The Czech Republic is not often thought of as a major source of factory cranes in Europe, however the big manufacturers there produce between 3,000 to 5,000 units annually.

The main overhead crane manufacturers are KPS, SUB and Vihorlat. In addition, Mostáren has the capacity to produce around 1,000 tower cranes and CKD 1,000 mobile cranes a year.

As well as importers of well names, including Liebherr, Mannesmann Dematic (which employs 200 people in the country), Kone, Stahl and Abus, there are a further 15 to 20 small, indigenous companies operating in the Czech crane market.

One such company is GIGA. The company was founded by Rudolf Fiser in the town of Turnov in January 1991 and has grown steadily. Its main markets are the Czech and Slovak Republics but export sales are increasing and in September this year, it moved to the village of Prísovice because more factory space was needed. It now employs 25 people, producing around 1,000 hoists and 100 cranes per year. Annual turnover is about $1 million.

GIGA is a hoist and overhead crane manufacturer which specialises in electric wire rope hoists in the 250kg to 20t range. The product range comprises 65 different types with nine lifting height options. This gives a total of 585 possible combinations.

Other products include 500kg and 1,000kg electric chain hoists, single and double-girder overhead cranes with spans up to 32m and capacities up to 40t, as well as a wide range of standard and custom-made crane components that enable customers to build their own installations. In such cases, the final installation can be guaranteed by GIGA, provided one of the company’s technicians supervises the work.

In addition, GIGA offers both manual and automatic transport systems based on electric wire-rope hoists and turntables for use in hostile environments such as galvanising plants, iron foundries and paper mills.

GIGA specialises in hoists but also builds overhead cranes using its own components, which it claims gives it a significant price advantage over its competitors. The company’s single girder cranes, which are available with lifting capacities from 250kg to 10t, are all constructed using standard components.

This reduces the spare parts stockholding requirement for customers who install several cranes. All the cranes have the same metal-tipped wheels, gears and bridge travel motors, as well as common bearings, control panels, festoon cables and power supply bus-bars.

Each crane is constructed using either a rolled section or a welded box girder and hoist and travel speeds are selected according to customer requirements. When pendant control is used, the standard travel speed is 40m/min, while if radio control is fitted up to 250m/min is possible.

The company’s double girder and special cranes have capacities up to 40t and have been supplied with rope stabilisation with dual synchronised hoists for precise lifting and with position location systems for use in automated applications.

See the GIGA web site for more information: