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Crane manufacturers are operations that supply industries and commercial
operations with materials suspension equipment. Materials handling
operations require a great diversity of equipment to accommodate all of
the different kinds of loads that they are used to move. Cranes are
often indispensable tools for such operations.
Crane manufacturers offer many different varieties of cranes. They are made for a wide range of lifting and positioning applications and vary in load capacity up to nearly 1,000 tons. Bridge cranes, which in some cases are known as track cranes, are stretched across building structural beams and used as permanent fixtures in manufacturing or distribution facilities, operating from a set of overhead rails. Gantry cranes are bridged between two movable supports, often on wheels, and are typically used outside in large industrial construction applications. Jib cranes, unlike other classes of overhead cranes, are only supported on one side by a vertical support or wall fixture; many workstation cranes are types of jib cranes. A beam extends from the support or wall on a pivot, while the trolley carries the hoist along the overhead beam. Stacker cranes are used in automated computer warehouse systems and move vertically or horizontally on tracks to reach items in large storage facilities. They are an alternative to forklift trucks and are popular in warehouses where conditions are inhospitable to workers. For crane applications that require more than linear movements or are in hard-to-reach places, mobile cranes are used as an alternative to overhead cranes. A large percentage of modern construction operations are accomplished with the help of some kind of crane. Bridges, monuments, cargo ships and other large vehicles and vessels are built using gantry cranes, and most industrial equipment manufacturing and large metalworking processes use built-in overhead traveling cranes to move objects around. Bridge cranes present a safe, easy-to-use alternative to ground transportation in many situations, particularly when handling extremely heavy or awkwardly shaped objects. Because all of a bridge crane's constituent parts are suspended above ground, they do not occupy any space on the ground. Small jib cranes can provide excellent relief from factory or assembly workers continually lifting and moving objects around a facility while taking up little or no valuable floor space. Cranes used for material and equipment handling within a facility, like monorail cranes that are mounted to the ceiling, are often referred to as workstation cranes.
Gantry cranes are one quite common crane variety. Gantries are sometimes supported on one side only and are usually counterbalanced on the side opposite the hoist; these are called half gantries, semi-gantries or cantilevered gantries. Jib cranes differ from semi-gantries or cantilevered gantries in that the overhead arm typically pans 180 degrees horizontally, as opposed to the half gantry's fixed arm. Jib cranes may have a portable one-sided support, or smaller workstation jib crane arms may be attached to the wall; these are often called wall cranes.
Still more innovations have been offered by crane manufacturers even within the context of individual crane configurations. The bridge crane, for example, is available in single and double girder configurations. A bridge crane is a complex of vertical girders to which one (in the case of single girder cranes) or two (in the case of double girder cranes) girders are attached. Attached to the girder or girders is a winch system that is used for lifting and lowering objects. Single girders are sometimes mistakenly considered to be diminished in their capacity for lifting loads compared to double girder varieties. In reality, the only significant difference between single girder and double girder varieties is the maximum height that the bottom of the winch hardware can achieve. Crane manufacturers can advise their customers about the best configuration for a given use. Especially in the construction industry, the applications for cranes can vary widely from project to project. In many cases, such as in the construction or repair of a bridge, mobile cranes, the dimensions and capacities of which can be specially suited for the task, are designed with that specific project in mind. This can be true in many other specialized applications as well.
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Crane Manufacturer Types
fall between completely manual and completely robotic systems and are
used in applications in which robotic systems are much too expensive
and complex to operate. Automated cranes are equipped with encoder-based
fixed belt position and drive assemblies and operate through a preset
cycle or cycles.
one of the most common types of overhead crane, consist of girders, trucks,
end ties, a walkway and a drive mechanism, which carries the trolley
and travels in a direction parallel to the runway.
- Construction cranes are heavy lifting equipment used during construction processes.
- Electric cranes are cranes whose operation is powered by electricity.
are a type of overhead crane in which the bridge for carrying the trolley
or trolleys is rigidly supported by two or more legs running on fixed
rails or a runway.
is a generic term for a crane that is capable of lowering and lifting
a load. Most cranes have hoists.
- Industrial cranes are machinery that use levers and pulleys to operate a long truss, or
arm, that lifts, lowers, carries and relocates what cannot be moved by
smaller machinery or human power.
designed with a bridge girder, commonly called the "boom,"
fixed at one end, allowing the opposite end to cantilever. The fixed
end generally is hinged to allow rotation, and the jib can be telescopic
- Lifting cranes are machinery that use levers and pulleys to operate a long boom, or
truss, that lifts, lowers, carries and moves loads that are too heavy
to be moved by smaller machinery or human power.
- Mobile cranes include any sort of crane that is mounted on a mobile vehicle on land, air or water.
- Overhead cranes are cranes that are used in all kinds of industrial applications; they can be used for the lifting of products in a wide variety of contexts.
have crane bridges to carry a heavy-lift hook trolley that is sometimes
equipped with an auxiliary host. Powerhouse cranes are able to be accurately,
reliably and safely operated due to their variable
- Stacker cranes have mechanisms similar to forklifts and move along tracks that are part of an AS/RS retrieval system. They are used to help maximize vertical storage space because they can access trays and pallets on very high storage racks.
- Track cranes are cranes that move along a track or monorail within an industrial facility.
consist of a base bolted into a large concrete pad and a mast (or tower)
that gives the tower crane its height. The mast is connected to the
base and the gear and motor-called a slewing unit-that allows
the crane to rotate. Tower cranes are used in the construction of tall structures.
- Workstation cranes are used in indoor facilities for material and equipment handling, lifting and relocating.
Crane Manufacturer Terms
- A rolled
structural steel member, typically used as a bridge girder for short span
or low capacity cranes.
- A type of short end
truck that is attached to the end of one girder or to a connecting member
if more than one truck is utilized per girder. Bogies are used when the
design of the runway necessitates more than four wheels on the crane.
- A mechanism mounted horizontally
on the trolley of an overhead crane. A load is lowered or hoisted by the
boom at a point other than directly under the hoist drum or trolley.
- An enclosed, rectangular
cross-section of girders, trucks or other members.
- The part of an overhead
crane that carries the trolley and travels parallel to the runway. Bridges
consist of girders, trucks, end ties, a walkway and a drive mechanism.
- An electrical
conductor, at times incorrectly referred to as a "trolley conductor,"
that provides power and control circuits to the trolley. Bridge conductors
are located along the bridge girders.
- The compartment from which
the operator controls the crane.
- The slight upward vertical
curve given to girders to partially compensate for deflection due to hook
load and weight of the crane.
- An assembly, also
called a "trolley," that supports a load and runs on a monorail
track or crane girders.
- The top or bottom
plate of a box girder.
- The loads on a structure
that remain in a fixed position relative to the structure.
- The walkway with
handrail and toe-boards, attached to the bridge or trolley for access
- The principal horizontal
beams of the crane bridge, which support the trolley and are supported
by the end trucks.
- A mechanism used for
lifting and lowering a load.
- The lifting attachment
point suspended from the hoist machinery, typically single- or double-pronged.
Double-pronged hooks are known as "sister hooks."
- A sheave used
to equalize tension in opposite parts of a rope.
- The assembly of
hook, swivel, bearing, sheaves, pins and frame suspended by the hoisting
- A load used in durability calculations
accounting for both maximum and minimum loads.
- A grooved wheel or
pulley used with a rope or chain to change direction and point of application
of a pulling force.
- The unit carrying
the hoisting mechanism that travels on the bridge rails.
- The vertical plate
connecting the upper and lower flanges or cover plates of a girder.