Crane is a machine that is used in a wide range of industrial applications. Different types of cranes are used in different industries. This is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment used in construction, storage, automotive, repair of heavy equipment, metal manufacturing, concrete manufacturing, power plants, shipbuilding, aviation, transportation and several other industries. Like every other machine, your crane also requires regular maintenance and inspection.
With regular maintenance, you can make the machine operate efficiently for years to come. In this article, we cover a common problem with overhead cranes also known as bridge cranes. An overhead crane is an expensive investment that you must protect. Regularly service and inspect your crane so that you can uncover an issue that can lead to expensive repairs or replacements. The following are the common issues you may face with overhead cranes:
- Degraded or damaged wire rope
- Issues with crane skew and alignment
- End truck wheels wear
- Electrification system problems
- Damaged or bent hooks
We will cover the first issue only.
Degraded Or Damaged Wire Rope
The wire rope is a complex part of the machine. It helps in loading, unloading and moving objects in a controlled manner. It should be flexible, strong and able to handle stress. The wire rope should have the following qualities:
- Crushing resistance
- Corrosion resistance
- Abrasion resistance
- Rotation resistance
- Fatigue resistance
When wire rope loses any of these qualities, it becomes an issue. Wire rope issues are especially common in overhead crane systems. The following are the most common issues with wire rope:
- End connections have broken or corroded wires
- Outside wires worn or broken
- Rope diameter reduced to below normal
- Wire rope jump out of the wire rope reeving system
There are some operating conditions that can cause wire rope damage or degradation. These conditions include:
- History of usage
- Heat exposure, chemical exposure and other environmental conditions
- Materials handled
- Sling design
- Shock load (speed of load application)
- Loading condition
The life of the wire rope depends on these factors. It is important to inspect wire rope prior to each shift. This helps in preventing wire rope damage or failure. Inspect the wire rope if you suspect that it is damaged. Don’t use it if you find any evidence of damage or degradation.
Not using a properly lubricated wire rope is a serious mistake. The following are the two benefits of using a well-lubricated wire rope:
- Friction due to individual wires moving over each other can damage the wire rope. Proper lubrication reduces this friction.
- It lubricates the core and protects against corrosion.
Avoid attempting to fix any issue with wire rope or any other issue on your own. Find someone expert in crane repair services. They have a better understanding of the machine. Experts can improve machine safety, reduce repair and maintenance costs and maintain your warranty.
Rely on an expert for regular inspection. Your crane repair services company can also inspect your equipment. It is expensive equipment. Don’t ignore its regular maintenance.