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.
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.
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 Knowledgeable 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.