crane during the test inspection.
By the end of the course, a CMCO certified technician is knowledgeable of OSHA regulations, familiar with all pertinent ASME standards, and has passed a challenging written examination. Inspectors certified by Columbus McKinnon meet — and often even exceed — the requirements of CMAA Specification 78.
Many of our Channel Partners, like American Crane & Equipment Corporation, have taken advantage of CMCO’s Crane and Hoist Inspection Certification training. By investing considerable time and resources to certify their inspection personnel, American Crane & Equipment Corporation ensures that the inspections their team conducts for customers are thorough, accurate, and honest.
Over the past 50 years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) specifications for crane safety have remained relatively unchanged. To begin enhancing the training and safety opportunities in the overhead lifting industry, OSHA has recently renewed a five-year alliance with the Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance (CHM).
The partnership demonstrates OSHA’s confidence in CHM as a trusted resource in an ongoing effort to increase workers’ safety. In a recent EHS Today article, OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels said, “Our alliance with CHM has been invaluable in helping to reduce and prevent serious or fatal incidents in the material handling industry.”
To follow the example that these industry leaders have set, here are six ways that you can increase crane safety within your own facility:
Create Accountability with Your Inspection — Develop written guidelines for your crane and hoist inspection and maintenance programs; implement this code to train every operator on proper crane equipment use and safety protocol.
Schedule Your Inspections — Create a pre-planned schedule to stay on top of equipment functionality through preventative maintenance. Having a schedule will help to avert any breakdown repairs by ensuring that your equipment always meets the necessary safety requirements.
Read the Manual — It may sound silly, but it is crucial that every operator has read the manufacturers’ operation manuals. Implementing this practice will add an extra level of protection at your facility.
Conduct Pre-Shift Inspections — Crane operators should understand the applicable OSHA, national, state, and local inspection requirements for their machinery and ensure that all products are in compliance with these specifications at the start of each shift.
Implement a Lockout/Tagout Procedure — Lockout procedures safeguard employees by cutting equipment off from the energy source before any maintenance work. This precaution helps prevent accidental or unexpected operation from stored energy, as well as the resulting risk of injury.
Know Your Equipment’s Limits — Employees should always be aware of crane load limits as well as the capacities of each payload.
By taking these simple precautions, you can increase everyday workplace safety for your operators. To learn more about how to increase crane safety in your facility, we invite you to download our maintenance troubleshooting guide, “What Your Cranes Wish You Knew.”