Automation helps increase safety for operators and equipment and ultimately increases uptime and productivity.
Automation | Crane Systems | Industry News | by Christie Lagowski | Jan 01, 0001
At Columbus McKinnon, safety is an integral part of everything we do. From the products and solutions we develop, to the practices and processes we employ in all our facilities, safety is paramount. This dedication to safety is not only something we focus on within our company but is also something we want to bring to the customers we serve.
Automation technology is one way we are doing just that. Combining intelligent information systems with operational technology, automation can help customers build safety directly into their equipment, systems, and processes to help prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. This helps increase safety for operators and equipment and ultimately increases uptime and productivity.
Automated systems, like no-fly zone technology for example, allow you to designate areas where a crane should slow down or stop. This can help prevent suspended loads from colliding with equipment or injuring an operator. It also helps ensure consistent, predictable operation so workers don’t have to be in the area of automation. Personnel know where loads are traveling and can safely position themselves out of the crane’s path.
In production areas where there is a high-risk of potential injury, automation technology can help. If there are areas of the process that are critical and potentially dangerous, automation technology can be put in place to prevent stop-work injuries and accidents. It can also prevent equipment failures resulting from inconsistent or incorrect operation by inexperienced operators. For example, off-center-pick, side-pull, and snag-prevention technology detects a load misalignment or snag condition and alerts operators with a visible and audible warning before a dangerous situation occurs.
Automation technology can also improve ergonomics for operators. Systems can perform the more physically demanding work, so employees can focus on activities that require their specific skills. By reducing lifting, bending, and other strenuous activity, operator fatigue can be reduced.
To simplify equipment maintenance and troubleshooting, automation technology can be used to enhance system analytics and diagnostics. This can be accomplished using a smartphone or tablet, so personnel can troubleshoot cranes right from the plant floor. With access to data at their fingertips, customers can learn from these systems through collected data. This allows them to more easily determine areas for improvement in the system and better understand operator use to identify the need for training or process modifications.
As the industries we serve evolve and technology changes, one thing will always remain constant – our commitment to safety. The safety of our employees, customers, and end users is paramount, and we will continue to develop new and innovative technologies, like automation, to help increase the safety, uptime, and productivity of our employees and customers.
Christie Lagowski is a Communications Manager at Columbus McKinnon Corporation. She has 6 years of experience marketing hoists and rigging products as well as crane systems and components. Christie has marketed a variety of industrial products, ranging from lifting solutions to glass technology as well as health and safety products.