What are some of the challenges facing today's industrial companies?

Many facility operators who own enclosed track workstation cranes were prompted to invest in them by one or more operational barriers. After months or years of contending with inefficiency, damaged product and employee injuries, they were ready to find a solution that would make a difference in their operational productivity and safety. Here are some of the top challenges that prompt operators of industrial companies to consider an enclosed track workstation crane:

  • Limited floor space: Warehouse overcrowding is a growing trend across the United States. In most cases, overcrowding is caused by underestimating the growth potential of a business. Business operators often put off the purchase of heavy lifting equipment due to fears that they will not have sufficient space. 
  • Changing applications: Many businesses evolve in tandem with consumer demands. This often means adopting new technology and expanding their product mixes to accommodate changing preferences. For example, a company that initially specializes in tabletop sterilizers may begin to manufacture industrial size autoclaves. 
  • Safety concerns: With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, it is not a surprise that today's workforce is comprised of older employees who are at increased risk of physical injury. Preventing injury among aging workers and employees of all ages has become a key challenge for today's safety managers.
  • Equipment wear and tear: Regular preventive maintenance for cranes and other lifting equipment is a must to ensure employee safety and equipment longevity. Unfortunately, many companies fail to properly maintain their cranes and other equipment. Procurement managers often exacerbate the problem by purchasing equipment that is difficult to keep in working order.
  • Limited budgets: In addition to spatial constraints, maintenance challenges, and safety concerns, business managers are often forced to operate within a very limited budget. This can make it difficult to find high quality lifting equipment that will stand the test of time. At times, it might seem like a dream to find a cost-effective overhead crane.  

How do enclosed track workstation cranes address these challenges?

Enclosed track workstation cranes offer a host of attractive benefits to businesses seeking to maximize space, safety and productivity. And with starting prices that are a fraction of the cost of standard bridge cranes, enclosed track systems are a welcome solution for budget-conscious business operators. Below are the top twelve advantages of enclosed track workstation cranes.

1) A lightweight design facilitates movement

Top manufacturers produce enclosed tracks that are extremely strong but lightweight. A lightweight enclosed rail design makes it much easier to move an enclosed track workstation crane than a standard ceiling mounted bridge crane. This lighter weight design also minimizes the applied force the support structure must endure.

2) Maneuverability is superb

The most sophisticated crane in the world will be of little use to your facility if it is not easy to maneuver. Enclosed track workstation cranes are significantly easier to move compared to traditional I-beam cranes. This improved maneuverability stems from the crane's high strength to weight ratio and enclosed track design.  

3) Nearly all employees can safely handle them

Some business owners make the mistake of investing in equipment that can only be used by a tiny percentage of their workforce. For example, a study by the Rochester Institute of Technology found that fewer than one in ten men are able to safely handle a 4,000-lb. load using a manual I-beam crane. Gorbel® Work Station Cranes, in contrast, can be safely used by more than 99 percent of men.  

4) Maintenance is minimized

Through their forward-thinking design, enclosed track workstation cranes endure minimal wear and tear on the wheels of their trolleys and end trucks. This is because the enclosed track design prevents dirt and debris from coating the rolling surface. The result is a crane that functions smoothly and is easy to clean and maintain. 

5) Installation is easier

Most enclosed track cranes are able to be installed without special foundations, enabling facilities with standard reinforced concrete flooring to install a new crane with relative ease and speed. Their small footprint also contributes to a faster, easier installation. And if you decide to reconfigure your workstation in the future, enclosed track systems are fairly easy to modify.

6) Your business will save money

Enclosed track systems are growing in popularity among cost-conscious business owners and operators. Costs are reduced because many facilities can utilize their existing floors and foundations. Additionally, a faster installation process means less downtime. Finally, their small footprint means that that enclosed track systems can be installed without impeding regular business operations and productivity.

7) You will optimize floor space 

With overcrowding becoming increasingly common among facilities of all sizes, it is critical to find a crane style that will help you maximize floor space. Choosing an enclosed track system allows you to minimize the amount of floor space used. At the same time, you can easily expand your workstation by adding additional bridges or runway sections without utilizing more floor space.

8) You can customize your workstation crane

A workstation crane should help you achieve your production and safety goals above all else. But many people are unaware that choices exist regarding materials and crane color. Enclosed track systems are available in aluminum or steel and you can even choose from a variety of custom paint colors.

You can help ensure that your new crane is a good fit with your workplace surroundings by simply asking your provider to match your specified paint color. Whether you are seeking a bold red color that matches the red in your company logo or a brilliant yellow that matches your other cranes, you will receive a crane that functions well and looks fantastic.

9) You create a more versatile workplace

Enclosed track cranes offer outstanding versatility to facilities with loads ranging from 150 to 4,000 pounds. They can be used to transfer loads across a linear path or can be used to forge a connection between two or more works areas. Their ease of installation and space-saving design make them an excellent addition to a wide variety of locations, including the following: 

  • Equipment maintenance bays
  • Packaging and shipping areas
  • Individual employee work cells
  • Manufacturing bays
  • Repair and maintenance workstations
  • Machine cells
  • Equipment assembly bays

10) Productivity increases

Next to increasing safety, increased productivity is perhaps the most important benefit that enclosed track systems can bring to a facility. In fact, studies show that enclosed track systems can boost productivity by 28% or more. The system's design facilitates productivity without interfering with handling operation, promoting uninterrupted completion of tasks. As an added bonus, employees are often able to complete training requirements quickly because there are fewer moving parts and functions to master.   

11) Product damage is minimized

Standard I-beam cranes can be difficult for some workers to manage, which can contribute to a higher rate of accidents and product damage. In contrast, enclosed track systems make it easy for 99% of workers to move and position loads. The end result is less product damage and a higher quality of goods. Most importantly, you will enjoy higher rates of customer satisfaction. 

12) Delivery is swift

The moment you complete your purchase of an enclosed track crane, you are likely already visualizing how your new crane will help you fill your next large order or complete the final phase of your warehouse renovation. The last thing you want to hear in these circumstances is that you are facing a six to eight week delivery time. The world's top enclosed track workstation cranes are available for immediate purchase and can be delivered within 5 days so you will be on your way to improved efficiency within a week. 

Selecting the best enclosed track workstation crane

As outlined above, enclosed track workstation cranes offer a host of benefits to users. However, not all workstation cranes are created equal. It is up to you as a plant manager or safety engineer to carefully evaluate the various options on the market and choose a model that is both dependable and affordable. By carefully evaluating crane crane providers in conjunction with your company's needs, you can determine which model is the best fit for your applications.

For over 40 years, Gorbel has helped companies across the globe improve their safety and productivity. To learn more about the specific ways a Gorbel enclosed track workstation crane can benefit your business, contact Gorbel at 1-800-821-0086. An experienced Gorbel team member can discuss your applications and arrange a local demonstration for you and your team. We look forward to helping you build a safer, more productive workplace!