I'm feeling a little neglectful. I always give a lot of blog love to our Easy Arm, but I don't give nearly enough attention to its cousin, the G-Jib. Both products are part of our G-Force family of Intelligent Lifting Devices and have a lot of similarities. The biggest difference between them is that the Easy Arm articulates and G-Jib does not, but the G-Jib makes up for with a longer standard span (16') and a higher capacity (up to 660 lbs).
To make up for neglecting the G-Jib on the blog, May's Application of the Month will highlight the G-Jib eliminating bottlenecks for a firm that handles automated handling systems that was having trouble maintaining efficient work flow.
"Our shop handles a pretty wide range of jobs, and the work flow isn’t always predictable," said the Installation and Warehouse Supervisor. "We’ve always got people in the field then coming back to work on their project. One week we’ll have just a few people working on things, and the next week there’s a logjam because everyone’s back in the shop working on their project."
One major culprit of the problems was the shared use of an overhead bridge crane by multiple work bays. A 5-ton capacity bridge crane with a single speed hoist covers half of the workshop, creating a bottleneck when more than one person needs to lift something.
"We decided to focus on improving the fabrication area because it had the most frequent need to lift items in that cell, and the 5-ton crane was overkill for all of it."
The fabrication area is where covers and guards for electronic controls are built in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The most common components being moved are tubular and angled steel, which could be as light as 15-20 pounds or as heavy as 500 pounds.
After exploring options including another bridge crane and a jib crane with a chain hoist, the company chose the G-Jib™ by Gorbel with a 16-foot span and 660 pound capacity. The G-Jib™ allows full coverage of two welding tables without restricting movement of the overhead bridge crane. It also features the actuator of the lifting device in a fixed position while only the trolley moves along the boom of the jib, reducing deadweight and offering a competitive advantage to a regular jib with a chain hoist.
The primary goal of the G-Jib™ was achieved now that the fabrication work cell is free to continue working without waiting for the overhead crane to become available.
"I liked that it was a total solution with the crane and lifting device in one package," said the Installation and Warehouse Manager.
Another benefit that workers are enjoying is the amount of control they have when positioning the loads. "With the big crane, moving anything around was very course," said an operator. "It was tough with just the one speed hoist to position something carefully. Now we can engage float mode when we’re doing some fine alignment on some assemblies. I can use both hands to guide it, it’s very precise."
"We’re very happy with the work flow now," said the Supervisor. "I don’t have people standing around waiting for someone else to finish what they’re doing so they can lift something. The G-Jib™ just makes so much more sense for that application. It’s so much less cumbersome, and our workers have great control over the loads."