Gear production perfected — ABUS’ suspended rail system and EOT crane at Premium Stephan

The perfect gear takes centre stage at Premium Stephan ( The company was founded more than 100 years ago, became part of the Premium Transmission group in 2011, and makes standard and special gearboxes as well as bespoke solutions for renowned customers all over the world today. All production steps are carried out at the Hamelin site in Germany, from the machining of cast iron, aluminium and steel housings, through to gear cutting, painting and extensive testing. Premium Stephan moved into new premises in 2020 in order to accommodate the company’s growth. The central production hall was equipped with an ABUS suspended rail system and a single girder EOT crane.

It was an important requirement that each workstation had its own crane for precise handling and accurate assembly of housings, gears and shafts on the gearboxes. Once assembly has been completed, the finished gearboxes have to be loaded onto a transport trolley that takes them to further processing or to the test bay. Another requirement was that the lifting technology should be flexible and that the respective workplace cranes should cover the largest possible area of use. Many challenges, one complete ABUS solution: The result is now the availability of ten single girder cranes of the EHB type with SWLs of 500 kgs and of four EHB systems with lifting capacities of 1,000 kgs. All these cranes can be used independently of each other and with their full load capacities. The HB systems span the workplaces over a width of between 3.92 and 7.15 metres. This type of HB system allows a span of up to 10 metres depending on SWL (1.25 tonnes maximum). Different HB profiles are used for different load capacities. However, one feature they have all in common: The cranes are easy to move by hand, i.e., without further motorisation. Steel profiles that were rolled with the highest precision and in a single process guarantee excellent quality of wheel contact surfaces and thus smooth operation of the crane systems. ABUS electric chain hoists of the ABUCompact series were used as hoists. These hoists cover SWLs between 80 kgs and 4 tonnes.

A steel structure mounted on the floor can accommodate an HB system if it is not possible, or desired, to fix a suspended rail system to the ceiling of the building. Premium Stephan decided to use ABUS’ cantilever supports to suspend their HB system. These cantilever supports are manufactured in individual heights and can be mounted quickly with little installation effort. They are fixed to the floor of the building with dowels (approved for dynamic loads) and grouted with special mortar. Numerous other fastening options are available in addition to this option: for such different truss materials as wood, concrete or steel, but also for the different shapes and contours of these trusses.

EOT cranes lend their support to these light weight cranes when heavy loads need lifting. A single girder EOT crane of the ELK type with a load capacity of 10 tonnes already existed in the hall. It was joined by a newly installed EOT crane for 2 tonnes with a span of 18.7 metres. These cranes take over the transport to the industrial laundry area. Both cranes are also used for loading and unloading at the hall gates.

Well placed for the future: The desired flexibility of the workplace related lifting technology is guaranteed even when Premium Stephan continues to grow as the modular HB system makes it possible to expand or convert the crane system at any time.

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