SafetyStandards

MMA Standards Ensure Monorails, Workstation Cranes Enhance Worker Safety And Productivity

To ensure that workstation cranes, monorails, and patented track systems installed in facilities for overhead material handling and load movement are properly designed and manufactured for a given application, the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA) offers two separate specifications documents:

  • 1-2016 – Specifications for Patented Track Underhung Cranes and Monorail Systems. Approved and published in 2016, this American National Standard provides guidance on patented track underhung crane and monorail systems and components, including curves, switches, transfer devices, trolleys, lift and drop sections, and associated equipment.
  • 2-2017 – Specifications for Enclosed Track Underhung Cranes and Monorail Systems. Approved and published in 2017, this American National Standard provides guidance regarding design practices and performance testing criteria for Enclosed Track underhung cranes whose end trucks operate on the internal flange of a runway using enclosed track section; and whose trolleys (carriers) operate on single-track monorail systems, including all curves, switches, transfer devices, lift and drop sections, and associated equipment.

Operations considering the purchase of these types of systems should verify that the supplier conforms to these standards when engineering, manufacturing and installing them in order to increase the safety and productivity of their workforce. These standards have been created by the members of MMA, who represent the industry’s leading companies, and reviewed via ANSI National Consensus methods.

Deployed in underrunning crane and monorail installations, patented track systems feature a consistent width, high carbon-manganese alloy lower flange on an overhead track upon which carriers or trolleys travel.  These systems are also equipped with trolley hoists to lift, lower and suspend the load. These systems are often used in severe, demanding environments, meaning it is critical that their construction can withstand those applications and provide reliable service for the anticipated lifespan. When properly designed, manufactured and installed, these systems also allow for extremely flexible facility layout and product flow, as they can be combined with bridge cranes into a single system.

Used in workstation crane and monorail applications, enclosed track systems utilize a fully contained track section fabricated to form an enclosure that acts as the running surface for the trolley wheels. In addition to allowing for smooth movement, enclosed track systems are ideal for keeping dirt and debris from the running surface. This inherent protection extends the lifespan of the system, while designs with low rolling resistance allow operators to ergonomically maneuver more and heavier loads faster and with a decreased risk of injury.

Additionally, properly configured work areas utilizing patented track and enclosed track cranes and monorail systems boost worker productivity by providing a clear, unobstructed overhead path for materials movement. And, because their operation is easy and intuitive, workers can begin using them quickly with minimal effort.

Want to learn more about the two MMA standards and how decrease the risk of injury while enhancing throughput and efficiency? Members discuss this topic in a recent issue of MHI Solutions in the article, “Working to Improve Worker Safety and Productivity.”