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AACOA Curved Monorail Case Study

Industry: Aluminum Fabrication and Extrusions


Company: AACOA Extrusions a division of Bonnell Aluminum


AACOA is a leader in aluminum extrusion and fabrication, as well as aluminum anodizing. Their state-of-the-art aluminum extrusion, fabrication, and anodizing facilities are among the most advanced in the industry. AACOA recently expanded their Niles, MI facility, adding 100,000 square feet to their existing facility. This expansion provided space for the addition of a third press line and made space for future expansion.

This project was part of an expansion to mirror an operation at another Bonnell plant in Georgia. The sister plant has a curved monorail system that relies on parts of the press for its supports. This is not a fully engineered system. Our customer wanted a fully engineered product that did not rely on the new press as a support structure.

AACOA considered using the 10-ton and 3-ton cranes that we installed in that bay to help feed the new press, but it would have been less efficient, as they need to be able to feed this machine 5-6 times an hour. This would have placed greater pressure on the crane operator due to the many obstacles and obstructions between the die pickup and the press machine. A patented track curved monorail was the clear solution allowing parts to snake through their machines to access the point where dies are inserted in the press. Hoosier Crane chose to use a custom Cleveland Tramrail system for this application because it offered the best efficiency, long life, and safety for the customer.

We designed the monorail with Cleveland Tramrail to have custom headers and cantilevered support columns to make it a fully freestanding crane system. The monorail is approximately 94’ in length, 2 tons with a 2-speed Harrington Chain Hoist (trolley speed = 80/13 FPM, hoist speed = 24/4.5 FPM) with 2 curves to feed AACOA’s new machine. The system has one hoist that picks up dyes at one end, where they go through a series of curves, and then feeds the dies to their new press. This new press line uses die forms, each weighing between 1,500 lbs. and 3,500 lbs.

This patented track monorail has provided our customer the ability to feed their press efficiently and safely. Having the ability to use a dedicated, engineered crane system has helped increase productivity in a safe way, giving peace of mind to the operators and maintenance staff.

If you would like to learn more about how a curved monorail can improve the efficieny and safety at your facility, please contact us or request a quote.