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.

    Construction Wars: The Battle for Prime Warehouse Space

    Construction Wars: The Battle for Prime Warehouse Space

    Ecommerce is a rapidly growing industry that requires vast amounts of warehouse space. The growth trajectory is expected to continue with approximately 95 percent of purchases expected to be made in the ecommerce space by 2040, according to 99firms. The warehousing industry is responding to the increased need (thousands of new facilities have opened over the past 12 years), but that growth is still struggling to keep up with the demand, according to Supply Chain Dive. Why is warehouse space so difficult to find, and how can businesses find the storage solutions they need to thrive?

    The Shrinking Availability of Space

    With ecommerce giants like Amazon taking up a sizeable chunk of the available warehouse space, companies are finding the logistics of storage increasingly competitive. This is particularly true in crowded, high-demand markets like cities. Urban centers are already crowded, and carving out space for new commercial operations like warehouses can mean stiff competition to find available space, rezoning, and other development hurdles. As a result, the process of bringing available space to these markets is often slow and expensive.

    When companies do find their space, the price can be high. The price of leasing warehouse space has significantly increased in recent years, in some places even doubled, according to Digital Commerce 360.

    Building New Options

    Building more space is one solution to the lack of warehousing options or adding on to an existing space. Construction projects, of course, take time and significant investment to complete, while companies are in dire need of a solution now. While new construction is inevitable, considering that demand for space will only continue to grow, businesses need a flexible solution that can be easily implemented on a short timeline.

    Flexible Alternatives

    Third-party logistics is a growing industry, thanks to industry demand. Companies are outsourcing warehousing to free up their own space and streamline their supply chains. Major companies, like Walmart, are using on-demand warehousing platforms that essentially operate as pop-up spaces, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    These third-party services are a strong contender for companies that do not have their own storage infrastructure. But, these 3PL and on-demand companies have the same challenges as companies that do handle storage in-house. How can the existing storage space be used for the maximum benefit?

    Many companies are learning how to repurpose existing storage space to handle the constant influx of goods across varying industries. Warehouse curtains can create effective divisions of space in storage facilities. More flexible and less expensive than installing fixed walls, warehouse divider curtains can create enclosed areas for different products and warehouse operations.

    AmCraft’s industrial warehouse curtains provide solutions for blocking light, dust control, temperature management, and more.  The PVC vinyl material of the curtains are durable and easy to clean, important features for the busy operations of the warehouse space. Warehouses that need a more fixed division of space solution can opt for stationary curtains, while warehouses in need of more flexibility can opt for the installation of retractable curtains. AmCraft allows even more room for customization with the option to select opaque curtains or curtains with vision panels. Businesses are also able to select the curtain color to match their facility’s branding.

    If your business is looking for a solution with a faster lead time, AmCraft also offers stock industrial curtains, a standardized solution that meets a wide range of needs in the warehousing industry.

    The needs of a warehousing space often change to keep up with the needs of customers. If your business is moving to a different space, your curtains (unlike stationary walls) can come with you and be configured to the new facility. Curtains can also be helpful if your space is in the process of a construction build out and in need of temporary workplace divisions.

    Create your curtain today and experience why AmCraft’s selection of industrial curtain walls are a cost-effective solution for your warehouse space.

    Acoustic Curtains and Industrial Applications

    Acoustic Curtains and Industrial Applications

    Industrial workplaces are inherently noisy. Machinery is running all day long to produce goods, and workers are using forklifts to move material. High levels of noise can lead to workplace accidents, distraction, and even hearing loss for the people working in these environments. Industrial workplaces of all kinds can manage noise levels with the help of acoustic curtains

    Industrial Noise

    Approximately 22 million people are exposed to dangerous levels of noise in the workplace each year, and nearly half of manufacturing workers have been exposed to dangerous noise levels. There are a number of ways to reduce exposure to high noise levels. Workers can wear ear plugs; employers can invest in quieter machinery; and workplaces can strategically place barriers between workers and the sources of high noise levels. The reduction of a few decibels can go a long way toward protecting employees in industrial settings.

    Acoustic Solutions

    Acoustic curtains can serve as that barrier between employees and high levels of noise.  Industrial acoustic curtains designed specifically for industrial applications are made of solid PVC coated polyester, which is durable and easy to clean.

    Industrial workplaces can opt for different acoustic curtain solutions depending on their needs. Acoustic curtains with Single Barrier Technology and Double Barrier Technology can be mounted on a track system and configured to fit the needs of various industrial spaces. The curtains can create an enclosure for the noisiest equipment, or they can create an enclosed, quieter space for employees to take a break.

    Acoustic curtain walls with single barrier technology have an average sound transmission coefficient (STC) of 34.5 and an average noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of 0.82. The acoustic curtain walls with double barrier technology offer an even higher decibel loss with an average STC of 47.5 and an average NRC or 0.64.

    Industrial workplaces can also use acoustic baffles as a standalone solution or in conjunction with acoustic curtain walls. Baffles are designed to be mounted on walls and ceilings. Acoustic baffles absorb sound and minimize echoing within a space.

    Putting Acoustic Curtains to Work

     How can acoustic curtains and baffles be used in various industrial settings?

    • Construction sites. Construction sites are full of the competing noise of tools and forklifts as material is torn down and various elements of the project are built. Acoustic curtain walls can be strategically placed around the work site to manage the sound of different tools. For example, a room that is undergoing demolition can be enclosed with an acoustic industrial curtain wall until the work is finished.Acoustic curtain walls can even have doorway panels and windows to make access to the enclosed space easy for members of the crew coming and going.
    • Warehouses. Warehouses may simply be used as industrial storage facilities, but that does not mean they are safe from noise. The warehouse goods need to be moved for storage and transport, which means heavy duty equipment and big teams of people. Acoustic curtain walls can effectively divide warehouses into different sections, reducing noise. Acoustic baffles can add another layer of sound management, particularly helpful in large warehouse spaces that are likely to have echoing sound.
    • Manufacturing facilities. The manufacture of goods is a major industrial process that involves noise all day long. Acoustic baffles can be hung from walls and ceilings to reduce echoes in large manufacturing facilities. Acoustic curtain walls can be used to create quieter spaces in the facility. For example, administrative areas and break areas could benefit from the sound barrier provided by acoustic curtain walls.

    Learn more about industrial acoustic noise blocking and sound absorbing solutions and request a quote to get started on improved sound management.

    Top 3 Reasons Why Customers Love Industrial Curtain Walls by AmCraft Manufacturing

    Top 3 Reasons Why Customers Love Industrial Curtain Walls by AmCraft Manufacturing

    As a one-stop custom industrial curtain shop, AmCraft’s customers are afforded the opportunity to select the specific curtain type that best meets their facility objectives; whether it’s a Thermal Insulated Curtain to manage temperature control, an Acoustic Curtain or Baffle System to reduce noise and absorb sound or a Single Layer Industrial Curtain to separate work zones.

    However, AmCraft’s customers are not only enamored by the array of industrial curtains available, but they are also pleased with the level of customization and personal attention-to-detail that they receive throughout their ordering experience. In addition, AmCraft Manufacturing is well-known for tailoring each industrial curtain wall to meet the customer’s unique space planning needs, which is one of the many reasons their customers love them.

    In exploring the customer feedback shared over the years, we were able to pinpoint the top three reasons why customers love industrial curtain walls manufactured by AmCraft:

    Great Performance Results

    AmCraft manufactures each curtain in their own Elk Grove Village manufacturing facility. Through in-house R&D, each product is constructed to meet the exacting standards that AmCraft Manufacturing has become known for throughout the industry. Therefore, customers are confident that their industrial curtain wall will deliver the expected performance results – whether it’s reducing noise or containing heat!

    High Quality Construction and Durability

    It’s not unusual for customers who may have ordered a previous curtain from one of AmCraft’s competitors to realize the huge difference in both quality and durability when they receive their first industrial curtain wall from AmCraft Manufacturing.

    The Best Customer Service Experience

    It’s one thing to provide the best quality and the best craftsmanship in the industrial curtain wall industry. However, AmCraft takes it to the next level by providing exceptional customer service experiences. This just might be their secret sauce and why their customers really love them!

    If you have not yet had the experience of being an AmCraft Industrial Curtain Wall customer, then don’t worry because there is plenty of love to go around! Get in touch with an Industrial Curtain Specialist today.

    Winterize Your Warehouse with Insulated Industrial Curtains

    Winterize Your Warehouse with Insulated Industrial Curtains

    Winter is coming. In fact, in many areas winter has arrived earlier than expected. With the change in seasons comes drastic shifts in the temperature. Is your facility weather-proofed? Here is a quick three step checklist to follow in order to winterize your warehouse and get weather ready:

    1. Check Your Loading Dock

    The loading dock of your warehouse or facility is typically the primary source of energy inefficiency and where your building will most likely experience the highest loss of hot or cold air. Creating temperature separation with industrial insulated curtain walls form an effective barrier between your dock area and the other work spaces within your facility.

    1. Insulate if You Refrigerate

    For many food distribution companies and manufacturing plants where food storage is a primary function, managing temperature differentials within various areas of the facility is a year-round goal. Incorporating insulated temperature control curtains into your space planning arsenal gives you added peace of mind. Primarily because when insulated curtain walls are strategically and properly used to enclose cold storage areas, they can help to maintain the required temperature range without compromise from the heat zones in other parts of the building.

    1. Flex Your Temperature Control

    The most important aspect to consider while getting your facility optimized for temperature change is flexibility. Consider the 3 P’s of workflow management: People, Production and Practicality. Will creating separation and insulating certain areas improve the comfort level of your employees? Will this newly enclosed work space require entry and exit points for easier accessibility? Is it practical to erect a permanent wall versus installing an insulated industrial curtain wall that can be relocated if necessary should your spatial needs change? Temperature control curtains certainly can offer the cost-effective flexibility you need to weather adapt your facility.

    AmCraft Manufacturing crafts insulated curtain wall solutions that speak to the importance of flexibility and adaptability by offering custom sizes and stationary or retractable mounting options. One of AmCraft’s best-selling temperature control curtains is their 4” thick semi-flexible stationary insulated curtain wall which can be customized to a maximum height of up to 40ft, which is exceptionally higher than the industry standard.

    When the big chill hits it’s best to be ready. One of the best decisions you can make for your facility is installing an energy-efficient, temperature control curtain wall solution. Contact the industrial curtain specialists at AmCraft Manufacturing and they will help you determine which insulated curtain wall system best suits your temperature control objectives.

    Check out AmCraft’s “Winter is Coming” Promo Video:

    How to Build Out Your Warehouse and Create Separate Spaces Using Industrial Curtain Walls

    In many ways, business and the buildings they are in are just like the people who work for them- each is different. When a company chooses a new employee, they carefully evaluate which person will fit best with their company culture, their needs, and their overall goal. Likewise, when a building to house a company is chosen, that building has to be picked based on the best overall fit with the concerns of the business.

    The same can be said of modifications and customizations done to a facility. Each company will need its location to function differently, and will set their building up so that it runs as efficiently as possible. One key component of this is space division, separating processes, creating designated spaces for lunch rooms, offices, etc. In many ways, an industrial curtain can play a vital role in this and is uniquely designed to make a large scale project seamless and easy to tackle.

    When a large facility is in need of space division, the custom fabricated nature of industrial curtains makes them an ideal fit. A large building will likely have many factors to consider. The sheer size of the space to be covered is the first and most obvious consideration. An industrial divider curtain that needs to span a 25 foot height and a 100 foot width, for example, would cause many issues if it were made in one piece. This vinyl divider curtain would likely be expensive to ship, as well as heavy and cumbersome to install. The modular nature of industrial curtains make them ideal for covering larger spaces. The curtain can be divided vertically, and made in as many panels as necessary, and each panel can be joined to the next with Velcro, magnets, or snaps. This makes installing the curtain much easier and still gives the look of one large, cohesive curtain wall when the panels are hung and connected.

    These industrial curtain wall systems can also be made in multiple panels horizontally. This typically comes into play when a facility has a pitched ceiling and also needs to block off the space all the way up. The lower panel, called the industrial curtain wall, will sit at the lowest elevation. The upper panel, called the filler panel, is made to fit the size, shape, and slope of the facility’s ceiling. Here again, the modular nature of industrial curtain walls makes them a great fit and allows for easy install on a large scale.

    Another advantage of using an industrial curtain system for a large space is that the method of installation is always the same for the entire system. These systems are designed to be user friendly, and about 90% of our customers end up installing these themselves. AmCraft strives to make the installing process as seamless as possible, mainly by using one type of mounting system for the entirety of the industrial divider curtain. So even if your curtain wall is 150 linear feet in width, you will be using the same hardware and process repeatedly to hang the entire industrial curtain. This makes mounting the curtain system both simple and approachable for large scale projects.

    For more information on how an industrial curtain wall can work for your facility, either large or small, please contact one of our sales reps today.