Category Archive: News and Events Post

ViewPoint: Manufacturing Is Cool. Really.


In her first column for ThomasNet News

Our Executive Vice President, Karen Norheim, tells the story of how she got into manufacturing and writes how professionals must come together to proactively solve the problems that could change the course for U.S. manufacturing’s future. This includes attracting more women to the business.Karen Norheim

Full article:  ViewPoint:  Manufacturing Is Cool. Really.

Technology to Fix America’s Failing Infrastructure

The New Year is always a time of reflection and self-improvement, but it’s also a great time to consider public sector improvements that are long overdue. Recently, much attention has been drawn to the declining infrastructure in the U.S. From roads and bridges, to pipes and other vital structures, the whole country is in a general state of disrepair.

According to a USA Today article, “Six states have 30% or more of their major rural roads with pavement in poor condition, and in five states, at least one-fifth of rural bridges are structurally deficient.” In particular, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in rural areas, with a quarter of them falling into this category. In the article, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation clarifies by stating that the bridges are not unsafe, but they will require significant repair and/or eventual replacement to meet recommended standards.

An article in The Week further examines the true costs associated with infrastructures that were not upgraded and cited numerous structural failures that resulted in avoidable fatalities. According to the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) most recent U.S. infrastructure report card, the country received a D+ overall; and with many pipelines and roadways nearing a century in age, this grade is no surprise.

But with increased attention drawn to this issue, it’s likely that improvements will start to be made. Roads and bridges are used on a daily basis, so it’s imperative to repair known problems and regularly inspect and maintain functional structures. Some structures are harder to examine than others, but there is equipment available to ensure that all sites are accessible to crews.

For example, American Crane’s bridge travelers are movable platforms that provide safe access to the underside of bridges for inspection and maintenance. These bridge travelers are crucial in providing a safe and effective work environment in an otherwise difficult to navigate location. There are self-propelled gas, diesel and electric powered travelers available to suit all needs.

Currently, American Crane travelers are being used on the Queensborough, Mid-Hudson and Thousand Island bridges in New York, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, and the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan. Our project for the Mackinac Bridge included eight of the most sophisticated travelers in the Western Hemisphere, and featured telescopic platform extensions.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss the applications of ACECO bridge traveler technology for your bridge project. Together we can improve America’s failing infrastructures.

Happy 2015!

American Crane wishes you a healthy and prosperous new year!


Counting Down to 2015

Counting down to 2015….


Want to Get More Women in Manufacturing? Be a Role Model for Industry

With the skills gap threatening manufacturers around the country, and not nearly enough millennials entering the industrial space, many have cited the need for more women in manufacturing. In the past, women dominated the shop floor while men were sent overseas to fight in World War II. At that time, women had characters like Rosie the Riveter to inspire them to join the ranks of blue collar workers that kept America moving forward.

But today, women make up substantially fewer manufacturing employees. A recent article in Manufacturing.Net cites false stereotypes about both women and the manufacturing sector as a major cause of this issue. So what can we do to promote industrial careers among women?

title=Here at American Crane, our commitment to our employees serves a dual purpose of educating the public about the value of industrial careers, and the opportunities available to women in this sector. Recently, we were proud to promote Karen Norheim, pictured right, formerly Vice President of Marketing and Information Technology, to Executive Vice President of the company. In this role, she plays a vital part in the success of American Crane, while also serving as an ambassador for women in technical careers.

Having a strong background in marketing and information technology, Karen has been a constant force driving the company forward into the 21st century. In addition to regular office duties, she’s also been actively advocating industrial careers to those who may not be familiar with the sector. This past fall, she had an especially busy roster. In September, Karen was a panelist for the 2014 Women in Manufacturing Summit in Chicago, IL. During her interview, Karen cited the reasons why manufacturers stand to benefit from hiring employees with different backgrounds. “Women offer a valuable point of view. Manufacturers need to have diversity in order to have a competitive edge,” she said.

In October, Karen and her colleagues led a group of local high school students on a tour of American Crane’s manufacturing plant. The event was planned in honor of National Manufacturing Day, which is a day set aside each October for plants to open their doors to the public.

Later that same month, Karen was invited to participate on another panel, this one being for Nuclear Science Week. On October 17th, she started the day by discussing “The Energy Assembly Line: Advanced Manufacturing in Reducing Global Carbon Emissions,” at the Big Event in Seattle, Washington. The show brought together students, teachers, and members of the general public who are interested in nuclear science innovations.

This is just a sampling of the community involvement Karen does on behalf of American Crane. With her in-depth knowledge of the industrial world, she is a perfect role model for women and girls who are considering a technical profession. We feel very fortunate to have our very own Rosie residing within our walls.

What Are You Celebrating This October?

October is a month full of awareness campaigns and holidays – some more widely recognized than others. We’ve become accustomed to seeing football players don bright pink shoes and gloves in support of breast cancer awareness; we look forward to seeing what crazy costumes people can come up with for Halloween; and for the perennially stressed, there’s even Moment of Frustration Day to let out all of that pent up energy (not that this is ever an issue in our office).

But here at American Crane, we feel it’s important to celebrate and promote some additional holidays that particularly matter to those of us in the industrial space. In October, for example, we celebrated Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 3rd, and we’re also pleased to celebrate Nuclear Science Week this month, which runs from October 20th to the 24th. This is a national event aiming to educate people about the field of nuclear science. Each year, one U.S. city is chosen to host the main Nuclear Science Week event, and this year it’s Seattle’s turn. Across the country, numerous events will be taking place before, during and after the actual week-long celebration. For a full schedule of events, check out the Nuclear Science Week Calendar of Events.

As October winds down, what other events are you celebrating this month? Let us know on Twitter!

American Crane Celebrates Manufacturing Day!

On Manufacturing Day, Friday, October 3rd, we invited 35 Exeter High School students to tour our facility. Exeter High School, located in Reading, PA, has implemented a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (or S.T.E.M.) based program into their curriculum and asked us, along with other local businesses to partner with them to support this innovative initiative.

After learning more about overhead cranes, hoists and their applications, the students took a tour of our six manufacturing bays. They walked through areas where activities such as material preparation, machining, welding, electrical assembly, shipping/receiving and engineering occur daily. In addition, the students learned about manufacturing job titles like machinists, fitters, electricians, mechanics, as well as electrical, mechanical, welding and structural engineers and designers.

American Crane Celebrates Manufacturing Day!






We will continue to be a resource for this invaluable educational program, offered for the first time this year by Exeter High School. For more information about careers in manufacturing visit



Stacking Lockheed Martin’s Orion Crew Module for NASA

For many years now, American Crane & Equipment Corporation has been lifting some of the most mission-critical materials in the world. But recently, we extended our reach to mission-critical materials that are out-of-this world, too.

Orion Crew Module for NASALifting the Orion Crew Module – photo credit to NASA

For many years now, American Crane & Equipment Corporation has been lifting some of the most mission-critical materials in the world. But recently, we extended our reach to mission-critical materials that are out-of-this world, too.

This summer, our 25 ton double girder clean room crane (with single failure-proof hoist) was entrusted with the important job of lifting Lockheed Martin’s Orion crew module and fitting it atop their service module. This particular crane was ideally suited for the job thanks to its micro speed movements, which allowed for precision in this delicate operation.

The unmanned Orion space capsule will be launched on a Delta IV Heavy Rocket later this year, traveling 3,600 miles beyond low-Earth orbit. The mission will be a quick test flight that returns the same day, and will help ensure that future flights will be safe for a crew.

Orion is NASA’s first spacecraft designed for long-term, manned space exploration. The goal is to bring humans safely to asteroids, the moon, and eventually Mars. The capsule represents major strides in aerospace exploration technology, and American Crane is proud of our role in bringing these future missions into fruition. Our 25 ton double girder clean room crane is perfect for these types of projects thanks to a combination of self-locking fasteners, runway conductor bars enclosed in plastic housing, a debris shield on the lower block, and kick-plates that run across all the walkways, capturing dirt and debris.

For more information about our work with Lockheed Martin and other major aerospace companies, feel free to call us at 1.877.877.6778 or visit our Contact Us page to find the appropriate person for your query. We look forward to speaking with you.

Talk to American Crane at the 2014 American Nuclear Society Utility Working Conference

Since 1994, the Operations and Power Division of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) has held an annual Utility Working Conference (UWC) for leaders in the nuclear industry to focus on the immediate needs, challenging issues, and ongoing developments within this quickly changing sector. Over the years, the event has grown into an exhibition with over 650 industry professionals in attendance. We are pleased to confirm that American Crane will be attending this year’s show in Amelia Island, Florida from August 10-13.

Crane for Dry Spent Fuel Storage

Crane for Dry Spent Fuel Storage

The 2014 Utility Working Conference will be filled with numerous educational sessions, exhibits, activities, and other events for attendees to learn from and network with those in the nuclear energy industry. We look forward to showcasing our cranes, hoists, and other specialized lift systems for the nuclear industry.

We supply failure-proof replacement cranes and trolleys for dry spent fuel storage operations, as well as custom designed systems for required applications. Our in-house engineering team ensures that all products will function in a safe and effective manner, and our Nuclear Quality Assurance Program complies with 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, and ASME NQA-1 quality standards. We even have a full-time service group dedicated to regular crane maintenance.

If you’re planning to attend this year’s Utility Working Conference, be sure to visit us at booth number 406. Speak with our knowledgeable representatives and see how our specialized nuclear lift systems can be incorporated into your plant operation.

A Look at What’s Driving Growth and Optimism in the Construction Sector

According to a Wells Fargo Construction Industry Forecast for 2014, optimism in the construction sector has risen to an all-time high this year. This is a major achievement considering the industry hit an all-time low just a few years ago in 2009.

Survey respondents polled for the Forecast cited “economic uncertainty” and “political uncertainty” as their main concerns for the industry, with the threat of rising interest rates and new regulations posing a possible risk as well. Overall, however, respondents were optimistic about the improving economic situation, anticipating growth for the construction industry.

According to additional information gathered by Reed Construction Data, infrastructure development is also getting a boost thanks to the expansion of other industries such as health care, higher education, leisure and travel, and more. With new initiatives like the Affordable Care Act, the increasing demand for more health care facilities is already evident as Urgent Care centers spring up across the country. And in Florida in particular, the state is seeing a strong tourism industry driving the need for more multi-dwelling buildings such as hotels. There is also a noted rise in demand for multifamily housing in residential areas – which is a trend being experienced in Florida, as well as the rest of the country.

With all of this data at hand, it’s clear to see that there is a growing need for construction companies and professionals as the economy continues to pick up. We also expect to see a rise in construction equipment sales to accommodate the growing sector. American Crane has a wide variety of products to serve construction contractors. For more information, please visit us online to learn more.