During the steel production process, large overhead cranes are used to transport large refractory-lined ladles full of molten steel from the blast furnace to a pour station. At the pour station, the ladle cover is removed, and the ladle is tilted to transfer the molten iron into large molds waiting on transfer cars. Once emptied, the ladle cover is returned, and the ladle heads back to the blast furnace to repeat the process.
In review of the production process, plant managers found that the large overhead cranes were being subject to significant downtime caused by tedious tasks like ladle lid removal and replacement. This ladle maintenance was proving to be not only inefficient, but also difficult due to the size of the overhead crane.
A local Spanco dealer recommended a custom engineered Spanco Wall-Traveling Jib Crane for this application. Compared to a semi-gantry crane, the Wall-Traveling Jib Crane mounts to a wall, so there is no crane leg or rail to interfere with floor activity.
The Spanco Wall-Traveling Jib Crane complements the overhead crane system, providing a more efficient method for lid removal and allowing for operation of the overhead crane to focus on transport to and from the blast furnace. The cranes can be used to span multiple workstations in an entire plant.