In this blog entry, Duncan Rogers, Managing Director of Projector Lifting Service, discusses the advantages of using hydraulic gantry systems, and explains why they’ve been increasingly utilised for lifting applications over the past thirty years.
Back in the day, before we invested heavily in hydraulic gantry systems (or hydraulic jacking systems as some call them) there were times when to get large machinery in place, factory walls needed to be removed and replaced, or roofs taken off and reinstalled – and sometimes both. It was a hugely expensive, disruptive and time-consuming process for any business.
In 1990 we began our investment programme, with our first hydraulic lifting systems being used for Channel Tunnel locomotives. It was only two years after I began Projector Lifting Service Ltd so, although I knew it was the right way to go, it was a heavy investment and therefore a risk.
Since then I’ve lost count of how many plastic moulding machines, robots, PU foaming machines, Vac forming machines, extrusion machines and other plastics industry associated machines Projector Lifting Service has installed, removed, and relocated.
What became very clear, very quickly is that using hydraulic gantry lift systems made it far simpler, less costly and dramatically less disruptive for clients when they needed their machinery moved.
There have been hundreds of situations over the years where it would have been a nightmare without our hydraulic lift systems; places that were completely inaccessible with a crane, even with the roof off and a wall down.
Several companies that have overhead cranes have asked our advice, and invariably we explain that their crane is limited by its rating, so if the size of the tooling used is 50 tonnes and their overhead crane is designed for that load, it can be used to assist in moving parts of a machine, the platens for example. However, if it’s a 200-tonne machine that needs to be moved, a hydraulic gantry is often the only viable solution.
The role of Projector Lifting Service is to partner with our clients to identify and execute the most appropriate solution for their objectives, including the consideration, amongst other things, of disruption, pricing and timing.
The site visit is critical, not just to look at the machine, where it’s located and what’s around it but all the other mitigating factors, like all elements of access including roads into and out of the premises. Many a company have come unstuck because the outside surface or access was problematic. New structures, like warehouses, built after the machine was installed, degraded roadways, power cables that need to be moved and so on. We have to take everything into account, complete all the method statements, risk assessments and plan things accordingly. We approach every project the same, even when removing redundant and obsolete machinery.
Hydraulic gantry systems are a safe, efficient way to lift and position heavy loads in applications where traditional cranes will not fit, or permanent overhead structures make cranes unviable. Accessories are often added to complete the gantry system, such as additional header beams, swivel hook beam, skid tracks, steel supports, side shift systems, load weighing, and other lifting attachments, enabling great flexibility, dependent on a customer’s requirements.
In the past 30 years, Projector Lifting Service has utilised hydraulic lift systems more and more due to their versatility, effectiveness and lower costs. With several systems ranging from a maximum capacity of 160 tonnes up to a maximum of 500 tonnes, Projector Lifting Service has an excellent solution for clients in the plastics industry.
Contact Projector Lifting Service for more information.