What are the components of an overhead crane?
We are regularly asked; What are the main components of an Overhead Crane? There are not than many component parts that make up an overhead crane, they do often however get called by different names.
- Hoist Unit: The hoist that does the lifting and lowering and moves the load side to side.
- Crane beam: The single or double beams that span the width of the crane. It is attached either end to the end carriages.
- Electrical Control Panel: The incoming 415v power feed is fed into the panel to power the cranes hoist and motors.
- End Carriages: These power and move the crane along the gantry tracks. A pair of carriages are required, one carriage per end.
- Festoon Systems: The cables that help power the cranes hoists and motors.
We will explain a little more in depth what each component does, how they are used and what to avoid if you are buying one, as well as tips and what is the industry standard within the UK crane market.
Hoist Unit: The hoist unit is the machine that performs the lifting and lowering of the load, it also travels the load from side to side. The hoist will have either steel wire rope or chain top the hook. The hoist unit moves the load in the X and Y axis. Usually 2 speed for accurate load positioning. Some suppliers will sometimes offer a single speed hoist to save a tiny amount of money; but you should always ask for 2 speed or inverter lifting and cross beam travel. 2-speed offers far smoother load movement, and less jerky movements.
Crane Beam: The crane beam or beams, if its a double girder crane, is what the hoist travels left and right on. Overhead crane beams are bolted or occasionally welded, to the cranes end carriages. The crane beam should display the SWL (safe working load) and crane serial number on both sides, by law. If 2 cranes are being used on one run of support steelwork please consider using crane anti collision.
Crane Panel: The gantry crane panel controls the voltage in from 415 volts and reduces it to usually 110 volts or 48 volts. This protects the cranes user as the crane pendant will not have 415v directly to it.
End Carriages: Sold ion pairs end carriages support a main crane beam. These end carriages feature drive units that power the crane forward and backward down the gantry steelwork structure the length of the workshop. Always consider slow down limits to prevent the crane operator hitting the end stops at full speed.
Festoon System: The festoon system is a mobile support for the electrical cables, allowing the cable to move freely and power the hoist unit.