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How Scissor-Lift Tables Work

A scissor-lift table refers to a mechanical lifting platform that can be raised or lowered to the desired height. It makes work processes more efficient by optimizing ergonomic techniques to level vertical distances and eliminate the need for physical lifting. Although they may look complicated, this equipment is actually simple to design and deploy. Air Technical Industries (ATI) provides a range of Zero-Low Lift Tables designed to take care of all your material handling needs while improving workers’ safety, increasing productivity, and optimizing efficiency.

How Does a Hydraulic Lift Table Work?

The hydraulic lift table is designed to raise and lower whenever hydraulic fluid is forced into and out of the hydraulic cylinders. As the fluid enters the cylinder, the cylinder strokes outwards to force the scissors’ legs apart and vice versa.  

The following are the two working styles of hydraulic lift tables:

Raising the lift table

The hydraulic lift table rises whenever the motor pushes the fluid into the ram cylinder. Once the unit is raised to maximum height, the fluid remains in the hydraulic cylinder to enable the lift and the table to stay in the raised position with the help of a simple check valve.

Lowering the lift table

The hydraulic lift table lowers when the down switch of the pendant control is opened. The down valve’s standard position is typically closed to guarantee that the platform doesn’t lower itself whenever there is a power outage. By pressing the down button on the pendant control, you enable the solenoid to trigger the valve to open and allow the hydraulic oil to return to the oil reservoir.

What Components Make Up a Hydraulic Lift Table?

What Components Make Up a Hydraulic Lift TableClick to Expand

Hydraulic scissor lift tables are comprised of five major components:

  • Platform: the platform is the top part of the lift table. It is where lifted items sit.
  • Base: the base refers to the bottom part of the lift table that rests on the floor. It features a track where scissor legs travel in.
  • Scissor legs: these are structural members that enable the platform to change elevation.
  • Hydraulic cylinder: hydraulic cylinders enable the lift to raise and lower.
  • Hydraulic power unit (HPU): hydraulic scissor lifts can be powered by either an electric or air motor. The motor provides the necessary power for the hydraulic lift pump to function optimally.

Zero-Low Lift Tables: The Superior Solution

Zero-Low products serve as an optimal replacement for a standard hydraulic scissor lift. The zero-low lift tables provided by Air Technical are designed to lower to the ground level, unlike similar equipment on the market. They also eliminate the inconvenience and expenses that come with ramps, pits, fork trucks, and more. Additionally, these zero-low products help reduce the risks of worker injuries and fatigue with no required lifting.

At Air Technical, we offer a range of customization solutions to suit your specific needs and budget. Our experienced technicians can modify or add special features, including safety skits and automatic sequencing:

  • Automatic sequencing: We also provide PLC controls for systems integration or automatic sequencing of lift operations. 
  • Safety skirts: Safety skirts improve safety by limiting access to pinch points. They are mounted on the outside of the table with Velcro® adhesive for easy access.
  • Poly Toe Guard: This flexible polyurethane toe guard lip adds safety to any Zero-Low style table. The lip protrudes beyond the lifting platform to guard against the platform lowering onto a worker’s foot.

Get Exceptional Scissor-Lift Tables From Air Technical Industries

At ATI, we leverage the latest technology and newest equipment to provide exceptional material handling and automated equipment that optimizes workflows for an improved bottom line. If you have any questions, contact us today.

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NEW Free-standing Bridge Crane Kits

Overhead workstation cranes offer great value, quick and easy assembly

Mentor, Ohio September 15, 2021 – Air Technical Industries announces the development of a comprehensive series of free-standing workstation bridge cranes. These cranes empower workers with dedicated X-Y-Z movement in any work cell or department. They are offered in do-it-yourself kits or turnkey installation is available.

For most common, economical applications, a simple monorail design is offered. However, the differentiating factor for ATI designs is the unique, low-profile bridge. This double-girder design carries the hoist inside the bridge between the beams so that only the hook hangs below the bridge allowing for low headroom clearance and maximum utility.

The double girder bridge comes fully assembled, electrically wired and tested, all you need is the electric or pneumatic power source. The new design of the double girder with hoist built-in offers great benefits with low headroom and greater working height.

The self-supporting feature is an ideal solution in a rented building. When you move, take it with you. It requires no modifications to the building structure and can be installed independent of any existing structural supports. Another great feature is that the crane can be used indoors and moved outdoors if necessary.

The bridge span is available in a variety of widths to suit. The runway is also available in any length to meet the user’s requirements. The bridge and hoist travel can be manually operated for smaller capacities and can be upgraded to motorized bridge and trolley travel.

Capacities available are 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 6000 and 10,000 pounds. Power is 120VAC single-phase for lighter capacities or 240-480VAC 3-phase for larger, heavier capacities. Pneumatic compressed air operation is also available. Standard control pendant is wired and can be upgraded to wireless radio controls. Customization is offered for special environmental considerations, for example hazardous areas, clean rooms, food processing, etc.

Free-standing bridge cranes can be installed quickly and removed if you are moving or need it in a different location. These new cranes are an ideal, simple and economic solution for many lifting, handling, assembly, and work positioning operations.

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Founded in 1964, Air Technical Industries is a manufacturer of a broad line of standard and custom material handling equipment. The company specializes in providing innovative, engineered solutions that meet the specific needs of their customers.

Learn more about our Free-standing Overhead Cranes

For more information, Contact Us

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Labor Shortage? Improve productivity!

One of the most lasting and surprising impacts of some worldwide event that shall not be named is the dramatic labor shortage that is being experienced across most industries. Why this continues to be such an ongoing and significant problem is a topic of some (but not much) debate. Alas, this is not a political blog, so we’re not going to discuss the opinions about how we got here, but rather focus on solutions and how this problem can be overcome. The bottom line is that many companies are hindered in returning to full capacity because there are simply not enough staff to perform the necessary production operations.

For all of us involved in manufacturing and distribution operations that are not conducive to the work from home movement, we have to get the real work done and we have to do it faster, getting more done with less resources than ever before. This calls for addressing some of the human factors that sometimes settle below our attention. This includes ergonomic issues like minimizing bending, twisting and stretching by providing work positioning lift tables or lift and tilt tables to bring the load to the worker. Even when handling small or lightweight pieces, the repetitive and/or straining motions can cause fatigue and loss of productivity.

Work positioning lift table

 

Machine feeding or accumulating is another common application where a worker or multiple workers are required to manually handle some materials, sometimes large awkward items, to load or unload machines. This can have a double benefit, potentially freeing up a second operator to be productive elsewhere while at the same time allowing the remaining operator to work more efficiently, with less strain and fatigue. Simple lift table accessories like an Automatic Height Gauge are great companions to these functions because the operator doesn’t even have to push a button. The work positioning lift table can automatically raise as material is removed or lower as material is added to the platform.

Automatic Height Gauge

Automatic Height Gauge option

Besides lift tables and work positioning devices, workstation cranes can be amazing for productivity. Workstation cranes empower operators to handle their own small lifts and not wait on an overhead crane or fork lift to help them, and not risk the strain or potential injury of attempting to lift something that might be at the edge of reasonable manual exertion. Who are we kidding? Sometimes it might be so far past the edge of reasonable manual exertion that you no longer can see that edge in the rear view mirror! A light floor mounted crane, mobile crane, or portable workstation crane can be a tremendous time-saver and productivity booster for a much more affordable cost than some of the heavier lift equipment that it would depend on otherwise.

Portable Jib Crane workstation crane

These are just a few examples out of many that can help us do more with less. They are all designed to improve the experience of the operator, making the job easier so they can get more done. When there aren’t as many operators around to do the job by brute force or using as much time as it takes, we have the opportunity to make it happen in other ways. And these ways are more beneficial to the same operators and to the business as a whole, so when we return to certain times, we find we made the right investment for the long term.

 

See some ergonomic lifts here or Challenge Us with your particular situation and we’ll recommend the best solution.

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A Guide to Workstation Cranes

Benefits of Workstation Cranes

Workstation cranes play a vital role in a wide range of industries, from aerospace to farming to manufacturing. They facilitate the lifting and moving of heavy loads within the workspace, making it easier and safer for workers to position materials and equipment where they need them to perform their tasks. As a result, they help eliminate worker injury, protect products, and boost productivity.

This article provides an overview of workstation cranes, highlighting the types available, the key benefits, and the cranes available at Air Technical Industries.

Types of Workstation Cranes

There are many types of workstation cranes available, each of which offers unique advantages and disadvantages that make them suitable for different work applications. Below, we highlight some of the most commonly used.

Gantry Cranes

A gantry crane—also referred to as a freestanding crane or floor-supported crane—is a type of crane consisting of horizontal girders supported by two or more freestanding legs that rest on the floor of the facility. Unlike bridge and overhead cranes, they do not need to be attached to the building when they are installed. Depending on the needs of the facility, they can be designed as stationary or mobile units. In the case of the latter, they are placed on caster wheels or a fixed rail/track system.

Workstation gantry cranes come in a variety of configurations to suit different lifting requirements and restrictions, such as single-girder or double-girder and cantilevered, single-leg, or double-leg. Typical industrial applications for these systems include machining facilities, parts assembly lines, and truck servicing centers.

Jib Cranes

A jib crane is a type of crane that is designed to be mounted to the wall or floor of the facility. It consists of a cantilevered bridge supported by a vertical beam on one end. While the beam is stationary, the bridge can rotate up to 180 degrees or 360 degrees, depending on the crane design. The hoisting element is mounted on a horizontal boom. Together, these components allow the payload to be moved up, down, and across the facility.

Workstation jib cranes can be mounted in several ways. For example, some are mounted to a column, either a freestanding mast or a structural component within the facility. Others are mounted to a facility wall or a runway attached to the wall, which allows for lateral movement.

Overhead Bridge Cranes

An overhead bridge crane is a type of crane designed to be mounted overhead to the columns, frames, or trusses of the building or attached to a freestanding column structure. It features a moving single-beam or double-beam component (i.e., the bridge) that runs across parallel runways. The bridge typically has an attached hoist or another lifting device that travels across it, which allows for a load to be moved up and down and/or side to side. This solution is ideal for unloading and loading operations in rectangular workspaces.

Benefits of Workstation Cranes

There are many benefits to using workstation cranes. For example:

  • They increase productivity. Workstation cranes are much easier to move than traditional crane systems, which helps improve productivity within the workspace.
  • They improve ease of movement/positioning. Workstation cranes accommodate heavier loads than traditional crane systems, making it easier for workers to move materials where they need them.
  • They enhance working conditions. Since workstation cranes easily move and position loads, there is less risk of damage to goods and injury to employees. Additionally, they reduce the number of workers and amount of physical strength needed for material handling operations.
  • They facilitate expansion/relocation. Many workstation crane systems feature a modular design that facilitates relocation or expansion when the needs of the facility change.

Workstation Cranes From Air Technical Industries

Looking for quality workstation cranes for your facility? Turn to the experts at Air Technical Industries! We offer a range of standard and custom workstation crane solutions to suit different customer needs. Our product offerings include:

Have a unique lifting or handling application challenge? We can help you find the right solution. If you want to learn more about a specific product or pricing details, request a quote.

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Product Configurator Tutorial

Please enjoy our multimedia tutorial on using the Online Product Configurator and E-Commerce sections of our website. TIP: open this page in a new window so you can follow along while you try it!! Alternately, download a PDF version here.

 

  1. From homepage, Click Shop Online or navigate directly to product category desired:
    Tutorial-image01


  2. If you selected a product category, skip to Step 3, otherwise, choose product category:
    Tutorial-image02


  3. Click the specific product line that you are interested in:
    Tutorial-image03


  4. Scroll down until you see the specifications charts, or click the Specifications tab, then click the model number of the product you want to configure:
    Tutorial-image04
    Tutorial-image05


  5. Use the drop-down menus to select product options:
    Tutorial-image06


  6. If you’re not sure what an option is, click the blue question mark for a descriptive pop-up:
    Tutorial-image07


  7. When you are finished configuring the product, you have several options to proceed. Select Quantity and click Add to Cart to proceed with purchase, click Add to Wishlist to save the configuration for later, or click Print or Send E-mail to get a personalized PDF file of the product quote.
    Tutorial-image08

 

Any questions? Contact Us

Otherwise, let’s get started!! Products

 

 

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NEW OVER-SIZED PORTABLE SHOP CRANE

Variation on Company’s First Product Expands on Tradition of Simple, Useful Lifting Solutions

Mentor, Ohio June 22, 2021Air Technical Industries (ATI) announces the development of a new V-Master crane model that lifts 2000 pounds up to 12 ft high. While this version won’t fit in the trunk of your car like the original, it can be disassembled for storage or transportation. The new VM-2000 crane is ideal for shop maintenance or assembly or it can be taken out in the field for work in customer’s facilities or remote work areas. It’s small foot print and simplistic design belies its tremendous capability for increased lift height and capacity. It is mobile and portable and can be used any time any place.

VM2000 PR image

ATI started business in 1964 with a simple value proposition. The V-Master Mobile Hydraulic Floor Crane, model VM-1000, lifts 1000 pounds up to 8 feet high, weighs only 150 pounds, and can be disassembled to fit in 2 square feet of floor space.

With the launch of the VM-2000, the original shop crane gets a big brother. The VM-2000 can lower its swivel eye hook all the way to the floor level and raise up to 12 feet high. With the short gooseneck extension, the boom offers additional reach and clearance for larger loads. The crane has removable, telescopic 2-position legs. The short position provides for more compact operation with 1500 pounds capacity, and the extended position offers the full 2000 pounds capacity and requires no counterweight to be added.

The unit is equipped with non-marking polyurethane coated roller-bearing mounted wheels and a tee-screw floor lock. The lifting action is hydraulically operated, electrically powered by 12VDC battery power unit. This provides for easy, effortless operation under self-contained power. Alternative 120VAC plug-in power is also available.

The new over-sized V-Master Portable Floor Crane is an outstanding solution for a variety of lifting and positioning operations. It enables simple, safe, efficient operation in a compact, economical package.

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See the V-Master page here

For more information, Contact Us

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ATI Obtains ISO9001 Certification

Mentor, Ohio May 19, 2021Air Technical Industries (ATI) announces the recent certification to ISO9001:2015 quality management system. The internationally recognized standard provides the framework for a documented system of managing quality control and continuous improvement of the manufacturing process.

ATI-ISO9001

As a leading manufacturer of specialty-type material handling equipment, ATI is proud to achieve this certification, which is a significant milestone in the commitment to provide customers with high-quality, heavy-duty products. ATI’s broadly diversified line of lifting and handling products are designed to help customers improve performance, efficiency, ergonomics and safety, which saves time and improves the bottom line.

ATI has registered through Advantage International Registrar, an ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredited registrar. The implementation process took place during the slow period of the 2020 pandemic, taking that opportunity to invest in the future of the company.

This new initiative provides greater accountability to customers and a systematic method of controlling the critical processes to ensure customer satisfaction. The discipline of this process requires regularly surveying customers to obtain necessary feedback on opportunities for improvement as well as internal auditing to ensure compliance is maintained year after year.

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Founded in 1964, Air Technical Industries is a manufacturer of a broad line of standard and custom material handling equipment. The company specializes in providing innovative, engineered solutions that meet the specific needs of their customers.

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Pallet Inverter Selection Guide

Pallet inverters, and similar solutions such as an upender inverter, are specialized machines that allow fully loaded pallets, heavy items, and stacks of material to be easily and quickly rotated or repositioned. They help boost efficiency, reduce product damage, and prevent workplace injuries by eliminating the need to manually invert, move, or stack heavy items. Available in several sizes with varying load capacities, pallet inverters provide a safer and more efficient pallet-handling alternative to fork trucks, overhead cranes, and other hazardous and difficult-to-operate heavy lifting equipment.

Here, we provide an overview of pallet inverters, their advantages and applications, and some factors to consider when choosing an inverter for your operation. 

What is a Pallet Inverter?

Pallet inverters feature a unique pallet-gripping system that allows them to securely invert or transfer pallets with or without product on them. Compared with other types of heavy lifting equipment, these machines are easier to operate and integrate better with various warehouse equipment and production lines. Most inverters can be manually controlled as stand-alone units or incorporated into a larger automation sequence. Their primary uses include:

  • Changing out damaged pallets
  • Accessing and removing damaged items located at the bottom of a full load
  • Repositioning fully loaded pallets within a warehouse
  • Moving or manipulating heavy, bulky items or stacks of product

The exact operating sequence of an inverter will depend on its specific configuration and design features. The Upender Pallet Inverter from Air Technical is available with a built-in conveyor and feed conveyor, offering a fully-automated solution for various material handling applications. Its operation involves the following basic steps:

  1. The load is placed or fed onto the feed conveyor leading to the pallet inverter.
  2. A push-button control turns on the feed conveyor and the load gets fed into the inverter. A sensor located under the rollers detects the load as it enters the unit, automatically initiating the built-in conveyors.
  3. After guiding the load into the inverter, the built-in conveyors shut off. The hydraulically operated clamping mechanism then closes, applying sufficient pressure to carefully secure the load within the unit.
  4. The unit rotates the secured load until reaching 180 degrees. The clamping mechanism then opens automatically, and the load exits the inverter via the built-in conveyor.

Advantages of Pallet Inverters

Pallet Inverter Selection Guideclick to expand

By simplifying and speeding up the pallet-handling process, inverters provide companies with the following benefits:

  • Improved efficiency: With their versatile designs and functionalities, pallet inverters are easy to integrate into existing material handling operations. These machines can quickly perform repetitive and laborious lifting, moving, and orientation processes for heavy loads. These capabilities save companies time and allow them to make more efficient use of employees. They also simplify the process of recovering damaged goods by enabling easy retrieval of items located at the bottom of pallets. Damaged items can be removed and replaced without requiring the entire load to be manually unstacked and restacked. 
  • Reduced expenses: Attempting to rotate or reposition large, heavy loads by hand often results in inadvertent product damage and poses an increased risk of train or injury to employees. By automating such tasks, inverters reduce production interruptions and save companies money on damaged items and manual labor. 
  • Enhanced safety: By eliminating the need to manually lift or rotate heavy loads, pallet inverters help reduce the occurrence of employee injuries and create a much safer and healthier working environment.
  • Avoid improper use of equipment: Utilizing a forklift or overhead crane to sling and turn over a heavy or awkward item results in side-loading of hoists, unbalanced loading, and other hazards that are extremely unsafe and constitute misuse of the equipment.

How to Use Pallet Inverters

Pallet inverters help to optimize the use of warehouse space by performing a number of essential material handling tasks. Their capabilities include:

  • Efficient recovery of damaged items: With pallet inverters, damaged items located at the bottom of a load can be quickly accessed and removed without having to manually restack items. These machines can also be used to remove and replace broken pallets without unstacking the product.
  • Pallet swapping: Wood pallets can harbor chemicals or other contaminants from previous uses, which is a concern for industries with strict sanitary standards. For example, the food and pharmaceutical sectors often need to transfer incoming goods from wood shipping pallets to plastic hygienic pallets before they can be safely stored in clean rooms or other sanitary spaces. Inverters allow dock crews to exchange pallets quickly and efficiently without unpacking each shipment and restacking the goods on the new pallet. Conversely, inverters can transfer items from high-quality storage pallets to cheaper, expendable shipping pallets for distribution purposes.
  • Rotating large products: The versatility of pallet inverters makes them useful for handling more than just pallets. These machines can also rotate large, cumbersome items that are difficult to invert by hand. This is extremely useful in operations that require the product’s orientation to change for further processing, such as metal casting and foundry, steel stamping, or rolls.
  • Rotating large stacks of material: In addition to handling pallets and large items, pallet inverters can rotate heavy stacks of material such as sheets, paper boards, or laminated product manufacturing. This saves time and labor by allowing operators to invert the entire stack as a unit rather than rotating each individual item.

How Should I Decide What Pallet Inverter Is Best For My Application?

Selecting the best pallet inverter for a given operation requires careful consideration of the following factors:

  • What load sizes will I be handling? Consider the weight and dimensions of the loads you handle in your operation. You can estimate the ideal inverter height range for your application by adding a minimum of five inches to your largest pallet load. A pallet inverter with a standard height range is adequate for handling loads that are all similar in size and weight.
  • Do I need to handle a variety of different loads? If you will be handling loads with varying weights and dimensions, choose an inverter with a larger clamp range to accommodate larger loads, as well as small or partial loads.
  • What type of product will I be inverting? The durability or fragility of the product being handled will influence the best type of inverter for your operation. For delicate products, it is important to choose an inverter that offers the appropriate clamp pressure settings. 
  • How much product will be inverted per day? Consider the amount of usage the inverter will need to accommodate on a daily basis. To maximize efficiency and meet productivity demands, major manufacturers or distributors will likely require a heavy-duty inverter that can quickly and reliably invert large volumes of product. For smaller-scale operations with lighter loads, a low-duty inverter might be more economical.
  • How will my product be loaded into the inverter? Make sure you choose a pallet inverter that will accommodate your facility’s space requirements and easily integrate into your existing processes. Some inverters can be used as manually-operated, stand-alone machines, while others can be equipped with conveyors and other features for integration into automated production lines. 

Pallet Inverters from Air Technical Industries

Pallet inverters are highly specialized pieces of equipment that improve the efficiency of material-handling operations and facilitate a safer working environment for employees. At Air Technical Industries, we use advanced technologies and state-of-the-art equipment to design and manufacture pallet inverters and other material-handling solutions for a range of industries. Our Upender Inverter enables smooth, precise positioning or rotating of heavy pallets and other large items. Equipment features and options include:

  • Electromechanical rotation
  • Hydraulically operated clamping action
  • Available in 2,000, 4,000, 6,000, and 10,000 lb. capacities
  • Several platform size options, including:
    • 48″ x 48″ with a 50″ throat opening
    • 48″ x 72″ with a 52″ throat opening
    • 54″ x 96″ with a 66″ throat opening
  • Heavy-duty powered conveyors for automatic loading
  • Customizable PLC-controlled automatic cycle package available

To accommodate a range of load-handling requirements, we also offer a Mini Upender Inverter with a 250-pound capacity. We can also manufacture custom inverters with capacities of up to 50,000 pounds. Browse our selection of pallet inverters, upenders, and similar solutions to get started on your next material handling solution, or challenge us to let us help you choose the optimal equipment for your application.

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They want the opening on the bottom!

We are working with a manufacturer of adhesives and coatings. They are packaging their material in liners that fit inside 5 gallon pails. They set the liners in the pails under a filling station, fill up to the required weight, seal the liner, and then seal the pail. The pails are stacked on pallets to ship bulk orders. They came to us for assistance because their customer, for whatever reason, did not want the seal on the liner to be on top when they open the pail, they want it on the bottom.

What a conundrum! How to accommodate such a request? Of course you’d like to keep the customer happy, but is it that critical to have it just so? Maybe so! Maybe they’re dumping it out of the pail when they use it, and that puts the seal back on top. Maybe there is something unique in the customer’s application that requires it, or maybe they’re just being particular. Whatever the case is, our customer had to make this happen for their customer, and so that was an opportunity for us to provide a solution.

We custom-designed a small hopper attached to a rotary actuator, this enabled them to place the liner in the hopper, fill it and seal it, then place the upside down pail on top, roll it over 180° and TA-DAAA!! The seal was on the bottom and the pail was sealed and stacked on the pallet. It is one additional step, but it quickly and seamlessly integrated into the filling operation to minimize the impact on production time and efficiency for our customer.

Pail flipper ISO view

Did we mention it was located in a hazardous area? The entire system is pneumatically operated, run exclusively on shop air with a mini filter-regulator-lubricator installed directly on the frame of the device. In addition, pneumatically-operated clamping cylinders are used to retain the pail on the hopper while it is flipped over. When they returned for a new upgraded model, we outfit the frame with conveyors and a built-in scale to further integrate the pail flipper into their filling operation.

This is all the excitement we get to enjoy as a manufacturer of specialty-type material handling equipment. You may not have use for a cute little device like this, but if you find yourself faced with some awkward or challenging situation requiring lifting, handling, or positioning, just remember that we can help.

See some of our other exciting Projects, Contact Us or Challenge Us

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A Gripper is Usually NOT the Solution

In the business of designing and manufacturing specialty-type material handling equipment, we work with many customers doing a lot of interesting things. We are flexible and receptive to the requirements and desires of our customers and we never want to say “no”. It is a great benefit and service we offer that we are willing and able to accommodate unique design requirements and modify our products or design completely customized products for our customers and so we enjoy saying “yes we can” the majority of the time!

Over the course of 50 years doing this, we have learned a great many valuable lessons. We have found a lot of things that work, and quite a few that don’t work! One lesson that stands out is a special case of manipulator and gripper devices. A multi-axis manipulator with gripper is a unique device suited for applications where small parts need to be maneuvered easily and articulated into various positions. The manipulator itself can have up to 3-axes of motion: pitch, roll, and yaw. Utilizing only two of these axes is usually sufficient to achieve the positioning necessary and reduce cost, but it always depends on the particular application.

The gripper is the end effector that holds the part. It can take the form of a jaw gripper like what might typically come to mind when you picture “robotic gripper”, but it can also be a flat gripper with parallel jaws or an expanding coil ram gripper, a vacuum cup suction cup gripper, or a number of other possibilities. What we have found is that a complex design of a gripper such as these is actually cumbersome, over-complicated, and more often than not, completely unnecessary!


Nevertheless, many customers specifically ask for a gripper! The more and more we experience this, the more we realize that it is a psychological issue that creates this misconception. Didn’t see that coming? Stay with me here! We are all human, at least most of us, and we are born with these two hands and ten fingers and these are the tools we use to interact with the world. With this in mind, it actually makes perfect sense that when humans think about how they want to handle some parts or some heavy load, they tend to visualize it with their hands and how their fingers might grip and how their wrist and elbows might articulate it. I know, cognitive biases are crazy!

Armed with this knowledge (no pun intended), we can attempt to break this mind-set. We have such a diverse line of products to perform necessary operations in multiple ways. In most cases, a gripper is not actually the best way to accomplish these tasks. We are creative and resourceful and we can generally suggest more simple, economical, and safer methods for these handling or positioning operations. Now all we have to do is break that psychological barrier!!

Click here and Challenge Us to solve your lifting or handling project WITHOUT a gripper!

Click here to view our product line.

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