Lightweight Cranes

August 5, 2020

Andron Handling was asked to design and install multiple lightweight cranes with differing applications attached to a single steelwork structure for use in the production of Aston Martin DBX vehicles.

Background

Andron was approached to develop seven individual lightweight cranes all able to work independently from each other but suspended from a single overhead gantry system. The lightweight cranes were to be suspended from floor mounted steelwork.

The Technical Challenge

The lightweight cranes were required to lift and handle the 2 off front vehicle doors (right and left hand), 2 off rear vehicle doors (right and left hand), 2 off front and rear door hinge fit as well as a central one for the tailgate fit. It was necessary to design and manufacture a solution for each system that moved the centre of gravity to ensure that parts would be held safely and securely for each of the autonomous lightweight cranes.

The Andron Solution

The lightweight cranes were suspended from floor mounted steelwork and attached to the steelwork were two sets of downshop rails, one for each side of the vehicle. Each set of rails had three cross bridges supporting a 125kg electric chain hoist. The cross bridge rails had a home switch mounted to tell the control system the hoist is in the parked position. A fixed rail and 125kg electric chain hoist were then positioned centrally to the rear of the vehicle with the electric chain hoist having an upper limit switch to tell the control system the fixture is away from the vehicle.

 All the electric chain hoists and cross bridges on these lightweight cranes were designed with a manual push and pull, a control pendant with raise and lower buttons, and an emergency stop button. These features were mounted to the fixture to enable the operator to safely have two hands on the fixture.

 A festoon system supplied power to the chain hoist and the cables to the hoist home position switches. Also designed and manufactured were pneumatics feeds for each of the four systems.  The intelligent design of these lightweight cranes facilitated the safe operation of a complex system to be used in the production of the Aston Martin DBX model with great results.