How to reduce EOT crane maintenance costs by up to 60%

By James Weston

When it comes to EOT cranes outfitted with festoons or conductor bars, maintenance is no easy (or inexpensive) feat. The wheels in a festoon system need to be regularly greased, and conductor bar shoes need to be replaced. The cost of this maintenance adds up quickly and reduces the availability of these cranes. However, e-chain® systems provide an alternative that can reduce maintenance intervals and provide cost savings of as much as 60% over the lifetime of the crane. Read on to learn more. 

e-chain cable carrier for eot cranes

What is an EOT crane?

EOT (electric overhead traveling) cranes are used extensively in industrial applications such as warehouses. They consist of two runways spanning the length of the crane and a bridge, or girder, spanning between them. The girder can move along the entire length of the runways, and is where the hoisting mechanism, trolley running mechanism and trolley frame are located. 

EOT crane cable management by the numbers 

festoon maintenance table

If it takes 2 field techs making $20 an hour 2 hours to grease 1 crane festoon system, that would cost you $80 per crane, per month. Let’s say you have 20 cranes at your facility. That would cost you $1,600 dollars per month, or $19,200 per year, to maintain your fleet. Those numbers do not include any replacement parts, grease, etc., this is strictly the labor aspect. As you can tell, the numbers start adding up quickly (Table 1).

Table 2 describes the same crane fleet scenario but with igus® e-chain® systems installed on the cranes.

energy chain maintenance table

igus® recommends performing two inspections per year which on average will take about 4 hours per crane. Utilizing the same two field techs at $20 an hour, the cost of maintenance would be $6,400. igus® e-chain® systems do not require any grease nor do they have parts marked for wear that need to be replaced, so you would only be responsible for labor costs. 

The same can be said for conductor bars and replacing the shoes.

Depending on your application, the life expectancy of igus® e-chain® systems can vary from 10 to 20 years. For simplicity’s sake, let’s examine the maintenance costs of an e-chain® system and festoon system that each last for 10 years, the worst case scenario. You can see that the e-chain® would save you $128,000 over that period of time.

maintenance cost over the life of the crane


We all get complacent with what we assume is working while not really knowing how much it’s costing us. Luckily, igus® is more than a cable management provider. We consult with companies to look at how they are purchasing their cable management systems and show them where igus® fits in within their supply chain. We work with a company’s Engineering, Operations, Purchasing and Accounting Departments to evaluate their current processes, assist in streamlining them, and ensure that they are getting every bit of return on their investment. 

For more comparisons between e-chains, festoon and bus bar systems, check out the e-chain® vs. festoons infographic and the busbars vs. e-chains® for crane electrification tech talk. To learn more about all of igus® cable management for cranes please visit our indoor cranes webpage.

If you would like to know more about how igus® e-chains® can save you and your company money or would like us to consult with your company, please contact us today to schedule a visit. 

*Assumptions made in the calculation scenario: labor cost, labor hours needed, life expectancy of the systems*  

*All numbers used were based on worst case scenarios. While each system will be different, we believe that the numbers will generate even more savings utilizing the igus® e-chain®.* 

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