Derbyshire-based Street Crane Co Ltd
, a key supplier to advanced manufacturing and technology companies, is celebrating its 75th year of continual innovation in crane technology. Having already built a solid reputation for reliable lifting in the traditional manufacturing sector, in the last few decades the company has focused on the advanced manufacturing sector.
Smart lifting technology originally developed for automotive, aerospace and military customers, has led the company into new sectors with recent crane applications for Fanuc Robotics/4IR and a specially engineered 'Doughnut' crane a specially engineered 'Doughnut' crane for the AMRC's Factory 2050 facility in Sheffield.
Advance features that make Street Crane products attractive to technology led manufacturers include automation and extensive condition monitoring. Programmable speed control and load dependent speeds give precise movements for accurate and safe load positioning. Anti-sway systems and hoists with load summation ensure even more handling stability, protecting the load and increasing safety.
Managing director Gus Zona said: “Due to Covid restrictions, it is unlikely that we will be able to mark our 75th year as we have done similar milestones in the past. However, in what has been a difficult year for everyone, it is a note of positive news. Even more positive is that the spirit of our founder continues to drive us forward.”
A family-owned business, Street Crane is the UK’s largest producer of factory overhead, gantry and jib cranes and is a global supplier of advanced hoists and controls to a network of over 100 international independent crane makers.
The company was founded by Peter Street (pictured left), a World War II pilot who had flown Spitfires, Hurricanes and giant Horsa gliders. In 1946, with £88 pounds in his pocket, given to him by the Royal Air Force as ‘gratuity’ for his service to the country, he decided to start a crane company in Sheffield and to buy the first company vehicle – a motorbike and side car. He then set about repairing factory cranes in an industrial landscape decimated by the war.
Martin Street, Peter’s son and current company chairman, said: “Sadly, Peter is no longer with us, but his spirit lives on. While Covid hasn’t destroyed industrial infrastructure in the way bombs did all those years ago, he would see similarities in the need to invest, rebuild and innovate.”
Innovation was at the core of Street Crane’s success from the very beginning. In post-war Britain there were shortages and Government controls allocating available materials by strategic priority.
Wound rotor motors used at the time to give smooth acceleration on crane travel motions were very hard to source. Peter’s solution was to employ fluid couplings and freely available four-pole motors which meant Street could offer equal or better acceleration at lower prices and offer shorter lead times.
Moving forward to today, the current Street ZX hoist range is the sixth generation of hoisting equipment the company has designed and manufactured. Furthermore, in late 2020, the company launched Eazycrane, the online crane configuration software which puts 75 years of know-how and expertise at the fingertips of their distributors around the world.
The result of a ten-year investment to automate crane design, drawing, component selection, quotations and order processing, Eazycrane enables Street and its distributors to work within a single system.
Martin Street concluded: “Had Peter survived he would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. Another good reason to remember our founder and the generations of colleagues who did the groundwork upon which we are building our future ability to meet the advanced lifting needs of technology led manufacturing companies.”