Overhead/Gantry Cranes: Advantages & Components

Overhead/Gantry Cranes: Advantages & Components
1/17/2017 2:38:08 PM
Note: LC Crane Parts and Serviceoffers your business high-quality crane parts, crane repair and rebuild services for mobile cranes, including truck, crawler, all-terrain, boom truck and rough-terrain cranes. Although we don't have parts for overhead cranes, get in touch with usand we'll be happy to provide a referral.

Overhead Cranes: Use, Efficiency, and Safety

A crane isn’t just a crane.

There are a lot of kinds … Today we’re going to talk about the one that is crucial for the automobile industry and in steel mills.

Overhead cranes are common industrial cranes that (as the name implies) can carry large, heavy loads "overhead.” This ability is supremely important for industries that have unused space above their other materials, or above aisles that need to be used for other purposes.

overhead cranes in action


Overhead cranes are especially popular in metal fabrication and manufacturing industries that take advantage of its two-directional travel.

However, these cranes have to be specifically designed for a facility's layout, and require very specific crane service.


Material Movement and Overhead

Although overhead cranes are common in fabrication shops, they are typically underutilized.

Lift trucks are often used for moving materials in this industry, despite the number of overhead cranes available. Instead, overhead cranes become a go-to when lift trucks break down, or are unavailable.

But why are lift trucks used in place of overhead cranes, especially when these cranes are better able to handle the loads?

One reason is training. Not only does training a lift truck driver require less time than training an overhead crane operator, but it’s also a much simpler process. Due to the overhead crane’s complex system, people are often intimidated by these machines, and are usually unfamiliar with their use.

Overhead cranes require less space to maneuver loads, and have many unique capabilities. Yet fabrication and machining shops are often designed for lift trucks, with wider, more accommodating aisles.

 

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Worth the Expense?

Despite the under-utilization of overhead cranes in many industries, another thing to consider is cost. Overhead cranes aren't cheap, and will typically cost between $30K to $60K, if not more. Beyond this initial price, overhead cranes require ongoing crane service, and parts over the long term. But with the right care and maintenance, they can be an investment in your company that pays for itself over and over again.

Note: A gantry crane works under the same basic principles as overhead cranes, but its base operations are on the floor. These cranes can be connected on wheels or a track, with steel legs to support the bridge and hoist. They are much cheaper options to overhead cranes, often used by companies who don’t plan to stay in one location.

 

Safety Concerns

Operator training is significantly more advanced than a lift truck’s. Often, the training process is not adequately considered when overhead cranes are purchased, despite its importance.

Overload limits, rated capacity, and visual inspections are all important safety concerns that make the handling of an overhead crane a complex job. Training workers who will handle the overhead crane is critical. If you’re willing to make this investment, you will be rewarded with higher levels of efficiency, and production support.

An additional concern for overhead cranes is how to effectively manage their maintenance, and crane service. Proper maintenance for overhead cranes is vital to their general safety and efficiency. If you're considering the pros and cons of an overhead crane, and want to learn more about its long-term maintenance and service costs, call us at Larry Collier Cranes today.


Overhead Crane Repair Keeps Overhead Costs Down

As discussed, many metal fabricating companies view the lift truck as the best way to move steel material around a facility. However, lift trucks aren’t the best option everywhere, as space is limited in many facilities.

overhead crane advantages

This is where an overhead cranecan make a huge difference in terms of material movement. An overhead crane has the ability to carry large, heavy loads and drop them off at a machining shop that’s also served by its own crane. A trained operator can control the loading and unloading of the material, depending on where it is in the manufacturing process.

 

Advantages of Overhead Cranes

Since overhead cranes are extremely useful to the point of ubiquity in fabrication, and construction industries, businesses can lose a lot of revenue if their cranes breakdown, or malfunction. Floor space is crucial, and valuable in any facility that involves large-scale manufacturing, and the absence of a full-functioning overhead crane can delay their operations, or force them to use less efficient machinery. The following is a breakdown of the benefits of overhead cranes:

 

  • No obstructions on the factory floor
  • Ability to operate at high speeds
  • Capacity to lift extremely heavy loads
  • More control over loads
  • Ability to stack items higher

 

The Importance of Well-Performing Overhead Cranes

In the event that your overhead crane breaks down, it has to be repaired immediately by a highly qualified crane service company. Overhead crane repair and maintenance expenses are nothing compared to the amount you could lose by letting your crane run with undiagnosed problems. When looking for professional crane repair services, there are several things you should take into consideration:

Years of Experience: A technician who has had years of experience providing overhead crane repair services is likely to give you high-quality service as well. The longer they’ve been in the industry, the more problems they have encountered, and learned to resolve.

Service Guarantee: Any overhead crane repair expert worth his or her salt will have the confidence to give you a guarantee. With a service guarantee, you’ll be able to hold the technician accountable if the crane develops issues before the guarantee period expires.

Reputation: It takes years of excellent service, and solid customer relations to build a good reputation in crane repair. Consequently, these professionals would not risk losing their hard earned reputation by giving you sub-par service. With that said, avoid companies that have received negative feedback from multiple clients, or have a less-than-stellar reputation.

Costs of Services: To determine whether your overhead crane service might be overcharging you, do your due diligence, and find out the average cost of the repair services you need. Collect a few quotes from reputable companies, and compare their services in terms of packages, and customer support. You don’t want to go for the cheapest service either. After all, they might be compensating for a lack of skill with their low rates.

To prevent frequent overhead crane repairs, the equipment must undergo regular inspection, and maintenance. Beyond the condition of the cranes themselves, operator safety can be improved, and operator injury can be prevented if the machine is properly inspected, and maintained. With proper training for crane operators, the machines can be handled correctly, and efficiently, thereby minimizing breakdowns.

To learn more helpful tips, contact the professionals at Larry Collier Crane Parts and Service today, and see how their high quality crane parts and repair services can help you.

Overhead Crane Parts That You Should Know

Reliable, dependable crane parts are essential to any hard-working crew. Overhead cranes feature several different components that work together to lift a heavy load.

For those in the industry, there’s plenty of terms to know: rated capacity, duty cycle, hook coverage, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Today, however, get to know the parts of an overhead crane. The following is a rundown of essential crane parts vital to this high-performing piece of machinery. These are just a few of the necessary items inside an overhead crane.

crane parts

  1. Access Platform
    A platform of limited length; the access platform can be found on the idler girder for end truck wheel access.

  2. Beam
    The trolley works due to this overhead standard structure. Sometimes, the beam is a uniquely constructed shape to fit a specific type of job.

  3. Bogie
    Attached to the end of one girder (unless there is more than one bogie used per girder, in which case it will be attached to a connecting member); it is a short end truck. The bogie is only used when there must be more than the usual four wheels on the crane due to runway design.

  4. Boom
    Horizontally mounted, the boom is a part of the trolley that allows for the raising and lowering of the load at a particular point–other than underneath the trolley or hoist drum.

  5. Bridge
    The girders, end ties, walkway, trucks, and drive mechanism that move parallel along the runway and hold the trolley of an overhead crane is known as the bridge.

  6. Bridge Conductors
    These electrical conductors are found running along the bridge of a crane in order to provide power to the trolley.

  7. Bridge Girder
    Trolleys and carriers move along this horizontally mounted piece of equipment. It is supported by the end trucks.

  8. Cantilever Frame
    An important piece of structural support, the cantilever frame secures the trolley of a wall crane.

  9. Carrier Head
    An assembly with only two wheels, the carrier head is utilized with load bars in order to create a carrier or end truck.

  10. Carrier Trolley
    A wheeled assembly, the carrier trolley runs on crane girders or a monorail track that will handle a load.

  11. Cover Plate
    On a box girder, the cover plate is the top or bottom plate.

  12. Emergency Brake
    When power is unavailable, the emergency brake will be used to decelerate a drive. The operator may use the emergency brake or it may happen automatically if power is interrupted on its way to the drive.

  13. End Truck
    The end truck allows movement along the runway.

  14. Operator’s Cab
    This is the special area where the overhead crane operator sits. An overhead crane may have a normal or a skeleton cab; a cab that is sometimes used when operating a floor- or remote-operated crane.

  15. Service Brake
    When an operator needs to slow down, the service brake does the job.

Getting to Know Overhead Cranes: A Brief Glossary

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