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Gantry crane

Gantry crane

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Gantry cranes, bridge cranes, and overhead crane
Overhead crane
An overhead crane, commonly called a bridge crane, is a type of crane found in industrial environments. An overhead crane consists of parallel runways with a traveling bridge spanning the gap...

s
, are all types of crane
Crane (machine)
A crane is a type of machine, generally equipped with a hoist, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. It uses one or more simple machines to create mechanical advantage and thus move loads beyond the normal capability of...

s
which lift objects by a hoist
Hoist (device)
A hoist is a device used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps. It may be manually operated, electrically or pneumatically driven and may use chain, fiber or wire rope as its lifting medium. The load is attached to the hoist by means of a...

which is fitted in a hoist trolley and can move horizontally on a rail or pair of rails fitted under a beam. An overhead travelling crane, also known as an overhead crane or as a suspended crane, has the ends of the supporting beam resting on wheels running on rails at high level, usually on the parallel side walls of a factory
Factory
A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial building where laborers manufacture goods or supervise machines processing one product into another. Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production...

 or similar large industrial building, so that the whole crane can move the length of the building, while the hoist can be moved to and from across the width of the building. A gantry crane or portal crane has a similar mechanism supported by uprights, usually with wheels at the foot of the uprights allowing the whole crane to traverse. Some portal cranes may have only a fixed gantry, particularly when they are lifting loads such as railway cargoes that are already easily moved beneath them.
Overhead crane and gantry crane are particularly suited to lifting very heavy objects and huge gantry cranes have been used for shipbuilding where the crane straddles the ship allowing massive objects like ships' engines to be lifted and moved over the ship. Two famous gantry cranes built in 1974 and 1969 respectively, are Samson and Goliath
Samson and Goliath (cranes)
Samson and Goliath are the twin shipbuilding gantry cranes situated at Queen's Island, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The cranes, which were named after the Biblical figures Samson and Goliath, dominate the Belfast skyline and are landmark structures of the city....

, which reside in the largest dry dock
Dry dock
A drydock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform...

 in the world in Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. Each crane has a span of 140 metres and can lift loads of up to 840 tonne
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

s to a height of 70 metres, making a combined lifting capacity of over 1,600 tonnes, one of the largest in the world.
However; gantry cranes are also available running on rubber tyres so that tracks are not needed, and small gantry cranes can be used in workshops, for example for lifting automobile engines out of vehicles.


Container crane



A ship-to-shore rail mounted gantry crane is a specialised version of the gantry crane in which the horizontal gantry rails and their supporting beam are cantilever
Cantilever
A cantilever is a beam anchored at only one end. The beam carries the load to the support where it is resisted by moment and shear stress. Cantilever construction allows for overhanging structures without external bracing. Cantilevers can also be constructed with trusses or slabs.This is in...

ed out from between frame uprights spaced to suit the length of a standard freight container, so that the beam supporting the rails projects over a quayside and over the width of an adjacent ship allowing the hoist to lift containers from the quay and move out along the rails to place the containers on the ship. The uprights have wheels which run in tracks allowing the crane to move along the quay to position the containers at any point on the length of the ship. The first versions of these cranes were designed and manufactured by Paceco Corporation They were called Portainers and became so popular that the term Portainer is commonly used as a generic term to refer to all ship-to-shore rail mounted gantry cranes.

Workstation Gantry Cranes


Workstation gantry cranes are used to lift and transport smaller items around a working area in a factory or machine shop. Some workstation gantry cranes are equipped with an enclosed track, while others use an I-beam, or other extruded shapes, for the running surface. Most workstation gantry cranes are intended to be stationary when loaded, and mobile when unloaded. Workstation Gantry Cranes can be outfitted with either a Wire Rope hoist as shown in the above hoist (device)
Hoist (device)
A hoist is a device used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps. It may be manually operated, electrically or pneumatically driven and may use chain, fiber or wire rope as its lifting medium. The load is attached to the hoist by means of a...

 picture or a lower capacity Chain Hoist.

Rail Mounted or EOT Gantry Cranes


Electrical Overhead Travelling (EOT) cranes or Gantry Cranes are commonly found in factory applications such as steel yards, paper mills or locomotive repair shops. The EOT gantry crane functions similarly to an overhead bridge crane, but has rails installed on the ground and gantry-style legs to support the crane. Capacities range from 2 to 200 tons, and sometimes even greater capacities. Most are electrically powered and painted safety yellow.

When bridge cranes and Gantry cranes became more popular in factories in the late 1800s a steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

 was sometimes used as a way to power these devices. The lifting and moving would be transferred from a fixed line shaft
Line shaft
A line shaft is a power transmission system used extensively during the Industrial Revolution. Prior to the widespread use of electric motors small enough to be connected directly to each piece of machinery, line shafting was used to distribute power from a large central power source to machinery...

. the picture on the right shows an example of system powered by a line shaft and steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

. The overhead crane is from 1875, and was one of the first systems to be powered in such a way.

History


Gantry cranes using built-up style hoists are frequently used in modern systems. These built up hoists are used for heavy-duty applications such as steel coil handling and for users desiring long life and better durability. Also used are package hoists, built as one unit in a single housing, generally designed for ten-year life, but the life calculation is based on an industry standard when calculating actual life. See the Hoists Manufacturers Institute site for true life calculation which is based on load and hours used. In today's modern world for the North American market there are a few governing bodies for the industry. The Overhead Alliance is a group that represents Crane Manufacturers Association of America
Crane Manufacturers Association of America
The Crane Manufacturers Association of America is an independent trade association in the United States. It is affiliated with the United States Division of Material Handling Industry. The voluntary association of CMAA members has existed since 1955. Member companies represent industry leaders in...

 (CMAA), Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI), and Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA). These product counsels of the Material Handling Industry of America have joined forces to create promotional materials to raise the awareness of the benefits to overhead lifting that also include gantry cranes. The members of this group are marketing representatives of the member companies.

Early manufacture

  • 1840: Mass production
    Mass production
    Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

     of overhead cranes starts in Germany
  • 1861: First steam powered
    Steam engine
    A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

     overhead crane, installed by John Ramsbottom
    John Ramsbottom (engineer)
    John Ramsbottom was an English mechanical engineer who created many inventions for railways, including the piston ring, the Ramsbottom safety valve, the displacement lubricator, and the water trough.- Biography :...

     at the Crewe Railway workshops
    Crewe Works
    Crewe railway works is a British railway engineering facility built in 1840 by the Grand Junction Railway. It is located in the town of Crewe, in the county of Cheshire....

    . Power was transmitted to the crane from a pulley driven by a stationary engine through an endless cotton rope.
  • 1887: Ludwig Stuckenholz company introduces electrical components to overhead cranes determining industry design.
  • 1910: first Mass production
    Mass production
    Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

     Electric motor
    Electric motor
    An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

     hoist start being produced in Germany.

Notable Gantry Cranes and Dates

  • 2008: The world's biggest 20000t gantry crane Taisun
    Taisun
    Taisun is the world's strongest crane and has a safe working load of 20,000 metric tons . Taisun is designed and built for the installation of very large modules in semi submersibles and FPSO projects and located at Yantai Raffles Shipyard in Yantai, Shandong Province, China...

     was installed in Yantai
    Yantai
    Yantai is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. Located on the southern coast of the Bohai Sea and the eastern coast of the Laizhou Bay, Yantai borders the cities of Qingdao and Weihai to the southwest and east respectively.The largest fishing...

    , China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     at the Yantai Raffles Shipyard
    Yantai Raffles Shipyard
    Yantai Raffles Shipyard is a shipbuilding company in Yantai, Shandong Province, Peoples Republic of China. Yantai Raffles specializes in offshore and marine fabrication, and shares in the company have been traded on the Oslo OTC system in Norway since May 2006.In 1994, Brian Chang founded Yantai...


See also

  • Container terminal
    Container terminal
    A container terminal is a facility where cargo containers are transshipped between different transport vehicles, for onward transportation. The transshipment may be between container ships and land vehicles, for example trains or trucks, in which case the terminal is described as a maritime...

  • New York Central Railroad 69th Street Transfer Bridge
    New York Central Railroad 69th Street Transfer Bridge
    The 69th Street Transfer Bridge, part of the West Side Line of the New York Central Railroad, was a dock for car floats which allowed the transfer of railroad cars from the rail line to car floats which crossed the Hudson River to the Weehawken Yards in New Jersey...

  • List of historical harbour cranes