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Benefits of custom overhead cranes for shipyards

Customizing bridge cranes is not a very new topic, and it can even be said that most customers will realize after communicating with us that customizing bridge cranes is the best solution. Today we will analyze a case of a customized bridge crane from an American shipyard, helping customers understand why customized bridge cranes are the most cost-effective from some details. If you want to quickly understand the benefits of customization, you can remember the following keywords:Improved Efficiency, Flexibility and Adaptability, Safety Enhancements, Cost Effectiveness.

How to provide lifting solutions for ship manufacturers

This case is about installing a series of bridge cranes and hoists for a shipbuilding factory in Decatur, Indiana, USA. The product is a series of fiberglass powered boats ranging in length from 24 feet to 50 feet, made from raw materials.

The crane manufacturer was called upon to find a solution when the custom wanted to respond to demand to make larger and heavier vessels.

There is a pond out front and pool bays inside. The pools are used to test the motors in the boats; they use the cranes to lift the boats in and out of these pools.

Most of the previously existing cranes were removed, as they had mismatched hoists and speeds, making way for similar but updated cranes. Below-the-hook equipment, such as nylon slings and spreader bars, was retained.

A total of eight bays needed to be covered. The major challenge was confined space, given that the existing building had a 20ft 10.5in truss height and 18ft 2.0in crane rail height.

They were working within an existing building with an already tight lifting application.

We had to come in and reinforce their building steel along the runways and building columns so that the runways for the cranes could handle the additional capacity. We had to keep our sizing within the existing crane window despite the need for even bigger cranes; we did this by notching the girders and other methods.

Additionally, the customer did not want to go through the process of changing out all of their runways for the added capacity, as this would have been expensive and caused downtime.

The first thing to determine is the weight required in terms of capacity for the bow and stern of each ship. The stern, being heavier, required an 8.0-ton crane; and the bow, being lighter, required a 6.0-ton crane. Tandem radio remote controls are utilised to get the two cranes to lift the boat together.

While the lifting equipment is only required to work to moderate duty, they are operated daily, during every shift.

One of our more experienced salespeople had the idea to add intermediate columns in the middle of the runway. This alone allowed them to keep all the runways and have minimal downtime.

During the installation process, we chose standard wire rope hoists and crane kits, using fully side mounted end trucks to keep the crane as close to the narrow window as possible. The span of each crane is equivalent, approximately 47 feet 6 inches. Each bay has an 8.0 ton and a 6.0 ton crane to support the weight of larger ships.

We added a radio remote control with A/B/both selector switch. This allows the company to be able to move the bridges at the same time.

In addition to the larger bay cranes, eight new 2.0-ton capacity underhung R&M cranes were installed in a smaller bay area.

The low headroom of the wire rope hoists allowed the custom to avoid any unnecessary costs that would have been caused by structural alterations.

The entire process lasted from January to September. We can learn a great deal from the experience of our team – from sales to engineering to our field crews.

Benefits of custom overhead cranes for shipyards

If you have read all the content above, I believe you have a certain understanding of the advantages of customized bridge cranes. Let's go back to the few keywords mentioned in the first paragraph and explain in detail the meanings they represent:

  • Improved Efficiency: Custom overhead cranes are designed specifically to meet the unique needs of the shipyard. They can be tailored to fit the specific dimensions and working conditions of the shipbuilding facility, enabling more efficient material handling and transportation. This can lead to faster turnaround times and increased production rates.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Custom cranes can be designed to handle a wide range of loads and materials, from small components to large sections of ships. They can also be configured with special attachments or jibs to suit the specific lifting requirements of different shipbuilding projects. This flexibility allows shipyards to adapt quickly to changing job demands.
  • Safety Enhancements: Safety is a critical concern in any industrial environment, and shipyards are no exception. Custom overhead cranes can be equipped with advanced safety features, such as overload protection, collision avoidance systems, and remote control options. These features can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, keeping workers safe while improving overall operational safety.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Although custom overhead cranes may have a higher upfront cost compared to standard cranes, they can often provide long-term cost savings. Their increased efficiency and productivity can lead to faster project completion times, reduced downtime, and decreased maintenance costs. Additionally, custom cranes can be designed to last longer and require less frequent repairs or replacements.
  • Customized Ergonomics: Custom overhead cranes can be designed to fit the ergonomic needs of the shipyard workforce. This can include adjusting the crane's height, reach, and speed to minimize physical strain and fatigue for operators. By improving ergonomics, custom cranes can help reduce worker fatigue and increase overall worker satisfaction and productivity.
Benefits of custom overhead cranes for shipyards

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