It's common to confuse an overhead crane with a hoist, but these are different pieces of equipment. Understanding the key differences between these pieces of equipment can help you determine which one you need.
Hoists Have Different Functions
A hoist is a device that is designed to lift objects up and down. For example, an elevator is considered a hoist. Overhead cranes, on the other hand, are able to move in more than two directions. They can lift an object into the air and then transport it horizontally. This extends the utility of the crane.
Hoists can be very useful in some circumstances. For example, if you have a warehouse that has multiple stories, you may need a hoist to lift an object to a higher altitude. While many hoists are entirely independent machines, some are subsections of a crane. The hoist lifts the object up and the overhead crane moves it horizontally.
Hoists and Cranes Have Many of the Same Features
One of the parts of the hoist is the lifting medium. This is the part of the hoist that touches the object being lifted. This can be a rope, a chain, or a metal cable. Since the hoist is often a part of a subsystem of an overhead crane, the overhead crane will also often have this lifting medium.
Both hoists and overhead cranes have several ways in which they can be powered. They can be powered by electricity, manual power, or a pneumatic process. Therefore, you can find an overhead crane and hoist that will fit within the limitations of your facility. For example, if you are a factory that uses air tools, you may find it easy to implement a pneumatic system.
Both hoists and cranes are used to lift and lower loads. However, cranes typically have a much more complex design than hoists. A crane is meant to have multiple purposes, while a hoist typically only has a single purpose.
Cranes Have Greater Utility
Not only can overhead cranes move loads, but they can also be used for demolishing. A wrecking ball can be attached to a crane so that it can collide with a structure to tear it down. Cranes can also have scoops attached to them so that they can lift and move debris, dirt, and waste. Now that you understand the utility of both types of machines, you can choose one that will serve your needs.
To learn more, contact an overhead crane supplier.