Make Sure Your Overhead Crane Hoist Will Last For Years By Protecting It From Heat

Posted on: 14 December 2015

Overhead crane hoists are sizeable investments for factories. Therefore, it's important to make sure they're well taken care of and will last for years. Most overhead crane hoists are built to withstand the workloads they'll see in factories, but not all hoists are made to withstand high temperatures. If you're looking for an overhead crane hoist, and there is a significant heat source in your factory, make sure you have a way to protect an overhead crane hoist from heat before purchasing one.

Heat Hurts Electronics and Motors

The load-bearing components of any overhead crane hoist, its cables, pulleys and bars, will be able to withstand any factory's high temperatures. The melting point of the metals used in these parts will be much higher than the ambient temperature anywhere in your factory -- even in the hottest areas.

Heat, however, can damage electric motors -- which are often used to power trolleys that move overhead crane hoists. Franklin Electric notes that 80 percent of electrical motor failures arise from either voltage problems or overheating. While one or two minutes of overheating may not destroy the electric motor in an overhead crane hoist's trolley, regular bouts of overheating will shorten the motor's lifespan.

Most Factories Have Hot Spots

Even if a crane's electrical motor is built for use in an industrial setting, its components might not be made to withstand the hottest parts of your factory. Electronics that are made for industrial use are meant to be operational between -40 and 185°F (-40 and 85°C).

Most areas of your factory will be between these temperatures, but there may be some spots where the temperature exceeds 185°F. For example, all of the following can involve temperatures much hotter than the maximum temperature for industrial electronics:

  • welding torches
  • furnaces or boilers
  • liquid metal baths

The temperatures generated by these pieces of equipment can harm many items in a factory, but overhead crane hoists may be especially susceptible to the heat these items generate. Overhead cranes are, of course, overhead, and the heat generated in a factory will rise. If there's no way for the heat to escape, the temperatures up by an overhead crane hoist can be much higher than those on a factory floor.

Safeguard Overhead Crane Hoists from Heat

Thankfully, there are several ways you can safeguard an overhead crane from excess heat generated in your factory. You might consider the following solutions:

  • installing fans around the trolley motor to keep a consistent airflow around the electrical components
  • upgrading the motor's wiring and electrical components to higher-grade materials that can withstand higher temperatures
  • putting a heat shield between a specific heat source, such as a molten metal bath, and an overhead crane
  • replacing Class B insulation around the trolley's motor with Class F or H insulation, which provide better protection

According to data from Engineering ToolBox replacing Class B insulation with Class H insulation could raise a trolley motor's maximum operational temperature from 226°F (130°C) to 356°F (180°C). The final suggestion alone, thus, could provide an increase of 90°F (50°C). Class F insulation is suitable up to 311°F (155°C) and would provide an increase of 85°F (25°C).

If you need a new overhead crane for your factory, make sure you invest in more than just the crane. In order to ensure that it will run well for years to come, you'll also need to protect it from any excessive heat sources in your factory. Installing fans, upgrading wiring, putting in a heat shield and replacing insulation are all viable solutions that will ensure your overhead crane hoist, including its trolley motor, will serve you well for a long time. Contact a local overhead crane company, such as American Equipment Inc., fore more information.