• Kristin Thompson

Kill Three Birds with One Stone



We’ve all heard the adage, ‘kill two birds with one stone’, meaning to complete two tasks at once. Over the last year, Kristian Electric tackled a project that almost perfectly echoed the context of this old expression. However in this case, there weren’t 2 birds but 3, and the stone…well that would be Kristian Electric.

One of Canada’s largest manufacturers of granite and quartz counter tops recently expanded their business to include a new state of the art facility in Calgary AB. A huge building including high tech stone processing equipment to provide the very best for their customers. However stone is not an easy material to handle. It is cumbersome, dangerous and above all heavy. So how would you lift and maneuver large slabs of granite and racks of stone materials that weigh upwards of 10tons? You call the best.

‘Stone is not an easy material to handle. It is cumbersome, dangerous and above all heavy’

Kristian Electric is no stranger to working with large and dangerous materials. Since our company has been responsible for the inspection and maintenance of the existing overhead cranes at this customers other Calgary facility over the years, we have developed a relationship of trust and reliability. So when the world class stone fabricating company decided to construct their new facility, Kristian Electric got the call.

There were 3 birds, or in this case, challenges that the customer needed Kristian Electric to handle. First, when their raw stone was delivered, employees needed a way to safely remove the racks with the slabs from the delivery trucks.

Secondly, the raw stone had to be easily manipulated through each work area where the stone cutting and processing machines would be placed.

Finally, a way to manage and maintain the colossal sheets of stone displayed in the facility’s showroom.

The first challenge was handled with the installation of two top running single girder Demag bridge cranes with runways. The cranes have a capacity of 5 and 10 tons and each span 58’. They are used in conjunction with a 1000lbs capacity Gorbel wall cantilever jib crane for unloading and storing the racks which are loaded with slabs of raw material that arrive at the facility on trucks. In order to keep the inventory controlled, the jib crane is used to unload the slabs off the racks and capture them into the inventory system.


The second challenge was the installation of Gorbel work station bridge cranes along the processing lines and above the majority of the cutting edge masonry equipment. The facility laid out its processing equipment in four assembly line type sections. Each line was covered with 1000lbs capacity Gorbel work station bridge crane. Each work station crane required varying lengths, layouts and bridge counts to meet that area’s particular needs.


Work Station Bridge Crane Breakdown Assembly line 1– 198’ length, 4 x 30’ bridges Assembly line 2 – 125’ length, 5 x 23’ bridges Assembly line 3– 78’ length, 2 x 23’ bridges Assembly line 4 – 40’ length, 1 x 30’ bridge

The customer was now outfitted with twelve Gorbel work station cranes, each equipped with Demag dual speed DC-COM electric chain hoists, festoon systems and air lines for the customer supplied vacuum lifters. Now employees could move and manipulate the cumbersome sheets of stone material easily to and from each piece of their processing equipment.


The third and final challenge was confronted in a similar manner as the first, by installing a one ton Demag top running single girder bridge crane with a Demag wire rope hoist. Which now allows employees to easily maneuver their product from their showroom gallery to the processing equipment and back again.

With fabrication beginning in the late fall of 2015, this project was completed in two phases over a year and almost 1500 man hours were utilized for its completion.

This project also came with its hurdles, as the companies installing the new stone processing equipment in the facility also required floor space to lay-out, assemble and install their equipment. All parties had to work in tandem to maintain a safe environment while completing their installations and commissioning in timely fashion.


In the end, each issue was meticulously considered, calculated and solved with the ingenuity of our Kristian Electric team, whose dedication to completing on time and to the customer’s high standards was rock solid.