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Gantry, Jib & Workstation Cranes: Maximize Your Space
Every business wants to boost operations without needing to make expensive facility changes. Facility managers are looking for solutions to improve operations, throughput and safety while also saving on cost and energy. While overhead bridge cranes remain the industry standard, gantry, jib and workstation cranes offer low-maintenance designs that work well in any industry and address rising challenges in today’s workspaces.
Gantry cranes are an overhead crane with a stationary beam supported by freestanding legs. They're adaptable for any industry and you can use them to lift small to large loads. There are two main types of gantry cranes: single-leg gantry (SLG) and double-leg gantry (DLG).
A SLG crane has one end truck with a leg that runs along the floor and one end truck with no leg that runs on a runway, while a DLG has two end trucks with legs. The SLG is typically used when there's a runway present in the area where it will be operating, while a DLG runs on tracks or rails installed in place of runways or on flat wheels capable of running on the floor or pavement. Both SLG and DLG can be single or double girder cranes, allowing for a wide range of capacities and lifts.
Gantry cranes are ideal for lifting heavy loads and moving them to and from different areas. Some of these cranes utilize a floor-mounted system that allows the operator to more easily navigate from one building area to another, or even from indoor to outdoor without additional crane structures being built overhead. This flexibility makes it easy to maximize workspace and use existing infrastructure systems, which can be particularly useful in applications where a factory layout has been modified or the crane needs to traverse areas with and without existing runway systems.
One of the most versatile types of cranes, gantry cranes are used in a variety of applications, ranging from assembly lines and warehouses to construction sites or shipyards.
Jib cranes are used when there is a small area that needs to be accessed by a hoist. They are ideal for tight spaces where an overhead bridge crane would not fit properly. They often have a rotation of 180 degrees and can go out several feet and pivot to cover the area needed while still providing easy access from any direction at any time during its operation cycle.
Jib cranes are excellent for repetitive lifting tasks, such as loading and unloading containers and pallets onto trucks or railcars, moving items on and off worktables or conveyors and repetitive movements within a work cell. Using a jib in a steelwork fabrication plant allows you to move heavy materials around on site without taking up extra space with forklifts or overhead cranes. Jib cranes provide your facility with a wide range of adaptable options, and their circular movement pattern can improve efficiency in some applications by reducing the number of movements needed to position a load.
These machines can be paired with overhead bridge cranes, which helps make them even more adaptable. Jib cranes can be used for a wide variety of tasks including material handling, assembly and general industrial use.
Workstation cranes are smaller versions of overhead cranes and are chosen because they are often user-friendly and ergonomic. They have a moving bridge that moves across parallel runways. These workstations can be ceiling mounted, freestanding, single or double girder bridges or monorails. Some advantages of these units include:
- Ease of use
- Cost effectiveness
- Simple to relocate
- Increased productivity
- Many options for layouts
Workstation cranes are economical with the ability to move loads quickly and easily, reducing labor costs. Some workstation cranes also allow for a variety of curves and switches to allow a hoist to follow the path of production in the work cell.
These cranes are becoming more and more popular due to their versatility and smooth movement. Workstation cranes are typically integrated to existing structures with little need for change to the building’s structure. Because of this, workstation cranes are perfect for lifting objects from one end of the facility to another without making expensive adjustments to the facility. This means they can boost operations without disrupting existing layouts or equipment.
Benefits of Enclosed Track Systems
Warehouse overcrowding is becoming an increasingly common problem in many industries. With so much equipment being used at once, there is often not enough room for heavy lifting equipment. To maximize workspace, consider using enclosed track systems on your workstation cranes to improve ergonomics and save energy and time.
Some benefits of using enclosed track systems include:
- Safety – Enclosed track systems are safer than open track systems because most employees can handle loads on them safely, using ergonomic, low-friction push-pull systems.
- Ergonomics – Workstation cranes with enclosed track offer ergonomic benefits such as automatic load control (which prevents overloading the crane), remote load control and load pre-setting capabilities that make it easy for operators.
- Maximize Available Space – These cranes are designed to maximize every available square inch. They provide maximum coverage at a lighter capacity than a traditional crane.
- Energy Savings – Enclosed track systems use less energy than their open counterparts—making them more efficient overall.
- Maintenance – Enclosed track systems can take marginal wear and tear and are easy to maintain.
- Productivity – Facilities with enclosed track cranes experience boosted productivity since these types of cranes make it faster and easier for workers to move goods around the warehouse floor, compared to other workstation cranes
- Cost Savings – Enclosed track cranes can often be installed using pre-existing foundations, allowing a faster installation and decreasing downtime.
- Ease of Movement - Enclosed track cranes are much easier to move than traditional bridge cranes, making them ideal for facilities with limited space or those that require frequent relocation of their equipment. Instead of relocating the entire space, you can pick up the workstation crane and move it to where it is needed.
- Versatile – Enclosed or workstation cranes have a range of capacities and can handle loads of up to 2 tons.
As technology continues to advance, the crane industry continues to change for the better. Workstation cranes are an example of an innovation that is revolutionizing how we work. They have continued to grow in popularity as a modular package that is easy to fit into any space and that improves safety and production in every industry.
Have some new ideas for your next project? Contact us online, call 800-955-9967 to talk with an expert or use our Crane Designer tool for an immediate equipment recommendation.