CraneWerks Makes a Tailored Box Girder Solution for Reliable Results

CraneWerks Makes a Tailored Box Girder Solution for Reliable Results

A customer in the construction industry required a custom mono-box girder solution to accommodate the required span to meet their specific lifting needs.

Case Study 6: Improve Safety and Efficiency at Your Semi-Trailer Manufacturing Plant

When a semi-trailer manufacturer decided to expand their operations and improve their manufacturing process…

Case Study 5: Galvanizing Plant Bridge Crane Rehab

A galvanizing plant in Muncie, Indiana had a bridge crane in need of some serious assistance. Galvanizing is a process by which metal pieces and equipment are coated by molten zinc, making them many times more resistant to oxidization. The hot-dip galvanizing process involves some extremely corrosive chemicals (most notably hydrochloric acid [HCL]) that have a hugely damaging effect on any metal equipment used in the galvanizing process. Even the hardiest steel bridge crane can’t stand long against that kind of daily caustic bombardment… we should know, because the 10-year-old bridge crane in question was one of our own – a 10-ton single-girder top running unit that CraneWerks designed, built and installed in 2010. Under normal circumstances and with regular maintenance, this crane would’ve lasted 30 years or more without breaking a sweat. After a single decade in this environment, though, it looked more like a 100-year-old crane than a 10-year-old one.


The Application:

  • Customer: A Muncie, Indiana galvanizing plant that’s part of a multinational galvanizing and metal treatment corporation.
  • Dealer: Harriman Material Handling
  • Rehabber/installer: CraneWerks, Inc.
  • Original manufacturer/dealer: CraneWerks, Inc./Harriman Material Handling

The customer is a company specializing in hot-dip galvanizing. Their decade-old 10-ton single-girder bridge crane was in need of some serious TLC after daily inundation by some of the most caustic substances in the industrial world.


The Challenge:

To breathe new life into a crane that looked to be on its last legs. The 10-ton single-girder top running overhead bridge crane – that CraneWerks had designed, built and installed for them 10 years earlier – was a pitted-out mess, with a deteriorating flange, end trucks in danger of falling off the girder, and a pair of hoists that seemed ready to give up the ghost.


The Solution:

CraneWerks replaced the crane’s old end trucks with entirely new ones. We refurbished the entire crane: girder, all parts (including hoists) and particularly the flange, which was especially deteriorated. We also replaced the old controller with a new VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) unit, which offers improved load control, greater efficiency and increased hoist life.


The Results:

Customer received a completely rejuvenated 10-ton, single-girder crane for a fraction of the price of total replacement; a crane ready to face the rigors of day-to-day duty in this particularly challenging and caustic work environment.



Case Study 4: 30-Liter Genset Lifter

The client, a major national manufacturer of diesel engines, needed a below-hook lifting device to safely pick up a fully assembled engine and generator. Oh, and it needed to be battery-powered, too, for mobile operation. That’s no mean feat, but Harriman Material Handling and CraneWerks were more than up to the task.


The Application:

Customer: (major national diesel engine manufacturer)
Dealer: Harriman Material Handling
Below-hook device designer/manufacturer/installer: CraneWerks, Inc.
Engine manufacturer: Cummins, Inc.
Generator/power systems manufacturer: Fridley Minnesota

The customer was a Columbus, Indiana company that makes diesel engines for commercial vehicles. They needed a below-hook lifting device to pick up a fully assembled commercial diesel engine with 30-liter Fridley diesel generator.


The Challenge:

Customer needed a lifting device to pick up their fully assembled 9 ton engine and generator. This fixture needed to be able to locate around a large engine and onto the supporting frame. There were limited locations that would allow the fixture to lift the engine assembly safely with no damage to the supporting frame. Fixture needed to be battery-powered, while still providing enough power to operate.


The Solution:

CraneWerks provided a custom grab-lifting device – a carefully engineered solution that doesn’t damage the engine or its supporting frame. This fixture is large enough to locate around the engine while providing enough travel to safely close around the entire assembly and lift its nine tons. The device includes a redundant locking mechanism that automatically provides a mechanical lock when in the locked position. An indicator light displays lights to the operator to inform when the fixture is locked and ready to lift. A battery-operated system provides abundant power to operate the fixture’s many moving parts, along with a remote to control operation.


The Results:

Customer received a custom, affordable design to safely lift their engine assemblies, one that’s much more efficient and safer than previously-used equipment. Their new CraneWerks fixture perfectly balances the engine assembly while providing a convenient power source for mobile operation.



Case Study 3: U.S. Gypsum Mine

A 20 ton capacity overhead crane and hoist from R&M Materials Handling Inc., sold by Harriman Material Handling (HMH), has been built and installed by CraneWerks 400 ft beneath the surface at the U.S. Gypsum Company Shoals Mine in Indiana.


The Application:

The top running double girder crane, principally chosen based on the short lead time offered by R&M and its Indiana-based distributor, CraneWerks, is being used to assemble and maintain equipment for the mine underground. It spans 35 ft and travels on a 62 ft long runway.

CraneWerks is a Master Distributor for R&M components, who builds cranes that are sold through distributors nationwide. They offer cranes that are pre-engineered, which makes building and shipping them fast.


The Challenge:

Harriman Material Handling, a distributor for both R&M Materials Handling and CraneWerks, came to the team with a unique opportunity.

Challenges were encountered both on the surface and below ground. For instance, the shaft used to get equipment into the mine was much smaller than most of the machinery used below. A 35 ft bridge beam was too long to go down the shaft in one piece. HMH and CraneWerks had to find a way to get the crane components and steel underground.

U.S. Gypsum said: “Being underground is its own challenge. Everything from pouring concrete to lifting the beams is difficult because you don’t have access to a lot of the equipment you would normally think of using. It’s constant problem solving.”


The Solution:

CraneWerks designed a bridge that was built in two pieces so it could fit down the narrow mine shaft before it was welded together at the bottom.

The crane provides a lifting solution on a daily basis, raising mobile equipment components, typically weighing approximately 10 tons, around the area. U.S. Gypsum explained that loads are normally large pieces of fabricated steel components of a larger machine.


“We have trained around 10 people on how to use the crane. About four or five of them use it on a daily basis,” they added.


A top running crane was chosen because it offers the same hook height as a single girder crane, which would require a higher ceiling. The height available is important because the hoist and trolley ride on top of the bridge girders rather than being suspended beneath the bridge girder. This gives the best hook height of any overhead bridge crane option, giving users the maximum amount of lift (distance that the hook can be raised above the floor below) available.


The Results:

U.S. Gypsum said: “We needed a crane capable of moving large pieces around for assembly of equipment in the mine, and the results suggest we found a solution. We could have acquired a few telehandlers that had the necessary weight capacities, but the EOT (electric overhead traveling) crane was the preferred option.”

The crane has been installed at the south end of the mine. The plan is to relocate the site’s maintenance facility to this location in the future.

Case Study 2: Kimura Foundry America

Six R&M Materials Handling Inc. overhead crane systems were installed in just three weeks at the newly constructed Kimura Foundry America Inc. factory in Shelbyville, Indiana. The facility is the company’s first venture outside its native Japan, where it provides rapid prototype (RP) castings and small lot production services.


The Application:

Six R&M Materials Handling Inc. overhead crane systems were installed in just three weeks at the newly constructed Kimura Foundry America Inc. factory in Shelbyville, Indiana. The facility is the company’s first venture outside its native Japan, where it provides rapid prototype (RP) castings and small lot production services. Service Crane Co., which provides industrial cranes, workstation cranes and hoist systems, installed the R&M crane components in Kimura’s new 45,000 sq. ft. facility.

Cody White, Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator at the Shelbyville site, said: “Before a new part, component, or product hits the market, extensive research, development, and testing must take place. Here at Kimura, we are responsible for manufacturing those items prior to mass production. We employ the latest information technology to increase productivity. As a result, we can provide more value-added RP castings and small lot production services to our customers.”

With Kimura’s processes, they shorten industry-standard lead times by months, delivering final products to customers within five to seven days.


The Challenge: 

With the goal of becoming the ‘world’s number one clean foundry’, the factory was a pioneer in factory operation based on ‘5S’: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. White, who oversaw installation of the cranes and conducted operator training, said Kimura’s automated systems are recognized for an ability to reduce performance variation and increase safe operation, as well as to improve productivity. Its clean factory operation effectively reduces workplace accidents and risks.

Due to Kimura’s extremely short lead times, they rely on crane components and parts that are readily available, easily serviced, and provide dependability, all while keeping a safe working environment.

That’s when Service Crane turned to R&M for a solution.


The Solution: 

Mark Drake, Territory Sales at Service Crane Co., explained that originally only five top-running cranes were required—two 3 ton and three 2 ton—but the end user requested an additional 3 ton unit when the others were already installed. The larger ones all have a bridge span of 63.1 ft.


The Results: 

Drake added: “We continue to embrace the varied material handling challenges of Kimura, which has already involved supplying below-the-hook equipment to connect our lifting machinery to the facility’s varied loads.”


Photo Gallery: 

Case Study 1: Wheel Lifter

CraneWerks’ originally engineered below-hook wheel lifter


A semi-truck manufacturer requested a specialized solution for installing wheels onto their trucks. Their current lift assistance device was getting jammed up on floor debris; also, tires were oftentimes falling off the fixture, and the balance was frequently off. This made rotating wheels to install them onto the truck difficult and time-consuming for the operator.


CraneWerks presented an engineered solution that addressed the many issues the customer was having with their current fixture. Our low-profile design allowed the Wheel Lifter to sit as low to the ground as possible, correctly positioning it for even their lowest chassis. Tapered heavy-duty rollers keep the wheel centered and upright when rotating the lug into position and prevent the wheel from falling off the fixture. High-performance casters were added that absorbed floor debris and contributed to the long life of the fixture. Our custom design allowed for the fixture to reach around the truck, eliminating the need for heavy counterweights. The lifter was designed with a high capacity-to-weight ratio, thus allowing for the lifting heavy wheels such as super singles (typically 80-100 lbs. for semi-truck wheels), while still allowing compatibility with the customer’s current hoist setup.

Offering the Perfect Overhead Traveling Crane for the Job

Since 1997, Cranewerks has been providing unique and innovative material handling solutions to industrial workers nationwide. We manufacture and service industrial bridge cranes, and we provide inspection services. Our dealers operate all across the United States and seek to surpass safety standards by providing weekly, monthly, and annual inspections for every single one of our clients. If you require an overhead traveling crane, or need us to come inspect it to ensure it is still doing a satisfactory job, we can provide affordable services.

The Small Business Advantage
Although we have a network of manufacturers and dealers that reaches all across the nation, we also believe in the importance of maintaining a personal and close relationship with each of our clients. We are simultaneously small enough to provide immediate customer support and customized service, and large enough to encompass a wide range of services and skills. We employ expert manufacturers, and companies rely on us for everything from manufacturing, servicing, and inspecting.

Overhead Traveling Crane Customization
Customization is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that a company is satisfied with their overhead traveling crane. Having a customized product at their fingertips allows them to feel more in control. We provide cost-effective re-manufacturing services and customization so that you can get back to doing what you do best, instead of losing valuable working hours by trying to repair or re-manufacture a crane yourself.

Reliable Service
Problems arising from a damaged or malfunctioned bridge crane can be disastrous, both to your employees’ safety and your company’s productivity. At Cranewerks, we seek to eliminate unnecessary stress by providing 24/7 service to customers who need our assistance. No matter what type of help you might need, we always have a skilled manufacturer on hand to help you service your overhead traveling crane, or whichever type of bridge crane you might use.

We have a long history of providing up-to-the-minute servicing, inspecting, and re-manufacturing assistance to customers during technical or sales crises. Since it is essential for companies to remain within the industry standards set forth by the OSHA, we are dedicated to ensure you can get back to work—safely, cheaply, and without hassle.