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Expert Articles

How to Increase Your Crane Speed

Jon Christensen
Vice President, Parts, Region Americas

Production and warehouse facilities are always looking for ways to improve productivity. A key opportunity available to them is increasing overhead crane speed, on the runway and in the hoist motion, to increase the volume of materials and products they can move in a given shift.

Crane upgrades that can accomplish this objective include changing out a motor or changing gear ratios. Another alternative worth considering is installing new controls, such as extended speed range.

Extended speed range enables you to attain higher average hoist speeds and crane speed on the bridge without increasing motor size. Extended speed range varies crane speed depending on the load. When a crane is moving a near-capacity load, the hoist speed and crane travel speed are limited.

But once a near-capacity load is delivered to its destination, the hoist and crane speed can increase. This means that if you are lifting a near-capacity load with a 30-ton crane, the crane will operate at a nominal speed and, once the hook is empty, will return at a faster speed to pick up the next load. This increases your crane’s average speed and reduces average hoist cycle time to raise productivity in a given work period.

Extended speed range is valuable for high-duty applications that involve continuous cycles of near-capacity loads. And, using inverter technology, extended speed range allows increased hoist speed in those instances when a crane lifts a light load – for instance, when a 30-ton crane lifts only 5 tons.

Another crane upgrade option – adaptive speed range – is available for applications that involve less frequent high-capacity loads. This control option allows faster crane speeds for moving lighter loads but slows motor speed for heavier loads.

These variable controls are designed to advance safe crane operation according to the weight of a load.

To determine if variable speed controls will be effective for your application, the motor will have to be checked to make certain it has the capability to operate at higher speeds for lighter loads.

To find out how, and if, you can take advantage of speed controls to elevate the productivity of your crane, contact the Konecranes sales representative for your area.