One of the most important pieces of equipment in a manufacturing or production environment is an overhead crane system. The proper use of the crane provides a safe environment for operators and allows for precise piece movement throughout a building. Sometimes a crane will be used to lift heavy objects, while at other times, it will merely be used to position items along an assembly line. So what is an overhead crane system? Basically, an overhead crane is a system that provides power through the use of motors and cables to move objects from one place to another. That said, let us now look at the components of an overhead crane system.
The parts of an overhead crane
It is important to understand the components of a crane before purchasing one or even renting one. This way, you are in a better position to determine whether the crane you are receivingfrom your industrial supplier is the best fit for the job.The parts of an overhead crane system typically include:
- Cabin / Operator’s Booth – This is where the operator sits while manipulating objects using controls within easy reach while remaining inside the safety of the cabin itself. Typically this section contains windows that allow visibility in every direction.
- Typically this part of an overhead crane is made out of steel, but newer units are being produced with lightweight materials such as aluminum. These are lighter than steel while still providing strength components that are needed for safe operation.
- Electrical Controls – The electrical control center typically houses circuit breakers that ensure electricity flow remains uninterrupted while protecting equipment from overload conditions. Operator controls used to run the crane include pushbuttons, limit switches, joystick/steering controls, and more depending on whether or not it’s a local or remote-controlled system.
- Boom Sections – The number of boom sections will vary depending on the size of the crane. Each section is a self-contained unit that contains a pin at one end and a wedge at the other end. As you add more sections to the crane, this allows it to extend in length while still maintaining a level position.
- Remote Controls – Where the crane is mounted, and its job will determine if it’ll need a remote control. For example, smaller cranes that are l mounted and used for material handling may not require a remote control since they can be operated from an adjacent platform or ladder. Whereas if the crane is located on a barge and is being used for pipe-lay operations, then a remote would be required.
- Lighting – There are standard lights that come with most cranes, but additional lighting can help illuminate places where there are low light levels. Navigation lights also serve to make the crane visible from other ships when in port. On some models, you can add floodlights at different angles to increase the visibility of the work area.
- Trolley- A motion-controlled trolley is necessary to reduce the operator’s exposure to overhead hazards. Trolleys can be either continuous or rotational and are recommended if the crane will be used in restricted spaces such as a ship hold.
- Bumpers- Bumpers are recommended for cranes that may be used on open decks or if working close to an edge of a platform (such as at the stern of a ship). Bumpers serve as cushions and will prevent damage to equipment casings and also protect personnel from falling objects.
- Runway- The runway must be made of a suitable material for both weight and movement. As cranes tend to move around while working, the runway may need to be changed if it becomes worn out.