Life in the freezer

20 January 2009

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The marketplace is cooling, which made ice-cold temperatures a fitting backdrop to the first trade show of the year, ProMat 2009, which took place at Chicago's McCormick Place South last week.


Despite heavy snow and freezing conditions outside, event organiser, the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), attracted a bumper crowd to at least two days of its four-day event, where an array of overhead lifting and control technology was on show.

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Hoist welcomed a number of new subscribers.

Here, I've outlined the showcases of some of the overhead lifting equipment specialists.

Acco Material Handling Solutions showed a range of overhead lifting products. Its electric chain hoists, for example, offer a range of standard features, including dual brake system, upper and lower limit switch, overload alert and push-button control.

American Crane & Equipment Corporation has expanded its current product line to include standardised industrial hoist machinery meeting Class D and E requirements. All equipment is designed per Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) specifications.

The built-up hoist is available in capacities up to 300 tons and is designed for high speed and heavy duty service. The hoist features, among other things, hardened steel wheels, helical travel drive gearing, forged steel hook, hardened steel sheaves, and double grooved drum for true vertical lift.

Avtron Industrial Automation exhibited its ACCel500 AC crane drive.

Remote control firm Cattron Group International introduced CattronConnect, providing "improved safety and increased reliability for overhead crane operations," it said.

It supplies remote monitoring of crane health, real-time data logging and alarm notifications through constant monitoring of critical components. The system provides access to a customised, secure website as well as email alert notification of pre-defined faults and failures.

Cervis, Inc. showcased its DC crane packages, which are used in many of north America's largest mills, including AK Steel, Jersey Shore Steel and ArcelorMittal Steel.

Each DC package features mill duty contractors and relays and is manufactured to "stringent quality assurance procedures," it said. The systems meet EU directives 99/5 and 98/3.

Coel Motori exhibited for the first time, showing its complete line of crane motors, including its explosion proof units.

Coel acts as an engineering company, targeting OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) forced to evolve in the wake of economic uncertainty, supplying induction motors into the States sometimes for supply back into the European market.

Coel said: "We will study case by case the best way to supply drive units for the crane industry."

Demag Cranes & Components showed its DC chain hoist, and also used the show to raise the profile of its DR20 wire rope hoist.

Configurations range from the standard DR COM unit with contactor control or the individually customized DR PRO with electronic control.

The DR20 PRO hoist extends the DR line to capacities up to 50 tons and features wireless infrared control.

Its booth was well populated all week.

Fomotech International Corp. showed a range of remote control products for overhead lifting equipment, including its A Series industrial radio controls, Twister 2X, MA 100, Alpha 600, 4000 and two- and three-speed 3000 Series units.

Gorbel, Inc. showed a range of products, including the Pivot Pro, light-duty articulating jib crane, offering capacities up to 150 pounds. It also unveiled the Easy Arm Q/iQ Intelligent Lifting Arm, incorporating G-Force and iQ lifting technology, suitable for use as a jib crane attachment.

Harrington Hoists Inc. showcased its recently launched NER/ER three-phase electric chain hoists modified with “many enhanced features,” it said.

These revolutionary hoists are now equipped with ‘The Guardian’ smart brake technology, a failsafe maintenance-free brake with a 10-year warranty. All standard models are UL listed. Capacities, ranging from from 1/8 to 20 tons, are offered in standard single speed and under-the-cover variable frequency drive dual speed.

I'll round-up the remaining overhead lifting exhibitors in due course. A full show review will appear in the February issue of Hoist.

Were you at ProMat? What did you think of the show?

What's the next trade show in your diary?

Richard Howes, Editor

[email protected]