How To Improve Workflow And Optimize Space With Overhead Handling
With the cost of real estate and rents still high, a lot of manufacturing and distribution facilities miss out on an easy way to optimize their existing structure’s space while simultaneously improving workflow: overhead lifting equipment. By adding cranes, hoists and monorails to an operation, a company can take advantage of the overhead space in their buildings, achieving spatial and throughput gains that floor-based transport and placement equipment cannot.
For example, because certain overhead lifting solutions are integrated into the ceiling structure of a building, they enable greater lifting elevations for higher stacking heights. This results in more efficient usage of vertical space and enables an operation to optimize the cubic volume of an existing facility. Such capabilities permit more products to be handled and stored in the current footprint without the need to acquire more buildings or land to gain additional usable square footage.
Additionally, because they move a load in a direct path from one location to another—without having to take extra minutes to carefully navigate through or around aisles, columns, equipment and other obstacles—cranes, monorails and hoists save transport time for an overall increase in operational efficiency. Further, as only a single operator is needed to control the operation of an overhead lifting solution, other workers formerly dedicated to load transport can be reassigned to perform different, more value-added tasks.
Facilities with low ceiling heights can also benefit from overhead handling solutions, such as workstation or jib cranes. Typically smaller in structure, this type of equipment enables an operator to quickly and efficiently lift, position and place an item without experiencing any ergonomic strain. They also reduce the risk of a motorized transport vehicle from coming into contact with personnel.
There are many other efficiency, productivity and cost savings benefits offered by overhead handling systems. To learn more, download the free publication, “Expand Your Possibilities. Discover the Potential. Choose Overhead Lifting,” from MHI’s Overhead Alliance (comprised of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI), and the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA)).