Category Archive: News and Events Post

Lifting the Future of Spaceflight

From manufacture to completion, a space transport vehicle is made to launch and orbit, never to fall. One of these would be a billion-dollar space capsule weighing 10 tons.  The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) is the latest hope of the U.S. space program for sending humans beyond Earth orbit and onto destinations far, far away. Since the retirement of its space shuttle fleet, the Orion is NASA’s only crewed space vehicle under a recent revamp of the program’s long-range plans, called the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. The new strategy is to use the Orion Crew Module (or capsule), being built for NASA by Lockheed Martin Corp., and the Service Module, under development by EADS Astrium for the European Space Agency, to send crews of four to six astronauts on missions to orbit the Moon, explore nearby asteroids, and ultimately travel into orbit around Mars. NASA has scheduled the first flight of the Orion, called Exploration Flight Test 1, for sometime in 2014 aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket system. This will be an unmanned shake-out run to test the Crew Module’s avionics, heat shielding, and parachutes over two Earth orbits and a high-energy reentry in the Pacific Ocean. To work on the capsule (and eventually assemble the Orion and the Delta IV for launch), NASA is using a 25-ton ACECO custom crane (which we refer to, naturally, as the “Orion Crane”). Officially, the Operations and Checkout Building’s (O&C) Low Bay Crane is used by Lockheed Martin personnel to move the Orion around the facility at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Lockheed Martin moves the capsule through several workstations along the crane’s runway during final assembly, testing, and preparation for spaceflight. Our crane will also mate the Orion capsule to the Delta IV’s second stage, inside the O&C, and place this assembly on its trailer for transport to the launch pad. In the future, our crane will mate the Crew Module to the Service Module and then lift that assembly onto the transport. ACECO is currently building another critical lift crane for the Orion project. Lockheed Martin will move the existing O&C Low Bay Crane to the O&C’s receiving room to lift the Orion capsule off of the transport from their manufacturing plant. Our new crane will then be installed in the Low Bay of the O&C and become the new O&C Low Bay Crane. It is a 30-ton capacity crane and is scheduled to be completed in February 2014 at Plant 1 and installed in May 2014 at KSC. So one day we’ll be able to really say that we were the first to lift the Orion spacecraft off the ground. Photo (courtesy NASA): The Orion ground-test vehicle on a work stand in the Operations and Checkout Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 800px-Orion_ground_test_vehicle Resources: www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/mpcv/index.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Authorization_Act_of_2010 //store.americancrane.com/category/aerospace

Crane Buyer’s Guide Part 2: What is important to look for when buying a crane?

For the past 60 years, the CMAA (Crane Manufacturers Association of America) has published standardized guides for the selection of suitable cranes and crane equipment. These guides and specifications take into account a few key points to help buyers make the right match:

-The service that the system will be used for

-The frequency of use

-The speed required to match process parameters

-The buyer’s budget

The CMAA includes a detailed checklist for buyers to complete while they begin the selection process with a crane manufacturer. The checklist asks if key components of the crane are in compliance with the CMAA’s quality, safety, and value specifications. A “Crane Inquiry Data Sheet” will help narrow down the field to facilitate the perfect match of crane and buyer.

There are also specific service classifications so that the most economical crane can be purchased. They are Class A (Standby or Infrequent Service,) Class B (Light Service,) Class C (Moderate Service,) Class D (Heavy Service,) Class E (Severe Service,) and Class F (Continuous Severe Service.) Single girder cranes meeting Specification 70 can only be classified in categories A through D. Guides are available for Single Girder cranes, Multiple Girder cranes, and Below the Hook Lifting Devices.

Crane Buyer’s Guide Part 1: What is the CMAA?

The Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) has existed since 1955, but can trace its roots all the way back to 1927 when the Electric Overhead Crane Institute was founded to establish standardization and quality control within the crane industry. The voluntary organization is made up of over 30 Member Companies, which represent the industry leaders of overhead crane manufacturing. The CMAA is an affiliate of the Material Handling Industry of America and is committed to helping its members become marketplace leaders that provide high value and versatile solutions. Its mission is to provide the end-users, partners, and members of the crane industry with exceptional quality and value using:

  • Safety Advocacy
  • Engineering Specifications and Standards Development
  • Market Intelligence
  • Educational Materials
  • Member Professional Development
  • Recruiting and Developing a representative, active membership
  • Promotion and Enhancement of the CMAA brand

The CMAA has two very important specifications that help crane buyers, engineers, and architects select the optimal equipment for their needs. First published in the 1970’s, these are commonly known as Spec 70 and Spec 74 and have been updated as technology advances. Specification 70 outlines information for those interested in Multiple Girder Cranes, while Specification 74 focuses on Single Girder Cranes. Both specifications offer general information that can be checked with individual crane manufacturers to ensure you are purchasing the right product. The information in the CMAA specifications does not have the effect of law, but rather establishes advisory qualifications and technical guidelines. They can be helpful when researching proper clearances, offsets, tilts, runways, and more.

Stop By Our Booth!

Visit us at Booth 609 at the Utility Working Conference & Vendor Technology Expo in Hollywood, Florida this Sunday, August 11th through Wednesday, August 14th!

The Nuclear Literacy Project

Did you know that rocks, bananas, and even the human body contain natural radioactivity?

Many people simply do not know a lot about nuclear energy and nuclear power plants. That’s where the Nuclear Literacy Project comes in. They aim to educate the world about the positive aspects of nuclear energy and promote the facts about nuclear waste and radiation. Did you know that nuclear energy is also the largest source of carbon free electricity in America? One way that the Nuclear Literacy Project has found to promote these nuclear energy facts is through a venture called Nuclear Tourism, which documents travelers’ visits to nuclear museums and historical sites through a series of online journal entries.

“The Diary of a Nuclear Tourist” is written by individuals who travel all over North America and Europe to visit these fascinating sites and spread the word about nuclear energy. The “tourists” write about their experiences and what they have learned, as well as post pictures of their visits. American Crane is proud to sponsor one of the tourists, Suzy Hobbs Baker, who is a nuclear energy advocate and the executive director of PopAtomic Studios. The goal of her adventures is to help others understand how nuclear technology works and how nuclear energy affects our daily lives. Suzy wishes to explore the reasons that some countries have embraced nuclear technology and others have dismissed it completely.

Custom Grapples from American Crane

In sensitive environments, such as nuclear, aerospace, or gas & oil, there is no option for equipment failure. In applications where safety is imperative, grapples, drum grabs, and lifting beams can be useful for securely holding materials, using precise movements to relocate hazardous or valuable loads.  One slip or one piece of faulty equipment and the consequences can be catastrophic.

Grapple2When choosing a critical lift device for hazardous locations make sure it:

  • Is made of the highest quality carbon, and stainless steel
  • Is 100% customizable to your exact needs
  • Meets NUREG 0612 and NUREG 0554 requirements
  • Is NQA-1 Nuclear Quality and seismically qualified
  • Operates remotely

Reliability and quality cannot be compromised when shopping for high quality lifting solutions. At American Crane & Equipment, we can supply you with a variety of explosion-proof, spark-resistant and single failure-proof equipment to keep you and your load moving safely under dangerous conditions.

American Crane & Equipment’s Newest Addition

American Crane & Equipment Corporation has completed phase one of its two phase expansion, financed by PNC Bank with engineering provided by Boyer Engineering. The first phase of construction included a 2,500 square foot engineering addition with 11 cubicles and 3 offices. The offices and cubicles are energy and space efficient, utilizing motion activated lighting and dual monitors with adjustable arm mounting.

The second phase of the project involves the construction of a 43,000 square foot manufacturing facility. This new building will be used for shipping and receiving, load testing, equipment assembly and storage.

The projected expansion was presented to the Amity Township Board in July 2012. The Township’s guidance and cooperation enabled the engineering addition (phase one) to be completed on schedule by December 2012 and the manufacturing building (phase two) will also be completed on schedule by September 2013.

Thank you to the township and everyone involved in this project who helped to make it a success!

 

Keeping America’s Bridges Well-Traveled And Safe

America’s infrastructure is all over the news these days.  A recent report claims that U.S. highways and bridges will need a staggering $2.5 trillion in upgrades just to survive for the next few decades. It is a fearsome number especially during a time when cutting back on spending is one of the main things on Washington’s mind. No matter who is in power, someone is going to have to deal with the infrastructure problem. Our country survives and prospers thanks to the roads and bridges that move our people and transport our goods.

At American Crane, we do our part by manufacturing industry-leading custom bridge maintenance crawlers. Our innovative bridge maintenance and repair travelers offer public and private bridge owners a wide gamut of benefits:

  • Fewer lane closures
  • Safe and reliable access to inspect and maintain the underside of bridges
  • They are self-propelled and are extremely user friendly
  • Offer on-board man lifts and stainless steel weather hardened construction
  • A redundant “Drop Capture System” that prevents traveler separation for bridge

It is small wonder indeed that some of America’s most famous suspension bridges, including NYC’s iconic Brooklyn and Queensborough Bridges, not to mention Michigan’s famed Mackinac Bridge, rely on American Crane for their upkeep and repairs.
We hope that more people can look beyond aisle-wrangling politics and see that fixing our infrastructure is not something the country can afford to put off for much longer. At American Crane, we will keep our fingers crossed and keep manufacturing travelers that will help save America’s bridges for the next century.

American Crane sponsors “Diary of a Nuclear Tourist”

We are a proud sponsor of Suzy Hobbs Baker’s tour through nuclear facilities in Europe during February and March. Suzy is a nuclear energy advocate and serves as the executive director of PopAtomic Studios: an independent non-profit organization that uses the power of visual and liberal arts to enrich public discussion on atomic energy and how it affects our daily lives. Her tour was launched through the Nuclear Literacy Project, created in 2012 by PopAtomic Studios. The Nuclear Literacy Project aims to demystify nuclear technologies, as well as to learn how nuclear energy affects our daily lives.

NLP_AmericanCrane_towel2You can follow Suzy’s journey by clicking the “Diary of a Nuclear Tourist” tab on the Nuclear Literacy’s Website. Her visits include Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Austria, the European Nuclear Society’s Conference for Nuclear Communicators in Switzerland, and more! With her tour and through her diary communication, Susie hopes to expand the dialogue on energy issues, exploring why nuclear technologies have flourished in some cultures, while being dismissed by others.

Visit Us at the Waste Management Show February 24 – 28

Everyone at American Crane is pretty excited about attending and showing at this year’s Waste Management Show. The WM2013 is the must-attend international conference for those in the radioactive materials handling industry. The WM Symposia, a non-profit organization dedicated to education and opportunity in waste management, hosts the conference, which runs from February 24-28, at the Phoenix Convention Center (PCC). It features a wide variety of speakers, seminars, and panels and is expected to attract over 2,200 people from 25 countries.

The theme of the WM2013 is “International Collaboration and Continuous Improvement.” The highlights will include:

  • David G. Huizenga (Senior Advisor US DOE)
  • Mark Corey (Assistant Deputy Minister Energy Sector Natural Resources Canada)
  • Congressman Doc Hastings (WA 4th District)
  • Plus 500 technical papers and over 100 technical sessions

Of course, it won’t be all work and podium lectures. There will be plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with the movers and shakers of the radioactive material handling world, plus access to all of Phoenix’s fun activities.

Bottom line: if you are planning to attend WM2013, make sure to drop by Booth #503 and visit with the experts from American Crane. We would love to see you and show and tell you why we are a leading manufacturer of cranes, hoists, and other material handling equipment. If want to learn more about WM2013 you can visit their website or drop us a line for more information.

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