Past Events


26th AIST Crane Symposium

Conference Details: 2–4 June 2019, Louisville, Ky., USA
No. of Attendees: 251

Mick Foster, Cranes Technology Committee Chair (left), presented the 2019 AIST Charlie Totten Crane Innovator Award. Heath Hooker (center) and Mike Mays (right) accepted on behalf of the Nucor-Yamato Steel Co. crane rigging team.

This year’s AIST Crane Symposium attracted 251 attendees, making it the largest Crane Symposium to date. More than 110 representatives from steel-producing
companies were present, comprising more than 45% of the total attendees. The Seelbach Hilton, a historic Louisville hotel, proved to be a great venue.
Sadly, the 26th Crane Symposium was missing one of its founding fathers: Charlie Totten, who passed away earlier this year. He was remembered by those that knew him the best with many words of admiration and fondness. Charlie was a pillar in the world of cranes and he will be sadly missed and remembered, but his legacy will continue through many Crane Symposiums to come.
The conference opened with a welcome from Tom Berringer of Gantrex, who offered attendees an overview of the conference in a very organized and enthusiastic manner. He was followed by the 2019 AIST Charlie Totten Crane Innovator Award winner, represented by Heath Hooker of Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., who gave an interesting and informative presentation on the importance of proper rigging training. Hooker described the direction the Nucor-Yamato team took and their experiences with their rigging training program.
New this year was a tutorial on how to give a technical presentation. Tom Berringer gave the do’s and don’ts of a technical presentation, tailored to the Crane Symposium, with the hopes that current attendees would then have the tools needed to present in future years.
Alan Horgan of Whiting Corp. used examples from both CMMA and AIST Technical Report No. 6 in his presentation of a buyer’s guide to cranes. It was interesting to see some of the subtle differences between both specifications.
Presentations on Hooke’s Law, crane emergency brakes and control technology rounded out the first day of the conference.
The first day was capped off by a view of the city from the river on board the Belle of Louisville, with dinner and another opportunity to network in a relaxed venue.
Several presentations throughout the two days of programming focused on safety. Todd Cook and Rick Stephens of Hoosier Crane Service presented on fall protection, Casey Cummins and Bob Schmitt of Magnetek discussed a technology to help make DC cranes operation safer, and Chris Machut of Netarus presented a case study of placing cameras in positions that allow crane operators to see high-value areas or lifts to assist in making better picks without causing damage or injury. Tim Boyd of Steel Dynamics Inc. partnered with Jane MacPherson of MacPherson & Co. to describe a case study in which the crane cab glass was replaced to allow better visibility of the work area and better protection from flying objects.
Kicking off the second day of programming, Larry and Tad Dunville of Overhead Crane Consulting teamed up to explain how and why companies should put together a written inspection procedure and have a paper trail to show compliance in the unfortunate case of an incident. Having well-thought-out procedures that are followed will help to eliminate issues, but if one were to occur, liability can be better controlled.
Antonio Pena and Flavio Franco of ArcelorMittal Tubarão presented on their accidental discovery, investigation, analysis, corrective procedures and final outcome of stress cracks in the main structures of their ladle cranes.
Presentations were also given on topics concerning camera technologies, crane automation, electrification systems, dynamic cable management, crane signaling devices, and the proper design of isolating and grounding crane maintenance bays.
Overall, the latest installment of the Crane Symposium was a great success from the quality of the presentations to the networking opportunities to the sheer numbers. AIST offers its sincerest appreciation to the organizers for another successful symposium.