Automation Solutions

Intelligent material handling automation solutions today for the smart motion control systems of tomorrow.



Operational efficiency and streamlined production processes are critical to businesses around the globe. Columbus McKinnon and its dedicated Automation Division are working side by side with customers to leverage automation technology to improve their safety, productivity and uptime.

Combining advanced products and technology with over a century and a half of application expertise, we are helping to solve tough customer problems through efficient and reliable automation systems. These systems not only enhance system analytics and diagnostics, but also help prevent equipment damage through simplified maintenance, troubleshooting and operation.

We’ll partner with you every step of the way, from project evaluation to aftermarket support, to ensure your application needs are met – every time.

Contact Our Automation Division To Discuss Your Application Today

AC Line Regenerative Systems

AC Line Regenerative Systems

Cable & Festoon Systems

Cable & Festoon Systems

Collision Avoidance Systems

Collision Avoidance Systems

Conductor Bar Systems

Conductor Bar Systems

DC Motor & Magnet Control Systems

DC Motor & Magnet Control Systems

Elevator and Mining Drives

Elevator and Mining Drives

Inverter Duty Motors

Inverter Duty Motors

Pendant Pushbutton Stations

Pendant Pushbutton Stations

Our automated crane systems are designed to improve safety, uptime and productivity in your facility. Not only does crane automation technology allow you to build safety right into equipment with no-fly zones and off-center pick prevention, it also provides you with real-time data and information that enables you to improve operational efficiency and make smarter decisions, faster.

Explore Our Crane Automation Systems

Columbus McKinnon’s Unified and Magnetek brands bring more than 20 years of experience in delivering automated systems to the automotive industry. Our high-technology solutions are featured throughout the automotive manufacturing process, including ergonomic and autonomous workstations like ProPath™ and Intelli-Guide™.

Explore Our Automotive Automation Systems

Columbus McKinnon offers intelligent solutions from ceiling to floor for all types of manufacturing applications. From industrial actuators to industrial automation systems, we are here to help you increase your facility's safety, uptime, and productivity.

Automation Solutions for Manufacturing

Intelligent motion solutions build safety right into the steel handling equipment, systems, and processes running in the steel mill, helping you keep operators safe and better informed of system status, equipment life, and so much more. We understand the importance of working efficiently and strive to develop solutions that enable you to do so.

Automation Solutions for Metals Production

Automation Solutions Throughout CMCO

At Columbus McKinnon, we are dedicated to accelerating innovation and expanding our portfolio of automation and diagnostic solutions. One way we are doing this is through the development of intelligent automation solutions for new and existing cranes. See how our technology is helping to create the smart cranes of the future.


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. The webinar details the Series 5 drive including a comparison to Series 4, new features, available accessories and more!

Watch the webinar now

From project evaluation to aftermarket support, we are here to ensure your success. Every automated system from Columbus McKinnon is designed, engineered, and built in-house by our expert team of engineers and automation specialists. With a suite of industry-leading products and decades of automation experience from our Magnetek team, we will develop a high-performing system to your exact requirements, complete with drawings, control fabrication, and comprehensive testing.

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Columbus McKinnon offers diagnostic solutions that enable easy and fast programming, maintenance, monitoring, and troubleshooting of your system. These advanced diagnostics provide critical information such as equipment status, positioning and motion, and energy usage to ensure your products and system work efficiently. Our diagnostic capabilities deliver real-time information, accessible through a laptop, tablet, or human-machine interface (HMI), allowing you to manage equipment from anywhere in your facility 24/7. Having diagnostic information available at your fingertips can help you quickly address issues, plan maintenance, and reduce downtime.

Learn More About Hoisting & Lifting Solutions

Dorner, a Columbus McKinnon brand, specializes in creating automation-driven conveyance solutions. Their 2200 Series Precision Move Pallet System conveyor and FlexMove Pallet Systems are cutting-edge pallet traffic management systems and have been specifically developed to enhance productivity, minimize downtime, and offer precise conveying. These pallet systems offer exclusive flexibility and a range of advantages, including high load capacity, fast belt changes, and cleanroom certifications. With our precision move and pallet systems, you can obtain accurate positioning and routing, which are designed to simplify assembly procedures and inspections.

Learn More About Our Conveyance Solutions

By integrating Duff-Norton's durable actuators with modern variable frequency drives (VFD), our SPA Linear Actuator with Intelli-Motion™ Technology provides a plug-and-play control system for industrial material handling applications. To maximize the potential of a motion system, it is crucial to find a linear actuator that operates efficiently, safely moves loads, and meets the desired speed requirements. Our SPA linear actuator with Intelli-Motion offers all of these features and more. It is designed to handle high-duty cycle applications with precision and repeatability. Incorporating VFD control allows operators to program specific movement patterns with variable speeds, broadening the range of production applications that can be utilized.

Learn More About Our Linear Motion Solutions

Automation Brochure Download

Columbus McKinnon and its dedicated Automation Division work side by side with customers to leverage automation technology to solve the high-value problems that are important to their business. Want to learn more about the automation division and our capabilities? Download our Automation Brochure today!



Columbus McKinnon Automation

Intelli-Connect enables quick and easy programming, maintenance, monitoring, and troubleshooting of overhead cranes and hoists. Using the Intelli-Connect Mobile App, you can access detailed information right from the plant floor. With diagnostic information available at your fingertips, you can address issues more quickly, plan maintenance, and ultimately reduce downtime.

Learn More About Intelli-Connect

Combining radios, drives, motors, brakes, and automation programming, Intelli-Guide™ allows operators to automatically send a load to different pre-programmed areas in a facility with the push of a button. Then, as the load moves to the programmed destination along a determined route, the operator can work on a different task or start on the next step of the production process, increasing productivity and efficiency.

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Lodestar VS with Intelli-Connect Mobile

The CM Lodestar VS is now available with Intelli-Connect™ Mobile technology. Intelli-Connect Mobile enables quick and easy programming, maintenance, monitoring, and troubleshooting of the Lodestar – all from a tablet or smartphone.

How does it work? Using the Intelli-Connect Mobile app, you can wirelessly access detailed information right from the plant floor, without the need to attach a programming cable. Intelli-Connect Mobile is available as an option on all new Lodestar VS units or in a retrofit kit for units already in service.

LodeStar-IntelliConnect-PressRelease-Final (1)
9/16/20 • Safety and Training • Power & Motion Technology • Crane Systems

Three Ways Automation Technology Can Improve Your Facility & Operations

Do you have technology in place to help you plan maintenance to prevent costly downtime? Do your processes suffer from complexity that causes variations in product quality? Let's take a closer look at three ways automation can improve your facility and operations.

How Automation Technology Can Benefit You

What is automated material handling?

Automated Material Handling (AMH) refers to using various automated systems and technologies to handle, move, store, and transport materials or products within a manufacturing, warehousing, or distribution facility. The goal of AMH is to streamline and optimize material flow, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve safety.

Automation.JPGAMH systems can include a wide range of automated equipment and technologies, such as conveyors, robotics, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), sortation systems, and AGVs (automated guided vehicles). These systems can be programmed to handle various tasks, from simple transportation of goods to complex material handling processes, such as order picking, sorting, packing, and palletizing. The benefits of automated material handling include increased productivity, reduced labor costs, improved accuracy, better inventory control, and enhanced safety.

Why is automation used in material handling?

Automation is used in material handling for several reasons, including improving efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing safety. By automating material handling processes, companies can minimize the risk of human error, optimize workflow, and reduce the time required for tasks like loading, unloading, and transporting goods. Additionally, automated material handling systems can help companies across all industries handle larger volumes of materials faster and more accurately, leading to increased productivity and profitability.

What are examples of automated material handling products?

Columbus McKinnon’s automated crane systems are designed to improve your facility's safety, uptime, and productivity. Automation technology not only allows you to build safety into equipment, such as no-fly zones and off-center pick prevention, but also enables you to obtain real-time information and data that helps you improve operational efficiency and make smarter decisions more efficiently.

Intelligent Solutions Production Plants

Explore Our Intelligent Motion Solutions

Every Columbus McKinnon product is engineered to help our customers work smarter, while improving the safety, uptime, and productivity of their operations. Our innovative, intelligent solutions combine equipment used to lift and move materials with industry-leading control and automation technology.