Digital Tools & Training

Date: 8/5/2022

Previous Blog: Summer of Safety


Digital Tools & Training


R&M recognizes the important role digital tools play in the crane and hoist industry and works to rise above competition with innovative technology. Especially in recent years, digital offerings have a huge impact on modern crane operation and safety standards.

As digital monitoring becomes the new normal on every workfloor, operators are given the chance to experience conveniences and benefits that were never before available. Over time, industry standards shift with new technologies, and it is important to keep up with them as they change.

Digital tools such as the HoistMonitor®, ControlMaster® Edge Inverter and Overhead Lifting Information (OLI) app make it easier than ever to stay ahead of competitors and maintain a safe work environment. Keep reading to learn how they can make a difference for your applications.


Remote Monitoring & the Future of Tools


The digital field is always changing and improving with what it can offer end users. As the landscape shifts to more modern approaches, the future will continue to bring more digital tech integration.

Todd Cook, COO at Hoosier Crane Service Company, frequently works with R&M’s remote monitoring systems. He considers remote monitoring to be a great enhancement for any hoist or crane since operators can check on information while production is happening without needing to shut down operation.

“As tech takes its place in our industry, we can expect to see more wireless capabilities. No more shutting a crane down to take care of data checks. Even if you live states away from the crane, you can still remotely take care of analytics and predict needed maintenance.”

-       Todd Cook


Safety & New Tech


Safety is one of the foremost values in the crane industry, especially as new products and digital interfaces are released. New products tend to focus on the safety of operation, such as sway control technology, collision avoidance devices, and snag-prevention technologies. New digital interfaces, such as the OLI app, focus on improving the knowledge and intuition of operators and facility managers as it relates to their equipment.

A big win for both end users and OEMs, according to Todd, is the variable frequency drive (VFD), or inverter, which controls the speed of the motor and allows a smoother motion with less load swing versus the jerky stop-and-start of old-style contactor controls. The technology behind the VFD’s motion produces safety in the work environment as it is more predictably controlled during starting and stopping and puts less wear-and-tear on the equipment.

As safety becomes an increasing factor in what facility managers are looking for, new R&M components are coming down the line that speak to this need. Chris DeTurk, General Manager at Mass Crane & Hoist Services, Inc., said that being able to troubleshoot without needing to open the bridge panel, exposing technicians to an increased risk for electric shock, is a huge improvement to industry safety.

“It can be challenging to troubleshoot when you have to get to the frequency drive inside the control panel. Moving toward software that allows readouts, troubleshooting and remote integration with an app is a big step in the right direction.”

-       Chris DeTurk

Now, instead of manually getting on the crane and touching keypads with the power on, the Gateway modem sends data from components into the cloud and operators can pull up information on a tablet or other device in real time. With the addition of remote monitoring, data from multiple components can be extracted and used to give a complete picture of maintenance needs.


HoistMonitor Enclave & ControlMaster Edge


The HoistMonitor Enclave is a next generation monitoring unit that provides a holistic view of your hoist and trolley. Protecting your equipment from overloads and providing real-time data, the Enclave enhances functionality and gives room for future tech expansion. When used in conjunction with the OLI app, operators can check on equipment data and maintenance needs with the touch of a button on their devices.

The ControlMaster Edge inverter provides a common interface through which operators can connect all their hoist, trolley and bridge motions. The inverter creates a high level of precision that produces safe performance and easy operation. It uses the latest tech available, rising above what other inverters can offer. The ControlMaster Edge inverter is compatible with the OLI app and can also be connected to the TD Drive Tool app, which allows you to display all parameters on the TD Drive Tool App Dashboard, including:


-       Output frequency

-       Motor current

-       Motor voltage

-       Active warning codes

-       Active fault codes

-       ICBT temperatures


With the combination of all of these components and our new digital tools, we can get an all-encompassing snapshot of the whole crane’s performance, rather than individual motions, that gives a connected picture and produces higher function and production value.


The OLI App


The OLI app provides wireless real-time access to raw data without any downtime in a more user-friendly interface. Facility managers and service technicians can access metrics on their devices without pausing production, which ensures maximum productivity. Some of the data OLI measures includes:


-       Average hoist load

-       Maximum hoist load

-       Number of hoist cycles

-       And more


OLI allows you to rise above your competition by maintaining a safer environment, improving operations and saving money.

Read more about the OLI app’s capabilities.

The OLI app is a step in the right direction for preventative maintenance and provides accurate and fast information with no downtime necessary, giving a clear picture of the crane’s data history. Todd explained some of the practical effects of digital tools such as the OLI app include faster, more convenient inspections.

“Periodic inspections are performed by third parties. If inspectors come inspect your cranes and find out there are issues, they will have to make a return visit with replacement parts. Remote data capabilities allow inspectors to be more proactive. They could find out these issues ahead of time and make one trip instead of two.”

-       Todd Cook

Are you ready to speak with an expert about how our digital tools can help you take your efficiency to the next level? Contact us online or call 800-855-9967 for answers to all your questions.