Choosing Your Overhead Crane
A Simple and Easy Guide to Assist You
An overhead crane which is also known as a bridge crane is a material handling product that is critical for workflow production. It involves a hook-and-line mechanism that runs along a horizontal beam, which runs on a supporting structure called a runway beam.
Overhead cranes come in single, double and box girder designs, which depend on your lifting capacity or application. Typically, single girder designs support lifting capacities up to approximately 20 tons with spans of 60 ft. Anything above would be supported by a double or box girder.
Choosing the right solution is critical as there are multiple configurations that need to suit your needs. This is why a majority of them are custom tailored per application.
1. What is the load capacity you need?
The maximum weight of your application should not exceed the lifting capacity of your crane.
2. What is the crane span needed?
The span or width of your crane system is critical in determining the size of the crane needed. Will it be the width of your building or a workstation? An example would be that typically, overhead cranes operate from the ceiling of your building and gantry cranes on the floor in a specific work area.
3. How long will the crane be used?
The operational frequency that your crane will be used will define the crane classification required for your application. Each classification is clearly defined using the CMMA service classes by the Material Handling Industry of America.
4. Free standing or building attached runways?
Typically, overhead crane systems are supported by runway structures that are attached to the building to reduce the amount of space needed for the structure. An alternative method is a free standing runway to support your structure.