Water Pump Manufacturer Uses Custom Spanco Jib Cranes to Optimize Material Handling

Overview

Xylem, Inc. is a global water technology provider that manufactures products for utility, industrial, residential, and commercial water needs. Flygt is a Xylem brand of electric submersible water pumps that range from two to 1,050 horsepower. Flygt pumps are used in diverse applications from wastewater treatment to amusement park rides.

Flygt recently moved to a new location in Central Florida that it shares with sister company Godwin Pumps, which produces diesel-powered water pumps. Both Flygt and Godwin use the new 80,000 square-foot facility for sales, service, and rental operations. Workers disassemble the pumps for preventative maintenance or extensive repairs.

In the previous facility, workers used A-frame cranes for much of their maintenance work, but these cranes were small and often inadequate for their tasks. The facility also had several bridge cranes manufactured and installed by the J. Herbert Corporation. Based on their long-term experience with J. Herbert Corporation, Flygt management chose them to create a custom material handling solution for the new facility.

Solution

J. Herbert Corporation (JHC) is an overhead crane manufacturer and Spanco dealer located in Kissimmee, Florida. JHC partnered with Spanco to design a solution consisting of seven Spanco Freestanding Double Arm Jib Cranes and two 10-ton JHC bridge cranes to meet Flygt’s specific requirements.

The jib cranes are a custom design incorporating two Spanco 301-Series Wall-Bracket Jib Cranes mounted on a single freestanding column. Each boom has a capacity of 4,000 pounds, a span of 14 feet, and a height under the boom (HUB) of 18 feet. This solution provides a large, 180-degree area of coverage to workstation on each side of the column. Air and electrical lines are integrated into the crane column to provide power to the individual workstations.

Impact

The Spanco Freestanding Double Arm Jib Cranes provide an efficient use of facility space and improved maneuverability for mechanics. Jim Keliher from Xylem explained “our work process is set up with one workbench on each side of the crane, and the jib cranes allow the workers to utilize the whole floorspace, rather than the straight line of an A-frame.”

The large coverage area allows mechanics to place unneeded parts out of the way while they continue to work. This layout helps workers keep work areas less cluttered, which is safer and makes it easier to complete work, as further described by Jim: “It gives the mechanics a freer workspace and removes any trip hazards. It’s much more efficient for the mechanics, and it’s a lot safer.” Mark Seavey with J. Herbert Corporation explained the design also improves productivity because mechanics do not have to share a single crane as in the former facility.

The mechanics can also use the cranes for moving parts and assemblies into and out of their work areas. They often have to store disassembled pumps on pallets, and the Spanco Jib Cranes streamline this process and eliminate the need for additional equipment. According to Jim, “the mechanics can use the crane to gather all the parts back up and put them together on the pallet to move it completely out of the work area for storage.” The 18-foot HUB allows the mechanics to reach Godwin’s trailer-mounted diesel dewatering pumps.

Jim also said that the workers using the cranes have been very pleased with the new systems. Overall, the Spanco Freestanding Double-Arm Jib Cranes have been a great addition to the new Flygt facility, and Jim predicts that they’ll be using them for many years.