Kristian Electric on the challenges of maintaining productivity during covid-19

1 February 2021


Covid-19 has created difficulty across every industry. Many businesses are struggling to survive, some even closing their doors for good due to the economic strain put on their company. Others have remained in operation, but with limited employees and stringent health mandates in place. The construction and manufacturing industries are likewise facing their own operational predicament brought on by the pandemic.

Kristian Electric, founded in 1964, supplies, installs and services all makes and models of welding equipment, hoists, induction heating and overhead bridge cranes, based in Edmonton, Canada. It now represents several crane and hoist manufacturers as well as numerous welding and plasma cutting equipment manufacturers in warranty repairs and sales of parts.

The company continues to work, offering crane and welder services during the covid pandemic, having been classified as a support to essential services while following the Public Health Agency requirements as identified by the chief medical officers for the provinces and the Federal government. 

Kristin Thompson, marketing advisor, Kristian Electric, claims one of the challenges manufacturers face is how to work safely while being physically distant, when the work demands close proximity.

She said according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the estimated number of small and medium-sized business closures in Canada due to Covid-19 is between 5% to 19% with Alberta at the highest risk compared to the average with almost one in five actively considering bankruptcy or complete shutdown.

“One answer to this frustrating question may lie in a facility’s operational layout. The introduction of Gorbel workstation cranes and/or jib cranes to a shop floor will not only increase the physical distance between workers but also cause an upturn in daily productivity,” said Thompson.

“There is no arguing that the addition of workstation and jib cranes comes with a financial investment, however, with the possibility of further health restrictions and mandates as we journey through this global situation, the cost of upgrading vastly outweighs a complete or even temporary shutdown of a facility.

“Since both workstation and jib cranes are designed for work cells with single or few operators, this would allow one or two workers to manage an area that would usually require many more bodies to function, markedly decreasing the risk of viral transmission.

“Distancing is difficult. However, businesses must persevere through these trying times, or in other words, stay the distance.”

Kristian Electric workstation cranes are available in freestanding and ceiling mounted varieties. Gorbel workstation cranes can provide up to a 34’ bridge span and any runway length. This would provide thousands of square feet for each employee to work under. Both configurations support capacities up to 4000lbs and standard support distances from 6, 20, 25, and 30 feet.

Depending on a facility's size and processes, multiple work cells may be required. In this instance, Gorbel jib cranes can provide functionality in greater concentration while still adhering to proper proximity mandates.

Gorbel jibs come in a range of styles including freestanding, wall-mounted, bracket-mounted, and mast type, each with its own set of properties appropriate for a range of building layouts and engineering. With spans up to 30’ and rotations between 200°-360°, each style of Gorbel jib can maintain capacities up to 10,000 lbs.

“When we see an end to the coronavirus pandemic and a business's production needs change, both Gorbel workstation cranes and non-foundational jibs can be relocated to different work areas, locations, and sites, continuing to be a valuable and flexible piece of equipment,” added Thompson.