Power and Utilities | Hoisting & Lifting Equipment | Power & Motion Technology | Rigging | By Jerry McClam | Oct 29, 2021
The generation and delivery of power are essential in keeping our lives and businesses up and running. Although power is often taken for granted, hard work and planning go into maintaining continuous uptime of existing power plants, meeting new plant construction schedules, and distributing power to millions of people every day. If you’re considering upgrading existing material handling equipment or want to add intelligent motion control solutions in your facility, there are six important factors to consider when evaluating your options.
The safety of people and equipment is paramount at any facility or job site. By building safety into your operations, you prevent accidents that can cause injury or unscheduled downtime, helping increase overall productivity. A brake on a crane, for example, is the one component that can continue holding a load if all other equipment fails. Designed with high performance and safety in mind, a wide range of brake types and configurations offer dependable stopping and holding functions. Modern motion control products and solutions are designed with embedded safety features to prevent operator injury and damage to your facility or equipment. These can include automatic checks to ensure that equipment is functioning properly, continuous monitoring and feedback, automated positioning, and collision avoidance capabilities, to name a few.
With the advent of tools that connect with your systems via wireless networks, you can easily and safely get insight into how your systems operate and how your equipment is utilized. However, by connecting over a network, data security has also become a key factor in determining which product is right for you. It is important to maintain a protected network to prevent accidental interference or alterations to your system’s functionality. Products can be embedded with technology that protects your information and equipment. Whether it’s a fully automated system or a “smart” piece of equipment, keeping your information and operations secure is paramount.
From large cranes lifting massive turbines to manual hoists used to repair power lines, equipment must be reliable. Built for long life, even in harsh conditions, the products you select should be constructed of the highest quality materials and manufactured with best-in-class equipment and processes to ensure they’ll stand the test of time, performing efficiently and safely day after day. From the most sophisticated automated systems down to the polyester strap on your lineman’s hoist, quality and reliability are important to minimize the risk of equipment damage and keep operators safe.
Power outages have a major impact on the businesses and residential areas you serve. That’s why it’s imperative your processes and equipment stay up and running. Access to diagnostic information provides insight into how equipment is performing and allows you to plan for maintenance before a problem occurs, minimizing downtime for inspection and repairs. For example, Columbus McKinnon’s crane and hoist diagnostic technology puts the information that is critical to your operations, such as energy use and equipment status, in the palm of your hand, giving you visibility anytime, anywhere. Look for products with this capability built in to maximize your uptime.
Ensuring your plant has a high level of flexibility allows you to easily adapt to varying levels of energy demand. Quick start up and shutdown capabilities are important, as is the ability to modify or adjust processes as changing plant conditions require. It is also important that products and solutions have the ability to be customized, configured, and scaled to meet your exact application requirements – from brakes to chain to motor controls. For products and systems that need to be modified as requirements change, it is also important to easily adjust parameters on your own to keep your processes and equipment in line with your application needs.
As energy demands continue to grow, power plants and line workers need to be more efficient than ever. And there is a need to do more with less as the industry is faced with the challenge of finding skilled workers. In power plants, operational excellence is key. Utilizing advanced automation processes together with high-quality, reliable motion control equipment, you can increase productivity and streamline operations to achieve operational efficiency in every area of your facility. In the field, it is important to equip your line workers with equipment that is easy to use and includes features that help get the job done right the first time.
Having access to the products you need, when you need them, is critical to providing uninterrupted power to the grid. By utilizing products with common parts and modular systems, you can get standard and custom solutions with competitive lead times on time to ensure operations stay on schedule. Replacement units, for example, can be put into operation immediately, greatly reducing the amount of time equipment is inoperable. You should also look for suppliers with easy access to parts to ensure your products stay in working order with quick and easy repairs.
When you need help selecting the ideal solution for your power generation application or have questions on how best to solve your application needs, we are here for you. Our expert team of technical support, customer service, and sales professionals can provide you with the information you need when you need it.