‘Overhead Crane Case Studies’ Category


Injection Molding Facility Case Study

The Challenge:

To provide
our customer, an injection molding facility, with a larger capacity crane to fit an existing runway system. The customer was upgrading their facility with larger machines and wanted to add  a 7.5-ton top running crane to their existing 5-ton system.

Special Considerations:

The existing crane, being lower capacity, had a shorter stature on the runway rail. With the customer needing a specific lifting height capability, and the building having a low roof, our engineers and staff were up to the challenge.

Our TEAM Approach:

Crane-Tec worked closely with the customer to learn their specific needs and expectations of the new system. With our combined efforts, many options were presented, including:

  • A double girder crane, which allows the use of smaller beams to achieve the low headroom hook height.

  • Radio control operation which allows the operator to stand at a safe distance from the load and move through the factory freely. 

  • A goose neck connection from beam to end truck to maximize lifting height.

  • Duel hoist to aid in larger lifts and rotating molds for service.

  • A warning light and buzzer to alert others in the building the crane is in motion.


Crane-Tec delivered a custom built, state of the art crane.  Following up with our customer, our staff was told with this new system, mold change down time has been cut by 2/3.




Case Study: Unique Free-Standing Crane System

Overhead crane system and workstation crane designed to spec for leading fabrication and engineering firm


Throughout its 35-plus years in business, Crane-Tec has been equipping a wide range of industries with a wide variety of overhead crane systems, including runway systems, monorail hoists, and jib cranes. Crane-Tec has been a leader in furnishing, installing and servicing such systems. Its diverse customer base includes general industry, power plants, the aviation industry, concrete products manufacturers, the automotive industry, machine shops, place injection mold facilities, metal service centers, tool and die facilities, general fabrication facilities and waste water treatment facilities. In addition to designing overhead crane systems, Crane-Tec also does the fabrication and installation.

Often times, Crane-Tec is presented the opportunity to design a freestanding overhead crane system. Although overhead cranes are custom designed to an extent (since the span and capacity are determined by the customer’s needs), a freestanding runway system is completely custom-designed. These customizations are sometimes the result of a building not designed for overhead cranes, which was the situation Crane-Tec faced when a leading fabrication and engineering firm in Indiana needed multiple overhead cranes and runway systems in a building that was designed for a different use.


Custom design of an overhead crane system for this customer presented some unique challenges for Crane-Tec and its engineers. When Crane-Tec surveyed the building purchased by the end user, it was confirmed that the building was not designed with overhead cranes in mind. In this situation, Crane-Tec needed to design free-standing runway systems that were completely independent from the building structure.

Another challenge was meeting the scope of work performed by the end user. As an integral part of the fabrication process, the user needed cranes to move components throughout fabrication, assembly, and loading the finished machines onto trucks. The cranes also needed to move machines in various stages of assembly from workstation to workstation within the building. In addition, the customer needed a crane system that would allow constant reconfiguration of work areas depending on what was being fabricated.

These requirements led to a unique and complex runway system that featured:

  • A very large span for the cranes to keep the building’s floor clear of columns that would interfere with workflow.
  • Jib cranes supported from the runway columns, which differs from typical jib crane installations where the jibs are usually hung from the building or stand independently.
  • A multiple crane system to accommodate a workflow where heavy components are constantly moving.

After multiple site visits, Crane-Tec determined that a 20-ton freestanding runway system was needed, which presented its own unique challenges. First, 20 tons is a rather high capacity for a freestanding runway system being designed to fit inside an existing building. Secondly, adding jib cranes to runway columns requires special columns and footers specially engineered for this project.

The Solution

After addressing the needs and challenges of the steel fabrication and engineering company, Crane-Tec arrived at the solution of a 20-ton freestanding runway system; two  10 ton, 70-plus foot span single box girder cranes; multiple 2 ton jib cranes; and a 2 ton freestanding workstation crane. The solution was a result of Crane-Tec working with the customer to assess their needs, price out multiple options and determine the most cost-effective avenue for the customer.

It’s common for customers to compare the cost of a number of different configurations since crane availability and the location of the runway columns will impact workflow. Many other factors come into play when deciding on the best overhead crane system for the application. In this case, however, functionality, workflow and cost were the three main driving factors.

The Design Process

Once a solution was identified, Crane-Tec worked with the customer and the general contractor to design the customized overhead crane system. Since the freestanding runway system was being installed in an existing building, a site visit was needed to take accurate measurements and assess the structure’s layout.

Runway layout is the most important aspect of an overhead crane system. Generally, the customer knows the required capacity of the crane. Crane-Tec then discusses with the customer how frequently the crane will be used and the size of the loads it will be picking up to determine the classification of the crane. With this detailed information, Crane-Tec engineers design, fabricate, and install the crane system.


Installing such a complex freestanding crane system is no easy task, which is where Crane-Tec’s 35+ years of experience pays off. For the 20-ton freestanding runway system, the general contractor modifying the building had to install concrete footings. The Crane-Tec installation crew was also on site with the necessary installation equipment, including man lifts and a carrydeck crane. The Crane-Tec crew installed anchor bolts for the columns in the footing and then the columns were installed and shimmed to level. Next, the runway beams and crane rail are bolted to the columns and adjusted to meet exacting tolerances. The entire installation process took about 2-1/2 days.

The 2-ton freestanding workstation crane was installed in the same manner as the freestanding runway system. The installation time was about two days.

For the two, 10-ton, 70-plus foot span single box girder overhead cranes, the Crane-Tec crew installed the hoist and festooning on the crane girder, which is the main horizontal beam of the crane bridge that supports the trolley and is itself supported by endtrucks. Once in place, the crane girder, including endtrucks (or the wheels that support the bridge girder), was set on the runway. Assembling and setting the 10-ton cranes took about one day.

The multiple 2-ton jib cranes were cantilever style, consisting of a steel beam with a hinge on one end. The hinge was bolted to the runway column. Then a hoist was installed on the jib crane beam. Each jib took one to two hours to install.

Once all the cranes and supporting equipment were installed, the Crane-Tec crew spent a day starting up and testing all the cranes. Crane-Tec provides an overview on how to operate the equipment and safe operating procedures upon request. This is in addition to an operational and maintenance manual provided with each crane.


The Crane-Tec freestanding crane system is already making a big difference in workflow and production levels for the steel fabrication and engineering firm. The two overhead cranes allow the company to move and position materials before and during fabrication, thus improving time efficiency. The overhead cranes are also utilized for unloading raw materials from trucks, loading fabricated goods on trucks, and moving steel/machines during fabrication from one work area to another.

Without the freestanding crane system, none of this production work could have been performed in the building. The only other option was for the steel fabricator and engineering firm to free up considerable space in the building so materials could be moved by mobile cranes and large fork trucks, a consideration that was not feasible from a cost or work efficiency standpoint.

The Crane-Tec crane system is providing time-saving processes and an easier workflow. The company has already justified the expense of installing the freestanding runway system, single box girder overhead cranes, jib cranes, and freestanding workstation cranes, and is well on its way to realizing its return on investment.


Steel Warehouse Cranes

Steel Warehouse Facility 10 ton cranes with dual 5 ton hoists.


Crane-Tec supplied (2) 10 ton dual hoists cranes to a steel warehouse facility in South Dakota.  Considering the customers business and expertise the customer supplied steel for the project and saved thousands.

Crane-Tec crews installed the crane, crane rail and electrification successfully without a hitch.

The cranes were equipped with hoist summation overload limit devices, bridge travel limit switched and radio remotes with hoist A – hoist B selector switches for simultaneous and independent control.  This is the second set of cranes the customer has purchased from Crane-Tec and we look forward to continuing to work with them as they grow.


Midwest Mine Maintenance Facility 25 Ton Crane

25 ton Top Running Double Girder Crane for Mine Maintenance Facility


Crane-Tec just completed the turn-key Design, Fabrication and Installation of a 25 ton long span crane for a mine maintenance facility in the Midwest.  Crane-Tec was contacted by the General Contractor to supply drawing and assist I in the design phase.


Crane-Tec supplied and installed the overhead crane, crane rail and electrification on-time and to a satisfied customer.


20 ton Freestanding Overhead Crane System

20 ton Freestanding Overhead Crane System & 2 ton Freestanding Overhead Crane System

Crane-Tec was recently contracted to supply multiple overhead cranes and runway systems to a leading fabrication and engineering firm in Indiana.  The customer had purchased a spec building that wasn’t designed for overhead cranes and came to Crane-Tec for their overhead crane solution.  Crane-Tec worked with the customer and the General Contractor to designed a 20 ton free-standing runway system to accommodate (2) 10 ton 70+ foot span single box girder overhead cranes and multiple 2 ton jib cranes.


Crane-Tec worked closely with the customers General Contractor and assisted in the design of the necessary crane footers.  Crane-Tec engineers design and completely independent freestanding 20 ton overhead crane system that is capable of supporting 2 ton jib cranes.  Crane-Tec also designed and installed a 2 ton freestanding workstation crane that utilized 4 ton center bay columns so the owner can easily add a 2nd 2 ton system in the future.


All the crane and structural steel were installed successfully and on-time.  Electronic eyes were installed on the 10 ton cranes to keep them from touching and bridge travel limit switched were instated on the runway to reduce impact of cranes into the end-stops.

The customer’s facility is now up and running and the cranes have become an iatrical part of their fabrication process.


Case Study

The Challenge:

  • To provide our customer, a leading forklift manufacturer, with a complete under running 12 ton overhead crane system. The job incorporated the 12 ton runway system and four under running overhead cranes.

Special Considerations:

  • The customer needed design build capabilities for the overhead crane and runway system. Crane-Tec provided complete design of the under hung runway system and incorporated it into the customers metal building.

Our Team Approach:

  • Our engineers, armed with building drawings, determined runway steel and hanger design. Engineered drawings with loads were submitted for approval. Crane-Tec’s experienced field crew installed the complete system and overhead cranes in under 4 days, allowing the customer to use the equipment in the installation of new machinery.


Overhead Crane Case Study 15 Ton Double Girder Cranes

15 Ton Double Girder Overhead Crane Case Study

15 ton top running double girder overhead crane

The Challenge:

To provide our customer, a major automotive parts manufacturer, with a freestanding runway system for a new facility in Ohio. The job incorporated (7) seven 15 ton double girder overhead cranes complete with freestanding runway systems.

Special Consideration:

The general contractor needed design build capabilities for the foundations and runway systems. Double girder overhead cranes with low headroom hoists were utilized to minimize crane and building steel costs.  Crane-Tec engineers armed with metal building drawings designed a cost efficient and space saving runway system.  All cranes were installed with hoist monitoring systems which facilitate scheduled maintenance and allow for problems to be detected before turning into costly breakdowns.


The general contractor maximized the strength of the building by utilizing tie-back columns along exterior walls; Crane-Tec supplied a complete crane system and the owner maximized floor space.  The overhead cranes were weight tested and turned over to the customer ahead of schedule.

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Crane-Tec Overhead Crane Case Study 1

10 Ton Freestanding Overhead Crane Case Study

Picture of overhead Crane

The Challenge:

To provide our customer, a carpenters training facility, with a freestanding runway system for a new facility in Indiana. The job incorporated (1) Ten ton top running single girder  overhead crane and complete freestanding runway systems.

Special Consideration:

The general contractor needed design build capabilities for runway systems. Single girder overhead cranes with low headroom hoists were utilized to minimize crane and foundation costs.  Crane-Tec engineers armed with building and foundation drawings designed a cost efficient and space saving runway system.


The general contractor maximized the space inside of the building.  Crane-Tec supplied a complete overhead crane system and the owner maximized floor space.  The cranes were completed and turned over to the customer ahead of schedule.