If you’ve ever been to a construction site or a massive shipyard, chances are you’ve seen those huge hydraulic arms — called gantry arms or gantry cranes — hanging overhead, hauling heavy construction materials or perhaps container crates and trailers. However, gantry systems are not all about massive, industrial level structures. In fact, there are various linear gantry systems used in manufacturing the smallest electrical components or even medicines.
Let’s take a look at how these gantry systems work and their many applications in the industrial world.
What is a Gantry System?
Simply put, a gantry system is a system of motorized rails that allow for the mounting of a specific piece of hardware meant for high-precision work. Once mounted onto the gantry system, the working device (say, a robotic arm) can be made to move in a specified plane of linear movement thanks to the locomotive motors involved, either on the hardware mount or on the rails themselves.
As the device’s movement is confined to the gantry system’s rails, a higher degree of precision can be achieved, making such a setup perfect for delicate manufacturing jobs, such as semiconductor or electronics manufacturing.
One of the great things about these gantry systems is that anything can be mounted onto it to perform specific tasks, as long as the gantry system itself is built to size. From massive crane arms to smaller-scale, laser-etching devices, as long as the gantry system is scaled correctly, you can attach almost any device onto it.
Where are Gantry Systems Used?
Despite being perfect for manufacturing, this is not the only industry where gantry systems can be applied. Here are just a few of the many applications of gantry systems:
- The pharmaceutical industry makes millions of tablets, capsules, pills, syrups, and suspensions every day. Linear gantry systems used in pharmaceutical production lines allow for not just more precise formulations, but also faster and more efficient packaging, as well as cleaner, safer manufacturing environments.
- Automobile Manufacturing and Repair. Gantry arms can be used to lift of place engines in and out of the vehicle chassis, as well as for precision testing and batch monitoring.
- Metal Foundries and Craft S Gantries can be used to make welding or laser-cutting efforts much more precise and computer-programmable, and therefore easier and repeatable. This is indispensable not just in manufacturing but also for smaller-scale industries that deal with metal.
- Medical and Chemical L Smaller-scale gantry systems are used in automatic handling liquid machines that are used to examine medical and or chemical samples. This allows for a more precise analysis and hygienic handling of possibly hazardous substances.
- Video Production. Gantries can be used in video production, especially when the shot calls for very precise movements, such as those for CGI and motion-capture
- Theater Gantry systems can also be used in theater or drama productions, especially in moving bigger set pieces, backdrops, and props quickly and smoothly during scene transitions.
- Postal O Post offices around the world shift a lot of mail – not just letters but also heavy, sometimes even delicate packages that require careful handling. Gantry systems of different scales are often used to help sort and manage the daily influx of mail and packages before they’re delivered to their destinations.
- Shopping M Heavy-duty gantry systems are used in service elevators that carry heavy loads, especially in multiple-story shopping malls and other establishments.
- 3D Printing. Gantry systems are heavily involved in 3D printing, where objects rendered through computer systems are then rapidly produced into actual 3D objects.
Gantry systems are highly versatile, able to be applied to any almost industry that requires automated and precise movements. As technology continues to advance and the demand for precision work increases, the number of situations and industries where gantry systems can be applied will no doubt grow along with it.