As we reported, it was the first time the website had attracted over 10,000 visitors and recorded over 100,000 impressions in a calendar month.

Meanwhile, exhibitions are coming thick and fast. The April issue of Hoist, for example, previews CeMAT 2008, which takes place in Hannover, Germany, 27-31 May, and will also be on site at NA08, which is staged in Cleveland, USA, later this month, 21-24 April.

For overhead exhibitors, the mission statement reads the same.

There are clear advantages of, say, gantry and jib cranes over lift trucks. The challenge is positioning the products in a way that convinces the end user market that is the case.

For example, Han-Tek Inc. recently supplied a custom built charging crane to fellow US firm Special Metals Corporation for its high performance nickel and cobalt alloys plant in Dunkirk, New York (a story we explore in more detail on pages 35-38).

Patrick J. Tobin, manager of business development, Han-Tek, Inc., explains that fork trucks would not have been a viable solution because they would expose the operator to a severe heat blast from the charging oven. In addition, the delivery speed was a major concern and a fork truck simply could not cope. This is not a unique problem.

Tobin also identified a concern about the pick and delivery accuracy (the tolerance was only a tenth of an inch).

Another example was when Gorbel Inc., supplied work station cranes to eliminate the need for lift trucks at an air conditioning manufacturer.

This particular firm was seeking a way to get its packaged air conditioning units off the assembly line and load them onto trailers. It had been using forklifts but they were inefficient, it said, and the truck traffic led to congestion on the plant floor. The end user considered an automated conveyor system, but a free standing bridge crane with aluminum bridges was the preferred option.

The word is spreading, albeit slowly.

Make sure you do your bit for end users and promote overhead lifting from your exhibition stand and in the aisles at NA and CeMAT.

Hoist will be present at both shows, booth 2725 at NA and Hall 12 Stand F01 at CeMAT. See the show previews online (links below).

If you can’t come and see us in person, stay on the site for all the latest news, product finder, reference information and more covering bridge cranes, jib cranes, chain hoists, wire rope hoists, blocks, end-of-line attachments, components and the installation, maintenance, training, consultancy and trade associations surrounding this equipment.

Richard Howes, Editor