CM’s Tips: Crane & Hoisting Equipment in Hazardous Areas

cm hoisting equipment at hercules slr

COLUMBUS MCKINNON GUEST BLOG: How to Use Hoists & Cranes in Hazardous Areas

This guest blog is reprinted with permission from the experts at Columbus McKinnon. Their specialists give you an overview of safe practices to follow to operate crane and hoisting equipment in hazardous environments. 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR SPARK RESISTANCE 

Among many industries that range from upstream oil and gas, refineries to agriculture and wood working, many potentially flammable atmospheres exist. These areas can present unique challenges for material handling equipment and can pose a serious threat to materials, equipment and most importantly, personnel.

In Canada, hazardous areas are defined and managed by a few different regulatory bodies, including the Canada Labour Code, the Canadian Standards Association and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, to name a few. 

FACTORS

It’s generally understood that friction between certain materials can cause sparks sufficient enough to ignite flammable gas or dust. A cigarette lighter or an antique flintlock musket are common examples of this. Obviously the type and concentration/dilution of gases in an area is one element that affects potential ignition from a mechanically generated source, but other key factors could include:

  • The type materials making contact
  • The speed/pressure with which the materials come into contact
  • Corrosion on one or more of the contacting surfaces
  • Lubrication

To address this potential risk, Columbus McKinnon uses materials such as copper, bronze, and austenitic stainless steel, which are generally considered non-sparking. These are used for coatings, or as material substitutions for enhanced spark resistance. Not only are these materials spark resistant, but they can also protect against corrosion. Since surface corrosion can increase friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is also important when using material handling products in hazardous environments.

CM crane and hoisting in hazardous areas, Hercules SLR

Columbus McKinnon engineers a variety of specialty products with spark-resistant components and finishes, including:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Bronze plated components
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: THE NEED FOR CORROSION RESISTANCE

hoisting equipment in hazardous areas by hercules slr
Offshore refinery, example of a hazardous environment. Photo courtesy of CM.

As we mentioned earlier, lifting equipment used in classified hazardous locations must be compliant with applicable standards. 

It’s important to make sure critical mechanical components are resistant to sparks – it’s equally important to make sure these parts are protected from corrosion. These parts include: 

  • Load blocks
  • Trolley wheels
  • Load brake
  • Lifting mediums
  • Chain
  • Wire rope

Many classified hazardous areas exist outdoors that expose lifting equipment to direct, and often harsh weather. These include offshore oil platforms, natural gas processing plants and refineries – to name a few. Specifically in offshore facilities, equipment may be exposed to splash zones, salt spray and the condensation of salt-laden air. In addition to harsh and corrosive weather conditions, sulfur, mineral acids and other corrosive agents are often present in the crude oil and natural gas that is being produced, processed and transported in these facilities, working to further corrode lifting equipment used in these environments.

CORROSION = $$$ cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr

The cost of corrosion can be tremendous, and can add up to billions of dollars each year in the oil and gas industries alone. In these industries, the cost to repair and replace corroded lifting equipment combined with unscheduled maintenance, downtime and lost production have a major impact on profitability. Corroded load blocks, hooks, chains and cables can result in catastrophic equipment failure. Not only can this cause costly damage to the equipment and the facility, but most importantly, can cause injury or be fatal to operators and other personnel in the facility. 

So – how do you protect lifting equipment from corrosion? It’s critical to use corrosion-resistant materials for load blocks, hooks, chains, cables and other components. Since surface corrosion can increase the friction between mating components, corrosion prevention is important to maintain mechanical spark resistance when using these products in a classified, hazardous environment. 

 

cm hoisting equpment from hercules slr
A corroded pipe in an offshore environment.

Columbus McKinnon offers a variety of solutions for these challenges, in the form of a wide range lifting products with spark and corrosion resistant materials and coatings. They also offer application engineering assistance to help determine the right solution for your application. Choose from specially engineered products with:

  • Solid bronze hooks, bottom blocks and trolley wheels
  • Lightweight aluminum housings
  • Stainless steel load and hand chain
  • Multi-coat epoxy finishes
  • Zinc-aluminum corrosion-resistant finish 
damaged hoisting equipment hercules slr
Corroded chain. Photo via CM.

In addition to corrosion-resistant materials and finishes, we also suggest proper hoist lubrication to prevent sparking. These measures, combined with a robust inspection and preventative maintenance program that includes pre-lift inspections, play a critical role to make sure equipment is dependable and safe in these harsh environments. 

Regardless of where you do business, CM has hoisting equipment and cranes to keep your people, materials and equipment safe in hazardous areas. 

 

CRANE & HOISTING EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS AREAS: SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

Earlier in this article, CM discussed the need for mechanical spark resistance and corrosion-resistant measures, especially in hazardous environments. This section outlines challenges faced working with space constraints, how they can be increased in hazardous environments and solutions to potential problems.

SPACE CONSTRAINT CHALLENGES  

hoisting equipment in space constraints at hercules slr
Examples of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

 

 

 

 

 

Another example of a constrained space. Photo courtesy of CM.

Classified hazardous areas frequently exist within confined spaces, especially in the mining and oil & gas industries. In mining, tunnels often have low overhead clearance in areas where coal or other flammable dust may be present. In the oil and gas industry, designers of offshore facilities typically look to minimize the overall size of the structure, which can lead to low headroom between deck levels and tight clearances for monorails and crane runways.

In all of these situations, there is a need for overhead lifting equipment that is compact in design, including low headroom and short side clearances, as well as a short “end approach” to maximize the deck coverage area served by the monorail hoist or crane.

This need for compact hoists, trolleys and cranes is often complicated by the possibility that flammable gases or dust may be present in the areas where the equipment is used. Therefore, explosion-proof and spark-resistant features may be needed, each posing their own challenges given the space constraints. For example, explosion-proof electric motors and control enclosures are typically larger and heavier than those for non-hazardous areas. Spark-resistant bronze load blocks and hooks tend to be larger than carbon or alloy steel hooks and blocks with the same safe working load. Also, the use of spark-resistant stainless steel load chain or wire rope often requires the equipment capacity to be de-rated due to lower tensile strength of stainless versus alloy steel. This de-rating can sometimes result in larger, heavier and more costly hoists and cranes.

SOLUTIONS 

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when specifying or purchasing lifting equipment for hazardous locations with space limitations. When dimensional constraints within facilities and working environments compete with the need to comply with hazardous area requirements, the safety of personnel, equipment and facilities themselves must always take precedence in our decision making.

Fortunately, there are a variety of hoisting equipment options available, featuring spark- and corrosion-resistant materials and explosion-proof components, that can be used in confined areas. Low-headroom hoists are offered in both wire rope and chain varieties, including manual, electric and pneumatic models.

Wire rope hoists can typically provide higher capacities and faster lifting speeds, while chain hoists can offer smaller overall dimensional envelopes to optimize end approach and clearance. Solid bronze and stainless steel components can provide lasting protection against sparking and corrosion, but, in some applications, copper or nickel plating can be substituted to provide lower headroom dimensions and reduce the need for de-rating of safe working loads.

CM has solutions to many of these problems. Products that work in many different restricted areas for this purpose are: 

  • Ultra-low headroom hoist models 
  • Low-profile hoists 
  • Wire rope hoists/crane rope 

Hercules SLR carries Columbus McKinnon products, hoisting equipment and solutions to use cranes and hoists in hazardous areas—e-mail info@herculesslr.com to find out how we can support your next crane or hoisting operation with safety training, inspections or repairs.  


VISIT CM WORKS FOR MORE: 

PART 1: The Need for Spark Resistance
PART 2: The Need for Corrosion Resistance
PART 3: Space Constraint Challenges & Solutions 

FOR MORE COLUMBUS MCKINNON,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CRANE & HOISTING SYSTEMS: THE DANGERS OF SIDE PULLING

CM GUEST BLOG: 3 SAFETY TIPS TO INSTALL YOUR CM TROLLEY

 CHAIN SLING WEAR AND STRETCH: ARE THEY THE SAME THING?


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Where’s your CM hoisting equipment? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

Click here to learn more about CM crane and hoist equipment at Hercules SLR. 

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.  

CM Guest Blog: 3 Safety Tips to Install your CM Trolley

cm-trolley-hercules-slr

Read on to discover tips from rigging and load securing experts at Columbus McKinnon – today, they’re sharing their top three safety tips to remember when you install your CM trolley.

Whether it’s a hoist, trolley or rigging equipment, proper use, inspection and maintenance is important to ensure operator safety at all times. Operators of material handling equipment should adhere to the manufacturer’s installation, inspection and maintenance requirements outlined in the product’s operation and maintenance manual (O&M manual).

Beam clamps and trolleys are critical components of a complete lifting system and demand the same attention to safety as hoists and below-the-hook rigging. The following three safety tips are important to consider when installing and inspecting a CM Series 633 Trolley.

1. CM Trolley Safety Tip: Consider the flange and shape of the I-beam to ensure proper fit and clearance. Measure the I-beam flange and check the distance between track wheel flanges. This distance should be 1/8 to 3/16 inch greater than the beam flange width for a straight runway. Additional clearance may be required for the trolley to negotiate track sections with curves. This clearance should be kept to a minimum to ensure the trolley operates properly on both the straight track sections and the curved track sections. See Figure 1.

cm-trolley-hercules-slr-rigging
Figure 1

2. CM Trolley Safety Tip: Ensure the equalizer pin nuts have been installed properly, in accordance with the O&M manual recommendations. The pins should be tight and locked position. Nuts should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re tight and secure during periodic inspections, which can be monthly or yearly – depending on service. Refer to your O&M manual, and/or ASME Standard B30.17.

3. CM Trolley Safety Tip: It is recommended that the trolley is mounted to the hoist prior to final installation onto the beam. Follow the washer and spacer instructions in your O&M manual to properly set the trolley based on the application’s beam flange width.

Please note: washer and spacer arrangement recommendations shown in the O&M manual are affected by structural variations. The accuracy of the final adjustment should be verified by the installer to ensure proper clearance is achieved between the trolley wheel flanges and the toe of the runway beam. See Figure 2.

cm-trolley-hercules-slr-rigging-services
Figure 2

Remember, any trolley installation should always be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or the recommendations of a qualified person. Improper installation can cause unequal loading on the trolley and side beam, and as a result can cause the trolley to fall from the beam. It’s also recommended that a load test is performed to 100-125% of the rated capacity of the crane after installation.

Want more CM? Visit our Columbus McKinnon brand page for more information on Hercules SLR’s CM offerings.

Reprinted with permission via Columbus McKinnon – original article here


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.

Chain Sling Wear and Stretch: Are They the Same?

chain-sling-wear-stretch-difference-Chain Sling Wear and Stretch: Are They the Same?-hercules-slr

Read on to learn the difference between chain sling wear and stretch, from our guest bloggers CM.

Chain Sling Wear & Stretch: what’s the difference?

Frédéric, a mechanical engineer who works for a Canadian public utility company, in the auxiliary equipment department asks CM:

“You said a sling should be removed from service if it stretches. But, you also said that 10% of wear is permissible. Does this mean that a stretch of 5 to 10% should be ok, because wear will make the sling stretch (the reach will increase)?”

Henry Brozyna, CMCO trainer & safety webinar presenter answers:

Chain sling wear and stretch are two different things and both will make the sling length increase. So, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two.

Chain Sling Wear and Stretch: Are They the Same?
Unacceptable Chain Wear

Wear will show itself at the bearing points of the links and can exhibit itself in the bearing points of the chain as a groove. A certain amount of wear is permissible and that will happen over time. Check with the manufacturer to see how much wear they allow.

Stretch or elongation are clear signs of overloading. As such, ASME B30.9 Slings lists stretched chain links or components as one of the reasons a chain sling shall be removed from service. The word “shall” in a standard resolves any doubt.  No stretch or elongation is allowable.

Chain Sling Wear and Stretch: Are They the Same?-hercules-slr
Stretched, elongated chain
CM Chain Sling Inspection Webinar

Read the original article here via CM Works Blog


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

 

CM Tornado 360° Lever Hoist 9T Capacity Available Now

CM-Tornado

The revolutionary CM Tornado 360° is now available in 9-ton capacities – growing the Tornado 360° family that includes 3/4, 1-1/2, 3 and 6 ton units.

Featuring the one-of-a-kind Sidewinder lever handle, the CM Tornado 360° allows for efficient operation in both lifting and pulling applications. Ergonomically designed for increased safety, the CM Tornado lets you work up to 12 times faster and with as much as 30% less pull force than with conventional ratchet lever tools.

Units also feature an optional internal load limiter that helps prevent the lifting of an overload that could CM-Tornado-2sufficiently damage the hoist.

Download the CM Tornado Product Brochure here.

CM is the Global Leader in Providing Products and Application Knowledge to Help Customers Lift, Position, or Secure Materials Easily and Safely

Columbus McKinnon (NASDAQ: CMCO) is a leading worldwide designer, manufacturer and marketer of motion control products, technologies, systems and services that efficiently and ergonomically move, lift, position and secure materials.

Headquartered in Buffalo, New York, our key products include hoists, cranes, actuators, rigging tools, light rail work stations, and digital power and motion control systems. We are focused on commercial and industrial applications that require the safety and quality provided by our superior design and engineering know-how.

Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter LinkedIn and Facebook for more news and upcoming events.