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Safety and Productivity by Design

Ergonomic Bridge Crane for Air Conditioning Manufacturer

March 31, 2017

Case Study

Industry:  Data Center Air Conditioning Manufacturer
Product:  Ceiling Mounted Work Station Bridge Cranes with Motorised Trolley and Interlock


Needed a safe, efficient way to lift and lower units into a dip tank and move them again

Forklifts were considered but maneuverability inside the work cell was an issue
Workflow required moving loads outside the system’s runways


A ceiling mounted work station crane with two motorized 500 kg bridges, each bridge featuring two hoists with motorized hoist trolleys and a spreader beam at the hook. Beside the system was a 500 kg ceiling mounted monorail with an interlock system that either bridge could connect with to safely transfer the units outside of the work station crane system.

A manufacturer of network cooling systems was creating a new, larger air conditioning unit to be used in the cooling of data centers. The air conditioning units range in size from 600 mm to 2,400 mm in length, 6 – 7050 mm in width, and can weigh up to 150 kgs.

At the end of the new assembly process, the units needed to be placed into a large dip tank where they are briefly submerged in water to check for air leaks. They would then be removed from the tank, and either brought back to assembly to repair any leaks, or placed on a nearby conveyor to be finished and prepared for shipping.

When creating the new work space, finding a safe and efficient means to lift and lower the units into the dip tank and then moved again was a primary concern. A fork lift was considsered, but maneuverability inside the area would be difficult, and the varying sizes of the components would require frequent adjustments of the truck’s lifting blades.

The customer has Gorbel work station bridge cranes throughout their facility. This time the problem was that the anticipated work flow would require moving loads outside of the system’s runways.


The end result is a very efficient handling method that never requires a load to be set down or relocated by a fork lift or other method, and allows a single operator complete control of bridge, trolley and hoist position to move the air conditioning units throughout the testing process.

By motorising the hoist trolleys, the operator can control each one individually to space the hoists the appropriate distance apart to safely lift any size load while maintaining balance. With one set of controls, an operator now picks up the air conditioning unit from the assembly line, positions it over the dip tank, lowers and lifts it from the tank, and the moves the product through the interlock and onto the monorail.

The customer now has a faster, streamlined work process with no floor space limitations or fork lift requirements.