How To Choose an Overhead Crane?

Overhead cranes are among the most widely used pieces of materials handling equipment. You may be reading this blog because you are thinking about investing in this type of handling solution. There are many options and factors to consider when choosing an overhead crane. There are a range of cranes, including gantry cranes, bridge cranes, monorail cranes and jib cranes. The different types are used for different applications, and you will have several issues to consider before deciding which crane may be best for your application.

Here are three key factors to consider:

Load Weight

The first and most obvious consideration is that the load capacity must be suitable for the load that you are lifting. You may feel inclined to choose a crane with a load capacity greater than is needed for the heaviest load you are lifting, but this is not always the best choice.

Of course, a load capacity that is too low presents the risk of failure and injury to workers. However, a load capacity that is too high could slow down your operation and cost you time and money.

To optimise the performance of the crane, it is important that you select the right load capacity.

Load Type

Load capacity also depends on the type of load you are lifting. For example, if your application involves filling empty containers, your load capacity requirements will change during the operation, therefore your overhead crane must be appropriately sized for the weight of the filled container.

Outlining your capacity requirements and mapping your production process will help you choose the right crane for your application and give you the best value for money.

Lift Height

Lift height is an obviously important consideration. Whatever crane you choose must be able to reach the minimum height required to perform the lift. However, there are some factors that may not be so obvious when you are assessing your lift height requirements.

You may use a hoist or a vacuum tube lifter either from the floor or off a trolley, and the size of these items will affect the required clearance limits of your crane. If your overhead crane only provides the minimum required clearance for your lifts, you could encounter space issues.

Space constraints are often an issue when using overhead cranes. If the ceiling-height of your facility is close to the lift height, you may need to consider low-profile options. You may have other materials handling equipment mounted onto walls or the ground that could also affect the space in which you can use your overhead crane.

Planning your factory layout in advance will help you optimise the utilization of the space. By considering how your production and lifting devices can work symbiotically will ensure that you get the most value from your space. Materials handling equipment suppliers like Handling Concepts are experts in helping you find a solution that integrates with your existing machinery.

Transporting Products

Overhead cranes are designed to enable you to move loads over distance. Direction of travel and length of distance will influence the kind of the crane that is best for you.

Where your application requires movement over a short distance or where you are confined to a single workstation, a jib crane may be the most efficient choice. For greater travel distance requirements or where the operation is multi-directional, a gantry crane offers the greatest range of functionality.

Tracks or rail systems are ideal where you operate on a fixed path and/or you need to span across a large area. It is common to see overhead rails across the entire ceiling of a factory, enabling the handling equipment to be used throughout the production line.

Which Overhead Crane Is for You?

Load weight, the type of load, lift height and transporting your products are all considerations that will affect your choice of an overhead crane. For a more complete guide to the specific options available to you, contact Handling Concepts today. With over 25 years’ experience of providing lifting solutions for businesses across the UK and the globe, you can rely on a wealth of expertise and experience to help you find a solution that is right for your application and your budget.

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