Plant managers may face dilemmas when it comes to choosing between wire rope hoists and chain hoists. Both wire rope hoists and chain hoists perform the same function, but they are operated in different ways and are meant to lift different types of loads. So you may want to know the differences between wire rope hoists and chain hoists if you are looking to invest in a new hoist, upgrade your existing hoist, or if you think that you may not be using the right type of hoist in your operations.

 When you use inappropriate hoists, you end up incurring additional expenses in the long run. For example, wire ropes are costlier than chains and so you may be paying too much for something that you do not actually need. On the other hand, when you use chains for operations that demand the use of wire ropes, you will have a system that fails to perform to the expected standard and you may end up paying for repairs.

Wire hoists come in diverse forms that are created with different drum and motor combinations and they are more complex applications compared to chain hoists. You may choose to use multiple drums to boost the lifting strength and in some cases, you may use grooved drums to promote accuracy. Simply put, you may use different solutions for different scenarios. Generally, wire hoists are used in stationery equipment and they are meant to lift heavier loads that may weigh between 2 and 30 tons. This boils down to the fact that you are more likely to use wire rope hoists if you have equipment with high load capacity and if the loads that you lift are heavy. Notably, you may want to use wire ropes if your operations last for long hours and when you need to lift different loads within a short time period. Additionally, wire ropes prove to be extremely efficient in intense work environments that are characterised by harsh weather conditions or extreme heat. However, wire rope hoists involve complex handling procedures and they require larger area to be operated. So if you do not have sufficient area to work in, you may not want to use wire ropes. Wire rope hoists are widely used in steel factories, foundries, and in facilities where raw materials are manufactured.

Chain hoists are used in temporary settings and they can be easily shifted from one place to the other compared to wire rope hoists. This is what makes them more flexible for use in settings that have larger work area where you can change positions while depositing loads. Chains are ideal for lifting relatively lightweight loads that fall in the 1/8 of a ton to 5 ton range. Chains are typically used in lifting operations in work stations, smaller factories, and in maintenance works. Additionally, chain hoists are also used to facilitate the lifting operations of jib, hand-push, and gantry cranes. These cranes involve the use of manual movement load hooks that can be used conveniently with wire ropes, but when you use chains instead of wire ropes, you benefit from a higher level of dependability.

You may come across situations where you are fully aware of your lifting capacity and the prices of both the options are fairly close. Under such circumstances, you are more likely to feel puzzled in your attempt to select a particular option. Whatever option you choose at the end of the day, you will have to consider one big parameter…training. Your workmen may be familiar with the operations of one type of equipment and when you switch to the other option you will have to bear training costs as well as the productivity-loss that may result from inexperience. 

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