Waukesha, WI – Wildeck, Inc. selected the ProMat 2009 International Exposition (Booth 1244) to unveil an innovative and new material handling and storage solution known as the MezzCrane™. Working in collaboration with crane manufacturer, Gorbel in Fishers, NY, Wildeck engineers developed an innovative configuration that can be customized to meet individual customer needs.
Heralded as an industry first, Wildeck’s new MezzCrane™ system has been designed to deliver the ultimate in material handling efficiency and flexibility for lean manufacturers and maintenance operations. “The new MezzCrane™,” states Hue Schlegel – Director of Marketing for Wildeck, Inc., “saves valuable space by minimizing the required footprint for manufacturing or assembly operations and it can dramatically increase material flow and efficiency in a fast-paced work environment.”
The MezzCrane™ system combines all the strength and utility of a custom-designed Wildeck® mezzanine with the agility and flexibility of a 3-axis enclosed track bridge crane from Gorbel. Both companies are leaders and innovators in their fields and the new MezzCrane™ system brings their quality products and technological expertise together to increase the competitiveness and profitability of U.S. manufacturers.
A myriad of options are available to easily lift, move, and store materials within a work cell. The MezzCrane™ system enables localized staging and storage of work-in-process or finished goods above or below the mezzanine. “Combining these operations,” says Schlegel, “eliminates unnecessary handling and material movement; which is not only more efficient and safe, but can reduce cycles times and lower manufacturing costs.”
Five MezzCrane™ configurations are available to satisfy customer requirements:
1 – Crane Above Mezzanine (CA)
2 – Crane Below Mezzanine (CB)
3 – Crane Above and Below Mezzanine (CAB)
4 – Crane Below and Extended Beyond Mezzanine (CBE)
5 – Crane Above and Below and Extended Beyond Mezzanine (CABE)
Depending on customer requirements, the Gorbel crane section will include everything “above the hook”: high strength/smooth-moving enclosed track, crane bridge, rails, trolleys, etc. The Wildeck mezzanine will also be configured to customer requirements to include the required columns, framing, decking, Wildeck’s patented handrail and guard railing, safety gates for mezzanine access, stair systems (either knock-down or welded stairs), stair platforms, safety ladders, etc. The MezzCrane™ system complies with applicable safety standards including ANSI B30.11 for under hung bridge cranes; CMAA (Crane Manufacturers Association of America) standards; OSHA, IBC, BOCA, and UBC code requirements.
A mezzanine uniform live load of 125 psf (pounds per square foot) is standard and higher load capacities are available depending on application requirements. Crane capacities of 250 to 2,000 pounds are standard but higher capacities can be provided. Crane bridge spans can be up to 34 feet, which reduces the possibility of support columns interfering with the work-cell layout (Note: short bridge lengths are better for higher-cycle production areas. Longer bridges are acceptable for lower-production cycles or maintenance areas).
Typical MezzCrane™ applications include: manufacturing, kitting and packaging; assembly operations; maintenance and repair; printing and paper roll handling; moving dies, molds or patterns; transferring machined parts, castings, engines, motors, and more.
According to Wildeck, 42% of manufacturers today have “lean” manufacturing initiatives and the trend continues to grow. They are faced with doing more in less space and working smarter and more efficiently to remain competitive. According to Schlegel, “the MezzCrane™ is a “lean” solution whose time has definitely arrived.”
By working together, two of the leading material handling equipment manufacturers in the U.S. may have developed a solution that could change the face of manufacturing for years to come.