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Overview

One of the largest suppliers of light rail mass transit vehicles in the northern United States operates as a ‘set-up site’ manufacturer. Once awarded a contract, they locate a building, set up their equipment and production process, and move on to the next site as another contract becomes available. Production manager Skender Nezaj is responsible for overseeing site set-up and ensuring that production is efficient.

Skender was asked to head up a major project in Seattle, Washington. His company was awarded a contract to build 35 light rail cars for the regional transit provider in Central Puget Sound. The cars will eventually operate as part of the City of Seattle’s new light rail transit system that will connect the city of Seattle to SeaTac Airport. Skender researched the area and chose an old Boeing 787 production plant north of Seattle as the set-up site. As Skender set up the production process, he chose Spanco Gantry Cranes to solve his challenging lifting problems.

Solution

The production of the light rail cars happens in sections. Drive trains and internal components are assembled in the facility through a long series of stations. A 7-1/2-ton Spanco PF Motorized Gantry Crane with a 20-foot span and a 20-foot under beam height is used to provide ergonomic and efficient movement of the large drive train chassis as they move through the assembly process.

Once completed, fiberglass car shells imported from Japan are mounted onto the components and drive train chassis with the help of two 10-Ton Spanco T Series All Steel Adjustable Gantry Cranes. The cranes are used in tandem with a webbing sling to lift the shells onto waiting chassis.

Impact

When asked how Spanco Gantry Cranes have helped him on the project, Skender states, “Portability of equipment is a significant factor for the Seattle Light Rail Project. Spanco Gantry Cranes have really helped our business because of their portability; we can break them down with little or no effort and take them with us. The gantries have truly helped our productivity. The building we are in now did not have cranes in it, so we installed gantry cranes for the production line. The Spanco gantry cranes offer quality, met our budgetary needs, and were delivered on time. They were simple to install, were extremely rigid, and had a solid base. It was also very easy to get technical support.”

Skender has been very pleased with the role that Spanco Gantry Cranes have played in the Seattle Light Rail Project. He has even recommended Spanco Gantry Cranes to other “set-up site” project managers within his company.