Workstation bridge crane handles big jobs for small machine shop

Fuller Machine Shop’s overhead handling solution enhanced worker safety and ergonomics.

By ·

The Fuller Machine Shop, located in Newport, N.Y., tools metal parts for customers in a number of industries including aerospace, computer, solar and alternative energy. 

The company has been independently owned and operated by Rodney Fuller for the past 15 years. As a skilled machinist and businessman, Fuller was growing the business and expanding his customer base. But as that customer base grew and the parts he was running through his lathes and milling machines were becoming larger and more diverse, Fuller had a heavy problem on his hands. 

“A lot of the parts were small, maybe 65 pounds, but now we’re getting parts that are 12-inches in diameter and weight about 225 pounds,” says Fuller.

The challenge was how to handle the larger parts and safely and efficiently load them into the lathe and milling machines. Fuller had been using an engine hoist, but it would take three workers to maneuver the load. 

So Fuller invested in a ceiling-mounted, workstation bridge crane with a 500-pound lifting capacity (Gorbel, gorbel.com). The overhead system features an enclosed track that allows the crane to move with very minimal manual effort.

“The system has exceeded my expectations,” says Fuller. “What used to take three people 45 minutes is now a one person job that only takes a minute or two. Our productivity has improved significantly.”

The bridge crane has also solved the problem of maneuvering the chucks that hold the metal in place while it’s being processed. Moving the chucks, which weigh about 80 pounds each, had required the workers to simultaneously lift and reach out about 18 inches. The bridge crane makes maneuvering easy, which is crucial because Fuller’s is a job shop, meaning everyday is a different job with a different set up.

The overhead bridge crane has made handling easier, improved productivity and safeguarded the operation. 


About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Sorting Out Your Sortation Options
Guiding you through the process of evaluating and selecting the right “mission-critical” sortation solution
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
How does a fastgrowing, e-commerce startup company build out order fulfillment capabilities? Thrive Market answered that question with its new facility in Indiana.
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
Putaway 101: Everything in its Place
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ProMat closes: Make your plans for Modex 2018
With a record number of exhibitors and attendees seen at ProMat 2017, MHI anticipates more of the...
Keynote: Magic is the result of over-preparation and over-delivering to customers
During his keynote presentation Wednesday afternoon, Earvin “Magic” Johnson told a packed...

Keynote panel confirms digital supply chain shift seen in new MHI study
Wednesday’s keynote panelists agreed it is time to embrace the shift to digital supply chains seen...
MHI to honor original products, solutions with 5th-annual Innovation Awards
On Wednesday, during MHI Industry Night with Dana Carvey, the winners of the 5th-annual MHI...