For which applications are each of the crane types best suited?
Bridge cranes typically are physically the largest crane machine type, and are used to carry the heaviest loads. The double girder configuration is particularly well suited to applications in which there is a wide span between the runways, or the load is exceptionally large or heavy.
The supporting runways of a bridge crane may be built into the structure of the facility, making it ideal for large, permanent installations where the design of the crane is integral to the design of the building. However, these cranes are not limited to fixed-location applications. Freestanding bridge cranes, which feature a modular design that allows them to be easily relocated to other parts of your facility, are also widely used.
Gantry cranes are well suited for portable or outdoor applications. They are often used for loading and offloading in storage yards, shipyards, rail yards, and on construction sites. Because of their mobility, they are also ideal for transporting loads between locations on a site, or between buildings.
Monorail cranes work especially well in applications that are highly structured and the load's route of travel is fixed, even though it might not follow a straight line. Examples include production lines and continuous operations such as painting processes. Because the topology of a monorail crane's route of travel is variable, special care must be taken with the design to ensure that the crane is properly supported and that appropriate margins of safety are maintained at every point in the workflow.
How to determine which overhead crane design is best for you?
Your primary consideration is, of course, the applications in which the crane will be used. For example, if you will be moving heavy loads across a large fixed space, a bridge crane might be indicated. If the route of travel is fixed but non-linear, a monorail crane might be best. And if the workflow or application will frequently change, or if outdoor or portable operation is required, a gantry crane will probably be the best choice.