Tag Archive: CMAA

  1. Top 10 Crane Terms to Know

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    Choosing the right crane for your business can be challenging. If you are exploring different material handling systems for your company, here are the top 10 terms you will need to know to help narrow down the search:

    1. C.M.A.A. – Crane Manufacturers Association of America, Inc. (formerly known as EOCI – Electric Overhead Crane Institute).

    2. Critical Load – A load that, if released or moved without the proper control, could compromise the safety of the entire system. A crane lifting a critical load requires a single failure proof feature (defined below as term #8) so that any possible failure will remain isolated and not halt the rest of the load.

    3. Dictionary and magnify glassExplosion Proof Crane – Specially designed cranes with electrical components that keep any potential explosions contained within the components, therefore preventing any accidental ignition of hazardous materials in the surrounding air.

    4. Flux Vector Drive – A closed loop system that uses an adjustable, incremental encoder to monitor the speed and direction of a crane’s motor shaft. This control provides systems lacking a mechanical load brake with more reliability and a greater range of speed.

    5. Lift – The highest safe point at which the crane’s hook, magnet, and buck can move.

    6. Load Block – The assembly of all crane accessories including the hook, swivel, bearing, sheaves, pins, and frame, suspended by the hoisting ropes.

    7. Overhead Crane – A type of crane that works from an overhead fixed runway structure. It includes a moveable bridge carrying either a moveable or stationary hoisting mechanism.

    8. Single Failure Proof – Mentioned earlier as a consideration for critical load (#2), single failure proof safety features ensure that the failure of one component will not compromise the rest of the load. The crane will maintain control of a critical load, even if one component fails.

    9. Top Running Crane – A model of overhead traveling crane that runs along rails with truck ends attached to runway support beams.

    10. Wheelbase – The length from the center of each wheel, measured parallel to the support rail.

    The American Crane & Equipment Corporation (ACECO) is a leader in standard and custom cranes, hoists, and lift systems across various industries. With over 40 years of experience, American Crane thrives on a problem-solving culture to find the right system for your needs.

    When you work with American Crane, you work with an entire team dedicated to strategizing your solution, including a project manager who understands material handlers’ language.

    For more considerations to make when deciding on a lift system, we invite you to read our eBook, “The Crane Buyer’s Guide.” Inside the comprehensive resource, we’ve included the ultimate crane terminology glossary.

  2. 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.

    Request for More Information

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

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    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.

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

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    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.