Tag Archive: Critical Lift Crane

  1. How to Choose the Best Crane Service Provider for Your Application

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    Overhead lifting systems can yield major cost and space savings for manufacturers and material handling companies alike. To remain in continuous operation and comply with strict regulations, these systems demand proper crane service, routine maintenance checks, and regular quality inspections. American Crane & Equipment Corporation can provide these services for not only their own equipment but for other Overhead Equipment Manufacturer’s products as well.

    To ensure these standards are met, production is optimized and downtime is minimized — Buyers should keep a few key considerations in mind when choosing a crane service provider. Below, we’ve outlined eight important factors to take into account.

    Best-Crane-Service-Provider8 Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Crane Service Provider

    1. OSHA Standards

    When crane maintenance crews conduct installations and repairs, OSHA’s strict compliance directives should always be at the forefront. Overhead and Gantry Cranes, specifically, have their own set of rules under OSHA 1910.179.

    2. Monthly and Yearly Crane Inspections

    While OSHA crane inspections are mandated; OSHA (1910.179 (j) inspection (ii)(b)), many companies don’t realize they must also maintain their cranes on a more regular schedule; OSHA (1910.179(j) inspection (ii)(R))  based on the duty cycle of the equipment. It is important to always have a service provider who is familiar with these OSHA requirements.

    3. Supply Parts on Short Notice

    It’s important to have access to a large inventory of top-name crane parts and components, especially since technicians work on all different makes, models, and sizes of cranes and hoists. This will prevent delays, as procurement and maintenance teams will not be scrambling to get machines back up and running after inspections.

    4. Versatile Technicians

    When a crane repair is needed, you’ll want to work with technicians who have extensive knowledge of different types of cranes across various industries, as well as a full understanding of the cranes used specifically in your facility. With this expertise, technicians will be able to offer valuable insight and provide easily interchangeable parts if necessary.  You should only use a company whose technicians meet or exceed the crane inspectors’ certification requirements.

    5. Load Testing

    To comply with OSHA crane safety standard 1910.179 (k) testing (z), test loads cannot exceed 125% of the rated load. Owners must show a historic record proving they are in compliance with this standard and respect the safe working load for the crane.

    6. Capabilities to Rebuild Existing Cranes

    When assembling your crane service team, look for partners who can provide a wide range of services — a team that can help out with minor headaches but also take full control of complex or involved projects, such as rebuilding existing cranes.

    The benefits of overhead cranes are only as good as the maintenance team ensuring their proper working order. To maximize run time, maintain OSHA compliance and outline the best possible project plans, plant managers should carefully select their crane service team.

    Additional Resources

    American Crane has been partnering with strategic resource managers for years as a third-party service team to ensure safe, smooth operation of all facilities. Whether these managers are looking for an expert in specialized crane systems or a generalist with broad industry knowledge, American Crane can help.

    To learn about what to look for when selecting a crane service provider, download our free Crane Buyer’s Guide.


    Choose the Right Crane

  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. Lifting the Future of Spaceflight

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    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