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Adapting to Overhead Cranes

Adapting to Overhead Cranes

Overhead cranes are designed to lift and move heavy loads. In manufacturing facilities, this equipment can be used across a variety of industries, such as automotive and aviation. In warehouses, overhead cranes can be used to move any manner of bulky goods as they are stored, organized, and loaded for distribution.

 While essential to many facilities, overhead cranes can also present a challenge when it comes to the division of space. Large manufacturing plants often need discrete working spaces for different operations, while warehouses need that separation for the storage of different product types. How can facilities adapt to overhead cranes while using their space as efficiently as possible?

An AmCraft Solution

ABOVE THE CRANE

When a curtain is mounted above the crane rail, it is essential that it does not interfere with the crane’s movements and functionality. 

The curtain panels above the crane can be mounted parallel to or perpendicular to the crane as long as there are existing structural members available to support the curtain panels or strips.

AmCraft's PVC Strip Curtain
BELOW THE CRANE

Because the hardware for the curtain panels cannot be suspended from the ceiling, we offer a Free-Standing Track System, up to 12’ high, with 12” x 12” floor mounting plates.  The plates are used to secure each upright (upright support has a recommended spacing interval of 5’).  This Free-Standing Track System also allows the curtains to be retractable.

AmCraft's Freestanding Industrial Curtain

Creating Separate Spaces

Businesses need a way to separate areas to maintain temperature control and humidity control; to protect from contaminants; and to manage airflow. Building more walls to divide the space within a manufacturing plant or warehouse is not always feasible in terms of cost and utility, particularly when the facility has to use overhead cranes.

Overhead cranes can lift, lower, and move horizontally, making them a versatile tool, but they need to be able to move freely throughout a facility. Above the crane rail, strip curtains present an effective solution for creating the necessary isolated divisions within a facility without hindering the movement of overhead cranes, as well as equipment like forklifts.

Below the crane rail, some customers use the free standing track system (outlined above), and other customers opt to hang a cable.  This cable would need to be strung between two structural supports. Depending on the width of the cable and how well it is tensioned, the curtain could sag a bit in the center of the width; however it still offers a sturdy solution for hanging any of the following curtain solutions:

Single Layer Curtains – Separate space, control air movement

Thermal Curtain – Separate temperature (available in 5 different R-Values)

Acoustic Curtains – Separate Noise and Absorb Sound

Challenges to Consider

While strip curtains are the answer for many manufacturing facilities and warehouses with overhead cranes, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each facility has a different layout and different needs. Before deciding to get a quote on strip curtains, take into consideration:

 

  • Ceiling configuration. How does a facility’s ceiling come into play if you need to separate space above the overhead crane? Suspended mounting of strip curtains can accommodate easy movement of an overhead crane, but the measurement and installation of the curtains will depend on the slope of the ceiling. Will the cut of the curtain match that slope exactly? A suspended mount requires a one-inch overlap with the strip door bracket and the curtains.
  • Airtightness. While strip curtains allow for movement of overhead cranes, it remains important to ensure airtightness of certain areas. Curtains need to be precisely measured to allow equipment to move where necessary and to stop airflow as soon as that movement is completed.

A Knowledgable Solution

Industrial curtains- single layer, strip, thermal, or acoustic- are a great solution for your facility’s needs but understanding of how to best utilize them in your facility takes specialized knowledge. Our technical representatives’ partner with you to understand the particulars of your business and to get the exact measurements for your curtains. Reach out to us to get started on finding the right curtains for your manufacturing plant or warehouse.

    Common Uses and Benefits of PVC Strip Curtains

    If you’ve ever worked in a kitchen, a warehouse, or factory, chances are you’ve seen PVC strip curtains in the wild. If you haven’t worked in these places, you may have come across them in other places, such as walk-in freezers in some grocery stores, some restaurant or bar entrances, or any number of other locations. PVC strip curtains are used in a variety of different places. They’re utilized for a number of reasons, and offer many benefits. If you’re not sure if they’d benefit you at your place of business or work, check out this crash course in PVC strip curtains to learn more.

    Common Uses and Locations for PVC Strip Curtains

    PVC strip curtains are typically used to create separation between two areas. Whether those two areas are different departments of a warehouse, a cold area and a room-temperature area (as in a food production facility), or inside/outside, PVC strip curtains offer the benefit of being able to allow the efficiency of a door with the convenience of not having to open or close it. PVC strip curtains are often used at loading docks to prevent the escape of air conditioned air, which can help manage utility costs and can help keep debris outdoors from getting in. They’re also used in warehouses or factories to separate different work areas, and the convenience of them means that machinery like forklifts or other vehicles don’t have to physically open a garage door or gate to access another area of the workplace. Some regular places you’ll see strip curtains installed may include:

    • Food processing plants
    • Shipping plants
    • Factories
    • Restaurants
    • Grocery storage rooms
    • Auto body shops

    PVC Strip Curtains

    Benefits of PVC Curtains

    Aside from the tremendous convenience that PVC strip doors offer, they also save energy. Whether you want to keep cool air or warm air inside, the curtains do a great job of stopping the conditioned air from escaping outside. This can save your business a lot of money, since you can lower or raise the temperature of your facility while not losing that air to leakage at doors. The curtains are also ideal for separating work areas that may cause contamination otherwise. For instance, in auto body shops, the curtains can keep out dust, fumes, noise, and other elements, making it a better work environment for each department’s workers, as well as a cleaner workplace overall. They also make the workplace easier to navigate. When forklifts have to stop at doorways to wait for a door to manually open, time is lost, and even though it may only be a few seconds here or there, that time can add up quickly.

    Learn more about PVC strip curtains today by contacting AmCraft Manufacturing for more information.

    Get a Room!:  PVC Vinyl Enclosures

    In a large space, whether it is a warehouse and/or industrial setting or a large, recreational venue, a PVC vinyl enclosure can create a room where there isn’t one. An industrial curtain enclosure is a perfect option to help you successfully divide workspace by application, process, or function.  In the example below, a customized cleanroom enclosure is designed with exhaust air flow systems that will properly ventilate the enclosed area.  Curtain wall enclosures can be attached to existing interior structural features, such as trusses, I-Beams, walls, wooden support beams, directly to ceilings, or all other mountable surfaces.  See how AmCraft created “something” from “nothing” and assisted our customer in GETTING A ROOM.

    Softwall Enclosures for Ventilated Room Requirements

    A customer initially contacted AmCraft to provide a curtain wall enclosure with three points of access (and one alternate access point) that will not only seal off the area with wall and a ceiling, but will also include NESHAP compliant media filters integrated within the curtain to sustain the necessary airflow.  In the design phase, careful attention was placed first to where items will be located in relation to a proper ventilation system. Working together, the customer and our technical specialists were able to create a cleanroom solution that prevents fumes, contaminants, and hazardous substances from escaping the curtain enclosure.  With NESHAP-approved filters incorporated into the industrial curtain, this vinyl enclosure made of industrial curtain material provides the ability to keep the air quality as clean as possible.

    Drop it Down:  Suspending a Softwall Enclosure System

    The customer needed the system to be configured in way that it would drop down from the ceiling. The curtain wall enclosure area required a mounting grid to attach the translucent PVC vinyl ceiling so the light fixtures above the ceiling could be utilized without compromising edge sealing of the vinyl enclosure itself.  A steel mounting grid was suspended from the ceiling, and the track was attached to the grid, which created the enclosed space.

    Walls Up: Creating the Clean Enclosure Area

    What is Red, White, and clear in the center?  This customer chose their colors, their options, and their area wisely!  The finished product – a cleanroom enclosure – provides the necessary filtration needed to accommodate the customer’s ventilation systems.

    Softwall enclosures made of flexible vinyl material provide a cost-efficient way to create enclosed cleanrooms that will work within most any industry and/or application.  For more information on vinyl enclosures, contact one of our technical specialists to discuss your curtain wall enclosure requirements!