Crane emergency hoist brakes are an important safety feature for any operation making critical lifts. Thankfully, these industrial braking systems which are most commonly seen in steel mill applications are increasingly being adopted by operators across industries who take a proactive approach to safety.
Emergency hoist brakes prevent accidents by stopping a load from falling in the event of a failure of a crane hoist mechanism. Root causes of the hoist failure range from a broken input shaft, to a input shaft brake failure (often due to either improper adjustment or not having automatic lining wear compensation), to a various types of gearbox and low-speed shaft failures. In any situation where you depend only on a motor brake, you are exposed to failures where the connection between the motor and hoist rope drum is severed. Such catastrophic failures can create a hazardous situation leading to equipment damage or, worse, loss of life. The solution to this dangerous situation lies in installing an emergency safety brake on the output side of the system, either on the gearbox output shaft or the hoist rope drum flange.
Below, our industrial brake experts weigh in on various aspects of emergency brakes used on crane hoists in a variety of industries and applications.