23/06/2011 - 04:00 am

Shuttlelift Supplies Gantry Crane for Steel Fabricator

Shuttlelift, Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., has supplied a SL 75II mobile gantry crane to increase productivity and workflow at Plains Fabrication & Supply, a steel fabrication company based in Alberta, Canada, which produces heaters, separators, pressure vessels, skid packages, and other custom fabrication items. Several years ago, Plains participated in a lean manufacturing program to improve profit margins, increase productivity, save time, and reduce waste. The lean training helped it recognize unnecessary movements and the time it took to complete tasks.

Paul Pagenkopf, operations manager at Plains, said: "On a WAC vessel the old material handling time was approximately 10 hours of labor. That required two pieces of equipment and three workers to move product from assembly to the paint process. Now, it takes approximately four hours of labor using one machine and two workers to complete the process."

The SL 75II moves product from bay to bay and raw product from outside to the fabrication area. It moves fabricated products to the blast bay and into the paint bay. It also moves completed products to storage or it can load products directly onto trucks for shipment to customers.

The mobile gantry crane includes a wireless remote control that allows the operator to be on the ground anywhere around the crane. "It is a very tight fit at our facility between the door frame and the crane; so the remote makes the operator’s job much easier. The operator almost always uses the remote control," said Pagenkopf.

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