Air Technical Industries (ATI) of Mentor, Ohio is shipping 340 of their V-Master Cranes to provide a solution for Lockheed Martin who is under contract with the U.S. Postal Service for a piece of equipment that is user-friendly, compact and can lift up to 1,000 lbs. of load.
The V-Master Crane categorically meets every requirement as it weighs only 150 lbs. but can lift 1,000 lbs., up to 8 feet high at the main lifting hook. This impressive strength-to-weight ratio is achieved by constructing the crane of prime grade structural tubing. The result is a very light and maneuverable, user-friendly crane that can be disassembled in just 2 minutes and uses only 2 square feet of floor space when stored!
According to John Patrick, the manager of Automation for Lockheed Martin in Owego, New York, “The lift is utilized to remove the mechanical subassembly of the new postal sorting machines that direct mail to the appropriate locations. In the event that the subassembly needs maintenance, the crane can be used to lift the defective part and suspend it while it is being repaired.”
The multi-purpose functionality of the crane allows for maximized output. According to Michelle Johnson, Operation Support Specialist for the U.S. Post Office, “Productivity is improved because of decreased downtime when malfunctions occur with the sorting machine. It also eliminates possible back injuries to the 2 or 3 men it used to take to lift the sub-assembly which can now be done easily by the crane.”
For testing, evaluation and approval, the first three prototype V-Masters were built and shipped to on of Lockheed Martin’s testing facilities in Florida prior to the initial order. After rigorous testing and quality inspection, Lockheed engineers gave the units an enthusiastic thumbs-up which resulted in the purchase of 100 cranes, followed by another order for 240 more, for a total of 340 V-Masters!
ATI custom designed the units with an extra long 96″ boom that can reach 40″ beyond the front wheels allowing for the impressive lift height of 11 feet. ATI’s niche within the material handling industry of being able to custom design any unit was the key factor in securing the order from Lockheed.