The meaning of the term “rigging” has changed and evolved significantly over the centuries. Rigging originally referred to the ropes and pulleys on sailing ships that were worked and maneuvered by raw manpower alone. As the world entered the industrial age, “rigging” began to more often refer to high-powered cranes and other mechanical lifting and hauling devices. Towering iron arms answered to the wooden masts of the old sailing ships, ropes were replaced by metal cords and chains, and man-muscles were bested by the formerly unthinkable power of hydraulic engines.
The Wide Spectrum of Industrial Rigging Uses in the Modern Era
Today, cranes and other heavy-duty, industrial rigging equipment are commonly seen at work in factories, warehouses, shipyards, cargo ports, construction sites, on the decks of ocean-going vessels, and in many other environments. Hoisting heavy objects and placing them in precisely the right location in a safe and efficient manner is no easy task. Recent advances in industrial rigging, however, have made the process far more practical than it was even 10 or 20 years ago.
Safety Improvements in Modern Industrial Rigging Machines
There are multiple new safety technologies that truly put modern cranes in a class all their own. First, better load control and anti-sway technologies reduce the risk of accidents and mishaps. This prevents both bodily injury and expensive property damage. Second, “smart” control panels inform the operator of the condition of the equipment and its constituent parts. These intelligent switchboards make it much easier to implement preventative maintenance measures. Third, remote (radio) monitoring systems allow the operator to avoid having to position his crane while his view is obstructed. They also help high-risk operators, like those working at hot-metal mills or involved in multi-hoist operations, to keep at a safe distance.
Efficiency Enhancements in Industrial Rigging Equipment
Many modern hoists manage to both work faster and use less energy. Some cranes even cycle energy back into the power grid, which can be especially cost-saving in warehousing applications. By virtue of the ability of modern industrial-rigging manufacturers to pack more power into smaller cranes, these machines can now work in tighter spaces and make more precise load placements. Anti-sway features, which were mentioned above in connection with safety concerns, also improve the speed and accuracy of load positioning. Finally, smoother hoist movement with gentler starts and stops, automatic positioning, and optimized pulley rope angles are among yet further innovations.
Maintenance, Upgrading, and Replacement of Industrial Rigging Equipment
Modern cranes and rigging equipment can have their lifespan greatly extended by use of advanced monitoring systems that detect problems early so you can correct them quickly with little down time. Parts are monitored for wear and tear so industrial rigging companies can plan out gradual replacements and/or upgrades. Maintenance and servicing is greatly simplified, and crane modernization allows one to add modern features one by one. You can replace your equipment machine by machine but also part by part. That is a convenience that will be much appreciated by industrial rigging companies that must both beat the competition and keep all upgrades and new equipment acquisitions within budget.
In the rigging industry, there is an ongoing dispute between the “old school” and “new school” adherents. The balance to be struck must be to learn the lessons of the past while understanding the equipment changes that are shaping the future. Few businesses can afford to replace their entire “rigging box” in one fell swoop, but by constantly making the contents of that rigging box safer, smarter, and more efficient, rigging-industry businesses can learn to excel in a new technological environment.
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