Expert article

Innovations in crane technology

Overhead crane technology

Recent innovations in smart design and manufacturing are driving new crane technology. New cranes are modular, adaptable and intelligent. New technology has enabled cranes to be more compact and energy efficient, and will eventually render legacy systems obsolete.


By Theodore Haalstra, Director of Modernizations & Technical Support


Add new feature based on business needs

Some new cranes offer robust, intelligently-designed modules that can be easily configured to meet a wide variety of needs. With this type of crane technology, users can change or add new features over time depending on the business need. Additional features could include remote diagnostics, maintenance monitoring or automated positioning. This type of crane technology can scale with the business, enabling companies to be more nimble and realize a greater return on investment.


Remote monitoring for better maintenance planning

Some new cranes are equipped with intelligent service panels allowing operators to diagnose and correct faults more quickly. The crane detects its condition automatically and communicates it to the operator via the service panel. It also recommends preventive service measures and inspections, so businesses can make smarter maintenance decisions, thus potentially extending the lifecycle of the product. It also helps to prevent unwanted and costly downtime. Some new cranes have remote monitoring capabilities to collect usage and condition data. In addition to remote monitoring, some new systems can also detect load weight and positioning, helping operators make smarter decisions relative to available space.

Another innovation is a crane with optimized pulley rope angles, which extend the life of wire hoisting ropes. This makes the angles smaller, reducing wear on the rope. Smart systems also communicate the condition of wire ropes and recommend replacement when needed.


Compact cranes bring many benefits

Additionally, new cranes are smaller, reducing the need for expensive building renovations. Because smaller cranes can operate in much tighter spaces, they can position loads more precisely. New, smaller cranes are also designed to be more energy efficient. New crane technology cycles energy back into the power grid, which greatly mitigates warehouse energy consumption and costs. Some cranes are even manufactured with recyclable materials, supporting a company’s goal of being more environmentally responsible.

New crane technology is superseding the cranes of yesteryear. With so many new innovations, companies can increase uptime, save on maintenance and energy costs, scale products with the business and extend the life of their investments.


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