Lifting and handling different sorts of materials or machinery requires the use of lifting and handling equipment. In any factory or plant, these equipment's are considered as an asset. These equipments are used to lift heavy weights or machines to make the work easier. It saves time and proves to be productive for the workplace. Lifting and handling such heavy things cannot be done by the workforce or employment present in the factory. For such purposes, these equipment's are required, which makes the work easier. It also prevents injuries or accidents, and employees feel more secure. Injuries to the employees will lower the efficiency of the work and ruin the working environment.
The factories must abide by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1988 (LOLER) to ensure the proper handling and security of the equipment and the employees at the workplace. There are many kinds of lifting equipment's or gears available in the market. They can be chosen according to the needs and nature of the work required at the workplace. It will also depend on the load that has to be lifted. Lifting and handling of equipment require proper training for the employees. All the different types of equipment have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. It depends completely on the organisation to choose the one that is most suited to it.
Here we will be discussing the two types of lifting gears, namely chain hoists and wire rope hoist. Both the chain hoist and rope hoist are similar in functions. But they are used for carrying different materials and loads. So, before opting for any of these, it is important to know the requirements of the workplace. It is also important that the right kind of lifting gear is used for that particular purpose so that the firm doesn't incur extra costs. Let's find out what is wire rope and chain hoist and what is the difference between the two.
Wire Rope hoist
These ropes are made from stainless steel and are made by twisting many metal wires together to form thick strands. These strands are then wrapped around a core made from fibre. The result is a sturdy and reliable product.
Chain hoists are made from chains using steel and zinc metal. They are similar to the rope, but unlike wire rope, they are not wrapped around the core together, but the chain hoist uses single chains linked together and are fed with hooks.
Advantages of wire rope hoist
These are generally used to lift heavy loads and are best when working for long hours. They perform well in extreme weather conditions like scorching heat and harsh conditions. One of the biggest benefits of wire rope is that it can handle the pressure of the heavy loads and as it is constructed using multiple strands. They are generally used in stationary equipment's. but they require a large area to be operated and have complex procedures.
Advantages of chain hoist
These are used for lifting lightweight loads. They are quite flexible as they can be shifted to different places while depositing loads. They are used in work stations, small factories and maintenance of work. They are also used for application in gantry cranes and hand push.
Difference between wire rope and chain hoist
A chain hoist should be avoided in the steel industry because it requires working for long hours. Chain hoist should not be used where excessive dirt and dust are present. On the contrary, wire ropes should not be used for equipment's like hand push, gantry cranes. Their installation should be avoided in clean rooms, food processing unit, high tech manufacturing as the dust from the equipment's will fall on the final product and destroy it. The wire rope hoist is more popular as it can lift heavy loads and operate for several hours in extreme working environments. Although they are costly to install in comparison to the chain hoist. On the other hand, chain hoist is cost-effective and can be it can be shifted from one place to another as per the requirement. Another point of difference between the two is due to the design of the lifting mechanism. The chain hoist has a vertical lift while lifting whereas the wire rope moves the load very slightly laterally. Another point of difference is in the operation of the two hoists. The wire rope hoist is operated using electricity while chain hoist is operated manually by the workers. This requires for the plant manager to see which of the two would be better for their work so that unnecessary cost can be saved.
Factors to be considered while choosing between rope hoist and chain hoist
Certain factors have to be kept in mind by the plant managers to decide which of the two will be best suited to them.
- Load of the hoist- Choosing between the two will require to see what is the capacity of the material and then can be decided whether to go for chain hoist or rope hoist.
- Training- it is also important to see the cost that will be incurred in training the employees for using the lifting equipment. If the firm is planning to choose or switch from one to another, then incurring the training cost can be an additional expenditure. This factor will also determine whether to shift or upgrade the equipment or not.
- Apart from this, another factor that plant mangers take into consideration is the preference for a hoist brand. The firm may have loyalty towards a particular brand and would want to opt for that option.
Lifting equipment is an important investment for a plant. So, while choosing among the types of equipment's, it is important to understand and analyse the pros and cons of the equipment's and then take the decision. Installing a hoist requires a large amount. So, it is important to provide all the important information like capacity, environment, application, etc. to the hoist supplier so that a rational decision can be made from the plant's point of view.