Lift That Heavy Object!

industrial cranes liftingLifting heavy objects is a fundamental part of human life.? Some humans can lift more than others while a few train to lift incredible loads. Eventually, the weight that needs lifting – or the demands of doing so repetitively – exceeds the abilities of one man (or even a group of men).

That’s where mechanical advantage comes into play; more specifically, the machine.

Machines can be as simple as a long stick (lever) and a rock (fulcrum) or as complicated as a modern-day airplane. But, for lifting heavy loads, nothing beats to power of a crane.

Cranes for industrial and public use come in basically two forms: installed and mobile.? Installed cranes (sometimes called bridge cranes) are ideal for interior commercial applications.

We’ll discuss them in a future article. This article is going to focus on the mobile crane.

We’re all familiar with the basic construction crane – a truck or track-mounted boom with a retractable cable and pulley – and even at a young age, most kids can identify one on sight.

Overhead crane lifting material? These cranes are ideal for unloading and loading, construction, and generally moving heavy things around. They have the added benefit of being able to move from place to place – whether on their own or via trailer – without (much) assembly and dis-assembly.

If your needs gravitate towards these unique tools and you’re in the market for a mobile crane, you might consider purchasing a used crane over a new one. Websites such as are great resources for used cranes for sale.

When shopping for a used crane, there are some factors to keep in mind:

1)? How much weight do you need to be able to lift on a regular basis?

This is a pretty obvious consideration and doesn’t need much explanation.

2)? To what height do you need to lift the weight?

If you’re just moving weight from a truck bed to ground level or vice versa, you could get away with a simple truck-mounted crane. If your needs call for lifting weights to multiple stories or more, you might need a crane with a large boom.

3)? Where do you need this crane to go?

If you’ll do most of your work on relatively hard surfaces, the aforementioned truck-mounted crane would suffice. However, if you’re venturing onto softer surfaces – such as those often found at construction sites – a track-mounted crane that can traverse variable surfaces would be more useful.

mounted crane close up4)? How does is this crane transported?

Truck-mounted cranes can easily be transported from site to site at highway speeds while larger, track-mounted cranes – which have only one or two forward gears – require a separate truck and trailer for transporting in a reasonable amount of time.

5)? Is special training required to operate the type of crane you need?

Some cranes require little to no training while others demand extensive training.

A crane can be a valuable addition to any equipment lineup and leave you wondering why you didn’t get one sooner. If you have questions about which type of crane might be right for you, feel free to contact and we’ll be happy to help.

If you’d like to see what’s available in used cranes for sale, navigate to our home page and search for cranes.

How Material Handling Has Evolved Over the Years Thanks to Modern Machines

Material Handling Equipment

The roots of modern material handling devices are found far back in man’s evolutionary history.

Way back in primitive times it did not take long for humans to recognize that it was easier to move a heavy object if a round object could be placed underneath it like a log. The logs allowed the object to be rolled over them.

With this primitive knowledge the “Sledge” was invented which is a blending of a wedge and a sled. They cut grooves into the rollers so it needed less energy to create a turning motion. Eventually this became the axle. They learned how to use wooden pegs to secure the sledge so that when it rested on top of the roller it did not move. This eventually led to the cart.

Over time, as people became more environmentally aware and needed more durable carts and moving devices, a switch occurred from wood to metals. Throughout history there has always been a need for vertical transportation devices to move heavy loads in factories and at docks.

Early on, lifts relied on man, animal and water power developed by agricultural societies to lift heavy loads up until the Industrial revolution. In the 18th century, machine power began to be developed and applied to lift technology.

In the mid 1800’s we see the first mechanical lifts. In England they installed the first elevator driven by belts. About ten years later, in 1846, the first hydraulic industrial lift made its appearance.

It was powered by water pressure. Electric driven lifts date back to 1889. This changed industrial material handling by enabling faster movement of materials. Other powered lifting and moving devices quickly followed as the engineering of machines made swift advances.

Today, industrial facilities and manufacturing operations all utilize material handling and lifting equipment. Most of today’s lifting equipment is powered with hydraulic power used in combination with leverage.

Common Material Handling Equipment

cranes and hoists

Some lifting equipment uses electromagnetic power and others mechanical or electric power to move or lift objects.

Employing leverage reduces the amount of force required to lift very heavy objects.

Commonly used material handling equipment in today’s manufacturing and industrial applications include banding machines, forklifts, die handling , hoists, cranes, conveyor belts, lifting frames, carts, pallet jacks, skid lifts, vibratory feeders and work platforms and lifts.

How Material Handling Works Today

Nowadays, material handling and the transportation of parts is easily accomplished using a vibratory feeder or conveyor belt. Both machines can move large and small parts from one area to another. Most of the time, these machines are used within a production line so that materials move efficiently from one process to another.

Banding machinery is most often used as part of a packaging process. These machines use a variety of different materials including plastic bands, metal bands, shrink wrap, bags and vacuum bags.? Not only do these machines work to package products for shipping, they are also used to hold parts and materials together on pallets for storage and transportation.

Forklifts play a crucial role in fetching and moving large objects, pallets and more within the plant and throughout the plant yards or on a dock for example. In areas that are too small to accommodate a forklift, pallet jacks or skid lifts are commonly employed to help move heavy pallets.

There is no question that businesses today need and benefit from a variety of materials handling machines. Not only do they save time, they also contribute to safer working environments, reduce physical strain and increase efficiency & productivity.

Packaging Machinery – Automated and Manual Packaging Machines

Packaging Machinery

packaging machinery
Packaging Machinery

Packaging machinery is used in most production facilities to ensure the quality and safe delivery of finished products. However, there are a variety of different packaging machines designed for many different applications.

There are many reasons why a production facility would choose to use one type of packaging equipment over another. Below is an overview of these two main categories of packaging machines and reasons why one would be used over the other.

Manual Packaging Machinery

The most basic equipment is a manual packaging system in which products are delivered via conveyor, pallet or cart. This method is still used today despite more modern automated packaging methods that are available.

The reason for the use of manual packaging machines rather than automated equipment varies depending on the company.

Most common reasons include: the need for manual inspection of product, fragile products, products that are odd shaped or not consistent in shape or size and the price of an automated system may outweigh the time saved due to a smaller quantity of products to be shipped.

For example, precious metal coins or bars are usually manually packaged since they require final inspection and are easily scratched. Use of automated packaging machinery could allow defective products to be shipped or even cause imperfections.

In this same example, it is important that precious metal products are vacuum sealed and firmly positioned in their trays. If the seal is broken, the metal can oxidize during shipping causing the entire tray to be unusable. Also, coins can rub against each other during shipping causing scratches and other imperfections.

For this reason, precious metals are typically manually inspected, weighed, sealed and secured on pallets to ensure the quality of the product upon arrival to its destination.

Automated Packaging Machinery

Automated packaging machinery is usually very fast moving and repeatedly performs the exact same functions. This is not ideal for small, fragile or custom made parts.

They are most commonly used in production facilities where output of product is constant. Another common aspect is the uniformity of the products being produced.

For example, bottling companies use automated machines to seal bottles which are all the same size and shape. Also, the output of bottles is constant and placement of them into cardboard or plastic packaging can be completed without worry of damage to the product.

Other examples include the packaging of steel nuts and bolts which can be fed into hoppers via conveyor belt. The hoppers can release the required amount of parts into each bag to be sealed and placed into boxes. The boxes can be taped automatically and placed onto a conveyor to be delivered to shipping / receiving.

Another Way of Packaging Products

Alternatively, many companies may use a combination of manual and automated packaging machines. This can be useful for companies who produce a large volume of products that require manual attention at certain points in the shipping process.

An example of this would be the packaging of DVD’s or CD’s which the disc may be manually placed into the cases. The cases themselves can be sealed with plastic and sealed in boxes by automated machinery.

The Future Of Construction Equipment: What To Expect

Construction Equipment Technology

An important part of many industrial operations over the past century has been construction equipment. Companies like Caterpillar, Case, Komatsu and Deere have made continuous advancements in the capabilities and safety features of these machines, making them the useful tools they are today.
These same heavy equipment manufacturers continue to develop new machines with improved features aimed at:

  • Lowering maintenance costs
  • Decreasing operation costs
  • Increasing machine versatility
  • Improving machine efficiency and reliability

In the years ahead, construction equipment manufacturers will likely be focusing more on improvements in areas like:

  • Increased fuel efficiency
  • Energy conservation
  • Decreased harmful emissions
  • Development and implementation of new machine technologies

Hydraulics – Construction equipment such as excavators, backhoes and loaders rely on hydraulics to lift, load / unload and move materials and objects. New hydraulic technologies are emerging, optimizing both hydraulic flow and pressure including the ability to modulate both. As these improvements are introduced, the efficiency and versatility of the equipment will continue to improve.

Engine – Many construction machines are equipped with diesel engines because they are efficient and reliable. Many improvements to engine controls, fuel injection systems and the engine combustion process are in the works and aim to increase fuel efficiency while decreasing the amount of harmful emissions released into the air.

Computer Systems – Computer systems are being integrated into some new models of construction equipment and will continue to be utilized even more in the future. Computer systems are being used to remotely monitor machine operation, analyze fuel efficiency, control hydraulics, report machine performance and more.

Hybrid Construction Equipment

Hybrid technology has come a long way since hybrid cars were first introduced. Similar hybrid technologies are being used for heavy equipment equipped with diesel engines.

We are already seeing the introduction of hybrid excavators and hybrid bulldozers. The released hybrids are the first and second generations of hybrid construction equipment and offer many advantages including:

  • Dramatically increased fuel efficiency
  • Fuel savings of a 20-ton machine reaching 25% as compared to non-hybrid models is not uncommon.
  • Recovery and reuse of energy
  • Reduction in carbon emissions
  • Decreased operating costs
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Increased machine life

The first hybrid-drive, heavy equipment, construction vehicle was released by Komatsu in 2008. The hybrid excavator was a huge success and many valuable lessons were learned, ushering in newer and improved generations of hybrid equipment.

The third generations of hybrids in the construction field are underway and will likely offer even more impressive advantages for hybrid machine owners.
Future of Construction Equipment
Hybrid technology will most likely be the most dramatic improvements made to construction equipment. However, technologies and advancements are being developed for individual equipment types.

For example, improved hydraulics for excavators and backhoes, which improve lifting capabilities and efficiency, or redesigned bulldozers with increased earth moving power.

The future of construction equipment will likely follow a theme. That theme being “environmentally friendly”, aided in part by emissions regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This means cleaner air, more cost efficient operation and improved fuel efficiency.

The Single File Spiral Incline Conveyor Machine

Spiral Incline Conveyor?Friction Top Plastic Belting

Belt conveyors for food product production lines come in a variety of styles for specific production purposes. Over time improvements are made to this type of transportation machine offering more versatility, smoother running operations, and decreased maintenance requirements.
Recently, a new spiral incline single file conveyor was created for the specific purpose of transporting bags of chips at an incline in single file using friction top plastic belting. It turns out that this new conveyor machinery has more practical applications than just foodstuff production.

The new conveyor can transport delicate products uphill at a high rate of speed and requires minimal maintenance. The friction top belt system offers additional gripping ability that virtually eliminates slippage of packages which prevents the inclined conveyor from getting backed up.
This ensures that the delicate packages are transported with ease while still maintaining a fast, continuous flow of products.

Single File Spiral Incline Conveyor Design

This amazing conveyor machine tool was created by the leading conveyor system company, Multi-Conveyor, L.L.C. It was created to overcome some of the common issues facing production facilities that produce food products and other products with soft or delicate packaging.

Aside from the amazing friction top belting system, the smooth surface of the conveyor belt is made of a wear resistant rubber that is sturdy and acts as a cushion for products being dropped onto the conveyor machine.

Another important feature of the spiral incline conveyor is the way the belting controls and stabilizes lightweight packages to eliminate shifting. This keeps packages or bags flowing inline at a high rate of speed.

Single File Spiral Incline Conveyor Advantages

The main advantages of this newly introduced conveyor system are in the elimination of product slippage – especially on an inclined slope, and very low maintenance requirements.
This FDA approved foodstuff production line can be used for a variety of food packaging applications, but has also been found to be useful for personal care products, household products, and more.

Universal Trolley Fits Most Pneumatic Hoists & Electric Hoists

Universal Trolley Fits Most CM Hoists

Hoist - lifting machine tool
The hoist is one of the most used lifting machine tools.

Hoists are an important lifting machine used in many industrial facilities. An essential component in the operation of many hoists is the trolley. The trolley is a piece of equipment that the hoist is attached to that allows the hoist to move horizontally along an elevated beam. Thanks to the overhead trolley, the hoist is allowed to lift and lower loads by acting as the base in which the chain or cable can move up and down.

There are many different types of hoists that can be used with trolleys including manual, air powered and electrically operated lifting systems. Each of these is considered to be a trolley hoist.

One issue commonly associated with Hoist trolleys?is the simple fact that not all trolleys are compatible with all hoists.

Recently, Columbus McKinnon Corporation (CM) released a hoist trolley designed to solve this issue. Their universal trolley is designed to fit almost every Columbus?McKinnon electric and air chain hoist.

While the trolley itself is nothing complicated, the simple fact that owners of various different CM hoists can use a single trolley is pretty useful. In fact, companies can save both time and money when they wish to use different sizes and styles of CM hoists.

About the Columbus McKinnon Corporation

The Columbus McKinnon Corporation is a leading manufacturer of material lifting products. Some equipment they have released includes hoists, rigging and cranes. Based in New York, they have been designing, manufacturing and marketing lifting machines since before the 20th century.

The introduction of the universal trolley is a great addition to the variety of hoist and trolley systems currently available. In fact, this new machinery will allow their clients to use most of their hoists without the need to buy several different trolleys.

Universal Trolley Specifications

The CM universal trolley can be converted from a plain trolley to a geared trolley. The plain configuration allows for manual positioning of the hoist and load. The geared configuration allows for mechanical movement of the trolley. This is the best option for applications where more precise load positioning is required.

The Universal trolley can handle most hoists with capacities up to 3 tons. It also includes an adjustable clamp designed to easily install and adjust to different styles of hoists. The clamp can be installed without the use of any tools.