How To Find the Right Air Chain Hoist
Welcome to the Hoist Guy's blog! In this post, we’ll discuss questions you should ask when purchasing a new air chain hoist.
by Andrew T. Litecky on January 30, 2017
Hoists for air-powered applications are in a distinct category from electric or manually powered hoists, and for the investment, buyers should take care to find the right model. When the appropriate equipment is selected, air-powered hoists can be relied on to stand up to heavy usage.
If you’re in the market for an air chain hoist then it’s likely your work space already has compressed air. Whether you’re starting from the beginning, replacing an old model, or upgrading your capacity, it’s still important to examine all the factors below.
1) Do you have both the air pressure and the air volume to properly power the hoist? Just as an electric hoist uses electrical service (voltage and amperage) for power, the air hoist must use both pressure (ie- 90 psi) and volume (ie- 80 cfm) for power. If either component is low, the hoist will not perform correctly.
2) What are your basic specs? Start with the capacity you need and the required lift – the distance from the high hook point to the low hook point. Do you need a motorized trolley, hand geared trolley or push trolley? The rule of thumb for trolley safety is to use the most basic equipment as possible. If you can push the load with your hands, use a push trolley. If not, then consider hand geared or motorized.
3) How would you describe the application’s environment? Is it a hazardous location? In the United States, the National Electric Code (NEC) defines hazardous locations. The air hoist, as a mechanical device, avoids the electrical classifications as specified by the NEC. A decision will need to be made about spark resistant features. This can only be done on a case by case basis.
4) Is this air hoist for use in continuous production? Air hosts are excellently suited for high duty cycle applications. Unlike electric hoists, in which an electric motor generates heat with every start, the more starts an air motor uses, the cooler it gets as more air flows through the system. Be sure to mention the expected usage in your RFQ to get the equipment suited to your needs.
5) When it comes to brand and budgets do you prefer top of the line quality or the best priced equipment that meets spec? As always, there are trade-offs. Current options on the US market include premium quality, more expensive brands that ship from stock as well as more competitively-priced brands with lead times from 2 to 4 weeks. When requesting a quote, be sure to include your required delivery date or advise if you have flexibility in your timeline.
Shupper-Brickle Equipment offers a range of air-powered chain hoists, wire rope air hoists and trolleys. We represent JD Neuhaus, Budgit brand air hoists, Harrington air hoists, Coffing brand air hoists, CM air hoists, and Ingersoll Rand. We work with our customers to find the best equipment for their budget with a delivery that meets their needs. Contact us for more information on new equipment or to ask about our engineering services.
Bonus Tip: Get an F/L/R– Most air chain hoists must operate on filtered and lubricated air. A filter-regulator-lubricator, mounted as closely to the hoist as possible, will give the best results.