Heavy Industry

Controls, brakes, and motors for heavy moveable structures.


Columbus McKinnon brings its expertise with Magnetek brand innovative power control solutions to the Heavy Moveable Structures industry. State-of-the-art controls, brakes, and motors, combined with our extensive application engineering experience, make our products the ideal control system solution for moveable bridges, flood control equipment, dam gates, moveable stadium roofs, water navigation structures, and overhead traveling crane applications.

Brands Serving the Heavy Moveable Structures Industry

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The Ultimate HMS Solution

Columbus McKinnon offers variable frequency drives, shoe and disc brakes, and motors, which are designed to meet your exact specifications. The Company’s history of supplying high-quality products, in addition to our application engineering expertise, provides the diversity of experience required to deliver cutting-edge solutions for the Heavy Moveable Structures industry.


The “Iron Gate”, on the Danube River in the southern Carpathian Mountains on the border from Romania to Serbia, is regarded as one of the most impressive gorges in Europe. Two river power stations built in 1972 – “Iron Gate” 1 and 2 – with a lockage had tamed what had been up until then the most dangerous section of the Danube River for navigation. For the maintenance of this lockage, Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH, Kissing/Germany, has now designed and installed a special lifting device. The linear lifting solution consists of four high-precision and proven heavy-duty screw jack elements SHE 100.1 made by Pfaff-silberblau. These lift and lower the heavy lock gate weighing some 200 t by 700 mm – with a deviation of less than 0.1 mm.

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Last year saw the start of a major construction project in Kazakhstan designed to establish the ferry terminal in Kuryk on the shores of the Caspian Sea as the hub for the transhipment-free transportation of goods to Europe. Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products, working closely on this construction site with the local company in St. Petersburg/Russia, is now fitting the two giant loading bridges out each with 24 Pfaff-silberblau special screw jacks SHE 150.1 in addition to 48 special gear motors and, in doing so, is creating the technical basis that will allow entire freight trains to quickly drive in and out of the ferries before the end of the year.

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Lifting heavy loads under the harshest of conditions has always been one of the specialties for the jacking systems from Pfaff-silberblau. With a clever special jacking system based on its versatile SHE worm-gear screw jacks, the company is now reducing downtimes for the steel industry’s galvanizing lines. The crucial feature: A special sensor monitors the temperature of the gearbox oil, and an active cooling circuit keeps it at the ideal level. Simultaneously, a contactless sensor constantly monitors the temperature at the screw and does not turn off the system unless there is a risk of overheating. In this way, system operators can ensure that their systems remain functional, but also help to minimize operational interruptions.

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Nearly five years after Hurricane Sandy, the second-costliest hurricane in United States history, cities along the eastern seaboard were still working to discover – and repair – the damage inflicted on their infrastructure by the Category 3 storm. Magnetek, a Columbus McKinnon brand, had the opportunity to help mend some of the hurricane’s long-term damage by rebuilding industrial brakes used in the operation of a four-lane drawbridge that spans a busy navigation channel in New York City.


Milwaukee's one-of-a-kind ballpark features traditional architecture with a unique fan-shaped retractable roof. Since the roof moves to provide protection from the elements, it required design changes to improve performance. Nitrided Magnetek brand steel brakes included as part of new drive trains were able to provide protection and consistent performance.