Free Industrial Maintenance Consultation & Program Design for Overhead Crane Services & Blaster Services
We have crafted our inspection plans to conform to local, state and federal laws, governing bodies, OEM directives, and the application of the equipment and its design. Utilizing the industry’s regulations, coupled with experience and expertise, our safety, maintenance and inspection programs can produce true returns and measurable results. We offer dynamic crane services for overhead cranes and want to be your crane company.
What is an Overhead Crane Inspection?
Performing regular crane inspections not only complies with legal regulations and standards like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), it also mitigates the risk of costly fines, repairs, and workplace incidents associated with crane usage.
Crane inspections are essential in keeping cranes in peak operating condition and ensuring the safety of workers and bystanders. OSHA Standard 1910.179 requires industries to conduct regular crane inspections to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities. According to the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), it should be conducted by experienced and trained individuals only. Crane inspectors are expected to have formal training in the following:
· Safety and design codes related to overhead cranes
· Federal, state, and local codes and standards
· Safe operating practices of cranes and hoists
· Proper documentation procedures
· Crane and hoist terminologies
4 Types of Crane Inspections
According to OSHA, ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), and CMAA standards, maintenance supervisors or plant managers are required to perform three different types of inspections throughout the lifetime of crane equipment.
1. Initial Inspection
OSHA Standard 1910.179 requires all new and altered cranes to be inspected prior to initial use. Appointed or authorized personnel will conduct an inspection on the crane’s components to check its installation and functions.
2. Daily Operator Check (DOC)
Every operator the operates a crane during any given shift, shall conduct and "operational" check. This is not required to be documented, although it is recommended to prove your practices and safety culture. This Inspection is designed to check all the functions (hoisting/Traveling) and the safety features of the equipment (lights, horns, limits, E stop, etc.).
3. Frequent Inspection
This is done through visual and operational inspection which is performed on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on usage of crane. Frequent inspections involve checking of hoist brake, wire rope, load chain, and the hook and latch to see if there are any abnormal sounds or damage in the mechanisms.
4. Periodic Inspection
Like frequent inspections, the frequency of conducting periodic inspections depends on the usage of the crane. Cranes not used in more than a month but used within the last six months will be required to undergo a periodic functional test inspection prior to its next use. Periodic inspections entail checking for the following:
· Deformed, cracked, or corroded members
· Loose bolts or rivets
· Cracked or worn sheaves and drums
· Worn, cracked, or distorted parts such as pins, bearings, shafts, gears, rollers, and locking and camping devices
· Excessive wear on brake system parts, linings, pawls, and ratchets
· Load, wind, and other indicators over their full range, for any significant inaccuracies
· Gasoline, diesel, electric, or other power plants for improper performance or noncompliance with applicable safety requirements
· Excessive wear of chain drive sprockets and excessive chain stretch
· Electrical apparatus and signs of pitting or any deterioration of controller contractors, limit switches, and push-button stations
· Inspect all equipment oil and lube reservoirs levels and report any excessive leakage. Add oil as needed.
· Visually inspect the sheaves, drums, wheels, and bearings for general conditions and proper lubrication. Lube as needed.
· Inspect the wire rope for any signs of kinking, crushing, cutting, bird caging, corrosion, or other unusual wear. Lube as needed.
· Visually inspect the load block and hook for any excessive wear, such as bending, twisting, cracks, grooves, or increased throat opening.
· Visually inspect the external parts of the hoists, trolley frames, catwalks, and handrails for loose bolts, broken parts, misalignments, broken welds, or any other unusual conditions.
· Check entire unit for smoothness of operation and proper pendant identifications.
· Open control boxes and check all contactors, relays, timers, etc., for proper operation, loose or broken connections.
· Inspect all safety devices, i.e. limit switches, for proper operation.
· Inspect external motors and wiring for wear and deterioration. Check operations of all motors in general.
· Inspect general condition of the end stops, rail sweeps, drop lugs, and shock absorbing bumpers.
· Visually inspect motor brakes for proper operation or possible need of adjustment or replacement of brake discs, studs, coils, shoes, etc. Adjust as needed.
· Inspection of collector shoes, brushes, or wheels for signs of arcing and/or wear.
Our PM program typically covers over 50 components but will vary based on the equipment type. This service includes inspecting and servicing of:
§ Brake and hydraulics (visual / Adjust as needed)
§ Gear Case (Visual/ audible / add oil)
§ Couplings (visual)
§ Line shaft Bearings (audible / lube as needed)
§ Wheel Gearings (visual / lube as needed)
§ Wheel Bearings (audible / lube as needed)
§ Control Operation (function)
o Main and Auxiliary Hoists
§ Load Chain Gear (visual / lube as needed)
§ Load Chain (visual / lube as needed)
§ Holding Brake (air gap set)
§ Gear Case (Visual / audible / add oil)
§ Couplings (visual)
§ Upper Sheave (visual / lube as needed)
§ Rope Drum (visual)
§ Wire Rope (visual / lube as needed)
§ Bottom Block (visual / lube as needed)
§ Hook and Latch (Visual)
§ Limit Switches (test)
§ Pushbutton Pendant / Remote (function / Add Warning Tag as needed)
· Control Operation (function)
· Mast Condition (Visual / lube as needed)
· Head Condition (visual / lube as needed)
· Boom Condition (visual / lube as needed)
· Jib Power Connection (function)
· Pushbutton and Control Festoon
· Brake (gap/ visual)
· Gear Case (Visual/ audible / add oil)
· Couplings (visual)
· Wheel Gearings (visual/lube as needed)
· Wheel Bearings (audible/lube as needed)
· Control Operation (function)
§ Switches and interlocks (function and lube as needed)
§ All Warning Devices (function)
§ General Condition and Housekeeping
§ Runway Mainline (function)
Additional Concerns as Needed
That headline should get your attention. Why? Because that is why we work, that is why companies operate, to make a profit. No one is in the business of losing money...except for the Federal Government, but this isn't a civics class.
So, how do these programs affect your company's bottom line? How can we say that by spending money with us, you will save money? Keep reading.
Through proper maintenance via the inspection protocols above, meaning that your equipment is watched for proper degradation/wear, we can ensure the equipment is wearing as it should, is maintained at proper intervals, and thereby extend the lifecycle of the crane 20-30%. That is huge when you are talking about massive capital expenses. We track the measurements taken, observations, repairs and maintenance items and use these data points to plot trends in wear, which bring us to the next big saver.
Planed repairs. Breakdowns are a direct hit to the bottom line. Sometimes these events can have a direct impact on production and cause huge delays in deliveries, especially if the parts required have long lead times. If we are seeing advanced wear compounding on wear items, we can advise you to secure the parts in a time frame and plan the repair before it breaks down.
Which leads us to the next point: Parts. If you have a European hoist, a crane built by a now out-of-business crane company, or you have an advanced unit that OEM's don't stock parts for, you need to know upfront. Often times, however, you do not find this out until there is an issue and you are waiting six weeks for an upper limit, brake shoes, or custom drive. Imaging losing the use of your primary lifting device for six weeks and your standby is already on its last leg. You have troubles. After once cycle of inspections on a unit, we will provide you with a parts list that would be wise for you to keep on hand. This way, if there is a breakdown, you will most likely have the part and we are performing a repair in hours, not weeks. If you don't have the part, breakdowns are the most expensive labor, you are rushing deliveries, and you are throwing tons of money at the situation by having staff deal with the issues. This can all be prevented with a game plan that starts with standardized metrics retrieved through a customized inspection program.
Lastly, we can see issues caused by operator misuse and abuse. As we inspect your lifting equipment, we study the components and qualify the data through our experience and can deduce when a piece of equipment is being used contrary to its design or in an unsafe manner. Basically, operator error. At this point, we can bring the issue to the point of contact and recommend Operator Training to prevent the one issue that causes over 90% of all crane accidents: Operator Error.
This is not exhaustive, we typically have a maintenance curve that shows an increase in spend when we first start an advanced inspection program, however, after the inspections have processed one cycle, you begin to see huge drops in spend, downtime, and nuanced issues. Typical reductions are 25-30%. So, if you have a maintenance budget for overhead lifting totaling $100,000 and after two years your budget has gone down $25,000 in total, I believe that is a return to the bottom line a company operating on tight margins would enjoy.