Manufacturing Company Uses Spanco Portable Jib Crane for CNC Machining


A Pennsylvania manufacturing company needed a way to improve its workflow process. At one of the workstations in the manufacturing facility, a worker used a drill press to drill holes in pieces of steel tubing. The process was slow and made it difficult to keep up with increasing demand.

The company replaced the drill press with a CNC machine. Instead of drilling the tubing by hand, the worker could place material in the CNC machine and let it work, then remove the finished product. However, the only material handling equipment available to the worker was a large five-ton overhead crane that served multiple workstations.

The lack of specialized lifting equipment continued to make it difficult for the CNC operator to keep up with demand. Managers at the facility decided to look for a new material handling system. They decided to install a custom jib crane from Spanco.


The new material handling system is a Spanco Portable Freestanding Workstation Jib Crane with a capacity of 500 pounds. The system is designed to cover the full area of the workstation with a height under boom (HUB) of 12 feet and an overall span of 16 feet. The jib crane is mounted on a weighted concrete base that provides stability for the crane and load.

The portable base design was an important element when choosing the new system. The concrete base is equipped with forklift pockets, which allow it to be transported with a forklift of appropriate capacity. This option was less expensive than pouring a complete foundation for a similar freestanding system. This decision allowed managers to get the necessary coverage at the best price point.

Additionally, the portable base design provides a high level of flexibility. Unlike a complete poured foundation, the portable base system isn’t fixed in place. This feature makes it possible to change the layout of the facility in the future. The Portable Freestanding Workstation Jib Crane can be easily relocated without needing a new foundation.


The new Spanco Portable Freestanding Workstation Jib Crane makes it much easier and faster to operate the CNC machine. With the old setup, the raw material would come into the workstation in bundles. The worker would have to use the large overhead crane to lift the entire bundle and place it on roller tables, then move individual pieces into the CNC machine or the drill press. The process was slow and labor intensive.

The freestanding workstation jib crane is equipped with an electric chain hoist and a magnetic lifting device. Now, the worker uses the crane to lift individual pieces and place them into the CNC machine. When the material is drilled and completed, the worker uses the crane to take it back out to move to the next step in production.

This new system makes the process much easier for the operator than the old system. The Portable Freestanding Workstation Jib Crane is less cumbersome than the large overhead crane, and it reduces the physical stress on the worker. These benefits have made the drilling process faster, allowing the operator to keep up with demand more easily.