When to Consider Crane Modernization Instead of Replacement
Cranes are an essential piece of many construction, fabrication, mining, and other industrial job sites. When your crane no longer performs as it should, your business productivity and worker safety can suffer. In this situation, you must decide on the best solution to get your production or building project back on track.
For many business owners, the decision for resolving the issue of worn out lifting equipment comes down to either crane modernization or replacement. Both options are a significant investment in the future and function of your business, and you obviously want to choose the right solution.
In some cases, crane modernization is significantly more cost-effective than full replacement. In this blog, we explain the basics of the modernization process and the factors that may make this option right for your business.
What Is Crane Modernization?
Crane replacement obviously involves disposing of your current machinery and investing in a new piece of heavy equipment. Crane modernization involves selective replacement to retain the intact portions of your existing crane and eliminate any damaged, worn out, or non-compliant components.
Common modernized parts include:
- Brake systems
- Drive systems
Crane modernization is a frequently used solution in numerous industries because crane structures can last for decades, while individual systems can wear out much more quickly. Crane modernization can also introduce new technology into older modern cranes to create a more efficient result out of what was originally an outdated model.
When Is Crane Modernization a Viable Option?
Because crane modernization only requires your crane expert to work with portions of the machinery, this solution is more affordable than full replacement. However, cost is not the only factor you should consider when making this decision since modernization is not a cure-all for crane problems.
Crane modernization tends to be most viable in situations where small repairs are no longer enough, but the majority of the crane’s structure retains its integrity. Your crane may be a good candidate for modernization if it:
- Has caused any employee injuries due to malfunctions or inadequate performance
- Has outdated hoist systems
- Needs a higher loadbearing capacity
- Needs frequent repairs to retain a satisfactory performance level
- Needs a new drive system due to system failure or low system performance compared to newer technology
- No longer meets industry requirements due to equipment age or regulation changes
- No longer meets OSHA safety standards such as loadbearing ratings
- Numerous parts are no longer under warranty
- Requires a power source change, such as a switch from DC to AC current
- Will be used for other applications in the near future
Modernization can also be particularly useful when your crane is an older model and repair workers have trouble finding replacement parts or these parts have become abnormally expensive due to being outmoded. Upgrading the technology should result in fewer repairs and cheaper replacement components in the future.
One of the first steps in determining whether or not you should consider crane modernization is to have a full inspection performed, including load testing. If your crane falls short on safety or performance and/or exhibits any of the characteristics listed above, you should consider modernization as a way to get your equipment back on par.
If you think that modernization may be the ideal solution to return your crane to its optimal operating performance, schedule an inspection and estimate as soon as possible. If you still feel unsure about how these options may apply in your specific situation, discuss your options with a crane maintenance expert.
For expert crane work, trust the experienced team at Advanced Overhead Crane Services. We’re ready to help.