As much as it is crucial to inspect your crane setup regularly, you don’t want to hire a non-professional for the job. If you do so, your machine is better off not inspected because you would have wasted your hard-earned money for zero results. And the worst part: a quack crane service provider can damage your expensive machine.
Bottom line: Hiring the right crane service provider is just as critical to your crane setup as maintaining a regular maintenance routine. So, who is the right expert? Most importantly, how can you decide that?
Keep reading this article to find answers to those questions!
If you have been using your crane for 10-15years, the chances are that it is the manually-controlled kind. And depending on your work, you are likely to sustain a few injuries. That’s in addition to the stress of moving the machine around. We bet that is too much work for you!
Well, we have good news for you: thanks to the advent of technology, you don’t have to go through the stress of driving your crane setup again nor subject yourself to accidents. Now, you can automate the entire process and control the units from outside the cab.
The best part: you needn’t buy an expensive, new crane. You can upgrade your old equipment with automation technology. The technology can be as simple as snag detection or as inclusive as auto-dispatch systems. Either way, you would achieve enhanced productivity and safety.
Note: you can automate just about any crane operation. But you might want to discuss your needs with a crane modernization expert first.
Also read: Crane Inspections: Are They Necessary?
Control System Technology
Conventionally, crane and hoist equipment depend on contactors for speed control and energy management from currents to resistor banks. While the approach is efficient, it doesn’t cater to the modern needs of control systems.
Now more than ever, crane operations require top-notch efficiency. And that is the reason why AC Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) are fast gaining ground. They are modern control systems that enhance the performance of crane setups by keeping them in perfect shape.
And when your crane and hoist equipment stays in perfect condition, their lifespan will improve. But that’s not all. You will also limit maintenance costs and ensure safety for every operator.
Furthermore, the improved control systems are environmentally friendly. The best part: you don’t have to buy an entirely new motor. You can upgrade your old system with drive control and improve the efficiency of your equipment.
Lastly, crane modernization lets you add application-specific firmware to your VFDs. While the applications are simple, they can go a long way to improve your crane operations. For example, you can use the firmware to prevent load sway and footbrake control.
Radio Remote Controls
Similar to VFDs and automation processes, this upgrade is one of the mainstays of crane modernization. While the controls are versatile, professionals often use them in two places:
● To replace the pendant pushbutton stations, or
● To replace the fixed control stations
When you do a radio remote control upgrade for your pendant pushbutton stations, it will enhance your operator’s mobility. By doing so, it improves the operator’s safety too.
In the case of fixed control stations, radio remote controls eliminate the need for two operators. With this upgrade, an operator is enough to carry out the operation.
Plus, the controls also improve visibility. How?
Operators can check their operations and communications in real-time!
Outside automation and control systems, crane modernization also improves the life of mechanical parts of your equipment. You only have to upgrade the worn-out components affected to get started.
And mind you, the mechanical upgrades are not just any kind of replacements. They are much more efficient and sensitive. How?
For example, when you upgrade to modern precision gearing, you will experience reduced vibration. As a result, you will enjoy few wear-and-tear and significantly reduced maintenance costs. Most importantly, you will perform your crane operations quietly without disturbing public peace.
Another example of mechanical upgrade is the modern flux vector control. With it, you can improve the performance of your hoist brake and prevent the wear of the brake discs. Plus, the entire upgrade is easier to use – and they come with ready-to-use spare parts.
Often confused with mechanical upgrades, structural upgrades are limited to the shape and configuration of your crane and hoist equipment. This part focuses on modifying your setup to meet your production and load capacity.
And it doesn’t matter if your crane is faulty or not. Structural upgrades can help you optimize your performance and production levels. However, note that this modernization can take time – depending on the new capacity you want.
Overall, be it automation, mechanical or structural upgrade, always ask questions from your hired aids when modernizing your crane. That is the best way to know what part of your setup needs the “modernization.”