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2 Types Of Overhead Crane Systems

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Overhead cranes are an essential piece of machinery for industrial and manufacturing companies. Not only do cranes make it possible to lift and lower heavy materials, cranes are used to move materials horizontally, as well as transport materials from one location to another. When it comes to overhead cranes, business owners can choose between a top running or under running crane.

Here is more information about these two types of overhead crane systems.

1. Top Running Overhead Crane

A top running overhead crane system contains a fixed rail on top of the runway beam. This type of overhead crane system is ideal for buildings without a lot of headroom. Top running overhead cranes are larger, plus they have a heavier lifting capacity than under running cranes. Top running overhead cranes can lift 20 tons or more.

Top running cranes can be used in a variety of applications, such as:

  • Light manufacturing
  • Fabrication and machine shops
  • Light assembly lines
  • Warehousing facilities
  • Steel and metal mills
  • Maintenance and repair centers

Top running overhead cranes have fast hoist lifting and trolley speeds. One drawback of a top running overhead crane is that it requires frequent rail inspections and alignments.

2. Under Running Overhead Crane

Also known as an underhung crane, this type of overhead crane consists of wheels that run underneath a runway beam. Under running overhead cranes are typically used for lighter loads. This type of crane system has an average lifting capacity of 10 tons.

Under running cranes can be used in a variety of applications, such as:

  • Assembly lines
  • Fabrication shops
  • Warehouses
  • Maintenance and repair centers
  • Manufacturing facilities

Unlike a top running crane, this type of crane system does not require support columns, which means it can be suspended directly from the building structure. This is especially advantageous for businesses that need more floor space. One drawback of this type of crane system is that it can take longer to install and service, which causes more downtime for businesses.

Both top running and under running overhead crane systems have either a single or double girder design. A single girder design contains one beam while a double girder design has two beams.

A single girder design is less expensive and a better option for light to medium-duty cranes. They are also easier to install and service. A double girder design has a higher lifting capacity and can be used both indoors and outdoors.