Gorbel Aluminum Gantry Crane Helps Paradigm Hyperloop Team with Maintenance, Installation, and Loading


Paradigm Hyperloop is an international team of college students from Northeastern University and the Memorial University of Newfoundland. The team aims to prove the viability of air based levitation for use in high-speed applications by building a prototype Hyperloop Pod capable of reaching 200mph. The Hyperloop is a conceptual fifth mode of transportation popularized by Elon Musk in 2013. The Hyperloop consists of levitating train like vehicles, called pods, which travel through low-pressure vacuum tubes. When combined, the low friction nature of the levitating pods and the low drag environment of the vacuum tube make for a high level of efficiency for transportation. The long term vision for the Hyperloop concept is to connect major urban areas that are between 400 and 500 miles apart. Hyperloop systems would offer the transport of goods and cargo over that distance in as little as 30 minutes for a fraction of the cost of traditional air travel. The Paradigm Hyperloop team participates in a SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition every year. The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition is an open challenge to student teams across the globe to design and build Hyperloop test vehicles. Teams compete for the ultimate prize of performing a high speed run in the SpaceX HyperTube, in Hawthorne, California. 

The Problem

Hyperloop Pods are 18ft long, 4ft wide and weigh 2,000 lbs, therefore finding a lifting solution that has the capabilities to lift the vehicle in a safe manner for the team, and can fit the dimensions of the facility is difficult. The team was in need of a crane that had the ability to lift 2,000 lbs, fit within the footprint of their workstation and guarantee the safety of team members. The team needed a lifting solution that would help in vertical lifting for maintenance, installation, and vehicle loading.  Additionally, the team is a student run program therefore financials are limited and cutting costs is crucial. 

The Solution

Paradigm Hyperloop explored their options in the material handling industry and decided that a Gorbel® Gantry Crane would be the best solution for their lifting application. Gorbel® provided the Paradigm Hyperloop team with a brand new 2-ton Gantry Crane to solve the lifting needs the team required to work efficiently and safely on the pod. This allowed the team to use the crane for easy transportation and created a safe work environment for the team. The team’s business lead quoted, Ben Lippolis said,  “We will be using the gantry for all pod lifting operations at our local workspace facility and when traveling to SpaceX for the competition. In total, Gorbel® has made our operating procedures much safer and saved us a significant amount of money that would have otherwise been wasted on short term gantry rentals. We look forward to using the gantry for years to come.”

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