At their essence, electrification and machine controlling devices are about safety in industrial handling. Solutions in the field serve to make the workplace safer in every major manufacturing and distribution sector. Today, the central safety question the field faces is how to properly introduce increasingly sophisticated technological tools and to ensure they are aligned with each other in the operation of cranes and other lifting devices.
Jason Looman, president of MHI member Scanreco North America, said the integration of controls means manufacturers of radio controls, drives and cranes must work together. “That’s really the safety concern going forward, because it’s no longer just one piece,” he said. “You have to be aware of the whole system and how it’s being used.”
“It’s a total integration for the entire crane system,” Looman said. “A knowledge of the entire plant layout, how the system is used, where it’s used, that’s all important. That’s the evolution. More and more you’re seeing all of these different players working together.”
Wayne Goodspeed, manager of inside sales, applications and customer service at MHI member Columbus McKinnon Corporation Magnetek Products, agreed.
“These systems are getting smaller and more reliable, and everything has to ‘handshake’ today,” Goodspeed said. “In the world that we live in, we have become so accustomed to that. For your computer, when you add software to it, you assume it’s going to connect to everything around itself. The crane’s kind of the same way. All the control systems, when you introduce something new, you’re assuming it’s handshaking with everything else. And I think that as we introduce more and more technology into these cranes, that’s something that we’re going to have to make sure of.”