As a new automaker, you likely oversee the production of your vehicles on a manual work floor. As your workers shape each body panel and assemble the vehicles from start to finish, you may spend your time thinking up a better way to complete this intensive process. Integrating overhead cranes into your workspace can help you improve productivity while maintaining your established quality standards. Overhead cranes assist in the assembly process from handling raw materials to rolling out the finished product. Here are three areas cranes will improve your production process.
Transport Raw Steel Materials
If you buy steel ready to stamp, rather than raw in slabs, you may be paying too much for your production materials. In order to process raw steel materials, however, your workers must be able to transport the slabs from the cutters and rollers with ease. Although forklifts can handle the smaller slabs, most oversized pieces of steel are too unwieldy for the forks to hold and transport.
If the steel materials tumble off the end of the forks or cause the forklift to tip over, your workers could end up seriously injured or even killed. An overloaded forklift can also prevent operators from seeing people and objects in their path, increasing the risk of an on the job accident occurring. Thankfully, you can use an overhead crane to hold and transport the steel across your production floor. You can either use a hook and tightly wound chains or utilize a magnetic lifting attachment on the crane.
Support Drive Train Components
Your workers go to great lengths to support drive train parts, such as heavy engines and transmissions, while bolting them into each vehicle. Even the highest quality A frames and cherry pickers used to hold the drive train components can clutter up the production floor unnecessarily.
You can free up room on the floor by having your workers use an overhead crane to support the components during the installation process. The crane will stay completely still and stable throughout the installation to keep workers and components safe. Keeping the floor clean will enable you to stay within OSHA's guidelines for clear aisle space to prevent unnecessary fines during impromptu inspections.
Haul The Body Down The Line
After building the frame of each vehicle's body, it is important to prevent impacts that could deform those structural materials. Unfortunately, protecting those materials is incredibly difficult when sending the vehicle down the line to have body panels installed and paint applied. Furthermore, the fully assembled body is often much too heavy for workers to lift onto the chassis on their own.
You can solve all of these problems by using an overhead crane to lift and move the body to each workstation in the production lineup. Workers can use the crane to lower the body over the chassis and hold it in place while all of the bolts are put into place. In addition to streamlining this process, crane use can reduce the number of restorative fixes workers need to perform before the vehicle even makes it off the line.
Keeping Up With The Competition
As more and more new automakers hit the show floors, you will need to take strides to keep up with the competition. Furthermore, as demand for your vehicles increase, you will need to employ automated production practices to keep up. Early overhead crane investments will keep up with your company's growth as you create more models and ramp up yearly production numbers. The overhead cranes will make it easier for your workers to complete the production orders on time and to spec. As you see companywide growth, you can invest in even more cranes for each specific step in the production process. If you think your company would benefit from the addition of cranes, then check out a company like Wazee Crane.