Using An Overhead Crane? Here Are The Mistakes To Avoid

2 May 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

Overhead cranes play an important role when it comes to lifting and loading of materials and products in a manufacturing environment. And while they are specifically designed to handle heavy loads, they can break down when they are not handled with care. Here are some of the mistakes that you should avoid if you want to extend the lifespan of your crane.

The side pull mistake

Overhead cranes are designed to lift and lower loads vertically. As a result, trying to pull a load, however small it may be, from the side can end up exerting pressure on parts of the crane that haven't been designed to handle the pressure. This could then lead to premature crane repairs that may end up eating into your margins.

There's also the fact that a side pull usually increases the risk of the crane's wire rope coming out of its grooves. This is a potentially dangerous situation because an out-of-the-grooves wire rope could end up eating into the remaining rope and thus accelerating the rate at which the rope wears off. In extreme cases, it can even cause the rope to snap, something that may cause accidents in your facility.

The rate of the rope's wear and tear may also be increased if it jumps the drum. In such a case, the rope may end up entangling itself around the crane's shaft, something that will increase the amount of stress on the rope. It is for this reason that it is always advisable that you lift or lower loads vertically.

Reliance on the upper limit switch mistake

When lifting a load, it is tempting to rely on the upper limit switch. This is a mistake because the upper limit switch is not an operational switch. It is a safety device that is designed to keep the drum from colliding with the hook block. Relying on it as an operational upper limit is inadvisable mainly because it means that every time you are operating the crane, you are deliberately increasing the chances of this collision happening – something that may cause the rope to fail and hence causing it to drop the load.

The best way to avoid a collision between the drum and the hook block is to have an operational limit switch installed.  You can also go a step further by ensuring that the hoist turns off if the operational limit fails and the upper limit switch is reached. Doing so will ensure that you are always aware of the risks of a possible rope failure. This will go a long way towards helping to reduce the number of crane-related accidents in your facility.

For more information, contact Alpha Design or a similar company.