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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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History, Mission, Purpose

Air Technical Industries (ATI) started business in 1964 by one man and his dream to build a portable, mobile crane to perform maintenance on helicopters in the backwoods of Korea. Lacking the resources to build this larger crane, the first product was a smaller portable shop crane that could lift 1000 pounds 8 feet high, and be disassembled to fit in the trunk of a car. This simple value proposition launched a 50+ year mission to provide lifting and handling solutions not only to the military, but to every industry with a handling challenge. The customer-focused approach to new product design results in continuous development of new and unique material handling products, building a catalog of 2500 standard product models and offering custom design of modified products to fit customers’ specific applications. Standard product lines range from hydraulic scissors lift tables, positioning/upending tables, rotary tables, dock lifts and maintenance lifts to mobile portable floor cranes, jib and gantry cranes, truck mounted cranes, and pallet inverters, powered industrial trucks, and manipulators.

The goal at Air Technical Industries is making the job easier. This means improving the quality of life for workers by helping customers implement functional, purpose-built ergonomic equipment. Lifting and handling equipment designed and manufactured by Air Technical Industries serves many purposes across most industries and solves challenges such as bending, straining, reaching, lifting, pulling, and other awkward or repetitive manual tasks. The equipment is also used for specialized or awkward lifts or picks of hard-to-reach items located in tight or inaccessible areas and performing unusual processes such as inverting, rotating, or positioning large, cumbersome items.

The extraordinary value of ATI’s offerings is a tremendous return on investment. A common benefit is eliminating manual labor thereby freeing up multiple workers for more valuable tasks. Other solutions involve implementing a specific piece of equipment for a task that was previously performed by a series of convoluted and un-safe steps using a fork lift or overhead crane when they are the wrong tools for the job, Because of the significant amount of time and labor savings alone, it is quite common to see payback within a year or two, and sometimes mere months! This does not even factor in the unknown costs associated with “what-ifs” that never happen because injuries were avoided or valuable products are not damaged by being dropped or mis-handled.

The differentiating factor for ATI is being receptive and flexible to finding a solution, even if it’s not a line item in the catalog. Consulting with customers on the specific needs and requirements of each application provides the opportunity to offer a custom-tailored solution. By having all the design and manufacturing capabilities in-house, ATI is the source for lifting and handling, ergonomic, safety and productivity improving solutions.

Click here to browse ATI’s product line or click here to Challenge Us to solve your lifting or handling problem.

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Bring Piece to the Worker

Ergonomic work positioning lifts from Air Technical Industries are a valuable tool for assembly and production operations. They will decrease fatigue and injuries from bending, twisting, reaching, squatting, or straining. In addition to and because of those ergonomic factors, they will improve worker productivity and efficiency!

The result of this two-fold benefit is reduced absenteeism and improved morale on one hand, and then increased output, competitiveness, and profit on the other hand. You should expect to see as much as 30-50% improvement in productivity, so calculate that savings of labor time and you will find, as many of our customers do, that the lift will pay for itself in as little as 3-6 months! WOW!

The applications for these customizable work positioning lifts are virtually limitless. Utilize a Zero-Low Lift table to roll on or off with a simple pallet truck and load or unload pallets of material while adjusting the platform height to keep a comfortable working height. A lift and tilt table is perfect for panel assembly or unloading deep boxes. Not only will it raise the load to a comfortable working height, but it will tilt towards the operator for convenient access to the entire work area.

Zero-Low Lift & Tilt worker

Lifts can be equipped with rotary tops and/or conveyors to increase versatility, wheels for mobility, or guard rails for work platform applications. Complete the installation with accordion-style safety skirts to alleviate hazardous pinch points and you’ve got a winner!

Click for more details: https://www.airtechnical.com/product-category/lift-tables/

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