Welcome to The Hoist Guy's Blog, where our resident Hoist Guy, Andrew T. Litecky, shares his knowledge and experience of many years in the overhead material handling industry. This time to discuss some of the challenges small spaces create for bridge cranes and other overhead lift systems.
Bridge Cranes & Small Spaces
Can bridge cranes be engineered to fit in small spaces? In an ideal world, all bridge crane planning would start from the blueprint phase of the production space (see more advice on that). However, in reality, we often have to adapt to existing spaces. Sometimes those spaces are much smaller than what would be ideal for an overhead lifting system.
Space vs Crane
The Challenge: A recent NYC area customer had an especially unique example: They needed a 2-Ton bridge crane to fit an area 20’-6” long x 16’-6” wide and within a 2'-3" high slot between a ceiling beam and a preexisting structure (that's not a typo - two foot, three inches high). The crane moved within this area to raise and lower the load into a 10’ deep tank. To boot, the equipment had to withstand operations over chlorinated water and in a corrosive atmosphere.
The Solution: To engineer a bridge crane that fit in this “slot”, we designed a system of narrow profile end trucks supplied by Saturn Engineering, a low headroom lug mounted, single-reeved electric chain hoist by Coffing Hoists, nested hoist trolleys by Harrington Hoists, and a wireless remote radio by InMotion Controls, in lieu of a pendant control. To withstand the corrosive environment, the crane was hot-dipped galvanized, the hoist was coated in epoxy paint, and the hoist chain was zinc-plated with a stainless steel hook & block.
On the day of installation, the custom built crane system was lifted vertically and slid into the slot and on the runway horizontally. Electrification was achieved with flat wire festooning, off to one side of the runway.
Custom Engineered Overhead Lift Systems
In special applications such as these, engineering know-how and knowledge of industry products are combined to meet both the customer’s production needs and to fit within their physical parameters.Our 50+ years of hoist and crane industry experience and a full-service engineering department allow us to offer a range of custom engineered overhead material handling systems and bridge crane solutions. If you have an unusual or unique overhead lifting application or need more information on bridge cranes? Feel free to contact us or give us a call at (609) 259-1223.