What is the Difference Between a Crane and Jib?

When your operations require repetitive heavy overhead lifting, then it is likely you will call upon a jib crane. This equipment is the workhorse of material handling in the quarry industry and is critical to keeping operations moving in stone fabrication shops.

If you have unique lifting tasks, then a jib crane is able to maneuver in tight access areas and can move upwards of 30,000 lbs of stone products.

What is a Jib Crane Used for?

Heavy lifting operations can really slow production, which cuts into valuable profits. A jig crane is used to make quick work of the heavy lifting that is common for fabrications that must move uncut stone slab to cutting, finishing, and final inspection cells.

These cranes are versatile, yet with only a few working parts, they are easy to operate. The equipment consists of both a jib or arm that projects out from either an overhead crane, boom, hoist, or mast. When choosing a crane, important specifications include the boom reach, hoist capacity, and power requirements.

When rotational power is needed, electric or pneumatic powered lines can be connected to assist in rotating the boom and the lifted material up to 360°.

What is a Jib?

The jib is the arm that suspends from an articulating boom crane or overhead rail crane. The jib allows for added maneuverability, which is in addition to the up and down hoisting action of a crane. This greater range of motion that a jib provides is extremely useful in stone fabrication operations.

While a crane can be used without a jig, you must have a crane or other attachment to use a jig. Often, stone processing operations happen in tight areas, which makes a jig mounted on a crane beneficial to speeding up production.

Different types of Jib Crane Systems

Choosing the right type of jib crane system depends on the weight and span capacities required, the amount of floor space or the floor layout of your operations, and if your operations would benefit from rotating or articulating motions.

The different types of crane systems include:

Freestanding Jib Cranes – These are permanent installations where the crane mast or other baseplate supports are secured within the concrete during the pouring phase of installation.

Foundation-less Jib Cranes – This system mounts the crane base plates to a 6″ reinforced concrete slab. These systems are faster to install and can support weights of up to 1000 pounds.

Mast Jib Crane – When a structural concrete base system is not possible, this crane uses an overhead steel beam structure to support the crane and jib. These cranes are extremely tough, reaching up to 40 feet in both horizontal span and vertical height.

Wall-mounted Jib Cranes – When individual work bays require independent lift systems, a wall-mounted jib crane uses the structural wall to support a monorail or overhead bridge crane. Often, an articulating jib is mounted on the crane that add swivel motions to reach under, around, or into containers or storage areas.

Cantilever Mast Cranes – These jib systems are have a smaller footprint and depend on a cantilevered beam support arm to lift materials or equipment located below the mast.

Visit BACA Systems online to discover how our heavy lifting and robotic solutions can increase your productivity, decrease manpower, and grow revenue for your stone fabrication business. At BACA Systems, we have the solutions to streamline your in-house processing with fully automated cutting line equipment.

Waterjet Cutting

Manufacturers use jetting to improve the appearance and performance of their materials, construct new objects, or to demolish. The two main types of jetting used are water jetting and laser jetting. Certain factors make one method preferable over the other. Choosing one over the other involves looking at materials used, thickness, tolerance, and edge finish needed, and the part’s sensitivity to heat. Have a look at our industry-leading Robo SawJet, which is our programmable Saw and Abrasive WaterJet cutting system.

What is Waterjet Cutting?

Waterjet cutting is an engineering method for cutting objects. It uses a high-density, high-speed jet of ultra high-pressure water to do the cutting. Its total amount of pressure can be a maximum of 392 MPa, or about 4,000 atmospheres and it’s projected from a nozzle measuring 0.1 mm in diameter. This creates water that can exceed the speed of sound by three times and has a destructive force.

This type of cutting is used for cutting dashboards and roof materials. It is also a method of cutting and demolishing concrete structures or to cut aircraft fuselages. Because it uses a water current, there is no effect from heat. This method makes it possible to cut shapes in 2D or 3D. Also, it is environmentally friendly. No dust is created that may be breathed in by workers.

What is Laser Cutting?

Laser cutting can be used in industrial manufacturing and it is also used in artistic methods like etching. A high-power laser, controlled by a computer and optics, beams the laser at the material being worked on. During the process, a motion control system is used.

It reaches a very narrow point of .10 mm and normally it is .32 mm in diameter. This varies depending on the material thickness. All types of lasers are used in welding. There are multiple kinds of lasers. The three basic types are an O2 laser, used for boring, cutting, and engraving, neodymium (Nd), and neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd:YAG). These have the same style with different uses. Nd is used for low repetition and high energy boring and Nd:YAG is used for very high-power boring and engraving.

Which Technique Should You Use for Your Application?

The category you use depends on the materials that you are working with. Waterjetting is the safer method for cutting, is quieter, and does not produce dust by-products. It also does not produce any heat which is important when working with materials like metal.

Overall, the two methods can be used in many of the same circumstances. Laser cutting can be more precise, so for small details, it might be preferable. Waterjet cutting can profile any material up to 250 mm, while lasers are limited to 25 mm.


Watercut Jetting and laser jetting are used in many of the same ways to achieve engineering goals. Waterjet methods are most common in applications like automobile manufacturing and construction. It is preferable because it does not produce as much heat as laser cutting. This helps preserve the materials used. Abrasives can be mixed in with the water, such as garnet or sand, and this achieves a better-looking finish than if someone were to use just lasers. Also, it is quieter than lasers, and there are less harmful byproducts.

Lasers don’t use up resources i.e. water and they also can have more precise results. This is why they are most popular in artistic etching, because of the fine-tuned control that it has. Lasercutting can also be used in welding. It generates heat and runs on a computer program.

Our expert waterjet cutters help you to complete your project in a timely way with close attention to detail. Contact our team today with any questions and choose BACA Systems for your next project.