To help prolong the life of an overhead crane system, there are a number of things that should be taken into consideration before you even buy an overhead crane:
Be honest with yourself and the manufacturer who is designing and building your overhead crane. Don’t try to design or build a crane that won’t meet the actual usage and duty cycle requirements of your business.
Every component on the crane is rated for a specific load capacity – if your crane isn’t built to handle your actual lifting needs, it can lead to premature wear or failure. If you’re straining the crane by lifting loads or using it in matters that it wasn’t designed or rated for—just because you wanted to save a few bucks—you’ll ultimately end up spending more in the long-run in repairs and costs associated with upgrading and modernizing crane components.
The environment where the crane is used can play a major role in the life of your overhead crane and the crane’s components. Environmental factors such as high heat, the presence of chemicals or fumes, steam, dust, or excess moisture can require special metal coatings to protect and enhance the operating life of the crane.
If these factors aren’t accounted for during the design and quotation process, then the components of the overhead crane can be affected by corrosion, oxidization, and parts can get gummed up with dirt and grime.
Regular inspection is one of the best forms of preventative maintenance. Staying on top of regular maintenance identifies problems earlier and allows you to replace or repair worn-out parts before they cause a major disruption to production or an equipment failure.
Not only will regular crane inspections keep you in compliance with sanctioning bodies like OSHA, ASME, and CMAA but it will help keep the crane and hoist equipment operating at top efficiency, help to keep your employees safe, help reduce costly down time, and extend the life of the equipment.
You should receive some type of owner’s manual or maintenance interval book from your crane manufacturer. The manufacturer’s service recommendations are provided based on the duty cycle and capacity of your specific crane, so follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for crane and hoist maintenance, as well as lubrication and inspection intervals.
Installing an overhead crane in your facility is a big monetary investment. However, it’s also an investment in your employees' safety, as well as an investment in improving the efficiency of your production and workflow processes.
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what types of issues or problems you might encounter with an overhead crane system and what you can do to mitigate them.