Glass and mirror manufacturer adds a crane to improve efficiency and safety

Since 1938, London Glass and Mirror has been bringing the highest quality products to market, whether they’re made onsite in their manufacturing facility or sourced from one of their outstanding manufacturing partners. As owner Trevor Stewart puts it, you don’t stay in business for 80 years without innovating, and a recent example is their decision to add a crane to their operations. Their building, which is constructed of concrete block, had no structure to hold a crane. Our solution was to design free-standing runway columns, a runway system and a crane that would function well in Trevor's cozy quarters. Zelus co-president, Jason White, asked Trevor about the experience he had getting a machine to do his heavy lifting.

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JASON

What triggered you to investigate adding a crane to your existing building?

TREVOR

The shop is extremely full of equipment and inventory which prevents the use of a forklift. When we received large bundles of glass, they would have to be wheeled into the building, then individual sheets were moved by hand into their storage racks. Each step of the process required at least two workers to handle these large sheets of glass. My father had talked about the possibility of installing some type of crane for years. When I took over the business, I saw the value and wanted to make it happen.

JASON

Was there pressure from a health and safety perspective to install the crane?

TREVOR

Yes. As our staff ages it’s becoming more important to have better methods of handling heavy products. Dropping large pieces of glass can also be very dangerous and expensive.

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JASON

What other options did you look at to solve your issue?

TREVOR

Our building is located near downtown London and we don’t want to move. Other than a crane, there aren’t a lot of other options for us to keep our building and solve our material handling issues. We contacted a large crane company from the area and after a site visit and some conversations they informed me that what I wanted couldn’t be done. Then someone suggested I contact Zelus. They visited our site and came up with some pricing. For a relatively small crane, it was very complicated to fit around my equipment and racking. The ceiling height is low and the area is congested, so it required a lot of site planning and design to create a layout that worked.

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JASON

Installing a crane can be very disruptive to facility operations. How did Zelus make that as easy as possible?

TREVOR

Zelus worked around our schedules. During the day our shop is busy with installers and production staff. Zelus was able to start late in the afternoon and work late at night to complete the project without disrupting my production.

JASON

Did installing a crane increase the productivity of your production?

TREVOR

Being able to lift 4000 lb bundles of glass now instead of handling each piece by hand saves a lot of time. Now one person can take a large sheet off the rack and place it onto our large cutting machines, instead of two people being on hand to help all the time.

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JASON

What was it like working with the Zelus installers?

TREVOR

The installers were fantastic. They worked safely and were very methodical in their approach to this complicated installation. Most of the runway system was hard to reach with equipment and inventory in the way, but they managed to get it in place.

JASON

Was it worth the investment?

TREVOR

Yes, I’m very happy with how it worked out. I accomplished what I wanted to. Everything went smoothly. I wish all my projects went this well.

JASON

Would you do anything differently if you were to do it over again?

TREVOR

I wish I could have made the crane larger. However, to make everything fit there was a limit on the size I could make it.