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2016 saw the 70th anniversary of Reel. 70 Years of innovation, know-how
and unique experience for your valuable projects.

Platts Rd, Amblecote, Stourbridge
West Midlands DY8 4YR.

+44 (0) 1384 370318

Warrington Office:

Reel UK Limited, Suite 410 @ 401, Faraday Street,

Birchwood Park,
Warrington WA3 6GA.

01925 873155.


Glossary: Basic Terminology

Bridge – The main travelling structure of the crane which spans the width of the bay. The bridge consists of two end carriages and one or two bridge girders depending on the equipment type.

End Carriages – Located on either side of the span, the end carriages house the wheels on which the entire crane travels. These wheels ride on, or under the gantry beam, allowing access to the entire length of the bay.

Bridge Girder(s) – The principal horizontal beam(s) of the Crane Bridge which supports the crab unit or hoist, and in turn, is supported by the end carriages.

Carriage – The unit consisting of both the hoist and the carriage frame. In situations where more than one hoist is required on one crane, hoists can be supplied on a single carriage or on separate carriages.

Crab – The crab carries the hoist across the bay along the double girder bridge, traversing the span. Again, one or more hoists can be used on one or more crabs.

Hoist – The hoist is mounted to the carriage or crab, and performs the actual lifting function via a hook or lifting attachment. There are two basic types of Hoist. The first is the Wire Rope Hoist which is generally for higher capacities (over 2 Tonnes) and faster lifting speeds.

Chain Hoist - These hoists are less expensive and used for lower capacities (80Kg to 2000 Kg). They are often used on light runway systems and jib cranes.

Capacity/SWL – The maximum weight the crane will be required to lift.

Span – The horizontal distance between the gantry rails.

Height of Lift – The required distance from the floor to the crane hook in it’s uppermost position. This dimension is critical in most applications as it can determine the height of the gantry from the floor and is dependent on the clear inside height of the building.

Long Travel, Cross Travel and Lifting Speeds – The rate at which the bridge or crab/carriage travels, or at which the hoist lifts, usually in metres per minute or mpm. You may specify either single speed or two speed travel/lift or a specific rate of speed, (i.e 40 & 10 mpm long travel).

Another option as far as motion speeds are concerned is an inverter (variable frequency) drive.   See the Electronic and Electrical Solutions section for more information.

Glossary: Equipment Types

Overhead Cranes come in four basic configurations.

Top Running – The Crane bridge travels on top of rails mounted on a Gantry Beam supported by either the building columns or support columns specifically engineered for the crane.

Under-slung – The Crane Bridge travels on the bottom flange of the gantry beams which are usually supported by the roof structure or a ‘Goal-Post’ structure.

Single Girder (S/G) – The Crane consists of two end carriages, a single bridge girder and the hoist unit. The hoist carriage runs on the bottom flange of the bridge girder.

Double Girder (D/G) – The Crane consists of two end carriages, two bridge girders and the crab unit (which includes the hoist mechanism). The crab runs on rails on top of the girders. A variation on these types of overhead crane are ‘Goliath’ cranes.  These cranes are essentially the same as the standard overhead cranes, however the bridge girder(s) are connected to ‘legs’ on either side of the span. These ‘legs’ eliminate the supporting gantry and column system and connect to the end carriages which run on a rail either embedded in, or laid on top of the floor.

Travelling Hoist – In the case of a monorail system a Travelling Hoist unit similar to the one used on single girder cranes is mounted on a beam which might be used to service an assembly line within the clients facility. Other clients may have an existing single or double girder crane bridge and may just want to replace the unit. In most of these situations, capacity permitting, we can provide either a wire rope or chain hoist. Another solution which may fit your needs is a Jib Crane. A Jib Crane basically consists of a slewing beam which is supported as a cantilever on a support column. A Travelling Hoist is fitted to the slewing beam.

Glossary: Controls

Pendant – The Pendant gives the operator precise control over the motions of the crane. There are many configurations of pendant depending on the functions of the equipment being controlled. Each pushbutton on the pendant controls an operating function of the crane. The pendant may be suspended from the Travelling Hoist, requiring the operator to walk with and beside the load, or on a separate ‘C’ track festoon cable system allowing the operator to move independently of the load along the length of the crane bridge.

Inverter Drive – An inverter is used to vary the frequency of the motors controlling the motions, allowing for smooth acceleration, deceleration and specific travel speeds. The buttons on the pendant or Radio Control transmitter operate an inverter unit in much the same way as two speed control. The first step is held to maintain the current speed while the second step is used for acceleration. Deceleration is achieved by releasing the button entirely. Pressing the button back to the first step will maintain the new slower speed. It should be noted that the deceleration is not achieved through uncontrolled coasting but through a programmable dynamic braking system. The control provided by an inverter allows for a high level of customisation.

Radio Control – The radio control performs exactly like the pendant but operates using a radio frequency. The radio control system incorporates numerous safety features and allows the operator far greater freedom to witness the operation from the best vantage point. This is often a consideration when handling hazardous loads like molten metal or chemicals.

Glossary: Other Terms

Power Supply – The electrical service available in the building for which the crane is being designed (i.e 415 Volt, 3 phase, 50 Hertz).

Enclosures – The enclosures house all of the electrical components on the crane and need to be rated to meet the conditions in the surrounding environment.

Glossary: Gantry

The rails, beams and columns on which the crane runs. The rail on which the end carriages run, is fixed to the Gantry Beam. This Beam is then supported on Columns (Top Running) or from the roof or Goal-Post structure (Under-slung). The existing building columns can sometimes be used, or new ones can be supplied with the system. New columns can either be completely free standing or tied back to the existing building structure for additional longitudinal or lateral support. When designing a gantry system that is utilizing existing building columns, it is important to provide the centre to centre spacing between the columns. Conductors supply power to the crane and are mounted on the gantry beam.

Glossary: Full Machine Certification

The EN ISO 13849 safety standard emphasises that the risk from the ‘whole machine’ must be considered. Our discussions with the HSE on this matter indicate that a company that is unable to provide satisfactory documentary evidence that it has completed safety checks and risk assessments on the ‘whole machine’ may not be able to claim BS EN954-1 or EN ISO 13849-2 compliance for their equipment.

Reel UK Limited carries out and fully documents just such a ‘full machine’ safety check and risk assessment on our client’s equipment when fitting Radio Control equipment.



REEL UK Ltd. © Copyright 2017 Reel UK Ltd. Design by Steve Jolliffe

01384 370318