A BUYER'S GUIDE TO ELECTRIC CHAIN HOISTS
Why should you use an electric chain hoist?
- Electricity is almost universally available and inexpensive.
- Productivity, ergonomics, and safety are enhanced.
- They are normally smaller and more compact than wire rope hoists, as a drum is not required to store wire rope.
- Overload clutch to prevent dangerous overloads is normally standard.
- Portability is excellent as standard hook mounting allows simplified installation (Lug mount required on wire rope hoist to wrap rope on drum precisely).
- Lift can be changed at any time with minimal cost by simply changing chain length.
- Numerous configurations and speeds are available in lighter capacities.
- Chain tends to be a more durable lifting medium than wire rope.
- Headroom of chain hoists is often better.
- Chain hoists are normally less expensive than wire rope.
- Most chain hoist duty cycles are equal to wire rope.
When should you use an electric chain hoist?
- Any time your capacity is 3 tons or less apply a chain hoist unless some other circumstance specifically dictates wire rope.
- Any time your application is in a critical area, and the portability of a spare chain hoist allows easy replacement of another unit in need of repair.
- Any time you need true vertical lift and the lowest cost.
- Any time initial cost and total operating cost are important.
Which electric chain hoist should you use?
- Use one with a rated capacity no greater than the structure on which it will be placed.
- Use one in all medium to heavy duty applications with a capacity rating that is no less than the maximum load to be lifted and approximately 155% of the mean load to be lifted. Increase this percent as the duty cycle increases.
- Use one with the highest speed available that will not cause safety or spotting problems.
- Use a two speed model when precise spotting and higher speeds are required.
- Use one with a hook mount unless the inch or so gained with lug mounting is important, or you are going to use a motor driven trolley.
- Use one with a rigid hook mount to keep hoist aligned.
- Use one with a motor driven trolley above 2 ton capacity.
- Use one with a mechanical load brake when redundant safety is required to keep the load suspended.
- Use one without a mechanical load brake to prevent heat buildup in the gear case particularly on long lift applications.
- Use one with grease in the gear case when the immediate area must be completely free from possible oil contamination.
- Use one with good reparability and with which your maintenance staff is familiar
- Use a 3 phase model instead of single phase when 3 phase current is available because these hoists normally have a better duty cycle and are more dependable.
General Hoist Selection Tips
- The number of starts and stops per hour directly affects all electro-mechanical devices such as motors, contactors, brakes, and solenoids, by causing a buildup of heat due to the inrush amperage at startup being approximately 3 times the normal running amps. Operator training and proper equipment selection can minimize this frequent source of equipment damage. Two speed motors and inverters can solve many of the spotting problems that result in the improper, "staccato", use of the push button by the operator.
- When making hoist selection with regard to maximum capacity load to be lifted consider that ball bearing life for the equipment normally varies inversely according to the cube of the load. For example, a two ton hoist operated at a mean effective load of one ton will have a ball bearing life eight times that of the same hoist used steadily at its rated load. This can amount to huge savings in repairs and downtime for critical use hoists.
- Remember that manufacturer's warranties are against product and labor defects and not wear and tear. For all practical purposes almost any manufacturing defect will show up within a month or so of installation. The advantage of a warranty for "lifetime" as contrasted with 1 year is difficult to place a "price tag" on. Actually the most important factors regarding warranty claims are the reputation of the factory, and the distributor form which you buy a hoist. Ace has a 70 plus year history of standing behind products and customers to insure satisfaction.
- A limit switch on a hoist is one of the most important safety features available for electric chain hoists. These devices shut off the hoist when the hook rises to highest position and normally also when it reaches it's low point. There are generally two types of limit switches used in electric chain hoists shown in this web and there is one limit switch "substitute" that is not a limit switch at all. The two types of limit switch are the (1) screw type and the (2) paddle type. The "substitute" is a clutch in the gear case that slips when the hoist makes contact with the housing at the highest point. All limit switches are meant to be a safety cut off in case the hoist reaches the maximum travel. They are not meant to be used for a method of stopping the hoist a predetermined points. This is because the limit switch is a back-up safety mechanism. If the switch should fail in being used as a normal method of stopping, there would be no back up.
- A screw type limit switch operates normally by a screw and traveling nut mechanism that breaks a circuit in the control wiring and cuts the hoist off at the desired point. This type of limit switch is normally concealed within the hoist electrical cover and is set in accordance with the factory instruction.
- A paddle or actuator type limit switch is one that operates by the hook or some other actuator on the chain, contacting a paddle or other switch that opens a control circuit and stops the motion.
- The "substitute" is no limit switch at all but instead depends upon the use of a clutch mechanism in the hoist gearing to prevent damage when the hoist exceeds the maximum limit. Problem with this substitute is that when it operates, the clutch slips. If the operator holds his finger on the up button the clutch will continue to slip. Slipping of the clutch excessively will result in wear on the brake disc, and finally after an unknown time, with the inability of the hoist to raise the capacity load when required.
- Ace recommends hoists with either a screw type or paddle limit switch. Hoists with this feature are more costly.
CAUTION: These tips are provided as a starting point in the selection process and are not universally applicable.
Please consult our experts for the solution to your specific application problem.
Why should you buy a electric chain hoist from Ace Industries?
- Best selection of hoists from all major manufacturers insures that you will get the best hoist for your application
- Most complete inventory available insures that you get quick delivery of the hoist you need
- Most competitive price is guaranteed.
- Best technical and application advice to insure that your electric chain hoist purchase will meet your need
- Same day shipments
- No labor charges for changes to lifts and most other normal modifications
- Best after sale service. We are a warranty repair center and authorized master parts depot for all of the brands that we represent.
- Ace satisfaction guarantee*
*Ace satisfaction guarantee: If you are dissatisfied with any item purchased from Ace, that is a normal stock item for Ace, you may return it for full refund or credit at any time within 10 days following shipment. Items must be returned prepaid, and a return goods authorization number must be issued by Ace and be included with the return. Returned items must be complete, undamaged and in new condition. Stock items modified by Ace to fit a particular application such as changing chain lift, are not covered by this satisfaction guarantee and are subject to a reasonable restocking charge.