Construction has begun on a new crane manufacturing facility for Whiting Corporation in Monee, Illinois. The $7m facility will initially cover 18,000m2, of which 15,500m2 will be devoted to manufacturing and 2,500m2 to office space. Layout of the new facility is designed to allow for future expansion, the company said. It lies on a 9.3ha site, 27km south of Whiting’s present location in Harvey, Illinois.

The new building will also house the corporate headquarters of Whiting’s parent company, GK Enterprises, plus the headquarters of Whiting Services, a sister company of Whiting specialising in maintenance and inspection of EOT cranes.

Construction began in November and Whiting plans to move into the new building between August and October.

Whiting produces EOT cranes with lifting capacities from 5 US ton to 600 US ton. It manufactures pre-engineered and custom-built overhead travelling and gantry cranes and hoists for material handling in a wide range of industries, including nuclear and power utility plants, hot metal handling, industrial and warehouse, coil and scrap handling, mill service and automotive plants. Customers placing significant orders with Whiting last year included Nucor Steel, Ford, Chrysler and Alcoa.

Whiting will be building five new cranes for its own Monee operations.

Sales and marketing vice president Casey Skorpinski said: “By modernising and streamlining our entire organisation, this new facility will position us to continue to meet and surpass the ever-increasing expectations of our customers for continuous improvement in delivery and quality.” Skorpinski is currently president of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), of which Whiting is a founding member.

The first of Whiting’s hand-powered overhead travelling cranes for foundries was constructed outdoors on wooden horses in 1896.