Making Cranes Clairvoyant: Advancements in Diagnostic Monitoring
By Amy Drew Thompson for MHI Solutions
Many of us, from early on, are captivated by the feats cranes can accomplish— from the monstrous machines towering over construction sites like modern-day sauropods to those swingy, jerky (and more than occasionally confounding) arcade claws.
The earliest cranes date back to ancient Greece. Imagine what those industrious minds would make of today’s machinery, which has now evolved to the point of being able to speak to its masters and even predict—and prevent—maintenance issues before they happen.
And amid the thrum of the factory or warehouse, overhead cranes move all kinds of product. Traditionally, if a breakdown occurred, costly lulls in productivity could result as technicians search for, locate and fix the issue.
That’s no longer necessary, says Dan Beilfuss, director of sales for MHI and CMAA member Magnetek, a Wisconsin-based firm that makes power control and delivery systems for the material handling industry, including nearly 200,000 adjustable frequency drives currently working in the field.