Finding The Missing Link In The Heavy Industry OEM Process

Heavy Industry Construction Crane

Heavy Industry Construction Crane

An OEM (original equipment manufacturer) manufactures a large piece of equipment for you, the end user. This may be an overhead crane or a gantry crane, a conveyor, stacker/reclaimer or “any equipment used for (non-automotive) heavy industry.

The OEM sells this piece of equipment to an end user. These could be a steel mill, mine, food processing plant, airport, container port, or literally any type of manufacturing entity within an industrial application.

This piece of equipment must do its job regularly and reliably for the end to profit. For example, a steel mill needs an overhead crane to help move material and process in the manufacturing of steel. Without this crane, the process comes to a halt and the job can not be done due to downtime.

An efficiently operating crane is part of the life blood surging through the veins of a successful steel making plant. So it’s only natural for end user companies to want to ensure their equipment runs at optimal capacity ensuring maximum uptime. They also want to keep costs minimal to reduce operating expense and add to their profit margin.

Therefore you might ask: “Does the OEM provide parts and service for this equipment in the long run?”

Not the Core Competency of an OEM

The answer is simply yes. The OEM does provide parts and service. However, it is NOT their core competency.

There are several variables that come into play in this scenario which create the opportunity for a MRO distributor to enter into the scene.

OEMs primarily specialize in making the equipment. They are typically very expensive products that include multiple components such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, etc. Some of these OEM’s do not provide the individual components. They neither service nor repair them.

Retrofit and Modernize Good Heavy Industry Equipment

Furthermore, as the heavy industry’s capital equipment ages and depreciates, there comes a definite need to retrofit and/or modernize it. For instance, a crane might be 30-40 years old.

Although it is still fundamentally a good piece of equipment, technology has improved dramatically since it was first put into production throttling efficiency.

Their also might be issues trying to keep the crane in service. The original parts may be obsolete or the OEM no longer provides maintenance manuals or instructions.

At the other extreme replacing the crane is costly and time consuming. The capital investment for a new crane might be close to $2 million alone. Plus there’s the downtime of replacement.

MRO Companies Fill the OEM Void by:

  1. repairing or providing service to an existing piece of equipment at a more affordable price versus replacing it with new equipment.
  2. troubleshooting, providing replacement parts or even reverse engineering a new part (both the latter combined with educating the customer).
  3. analyzing the situation and modernizing the operation. Finding suitable replacements for existing parts and thus making the process more efficient while saving the end user time and money versus buying new.

That is precisely where Kor-Pak Corporation excels if and when you find yourself in one of these situations. Kor-Pak is a service company that fills the void. We can furnish parts no longer available in standard catalogs or provide assistance with technical solutions and problem solving.

If you are looking for solutions, not merely line-card parts (what we call commodities), Kor-Pak is available. We:

  • bring product expertise, project management and problem solving capabilities to the table.
  • will spend the time and invest the resources to solve your problem.
  • simply get the job done for you.

Call us today at (847) 680-0999 or toll-free (888) 2KORPAK (888-256-7725) and find out how easy it is to partner with Kor-Pak.

Container Crane Brake

Hoist Crane Brakes, Hoist Disc Brakes, Crane Hoist Braking Systems

Hoist Crane Brakes, Hoist Disc Brakes, Crane Hoist Braking Systems

Hoist Crane Brakes, Hoist Disc Brakes, Crane Hoist Braking Systems for cranes are imperative for the safety and performance of your crane application.  Whether it be a Ship-To-Shore Crane, Gantry Crane, Overhead Crane, or another crane type, Hoist

Hoist Brake Setup

Hoist Brake Setup

Brakes are vital components of the industrial ecosystem that should be taken seriously and be properly specified and maintain.

To insure best practices for Hoist Brakes for Crane Application, it’s good to get back to the basics.

Hoist Brakes consist of shoe or disc brakes on the high speed side of the motor which are typically Thruster Disc Brakes, Thruster Drum  Brakes, or Magnetic Drum Brakes.  On the low speed side, it is important to have a Emergency Disc Brake system to prevent a load from falling in the event of a low-speed failure, such as gearbox or coupling failure or shaft breaking.

Specifying Hoist Crane Brakes, Hoist Disc Brakes, Crane Hoist Braking Systems

Low-speed brakes for hoist crane brakes applications are specified according to full motor torque plus a service factor.  In the USA this is called out in AISE standards.  The low-speed brakes are either used as dynamic stopping or static holding brakes, depending on whether there is a VFD controlling the motor as a primary brake.  There are several variables that are involved when specifying these brakes such as:

  • Environmental Factors (i.e. ambient temperature, dust/grime, saltwater exposure, etc.)
  • Required torque
  • Friction coefficient
  • Duty Cycle
    Thruster Disc Brake

    Thruster Disc Brake

    Thruster Drum Brake

    Thruster Drum Brake

    Magnetic Drum Brakes

    Magnetic Drum Brakes

  • Controls Integration/PLC
  • Several more

Emergency Disc Brakes

For the low-speed brakes, the brake(s) typically interface with a disc that is mounted on a flange on the drum.  If this is not possible then the shaft can be extended or other alternatives are available.  The emergency brake system is typically a caliper brake that is magnetic, hydraulic, or pneumatically released.  An encoder can be mounted on the shaft that counts the pulses of the drum to measure the RPM and when a predetermined speed is reached, and “Overspeed Condition” is detected which triggers the E-Brakes to apply via a proportional controlled power unit so the brakes will not come to an “immediate stop” and the brakes will stop the load from falling without creating a “shock load.”

Magnetic Emergency Disc Brakes

Magnetic Emergency Brakes

Hoist Crane Brakes, Hoist Disc Brakes, Crane Hoist Braking Systems

Hoist Crane Brakes, Hoist Disc Brakes, Crane Hoist Braking Systems

More detailed information regarding Crane Brakes, and specifically hoist brakes for cranes and emergency crane brake can be found in this Technical Paper.  In this paper you will see that Europe has implemented strict standards on the requirement for emergency brakes for hot metal cranes and certain hoist applications, but this is still not a requirement in the USA.  There have been numerous reported incidents of low-speed failures which have resulted in catastrophic failures that are extremely costly and some have caused fatalities.  It is imperative that the USA adopts the same standards as Europe to create safer operating environments.  While there is a cost to Emergency Crane Brake Systems, the benefits unequivocally exceed the costs when it comes to equipment protection, downtime, and most importantly, human lives.

Hoist Crane Brake Experts

Kor-Pak Corporation provides complete turkey systems for crane hoist brake systems including brakes, controls, installation, engineering, commissioning, and after-sales support.  As subject matter experts, Kor-Pak will provide you with the quality, service, and engineering support you need to insure that your crane is operating as safely and efficiently as possible.  For more information please contact a Kor-Pak representative today.

Storm Brakes for Cranes: A Proactive Decision

Storm Brakes for Cranes Should be a Proactive Decision
Container Crane_Storm

Storm Brakes, Rail Clamps, Parking Brakes, Rail Brakes….are these terms you are familiar with?  If you have experience working with outdoor cranes then most likely you have heard of them.  However, these esoteric and niche brake systems are often foreign to many people in the industrial world.

Spring-Applied, Hydraulic Rail Clamps and Other Storm Brakes: How They Work

Storm Brakes are typically fail-safe brakes that are spring set and hydraulically released by a hydraulic power unit, although they can also be electric for smaller applications.  Storm brakes function similarly to other industrial brakes except, instead of stopping or holding something (i.e. a rotating shaft) from moving, storm brakes act as “locking devices” to prevent external environmental conditions such as strong wind velocities from moving something where it shouldn’t go, such as a runaway crane.  While they are commonly referred to as Storm Brakes, these brakes can be used to protect against other environmental threats and scenarios such as seismic movements, and holding down a retractable roof.  Storm brakes take on various forms such as rail clamps, and Parking Brakes are similar brakes such as Wheel Brakes and Wheel Clamps and are used for protective measures as well.  For outdoor cranes (i.e. Container Cranes), the Rail Clamp will apply to the rail, using the weight of the crane to push down and insure that there is sufficient holding force to protect the crane from moving when wind velocities up to a predetermined amount “push” against the crane.  Of course, substantive engineering is involved in calculating the requisite holding force and several variables must be taken into consideration for this, but experienced personnel will understand these variables and choose the optimal Storm Brake for a given application.

Applications: Storm Brakes for STS, RTG, and RMG Cranes

Storm and Parking Brakes are vital for outdoor cranes, including Ship-to-Shore (STS), Rail-Mounted Gantry (RMG), and Rubber-Tyred Gantry (RTG) Cranes.  Rail Clamps and Wheel Brakes are imperative to prevent a runaway crane accident from occurring and ultimately to stabilize the crane during hazardous conditions.  Industrial Port Terminal Cranes are expensive and preventing downtime is critical for Port Operations to run efficiently, and Storm Brakes are a resource to insure uptime for your crane.

Precise Engineering for Storm Brakes is Critical

When it comes to Storm Brakes, there is essentially one reason why you have them: to protect your equipment from a rare, but potentially catastrophic occurrence from happening.  I could go into detail about the “What-If” scenarios, but if you read this article about the Blount Island Crane Acccident in 2008 you will understand what I’m talking about.  It is one of those things that typically go unnoticed, perhaps even forgotten for a while, but when the storm hits, everyone notices and it becomes the most important item on the menu.  Lately I have seen more and more new crane construction projects where Storm Brakes (i.e. rail clamps) are a requirement and that means that people are certainly getting religion and understanding that they are as important as any other aspect of the crane.  However, I still see many Outdoor Gantry Cranes and other applications where Storm Brakes are not being used and there is an accident waiting to happen.  Furthermore, as in the aforementioned article about Blount Island, there is too often times where rail clamps are being utilized but either the incorrect ones were specified or the end user is not using them properly (or both) which essentially renders them useless.

Experience Matters: Kor-Pak Can Help with your Storm Brake Selection and Engineering

Everybody is good at something, and nobody can be good at everything.   If you plan on acquiring Storm and Parking brakes for your industrial application, it is highly recommended that you contact someone who possesses the experience required to help you perform the necessary due diligence to offer a rail clamp that will properly align to your application and also offer the service and support needed to keep your equipment running at all times and answer questions when they come up.  Kor-Pak is a primary resource for Storm and Parking Brakes and we invite you to contact us for more information and any questions you may have.





Direct Acting Caliper Disc Brakes for Container Crane Mentioned in World Cargo News

Direct Acting Caliper Disc Brakes for Container Crane Mentioned in World Cargo News

Kor-Pak was acknowledged in a recent edition of World Cargo News for its spring-applied and hydraulically released direct acting caliper disc brakes used as a retrofit on a container crane to prevent a falling load in the event of a low-speed failure, power loss, or other event.    Kor-Pak Corporation World Cargo News 2014

Kor-Pak continues to help customers increase safety and efficiency with applications such as this one.  Please contact a Kor-Pak representative today to learn more.

Out with the old and in with the new: A New Phase of Crane Braking Systems

Control Panel for Air-Over-Hydraulic Braking System

Control Panel for Air-Over-Hydraulic Braking System

I have visited various facilities who are suffering from the liabilities associated with air over hydraulic braking systems.  This includes excessive maintenance due to the numerous moving parts associated with these packages, as well as the oil involved which can get quite messy (and freeze in the winter time).   Indeed, the hydraulic brake systems have served their purpose and successfully helped overhead cranes function for several years.  However, innovation and change is inevitable and we have now found a far superior braking system which supersedes its air over hydraulic predecessor.


AC Thruster Brake Used on Ladle Crane Main Hoist Application

Enter the AC Thruster Braking package which is used in conjunction with a foot pedal and Controller which consists of a variable frequency drive that allows for constant torque, allowing the end user to set accel/decel times (and numerous other fun and useful programs).  What makes it especially convenient is that these AC Thruster Drum brakes can be manufactured as “drop-in” replacements for the older brakes in various non-AISE dimensions including 14” and 18” (so neither real estate nor purchasing new brake wheels become an issue).

The benefits of using these newer packages far exceed their costs.  Permanently excluded are control cylinders, valves, pressure switches, hydraulic tubing, etc.  If used/installed properly, the AC Thruster Braking system (which works in both AC and DC applications), will require very little maintenance.  The brakes can now become holding brakes due to the VFD component of the system, and thus there is less wear and ultimately a much slower rate of depreciation.  The thruster can function under very high temperatures, especially if you use a special type of fluid which can withstand higher temperatures.  The price of a new braking system is not inexpensive, but the total cost of ownership is far less than its air over hydraulic counterpart.

Nothing beats the feeling of seeing a satisfied crane operator, and having a smooth, reliable, and low-maintenance braking system will invariably yield a sense of satisfaction for most anybody working with overhead cranes.