What to Consider When Upgrading Your Overhead Cranes in Michigan City

April 4, 2021 at 11:00 PM

An advantage of overhead cranes is how easily upgradeable they can be. You can modernize individual parts of your crane setup without needing to replace the entire system, making it cost-effective to meet new safety and efficiency standards within your operations.

T&M Cranes has been providing crane repair and upgrades for decades, so we can share a few crucial details you’ll need to keep in mind as you upgrade your overhead cranes in Michigan City.

Keep reading to find out what they are.

Examine the type of hoist

If efficiency is your main concern, you’re probably focused on upgrading your hoist. For built-up hoists, many internal components are easy to swap out or interchange. And, when doing so, there’s no need to replace the existing hoist or trolley.

However, the hoist you have now was designed to fit the specific application you purchased it for. That means once you upgrade it, you’ll also have to change parts such as the gear sets and motor to ensure compatibility.

You may also need to upgrade the wire rope reeving system, depending on the type of hoist.

If you’re operating a lower-duty electric or pneumatic hoist, the process is slightly more complicated. In most cases, you need to replace the complete system with a heavier-duty hoist package, then have it reinstalled.

Consider the end truck wheels

Upgrading your crane to increase its capacity will cause your end truck wheels to wear much faster. You’ll need to change them as well so they can keep up with the increased load.

Changing them to ones made of harder materials is often the best solution, along with strengthening the bolted safety lugs to provide improved support.

You’ll have to be careful not to make the wheels harder than your rails. Doing so causes excessive wear on the rails themselves.

Look at the bridge, runways, and structure

An expert can help you evaluate whether you’ll need reinforcements to strengthen the bridge and runway girders you currently have. If you intend to upgrade your hoist, these components will also likely need to be improved to adapt to the increased load.

A common way of reinforcing the beam is by adding a cap channel.

Depending on the extent of the upgrades you’re going to make, the bridge motor, bridge gearbox, and bridge braking systems may all need to be replaced by newer and more capable parts.

Think about modernizing your controls

Once you’ve changed the work that your motor is carrying out, your drive system also needs to change. To fully capitalize on the upgrades you’re making, it’s advisable to change it to pair it with a modern control system such as a variable frequency drive.

This enables smoother acceleration and deceleration controls, which you’ll benefit from if you anticipate that you’ll need an increased load capacity. Smoother starts and stops will also aid your efficiency, while reduced load swing will help reduce wear and tear on the hoist.

New controls can also provide diagnostic and monitoring information, helping you maintain visibility into your crane’s functionality.

Let experts help you upgrade your overhead cranes in Michigan City

T&M Cranes specializes in manufacturing different types of overhead cranes and related components. If you think it’s time to upgrade your crane to enable increased efficiency, our specialists can guide you and install the right upgrades for your system and operations. Reach out today to speak to an expert.