Heavy lifting and workstation flow can improve dramatically with the installation of an overhead crane. Chains, wires, and free-form cranes can lift all types of objects and reduce the hassle it takes to move heavy objects around a warehouse. When shopping for a new overhead crane, there are multiple options to choose from. Along with the workload and weight limits, you must choose a proper installation method for the crane. Typically, you have two options for crane installation: a freestanding workstation or a ceiling-mounting workstation. Breaking down your warehouse environment can help you make the best decision for the installation of the crane. Browse through different elements that can impact your final decision on the type of installation you should choose for the overhead crane.
The flooring of the warehouse can make a huge difference for the type of installation you choose to have. Freestanding workstations need a stable floor environment to remain balanced and stable while operating. This is why freestanding cranes can typically only be installed on a flat concrete surface. The hard concrete provides the stability for the crane and the legs that are used to stabilize it. If your warehouse has a slope or different types of flooring material, then you should probably stick with a ceiling-mounted workstation. This will make the installation easier and is a better option than redoing all of the flooring in your warehouse.
The flow of your warehouse is an important aspect when choosing the type of workstation you want installed. If your employees use forklifts and other small machinery, you want to keep the floor open for these vehicles to travel around on. A ceiling-mounted workstation can keep areas open and easy to navigate for these devices. If your warehouse consists of mostly foot traffic, then the freestanding workstation may be the better option. The bases on these workstations can actually help you mark off the area where the crane operates and help for safety reasons. Colored support beams can indicate where the crane workstation starts and help employees recognize this location.
Roof Support Structure
The installation of a ceiling-mounted workstation relies on support from the roof of a warehouse. Warehouses with steel beams and support structures can help handle the weight and pressure that this type of workstation brings. If your warehouse has a basic ceiling without a lot of support, then you may have to choose a freestanding workstation for the installation. When shopping around, crane dealers can help you select the best option based on your roof formation. Some types of sloped roofs may not be compatible with the ceiling-mounted option so a freestanding workstation would make the best choice.
When purchasing your first overhead crane, you have to consider any possible expansions in the future. If the support beams for a freestanding workstation are already pushing the warehouse limits in space and location, then you may not have the space to expand or install an overhead crane that can handle more weight. For example, new support beams and expansion may block exits or entry points in your warehouse. It could also impact traffic areas and disturb the natural flow that your employees are used to.
When choosing a ceiling-mounted workstation, it's easier to add new tracks and expand your options. This includes installing a second crane on it's own track. With the ceiling support already in place, new cranes can easily be swapped out without dramatically changing the flow of your warehouse. If you do plan on expanding in the future, discuss this with a crane dealer so you can select the best options and have a versatile installation that can easily change.
Every warehouse is different and that's why it's important to look at your options and select the best overhead bridge crane for your needs. For more information, contact a company like American Equipment Inc.