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Types of Chain Hoists

Steve Schneider
Workstation Lifting Systems Sales Manager for Canada

Manual or electric – which chain hoist is right for your job?

When workstations require a chain hoist lifting system, there are two primary categories of hoists that purchasers can choose from – manual chain hoists and electric chain hoists.

Manual chain hoists typically serve maintenance applications and other infrequent or light duty service assignments where you cannot justify the extra expense of electric chain hoists. Manual chain hoists range from quarter-ton capacity to 20 tons. For tight spaces and light duty applications, manual lever pullers serve as a compact, lightweight alternative to manual chain hoists. 

Electric chain hoists serve light capacity applications that require more repetitive lifting. They typically are used with jib cranes, monorails and workstations. Electric chain hoists are available in a variety of speeds, from single speed for lower duty pick and place operations, to two-speed for greater control, on up to inverter controls that offer smooth operation along a wide range of variable speeds—from 16, 32 or 64 feet per minute.

Electric chain hoists with variable frequency drives provide smooth starts and stops of the trolley and hoist motions, which reduces wear and mechanical stress by minimizing load sway. The wider range of speed control also permits more accurate and precise load positioning.

In 2015, Konecranes will extend the capacity range of the CLX electric chain hoist (available for several years at up to 2 tons) to 5 tons. Also this year, Konecranes will release the SLX variable frequency drive chain hoist, which offers advanced features such as:

  • Programmable limit switches, which keep operation within a defined work envelope.
  • Extended Speed Range, which enables higher travel speeds when handling under capacity loads. This decreases cycle times and raises productivity.

The SLX electric chain hoist will serve applications that require careful handling. The variable frequency drive will enable infinite variable speeds, allowing the gentle lowering and placing of product. This feature will also result in fewer starts and stops and reduce plugging, compared to contactor-controlled hoists.

If you’re not certain what types of chain hoists are best for your applications, a Konecranes sales representative can help you find the solution that provides the right amount of control for each of your applications. Contact a sales representative today to discuss your requirements.

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