About winches and Capstans

Winches and capstans have been known since the early days of civilisation, and have played an unseen but very important role in creating the world as we know it.

The construction of castles, cathedrals, mining, but also the discovery of the new world would have been much more cumbersome without winches and capstans. In today’s world winches and capstans are still very much present as the driving force behind elevators, diving cages, hoisting winches in modern telescopic cranes, or pulling winches in shunting- and shipyards and play an important role in keeping the world as we know it on the move.

Just as with building cathedrals, winches are still indispensable with building todays “cathedrals” as high rise buildings, bridges, drilling rigs and wind turbines.

What can EMCÉ supply?

The diversity of winch and capstan types is impressive. EMCÉ does not claim any winch for any purpose can be supplied, but for most applications and challenges a perfect or at least good solution can be provided. At EMCÉ three different categories are distinguished.

The standard programme

Absolutely standard winches such as we keep in stock account for less then 20% of the annual production, but are in most cases the firm base for  equipment. The standard programme roughly covers capacities between 10 kg upto 250 tonne hoisting and pulling, and can be seen as the starting point to configure the ideal winch for a specific task. Possibly a standard winch is exactly what the customer needs, but the possibilities to modify these winches are endless, but not wihtout retaining the economic and timescale advantages of modular design and construction. These are the winches and options you will find in our regular catalogue.

Custom winches

Custom winches mostly based on our standard designs, but have specifications or requirements that cannot be fully met with standard designs and standard options. These winches sometimes may not even look like our regular products, but do share the same design principles and use of modular drive and transmisison construction. These winches are not found in our regular catalogue due to their unique character and high degree of specialisation.


With projects the central element is in most cases that it has not been done before, and that the requirements are challenging or complex. A project may range from building a system with a number of relatively normal winches with a very advanced control system for a specific task to developing a winch system with an extreme weight to strength or size to capacity ratio for specialist applications. Needless to say these projects never make it into the catalogue, but very often become part of the standard inventory for their owners.


The catalogue data regarding dimensions, performance, weight or otherwise are applicable only to absolutely standard winches. Since 85% of our production deviates from standard the data should be used for guidance only. Definite data can be obtained from our sales office. EMCÉ is constantly striving to increase and further improve the product range. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the dimensions and specifications included at the time of printing, we are unable to warrant the accuracy of the information. The inclusion of any product does not guarantee the availability of that product in the future. Customers should check both availability and conformance of the product to any critical parameters at the time of ordering.

Superior service in every part of the world

Our winches can only be superior if our services are too. EMCÉ winches are built to last and perform across the globe, under most severe conditions. Clients can rely on the outstanding quality of our products. If a winch needs to be commissioned, modified or examined, our worldwide network of dealers assures you of excellent support and maintenance. EMCÉ’s stock and spare parts are globally available at short notice. Continuity of your business is therefore guaranteed. Anytime, anyplace. EMCÉ, every winch a winner.