Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Workstation bridge crane handles big jobs for small machine shop

Fuller Machine Shop’s overhead handling solution enhanced worker safety and ergonomics.
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
June 01, 2012

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

image
Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

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!

Recent Entries

Parent company's Logistics & Automation Division began servicing North American customers in 1962, 12 years before Murata machinery was established.

Pack Expo and Pharma Expo to draw 2,400 exhibitors in more than 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space.

Cloud-based manufacturing execution systems grant visibility into centralized or global manufacturing environments.

In-plant trailers represent a tried and true method of moving materials through plants safely and efficiently. While trailers look alike at first glance, there are some significant differences that greatly affect performance and cost. The wise purchaser will study the differences and select the system that makes the best sense for the specific application. This complimentary white paper addresses the most important design factors to consider when specifying in-plant trailers.

Very often companies debate needing a new WMS or just muddling through while constantly adding to the List. The List is that set of notes that operations people wish their WMS could do. Every operation has their unique items, things their business requires that their WMS system doesn't do, or does poorly. This white paper reviews how to extend a WMS to allow the List to become a thing of the past.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA