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Guide to Machinery Moving and Rigging for the Manufacturing Industry

Rigging industrial machinery is one of industrial development’s most complicated yet essential moving phases. Industrial riggers are used by various industries — old and new — to ready their spaces for active work.

In this article, we’ll cover the essential details about rigging, focusing on what it entails, the various industrial applications, the standard equipment used in rigging, safety measures and the benefits of utilizing industrial rigging services.

What Is Machine Rigging?

Machine rigging utilizes special equipment to lift, slide, move and transport heavy machinery across destinations. In other words, rigging industrial machinery services help industries move to different locations to commission. It also allows companies who acquire spaces with heavy machinery to repurpose the facility. There are times when rigging requires a simple task like relocating machines within a space with considerably shorter distances.

What are Industrial Rigging Applications?

Industrial riggers are helpful in many industries, including the following:

  • Manufacturing: With manufacturing companies moving to the United States, rigging has become more useful than ever. The trend is expected to continue over the next few decades, with 1,800 U.S. firms intending to return home by the end of 2022. Industrial rigging services are helpful to a wide range of manufacturing industries, including auto, aerospace, electronics, food processing and shipbuilding.
  • Mining: Operators within the mining industry rely on heavy machinery and equipment. Industries that mine resources such as copper, gold, iron ore, rocks, oil and beryllium require the services of riggers when moving or bringing in new equipment. The services include loading and unloading, warehousing, crating and packaging and trucking.
  • Metalworking: Transporting equipment used in the metalworking industry requires skill and care. Equipment such as milling machines, grinders, lathes, boring mills and CNC machinery are costly and need the expertise to move them without damage.
  • Medical and Pharmaceutical: Moving pharmaceutical and medical equipment requires insight into the types of machines being transported and the best practices in moving such equipment. In some instances, temperature control is critical, so the transporter needs a facility to hold them until they are finally dispatched.
  • Power generation: Power providers within the power generation industry need equipment such as transformers and generators to keep their large plants functioning. Some of these can weigh more than 70 tons with odd dimensions. Transporting this equipment requires companies that specialize in moving heavy equipment.
  • Event staging: Concert organization utilizes heavy equipment, most of which constitutes several pieces of components. In many instances, the equipment is transferred several times across various destinations, show after show. Riggers move these parts while ensuring none is broken or missing.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Other industrial rigging applications include construction, telecommunication and transportation. If the task requires lifting, moving and transporting heavy equipment, you must consult an industrial rigger with experience in the field.

What Is Common Industrial Rigging Equipment?

Rigging in the manufacturing industry should be done with the right tools and equipment to prevent damage and ensure safety. These include hooks, spreader bars, shackles, slings, steel nuts and wire ropes. Let’s look at each of these:

1. Hooks

Hooks are primarily used to connect the crane and the load being moved. The hook’s type and size depend on the weight load capacity, the angle of the hoist, the object’s opening size and the point of connection from the top to the bottom of the hook. The hooks are usually made of alloy steel. The various types are automatic, clevis, choker, sorting, eye, chain and swivel hooks.

2. Spreader Bars and Lifting Beams

Spreader bars connect the crane and object when lifting. They keep the load’s weight stable, making it more manageable to lift. Their use depends on the configurations and requirements of the lifting operation. Like spreader bars, lifting beams also spread the loads and make carrying easier. However, lifting beams are more suitable for lighter loads.

3. Shackles

Shackles are U-shaped, load-bearing devices that connect the links and the various rigging parts. Shackles have different components, including the ears, shoulder, bow and pin. Different shackle types include anchor, chain and long reach.

Anchor or bow shackles have larger, O-shaped bows and are used in multiple sling-leg connections or side-loaded. Chain shackles are D-shaped and rated for in-line tension. Long-reach shackles are suitable for situations where a longer reach is required.

4. Slings

Slings attach to the object and the lifting equipment. They are lightweight and flexible yet capable of lifting heavy machinery. The two types of slings are eye-and-eye slings and endless slings.

5. Steel Nuts

These are used with eye bolts to anchor a rigging system. There are different sizes and configurations of slings of steel nuts with various applications. The thread type and load’s total weight determine the suitable steel nuts. Examples of steel nuts include dome nuts, wingnuts and ball end.

6. Wire Ropes

Wire ropes are strands of stainless steel and carbon rope twisted around a core rope. There are wire ropes for different lifting capacities. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1926.251(c)(4), among other things, each rope shall be a continuous piece without a knot, excluding endless rope slings and eye splices in the ends of the wires. Additionally, eye splices made in a wire rope must not have less than three full tucks.

Safety Measures

Safety is one of the most important considerations regarding rigging in the manufacturing industry. Beyond the rules and regulations governing operations, industrial riggers must add precautionary measures to ensure all personnel and operations are safe.

OSHA’s rules and regulations apply to all 50 states and ensure worker safety. It reduces the likelihood of injury and illness, minimizes health care expenditure and keeps employees healthy and working long-term. OSHA standards fall into four main groups:

  • Agriculture
  • Maritime
  • Construction and
  • General Industry

While hoisting and rigging are governed by OSHA 1926.73OSHA 1926.251 provides for rigging equipment for material handling. Safety guidelines must be followed before, during and after operation. Let’s consider some necessary safety procedures at every stage:

1. Before Operations

Before you start any rigging exercise, consider the following safety precautions:

  1. Use the correct equipment for the particular operation by considering the diameter, length, size, thickness and style.
  2. Ensure the equipment is in good shape.
  3. Remove defective equipment from the site.
  4. Take into account the manufacturer’s specifications.

2. During Operations

During the operations, it’s essential to:

  1. Conduct operations within the required specifications.
  1. Comply with the rigging charts.
  2. Ensure the hoist is secure before lifting.
  3. Keep personnel away from the lifting area.

3. After Operations

When you complete a rigging operation, be sure to:

  1. Move rigging equipment away from the site after use.
  2. Store the equipment in a safe space.

It’s crucial to follow additional safety procedures to ensure that operations are successful and safe.

Benefits of Utilizing Industrial Rigging Services

Working with industrial rigging companies has many benefits. For example, industrial riggers:

  • Have the correct equipment for specific types of tasks.
  • Have the experience to execute complicated projects.
  • Are safe and secure.
  • Can move large machinery across distances without damage.

Employing the services of Equip Trucking and Warehousing, LLC has added benefits. We are the trusted solutions for industrial rigging projects with over 30 years of experience across various industries, including manufacturing, mining, construction, medical and pharmaceutical and power generation.

We offer the best customer service in the industry and ensure your machinery is safe and secure. Contact us today to take advantage of our free shipping quotes.