Tag Archive: aerospace critical lifts

  1. New Maintenance & Safety Resource Center

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    American Crane is proud to announce the launch of our completely redesigned website, which will facilitate user engagement with our content and give visitors a positive experience with every page view. One of the most important and helpful features of our new site is the revamped online resource center.

    ResourcesFrom equipment drawings to case studies covering real-world applications of our material handling solutions, our recently redesigned resource center provides customers with the ultimate library of information. The content was developed especially with maintenance, safety, and operations managers in mind.

    Over the decades of serving customers, we have accumulated innumerable industry insights and hours of hands-on experience. Now, with the new website, we will have one easy-to-access space where we can share all of this information with our customers. By reviewing our top resources, you’ll be able to learn about increasing your production efficiency and improving safety in your facility.

    At American Crane, we provide everyday solutions to complex material handling challenges. Working across industries such as aerospace, food and beverage, oil and gas, nuclear, chemical, transit, and more, the American Crane team works hard to meet a variety of industry-specific compliances with products like clean room cranes and aerospace critical lifts.

    We are a leading manufacturer of standard and custom crane systems, monorails, hoists, and other material handling equipment for a broad range of applications. Whether you need a small replacement part or an entirely customized system, the American Crane team can help you every step of the way.

    For more information about crane terminology and important considerations to make before investing in a lifting system, we invite you to download an essential eBook from our new resource center, “How to Choose the Right Crane: A Crane Buyer’s Guide.” Be sure to check out the other resources on the new website as we continue adding to the library over time.

    Can’t find a source you need or have any feedback to share regarding our latest materials? Let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

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  2. Clean Room Cranes: Applications & Features

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    American Crane and Equipment Corporation was recently contracted to build a critical lift crane. We produced a customized 25 Ton Top Running Double Girder Crane, which was installed at the Kennedy Space Center and used to build the Orion spacecraft.

    This crane was not only a critical lift crane, but it was also a clean room crane.

    Clean Room

    A clean room is a manufacturing environment that, because of product requirements, must be kept as free from environmental pollutants as possible. Industries that commonly have clean room requirements include the electronics, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and, as was the case with the Orion spacecraft, aerospace industries.

    The food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries produce products that are ingested by humans, so those products must be contaminate-free. Products produced in the electronics and aerospace industries are sensitive and could fail if exposed to contamination during production.

    Because freedom from contamination is so important to the products developed in clean rooms, all equipment introduced into clean rooms — including critical lift cranes — must comply with strict clean room standards.

    American Crane’s Clean Room Features

    To meet NASA’s stringent clean room standards, American Crane designed their critical lift crane with these special features:

    • All fasteners are stainless steel and self-locking to ensure that no bolts or debris fall from the crane
    • The walkways are equipped with continuous kick plates to capture any dirt or debris
    • Stainless steel diamond-shaped track is used with the festoons to eliminate places that debris could gather
    • The runway conductor bars are covered in extruded plastic to prevent debris from escaping
    • There is a debris shield underneath the lower block to prevent any wire rope debris from reaching components of the Orion spacecraft
    • All electrical enclosures are shielded to ensure that no RFI or EMI reach the spacecraft
    • All axes of movement have extremely slow speeds, less than two inches per minute, to allow for the successful mating of critical components without risk of collision or damage
    • The crane control system utilizes a “watchdog” PLC system that checks each movement against what the operator commanded and stops erroneous motion.

    For more information about American Crane and how we can custom build cranes that meet your clean room requirements, contact us today.

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  3. How to Improve Safety & Efficiency with Aerospace Critical Lifts

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    When you have an aerospace critical lift that could impact your project or the environment, it’s doubly important to follow all the proper procedures for safety and compliance. Many people are unsure of the exact legal requirements and the best way to ensure compliance. Here is a brief rundown on managing critical aerospace lifts.

    Identifying Critical Lifts

    A lift is considered critical if it has one or more of the following characteristics:


    1. If loss of control over the lifted item could invoke a declaration of a site emergency per the governing regulations such as NASA-STD- 8719.9.
    2. If the item to be lifted is vital to the project schedule or irreplaceable.
    3. If the item is lost during the lift, the resulting impact on cost or schedule might jeopardize program commitments.
    4. If the lift occurs in close proximity to items that fit any of the definitions in items 1 through 3.
    5. If the load exceeds 80 percent of the crane’s capacity, it is critical. If two cranes are used and the lift weight exceeds 75 percent of the rated capacity of one of the cranes, it is also considered critical.

    Aerospace Critical Lift Requirements

    If your planned lift fits into any of these categories, you are required to take certain safety precautions. The precautions may vary depending on the characteristics of the lift, but almost every aerospace critical lift will require specific safety precautions.

    Lift Supervisor

    This person is responsible for ensuring that every member of the lift team understands their role and has the proper training. The Lift Supervisor must also confirm that the equipment has been properly inspected and has the right safety ratings to safely carry out the lift plan.

    Safety Representative

    The Safety Representative cannot be the same individual as the Lift Supervisor. The Safety Representative is responsible for reviewing and checking all inspections, the lift plan, and must be on site during the lift to monitor the process and ensure adherence to the plan.

    Critical Lift Plan

    The Critical Lift Plan includes both a Hazard Report and a Lift Procedure. The entire team, but especially the Lift Supervisor and the Safety Representative should be familiar with the details of the plan.

    Safety Review Meeting

    Before undertaking the lift, the team must hold a Safety Review Meeting to ensure that all team members have a firm grasp on their roles and all lift procedures. The meeting can be held up to two weeks prior to the lift for very complex lifts, but two to three days is more common.

    Equipment Requirements

    For aerospace critical lifts, you must use equipment rated to handle the necessary load plus a margin of error. The equipment must meet these requirements whether it is leased or owned and must meet  minimum load rating for every item used in the lift, including rigging, jigs, cables and hoists.

    American Crane Aerospace Equipment is designed to meet the requirements of aerospace critical lifts. American Crane Critical Lift Cranes are designed for durability, reliability and safeguarding equipment during lifts and to comply with appropriate industry guidelines. With over 40 years of experience designing and building the industry’s most respected cranes, American Crane products offer custom design and fabrication and a complete in-house quality assurance program to comply with standards. Before shipment, all cranes are completely tested and fully assembled to meet CMAA duty cycle requirements.


    You must have certificates of inspection and original rating certificates for all equipment. These should be part of the Lift Plan and reviewed and validated in the Safety Meetings.

    If you are responsible for managing a project or program that may include an aerospace critical lift, consider working with the experienced team at American Crane. Our team of experts provide high quality equipment, safety and reliability in every aerospace critical lift.

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