Increasing production and efficiency in the workplace benefits any warehouse and there are a variety of technologies and equipment to facilitate this. One type of equipment that helps move heavy loads throughout the warehouse is the overhead crane. As the name implies, overhead cranes can safely and effectively move any heavy objects or cargo off the ground floor and at the ceiling level. Known for their efficiency and flexibility, overhead cranes are also easy to operate and safer than using a forklift at floor level. Because of their ease of operation, they can also help limit worker strain and fatigue and are typically only run by a single worker.
In this post, we’ll discuss the various types of overhead cranes and their ideal uses so you can make the best determination of which one would work best in your warehouse environment. Read on to learn more:
The 6 Types of Overhead Cranes (And Their Ideal Uses)
There are six main types of overhead cranes well suited to perform in the warehouse. Let’s explore each of them to help you determine which type works best for your building.
Gantry cranes are cranes that are built on a base, usually one that’s moveable and free-standing. Though these types of cranes come in all different shapes and sizes, they tend to be smaller and more limited in scope. Ideal for hobbyists or mechanics, larger versions are available for the warehouse to move or hold a lot of weight. The larger the gantry crane, the more expensive the price. One of the biggest benefits of gantry cranes is that small models are fairly inexpensive. However, most warehouses require larger models to hold and transport loads.
Jib cranes resemble the type of crane that you’d likely see on a construction site. They tend to be stationary and floor-mounted and feature a chain host. They’re ideal for lifting objects or materials over short distances. Some benefits of jib cranes include their ease of use, notably when transporting materials over short distances, lifting capacity,and their affordable price. However, the drawbacks of jib cranes are their limited lifting power and a lack of flexibility compared to other types of cranes.
Bridge cranes are among the most popular options in warehouses. Their runways are typically custom-designed and built close to the warehouse ceiling. They tend to use the building columns for support. Bridge cranes can encompass the entire warehouse or just part of it. They contain a hoist that moves along the runway and the entire bridge moves forward or backward throughout the warehouse. Bridge cranes are ideal for moving heavy objects throughout the warehouse, and they’re known for their reliability and efficiency. Unlike some of the other cranes on this list, they can carry objects throughout a warehouse and not just transport them within a specified, fixed area. They’re also among the most expensive types of overhead cranes.
Workstation cranes are similar to bridge cranes, except they tend to work over a more fixed space and they have floor-mounted supports. They’re ideal for warehouses that require an overhead crane to move objects and materials, but not environments that need a crane to cover the entire space.
Fitting to their name, monorails run on a fixed track over a warehouse, transporting objects and materials similar to an elevated conveyor line. One neat thing about monorail cranes is they’re able to run around curves and not just on a straight track, which makes them ideal for assembly lines and certain transport processes in the warehouse.
Top and Under-Running Cranes
Top and under-running cranes are other popular options for the warehouse and simply describe how the crane is mounted within the building. Top-running cranes are mounted on top of the runway beams – and vice versa for under-running cranes. These cranes tend to have increased lifting ability and can traverse a significant distance due to their design and makeup.
Contact A-Lined Today
For more information on the various types of overhead cranes discussed, contact A-Lined Handling Systems today.