A customer in an extrusion operation approached with a problem. The components that they regualrly change in the cooling tanks have been updated from being manageble 40 pound units to now being 200 pound assemblies. This change has caused some back injuries among the maintenance crew members, as they were having to reach down into the cooling tanks, and pick up the assembly, lifting it up over the lip and setting it down manually in a narrow aisle. This maintenance is performed weekly on each of their 18 extrusion lines. The biggest challenge for this customer is that the narrow aisles, prevented them from being able to reach the assembly with traditional lifting equipment.
The solution is a modified portable jib crane with a counter weighted beam. The jib crane can be transported down the aisle on a pallet jack since a forklift can not fit in the aisle. The base was modified to be only 36” wide. They will be able to rotate the jib directly over the assembly, hook up their hoist, and lift without risking injury. This solution also pays for itself with increased efficiency due to now one maintenance worker can change the assembly working alone, where as before it took 3 workers. This was the right solution from both a safety and a financial standpoint.