Manufacturing Automation Solutions by Columbus McKinnon


We offer intelligent solutions from ceiling to floor across our entire product portfolio for all types of manufacturing applications, leveraging digital power and motion controls to improve our customers’ safety, uptime, and productivity.

Combining technologically advanced products with over a century and a half of application expertise, we solve tough customer problems with efficient and reliable manufacturing automation solutions. Whether our customers need to designate no-fly zones, prevent load swing, synchronize a lift, automatically send cranes throughout a facility, or access detailed, system-wide diagnostic information, our automation technology can help eliminate redundant processes and improve overall productivity.

Why automate?

Implementing manufacturing automation solutions in your facilities and processes can have a big impact. Not only can it help increase productivity and maximize the uptime and performance of your operations, but it can also improve product quality, optimize labor, increase energy efficiency, and provide numerous safety and health benefits.

Benefits of Automation in the Manufacturing Process

  • Safety
    • Consistent, predictable operation
    • Improved working environment
    • Programmed safety protocols
    • Optimal ergonomics

  • Uptime
    • Increased cycle time
    • Reduced wear on equipment
    • Predictive maintenance

  • Productivity
    • Consistent and repeatable procedures
    • Improved process efficiency
    • Decreased risk of product and equipment damage
    • Reduced chance of human error

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Types of Industrial Automation

There are several types of industrial automation in use today. They can be broken down into three main categories: fixed automation, programmable automation, and flexible automation.

In manufacturing automation, fixed automation is a process where a single product is produced by one machine within a large manufacturing facility. Fixed automation is usually used for producing large quantities and has a high entry barrier.

Everything You Need To Know About Intelli-Guide

A programmable automation system reads, interprets, and executes instructions provided by a program. Programmable automation involves the production of products in batches, where reprogramming is required to accommodate each batch's new product style. The process is controlled by a program of instructions that are read and interpreted by the hardware. New programs may be prepared and entered at any time to enable the production of new products.

Learn More About The IMPULSE VG+ Series 5

A flexible automation system enables computers to adapt quickly to changing conditions within a given area. Computer programs can be executed via machines or via a Human Machine Interface (HMI). In both low- and high-mix manufacturing environments, a flexible automation system enables rapid re-tasking systems to adapt to design changes.

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Manufacturing Automation Success Stories

To increase efficiency and reduce process time, Magnetek-brand IMPULSE® Variable Frequency Crane and Hoist Controls, collision avoidance software, PLCs, HMIs, and power delivery transformed the manufacturer’s engine marriage crane system into an efficient and safe solution. With the new automation system, takt time was reduced by 36 seconds while providing the precision control and safety the application required.

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To replace manually operated controls for a mill scale clarifier system, we developed a fully automated solution complete with IMPULSE•VG+ and G+ Variable Frequency Drives with custom crane-specific software, IMPULSE®•Link Software, PLCs, and HMIs. Connected via Ethernet communication, the system continuously reports analytics and diagnostic information to keep operators informed of system status and executes tasks without human intervention.

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Continuous, repetitive motions increase the likelihood of fatigue, resulting in safety concerns for operators, equipment, and other personnel. Automating a hot metal monorail system with Magnetek-brand IMPULSE•VG+ and G+ Variable Frequency Drives, a PLC, and precise positioning technology, optimized throughput and provided a more effective workplace and safer operating environment.

Learn More About The Hot Metal Monorail System

Magnetek-brand IMPULSE•VG+ and G+ Variable Frequency Drives with Bucket Control Custom Software were paired with Blue Max® Motors to control the highest-producing dredge crane operating in North America. With the new system, the crane’s service life was extended from 20,000 hours to more than 200,000 hours.

View The Dredge Crane Project

WATCH: Introduction to IMPULSE®·G+/VG+ Series 5 Variable Frequency Drives

New Magnetek-brand IMPULSE Series 5 Variable Frequency Drives are designed to serve as the intelligent foundation for overhead cranes and hoist systems. This recorded webinar provides a detailed look at the new IMPULSE·G+/VG+ Series 5 VFDs and their proper application for overhead cranes.

This webinar covers:

  • Introduction of IMPULSE·G+/VG+ Series 5
  • Comparison to IMPULSE·G+/VG+ Series 4
  • Improvement Highlights
  • New Features
  • Available Accessories
  • Upcoming Product Updates
  • Documentation & Resources
Series 5 Webinar LP Thumbnail