When most people think of a crane, they think of large tower cranes used in the construction of skyscrapers, machines with massive booms that dominate the skyline. In fact, there are several different types of cranes, many of which are used in more compact environments. Overhead cranes, for example, are usually used indoors, such as in warehouses or other industrial settings. The crane typically runs on parallel tracks placed near the roof of a structure and features a hoist—lowered from a bridge spanning the tracks—that allows it to pick up and move material. Below are just three of the major benefits of using an overhead crane in the workplace.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of utilizing an overhead crane is increased efficiency, particularly when compared to regular manpower or a series of different machines. The lifting and maneuvering of heavy material can be slow, complicated, and at times dangerous if you're relying solely on the physical capabilities of the workers on hand. With an overhead crane, materials can be unloaded quickly and moved with a regularity that is simply impossible otherwise.
Because the tracks that overhead cranes operate on are largely stationary, it might be assumed that what advantages they give in terms of efficiency, they lack in versatility. But this couldn't be further from the truth. Overhead cranes offer a huge range of capacity, including carefully moving large containers in crowded spaces, regulating the pace at which a given material is used, and moving objects from one part of an assembly line to another. In some spaces, they may be able to handle loading and unloading duties as well, which can speed up manufacturing processes overnight.
Sure, the up-front costs of purchasing and installing an overhead crane may be significant. But in the long term, the savings potential of using a crane is enormous. Overhead cranes usually make the manufacturing process safer, and so the cost of having to deal with workplace accidents is drastically diminished. On top of that, the product on the floor is usually spared damage it might otherwise normally incur if it were handled less carefully. Finally, the increased productivity that an overhead crane allows for usually means increased revenue and profit as well. Any large business with a warehouse that is looking to lower costs and raise efficiency standards while using a versatile machine should look into what overhead cranes can provide.