Manufacturers invest substantial resources outfitting their facilities with efficient overhead crane equipment, and it forms a critical part of daily operations. With a wide variety of uses in the automotive, aerospace, and energy industries, maintaining a high-quality crane ensures that your facility will operate at peak productivity and safety.
Though we all dream of everlasting equipment, the reality is that consistent use will wear down both mechanical and electrical components over time. Your overhead crane or hoist equipment won’t be top of the line forever, so it’s important to understand how and when your equipment requires maintenance. Additionally, sometimes repairs and modernization cost more than they’re worth, making it necessary to recognize cases where you may need to replace your crane entirely.
Working with old or obsolete equipment will drive up maintenance costs and decrease your plant’s efficiency. But how do you know it’s time to invest the capital to upgrade your equipment? Below, we assembled eight tell-tale signs that it’s time to overhaul your overhead equipment.
8 Signs It’s Time for an Upgrade
1. Your Crane Incurs Multiple Repairs
Older cranes require more upkeep and repairs, increasing your facility’s downtime while you order parts and perform maintenance. Repeated unplanned downtimes caused by faulty equipment can incur hefty costs beyond replacing parts. If your crane has to undergo multiple repairs just to perform its basic functions, it’s time to call a specialist to evaluate it’s condition.
2. Expired Warranties on Major Components
Most crane parts come with manufacturer or supplier warranties extending over long periods of time. The length of a warranty also acts as a good measure of the part’s lifespan. Therefore, finding yourself repairing equipment with expired warranties may be a dead giveaway that it’s time for a new crane.
3. Your Requirements and Processes Have Changed
If you find your cranes lift different, heavier, or higher volumes of materials than those for which they were originally designed, don’t wait to make a change! Your lifting equipment may require faster speeds or more precise controls as you scale up your facility. Straining old machinery to meet new demand could end in downtime or injury.
4. You Can Only Fix Your Crane with Rare and Expensive Parts
As crane technology improves, old crane parts become obsolete and difficult to find. If the supply landscape has decided that it’s no longer worth building your crane parts, you might have to find a more modern and up-to-date crane.
5. Your Crane Injures Workers
Be mindful of the number of injuries, equipment issues, and malfunctions surrounding your crane. If your crane regularly breaks and injures workers, it goes without saying that it’s time to consider new options.
6. Outdated Technology Results in Inefficient Production Times
More and more cranes are incorporating pendant or radio controls in their designs. These new innovations allow the operator to have a clearer vantage point from the ground to identify and react to obstacles, personnel, and hazards as the crane moves.
7. Your Equipment Fails Inspections
You should regularly evaluate crane equipment to OSHA, AME, and CMAA standards. Regular inspections will identify any signs of wear or irregularities, allowing you to proactively address issues and avoid potential fines or legal action.
8. Your Crane Takes On More Critical Tasks
When crane functions become more central to your facility’s functioning, it may be time to evaluate its abilities to perform under greater stress or consider adding an additional crane for these critical tasks. Accounting for all the points in the following checklist will ensure smooth operation as lift loads become more critical.
- Does the lift exceed 75% of your crane’s capacity?
- Does the lift require multiple cranes?
- Will workers have to manipulate the load outside the operator’s view?
- Does the lift involve an unusually technical rigging arrangement?
- Could damaging the load produce serious monetary losses?
- Would damaging the load cause serious delays to important project timelines?
Optimize Your Lifting Equipment with American Crane
Our expert team at American Crane will get your equipment back up and running in an efficient and cost-effective manner. If you think it’s time to replace your overhead crane, contact our professional crane technicians and evaluators for personalized consultations.
Interested in reading more before chatting with us? Be sure to download our Crane Buyers Guide to see what updates or replacements we offer for your applications!