Work Station Crane Helps Double Productivity


Professional Fabrications, Inc. is a small fabrication shop in suburban Wisconsin which cuts and forms sheet metal for radiators, generators and other electrical applications. The sheet metal being handled typically measures between 4 and 5 feet wide by 8 to 10 feet long, and is between ¾ to 1 inch thick, often weighing as much as 650 pounds.

The Problem

When the shop received two new laser cutting machines for it’s fabricating, it began searching for the best way to lift the sheet metal onto the cutting machines. Initially, the company tried moving the sheet metal onto the machine with a fork lift. With this method, placement was too difficult and the fork lifts were bumping into the machines. The company also tried using two operators to lift and position the sheets onto the machine. While positioning was more accurate than with the fork lift, the doubled cost of labor paired with safety hazards that come with such heavy, sharp material eliminated that option.

The Solution

The company decided on two Gorbel free-standing work station cranes with 1 ton capacity aluminum bridges, one for each cell with a laser cutting machine. A one-ton capacity chain hoist with a vacuum end effector grips the sheet metal, and one operator is able to effortlessly move the heavy sheet metal from the delivered stack and place it on the cutting table.