Engineered Systems – a full-service crane and hoist provider – looked no further than its manufacturing partner, R&M Materials Handling, when it required new lifting equipment to facilitate increased capacity for crane building at a new site located in Duncan, South Carolina.

The two new production lines – that add to the existing three lines – run 300ft and will be used exclusively to make profile cranes. The crane support structure, box girder cranes and V-girders will be produced at one of Engineered Systems’ other facilities.

Engineered Systems needed a solution that gave them the best headroom in the industry. It was also interested in bringing in the most advanced monitoring technology and remote connectivity to give it the biggest return on investment possible.

Brian Payne, vice president of sales at Engineered Systems, says: “We have modernised an existing building on this property to fit our production needs. Our biggest challenge was the roof height of the building and the resulting headroom issues.

“We had very similar challenges with our last two expansions,” adds Payne. “Like everyone else installing overhead cranes, we are considering capacity, headroom and price.”

Engineered Systems selected standard R&M Spacemaster SX crane kits. Payne points to the range’s “excellent headroom”, which was a driving factor in the selection, although the hoist monitoring and remote access, plus other features, were also important considerations.

Six, 10-tonne-capacity double girder cranes, span 48ft and feature R&M’s remote monitoring system, Overhead Lifting Information (OLI), which will provide data so that predictive maintenance and the diagnosis of issues on-site and remotely can be implemented.

Engineered Systems chose R&M’s NRGmaster energy chain, which enhances the cranes’ headroom by removing the traditional festoon and placing the track inside the web of the bridge beam, giving the cranes an overall cleaner appearance, and protecting the wires from accidental contact with equipment or objects in the area.

The SX wire rope hoist features a large drum diameter that creates near true vertical lift; this design allows Engineered Systems to use the largest area under the crane, allowing them to use the complete production area and not sacrifice the areas near the walls.

“The cranes are performing well, and we have had no issues with our tight-headroom lifts,” continues Engineered Systems’ Payne. “We believe that we are fairly efficient at producing cranes. This expansion was really about volume; we look to fabricate more than 300 cranes this year.”

The expansion, uplifted by its new cranes and hoists, will position Engineered Systems for continued growth, especially as dedicated crane builders will be in high demand as consolidation of the wider market is driven by investment banking groups, for example, Payne suggests.

“We are growing at about 22% annually,” says Payne. “There are multiple sectors driving demand. Existing manufacturing facilities in our region are expanding, while manufacturing facilities [are] moving into the Southeast from other parts of the US and the world.

“Automotive manufacturers and their suppliers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, and the aviation industry are all keeping us busy.”

A dozen welders, painters and electricians will support the new lines, including three new recruits.

Engineered Systems is an R&M distributor, supplying a range of wire rope hoists, crane kits and replacement parts. It has approximately 200 employees across five states, which includes crane maintenance, operator training and engineering services.