Company learns how to lift and handle boxes — the safe wayDecember 5, 2014 REDWIRE is news you can use from leading suppliers. Powered by FRASERS.
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Engineered Lifting Systems & Equipment Inc. (ELS) has been providing standard and custom overhead material lifting systems and equipment on time and on budget since the company was founded in 1971. So when a customer required cartons of blank pasteboard boxes to be lifted, carried and flipped 180 degrees onto a conveyor feeding a cereal food packaging machine, ELS was up to the challenge of coming up with a solution that would address the company’s health and safety concerns, along with ergonomic issues involved with manual handling of the boxes.
ELS considered a jib crane with vacuum tube lifter, but ruled it out because of the low ceiling and the fact that 180-degree rotation was not available. The floor area was already densely used.
In the end, the company chose a ceiling-mounted pneumatic Lift Assist Arm, along with a lift/rotate table.
The arm maximizes the use of the work space, and the lift/rotate table optimizes the position of the cartons to be handled. The arm design gives smooth articulation of loads up to 100 pounds, while an ergonomically friendly handlebar allows operators to control arm position and end effector movements. By depressing the handlebar control lever, all articulation brakes become disengaged, resulting in smooth floating arm movements. A pneumatic cylinder lifts both the arm and the load.
Operators load the arm by positioning the end effector’s two vacuum pads onto the corner of the carton, which is palletized on the lift/rotate table. The operator then manually rotates the handlebar 180 degrees, which flips the carton upside down. The end effector roller tray prevents carton contents from spilling out. The arm is then positioned over the conveyor and the vacuum is turned off, allowing the box to be disengaged and rolled onto the conveyor.
The Lift Assist Arm provides the benefits to safety, ergonomics and process efficiency the customer was looking for. And the solution is versatile — arms can be customized to suit other applications requiring different end effector load attachments and operational functions.