Overhead Cranes in the Construction Industry: Unveiling the Benefits and Practical Applications

An overhead crane is a type of heavy-duty equipment that utilizes the upper space of a construction unit to relocate extremely heavy goods and equipment safely and precisely from one place to another. These cranes play a vital role in enhancing production and ensuring the successful completion of construction projects, where efficiency and safety are of paramount importance.

Overhead cranes have become indispensable tools in the construction sector, being employed in both large-scale infrastructure projects and small-scale construction sites. This article explores overhead cranes’ working, benefits, and applications, highlighting their significance in modern construction.

How Do Overhead Cranes Work?

The usage of an overhead crane is more practical and effective than navigating hallways and floor space when it comes to moving large goods or exceptionally big loads inside a construction unit. Overhead cranes operate by moving loads back and forth and side to side across a rectangular area. A hoist, which is a lifting device, is attached to a trolley that moves horizontally along a bridge beam supported by one or more horizontal girders. The end trucks, connected perpendicular to the girders, travel on fixed runways. An operator uses a pendant station or wireless control to direct the crane’s direction and speed.

There are many different sizes, styles, shapes, and combinations of overhead cranes, as well as a wide range of different parts and accessories. Several popular kinds of overhead cranes include:

Bridge Cranes/EOT Cranes -These are the most frequently used overhead cranes in construction. They are made up of two parallel runways connected by a moving bridge. This design allows heavy loads to be moved effectively throughout the workstation.

Gantry Cranes– These cranes have a similar design to bridge cranes, however, differ in their supporting structures. Gantry cranes are supported by legs or wheels and can move around the ground instead of being mounted on elevated runways. They are very adaptable and frequently used on building sites where installing overhead runways is impossible.

Jib Cranes– These cranes have a horizontal jib arm mounted to a wall or pillar, which allows for a variety of rotational motions. These cranes are frequently used in construction projects for lifting and transporting goods inside a small area. Jib cranes are especially beneficial for tasks that call for precise positioning or flexibility in limited places.

Benefits of Overhead Cranes

It’s essential to have the right equipment, not just any tools, when running a construction business to ensure that your processes run smoothly. You can increase productivity, move items and supplies inside your facility more effectively, and gain a variety of other benefits by using an overhead crane, including the following:

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

Heavy goods that would be difficult or time-consuming to handle manually can be lifted and moved with great efficiency using overhead cranes. Once you have an overhead crane, you can depend on it to lift and move objects around your facilities. This equips personnel in the construction industry to complete jobs faster and more effectively, thus streamlining the construction process, reducing downtime, and optimising the utilization of labour resources.

In order to reduce the danger of accidents or equipment failure, it is essential to remember that each crane has a set lifting capacity. Overhead cranes speed up material handling by automating the lifting process, cutting down on project schedules and increasing operational efficiency.

Enhanced Safety

On construction sites, safety is of the utmost importance, especially while working with big objects. By eliminating the need for workers to manually carry and handle large goods, overhead cranes play a significant part in reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. 

These cranes also have a number of safety measures, such as anti-sway technology, emergency stop systems, and overload protection. These characteristics provide safe and steady loads, lowering the possibility of human mistakes and fostering a more secure working environment for construction workers.

Avoid Hindrances on the Floor

Due to their elevated posture, which brings them to the ceiling height of the facility, overhead cranes provide a special benefit. This posture gives them the ability to successfully go around any barriers in the warehouse where construction materials are being stored, providing companies with the freedom to install the crane wherever it is most appropriate for their needs. Additionally, being able to move objects over obstacles securely lowers the possibility of product damage during lifting and moving operations significantly.

Versatility in Load Handling

Through the use of a wide variety of below-the-hook attachments, overhead cranes offer a great degree of customizability. These attachments enable the effective handling of a wide range of goods and loads, including lifting beams, spreader beams, roll & coil lifters, tongs, sheet lifters, and pallet lifters. The ability to modify the cranes with below-the-hook attachments, end effectors, or specialised tools offers a flexible solution, suited to fulfil particular lifting requirements in construction sectors.

This versatility makes overhead cranes suitable for a wide range of construction applications, from lifting steel beams and concrete panels to transporting heavy machinery and equipment.

Cost Savings

Despite the initial expenditure, overhead cranes offer construction businesses long-term cost reductions. These cranes efficiently reduce worker costs and increase overall operational efficiency by automating material handling and decreasing the need for manual labour. Overhead cranes can promote improved productivity and quicker project completion, which can result in significant financial benefits including early project income collection and lower overhead costs. Additionally, these cranes run on electricity, which is more economical than the heavy-engine diesel utilised in conventional cranes. Additionally, the crane’s lack of significant smoke emissions helps to reduce environmental pollution.

Applications of Overhead Cranes in Construction

In several industrial contexts, overhead cranes, especially bridge and jib cranes, play a crucial role in the effective processing and handling of big and oversized materials that are difficult to operate using conventional material handling techniques and equipment. Let’s look at some of the main application areas within the construction industry where these cranes are often used:

Construction Projects

In many different building tasks, overhead cranes are essential.  They are frequently used to lift and position bulky building materials including trusses, precast concrete panels, and steel beams. Assuring the structural integrity and prompt completion of buildings, these cranes offer the required strength and precision to manoeuvre materials into position.

Warehouse and Logistics

To optimize material handling and storage operations within the construction industry, overhead cranes such as the iStacker crane play a crucial role in warehouses and logistics facilities. These cranes enable efficient vertical movement, enabling the utilization of available space to its maximum potential. With their robust lifting capacities and precise control, overhead cranes can effortlessly stack and retrieve large pallets, containers, and construction commodities. Consequently, they significantly enhance warehouse operations by facilitating streamlined processes.

Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure projects, which range from bridges and highways to dams and power plants, require the management of large parts and materials. In these undertakings, overhead cranes excel at effectively lifting and moving huge goods across great distances. They are essential for infrastructure development because of their ability to move about big construction sites and carry heavy loads.

Industrial Construction

Heavy machinery and equipment are frequently installed during industrial building construction. These components are efficiently and safely installed in the prescribed regions using overhead cranes. The simple setup and commissioning of production facilities are made possible by these cranes’ ability to lift and position large machinery, generators, boilers, and other industrial equipment.

Shipbuilding and Offshore Construction

Heavy components and materials must be handled by specialised equipment while building ships and offshore buildings. In shipyards and offshore building sites, overhead cranes are essential for lifting and installing big ship sections, engines, and other components. These cranes are made to endure challenging marine environments and offer the required lifting capacities for shipbuilding and offshore construction jobs.

To Conclude:

The selection of an overhead crane for a building project must take into account a number of elements. These comprise the necessary lifting capacity, the working area’s size, the kind of weight to be lifted, and any unique environmental circumstances. To choose the best crane layout and specifications for the desired application, consulting crane manufacturers or specialists is crucial. Please visit our website or get in touch with us by phone at +91 (22) 489-33303 or email enquire@indef.com to speak with our material handling professional for additional information. We are available to offer suggestions for your forthcoming project and guarantee that the chosen crane complies with professional standards.