Suck it up and lose the weight fast! How ergonomic lift assists using vacuum power can reduce your manual handling practises.
<ul><li>All around the World, industrial products such as food stuffs, chemicals, wooden panels, building products, rolls, drums and barrels present safety problems when they need to be moved rapidly during production processes. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In the United Kingdom, the weight or size of these objects means that employers immediately have to consider their responsibilities under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations to ensure employees are not injured manually handling heavy loads. </li></ul><ul><li>Fig 1 indicates recommended weights and positions for acceptable manual handling. </li></ul>Fig 1.
<ul><li>This is where vacuum operated lift assists are proving themselves so useful; in industries as diverse as vehicle manufacture to food and dairy. </li></ul>
Lose weight fast! Vacuum lifters help to promote significant weight loss…!
<ul><li>Vacuum tube lifters effectively neutralize the weight of the object load for the operator, resulting in a significant reduction in the risk of personal injury associated with poor manual handling techniques. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Another benefit to the employer is that the use of a vacuum lifter also reduces the risk of damage to the payload . </li></ul><ul><li>Again this is something that can occur through poor manual handling practices. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Using a vacuum lifter , the operator does not suffer fatigue at the same rate as during a manual handling process. </li></ul><ul><li>A vacuum lifter will maintain performance at the operator’s usual speed. </li></ul><ul><li>Movements and can often be operated one-handed if necessary. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Tailor made devices are also available, often allowing operatives to manipulate a load as easily as lifting it. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s surprising what a vacuum lifter can be employed to do… </li></ul>
<ul><li>For objects with rough or uneven surfaces there are special variants on the tooling configuration, which use rubber skirts/seals to overcome surface variations. </li></ul>
<ul><li>For irregular objects with no suitable surface to develop a safe vacuum grip there are custom designed variants on the tooling. </li></ul><ul><li>Configurations using mechanical or pneumatic operated grip can be designed in the most difficult of cases. </li></ul>
Suck it up! How is air used to pick up payloads as heavy as 350kgs (770lbs)?
<ul><li>Vacuum tube lifters take the form of suspended flexible tubes , often resembling an elephant’s trunk. This lift tube is connected to a pump/blower, which creates a vacuum in the main tube when the end tooling is blocked by the object to be moved (in this example a bag). </li></ul>PUMP AIR FILTER BAG TOOLING FACTORY FLOOR LIFT TUBE See Slide 15 SUPPORT CRANE
<ul><li>The vacuum (or the difference between the air pressure inside and outside the tube) keeps the object attached to the suction pad tooling and takes the weight out of handling many varying objects. </li></ul>AIR FLOW EXHAUSTED AIR AIR FILTER
<ul><li>In terms of safety , International standards require the ratio of the suction grip to the cross-sectional area of the main tube to be at least 2:1. </li></ul><ul><li>This means there is almost no risk of the load being knocked off accidentally as grip forces are lowered on the downward movement. </li></ul>Cross sectional area of lift tube Suction grip area 2 to 2.5:1 safety factor
<ul><li>Vacuum Lifters also incorporate a failsafe feature that kicks-in if the power supply is cut-off. The upper can (fitted at the top end of the main tube) includes a gravity-operated safety plate that is lifted as air flows past it. </li></ul><ul><li>On vacuum failure, this plate drops over a hole and seals the tube, thus creating a chamber of air. This dissipates slowly away through natural leaks. </li></ul><ul><li>As the unit lowers towards the ground the tube expands and actually increases the volume for air – this all helps to maintain a grip on the load until it reaches the floor. </li></ul>UPPER CAN JIB CRANE LIFT TUBE SAFETY PLATE AIR FLOW
<ul><li>The best vacuum lifts also include an internal support mechanism to bear the weight of the controls and tooling when the vacuum is switched off. </li></ul><ul><li>This rope is securely connected to the upper and lower lifting tube components. </li></ul>Internal Support Rope
<ul><li>The lifting and lowering action is very simple to control. It takes almost no time at all to become a competent operator. </li></ul><ul><li>A gentle, finger tip squeeze of a lever performs the lifting action. </li></ul><ul><li>A gentle finger tip push down on the same lever performs the lowering action. </li></ul><ul><li>A full push down on the lever exhausts the air and allows load release. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Vacuum lifts can operate in specialized environments such as clean rooms and even hazardous environments such as explosive atmospheres, where the ATEX recommendations must be considered. </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized components are sometimes required to meet regulations, such as; </li></ul><ul><li>Air operated pumps </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-static tubes </li></ul><ul><li>Earth bonding </li></ul><ul><li>Non-sparking crane trolleys </li></ul>
Don’t even go there! So is there anything a vacuum lifter can’t do?
<ul><li>There are some space limitations caused by the need for the tube to be suspended above the load. Units are working in areas with overhead clearance as low as 2.3m (90”). </li></ul><ul><li>They can be fitted to operate round structural columns using an articulated (knuckle) arm gantry , which effectively folds in the middle. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Otherwise the only consideration is that the load must always be below the centre of gravity of the lift tube . </li></ul><ul><li>Off-set or cantilever applications are not suited to vacuum tube lifters...but there are other handling solutions such as this Manipulator from Palamatic. </li></ul>
<ul><li>These people and thousands more like them did… </li></ul><ul><li>"The Palamatic [vacuum] lifting equipment has decreased the amount of manual handling that our staff have to undertake. This has enriched their jobs and made them more productive..." Paul Sadler - Ancient House Press, Suffolk UK. </li></ul><ul><li>“ You offer a very good product [ vacuum tube lifter ] with a very good reputation within our industry,” – Kevin Tipton, Apton Partitioning Ltd </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Palamatic [vacuum] lifters are second nature to use . They have made a huge, huge difference to the operation and have removed potential hazards associated with this process,” – John French, Curtis Fine Papers </li></ul><ul><li>“ The [Palamatic] equipment has proven very reliable . It is important that this part of the process isn’t held up, so it’s absolutely critical that the system [ vacuum bag lifter ] systems are efficient,” – Ian Tyreman, Syngenta </li></ul><ul><li>“ The operators have noticed an obvious difference with the ease of lifting operations in both areas,” – Ian Carfrae, Paterson Arran </li></ul>Think you need a vacuum lifter?
Written by Rob Andrews Rob is Head of Palamatic’s Materials Handling Division For more information please contact Palamatic via any of the following channels… Email: email@example.com Web Enquiry: Click Here Ph: +44 (0)1246 452054 US Operations: Email: [email_address] USA Toll Free: 888-922-1119