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Overview

Geemacher, LLC is a Pennsylvania based keg manufacturer and the first American company to produce stainless steel beer kegs for the brewing industry. Their 30,000 square foot production facility is located in Pottstown and is scheduled to open for business in January of 2014. Geemacher owner and president, John Giannopoulos, decided to begin manufacturing kegs specifically designed for craft and microbreweries after spending nearly twenty years in the brewing industry.

According to Geemacher’s Plant/Engineering Manager, Dan Heisig, “Making kegs is a long process, and there are currently no other keg manufacturers in the U.S.” Dan is essentially in charge of implementing and maintaining an efficient production process for the new facility. Die maintenance is an important part of that process.

There are several different dies used for keg manufacturing, and Geemacher utilizes everything from deep draw dies to stamping dies to produce their kegs. Once the metal is formed in their machining center, it is moved to a die assembly to stamp out parts. Specifically, Geemacher uses two dies for the top and bottom skirt of the keg, and two dies to form the body of the kegs. Each die is different, depending on the size of the keg. They run one setup for each keg they produce and change settings for the next.

Changing die settings requires the appropriate equipment. While Dan could use a forklift to move dies from the shelf to the assembly area, he needed to find a more portable, higher capacity material handling solution to change die settings on a daily basis. That’s when Dan turned to Spanco, Inc. to devise the best material handling solution to meet their needs.

Solution

Dan learned about Spanco, Inc. from a local boiler manufacturer that was using several Spanco cranes in their facility. After consulting with a local Spanco distributor, Geemacher decided to purchase and install a three-ton, fixed height steel gantry crane for use in their die assembly area.  According to Dan, “Spanco was able to provide the best product to meet our needs at an affordable price.”

Spanco’s A Series Fixed Height Steel Gantry Cranes are designed for ease of use and maneuverability without sacrificing the capacity for heavy lifting. With limited space in Geemacher’s manufacturing plant, portability was extremely important. In addition, Dan needed to implement a solution that he could single handedly navigate in and around tight spaces. The Spanco A Series Steel Gantry Crane fits their needs perfectly.

The freestanding gantry crane is equipped with four-position swivel locking casters and polyurethane wheels with wheel brakes to suit an indoor application. Geemacher opted for a push-pull trolley with a motorized hoist for added efficiency and convenience. The system has a fixed height of 12 feet, 10 inches under the beam, with an overall span of 10 feet. Although Spanco A Series Gantry Cranes can be height and span adjustable, Geemacher needed a fixed system for consistency and accuracy.

Impact

The system is constructed of heavy gauge steel to ensure rigidity and durability, while also maintaining an ergonomic design for flexibility. According to Dan Heisig, “The system was easy to assemble, and we have been very pleased with how well it meets the needs of our specific application.”

Spanco is dedicated to implementing the best system for each specific operation, in addition to designing and manufacturing superior products. The A Series Gantry Crane boasts the perfect combination of portability, durability, and ease of use for multiple capacity applications in an array of manufacturing and production industries.