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Revolutionary Unified Industries ProPath™ Automated Workstation Cranes Increase Productivity and Safety

Posted on October 23, 2019


Columbus McKinnon Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of motion control products, technologies, and services for material handling, today announced the availability of their new Unified Industries brand ProPath™ Automated Workstation Crane. The ProPath is unique to the industry, combining lightweight Enclosed Track Aluminum (ETA) Rail Systems and semi- or fully automated “smart” material handling solutions to increase the safety, productivity, and uptime of facilities.

 Two automation configurations are available for varying levels of control, which can include wireless communication, positioning components, and diagnostics and analytics for efficient, precise operation. The Company’s Magnetek® brand semi- and fully automated control systems are integrated to minimize wasted operator effort and enable efficient manufacturing processes. Each ProPath Automated Workstation Crane is configured per the application to maximize performance.

“The ProPath Automated Workstation Crane is easy to install with ergonomic components, making it the ideal solution for aerospace, automotive, and general manufacturing applications,” said Tony Alessi, product manager for the Unified Industries brand. “With our modular components, our application experts customize each system to match our customers’ project needs, choosing from an extensive product portfolio, including variable frequency drives, powered chain and wire rope hoists, radio remote controls, articulating arms, vertical reaction lifters, and much more.”

In its semi-automated configuration, also known as auto-dispatch, the ProPath enables automated movement, while also utilizing human assistance for precise actions. Movement is initiated via Magnetek brand radio remote controls or pendant pushbutton stations, while IMPULSE® Variable Frequency Drives power the bridge, trolley, and hoist motions. As the crane travels to designated locations, operators are free to work on other critical tasks rather than manually guiding the crane and its load.

Intelligence built into the fully automated ProPath manages the flow of materials throughout the manufacturing process, requiring limited human interaction beyond initial setup. Accurate, repeatable processes reduce idle time, provide consistent operation, and improve cycle times. This higher level of automation provides continuous analytics and diagnostics to keep operators informed of system status at all times. System feedback means maintenance can be planned to minimize downtime. Variable frequency drives monitor parameters such as hook height, load status, and speed throughout the process. Most importantly, manufacturing processes become more efficient.

Ergonomically superior to standard bridge cranes and monorails, Unified Industries ETA Rail Systems and components are designed to maximize productivity. ETA Rail Systems can be used as both runway and bridge rails. Incorporating Magnetek IMPULSE Variable Frequency Drives into the ProPath Automated Workstation Crane creates a one-of-a-kind, intelligent solution for lifting applications. IMPULSE drives maintain safe thresholds, which decreases mechanical fatigue and increases reliability and uptime.

 A variety of options for the ProPath Automated Workstation Crane’s Z-axis motion and control panels, as well as those to enhance communication, positioning, and safety are available. Modular systems mean these automated workstation cranes can be configured to match exact application needs.

For more information about the Unified Industries brand ProPath Automated Workstation Crane, visit www.unified-ind.com. To learn more about all of Columbus McKinnon’s crane solutions products, call Columbus McKinnon Channel Services at 800-888-0985 or visit www.cmworks.com.