Handling 20 ft Bundles of Round Stock

An automotive part manufacturer had a new process that involved unloading 20 foot long bundles of aluminum round stock from trucks into a warehouse then onto a conveyor for transfer to a cutting station. Their material handling operation took two workers, who had to climb upon loaded trucks to rig nylon straps to an existing overhead crane hook. There was a high risk of worker injury from falls and pinch hazards.

In their search for equipment to make the unloading process safer and more efficient, they tried using a pallet lifter that straddled bundles from both sides, however there were issues with it taking up too much space, both on the truck and in the aisle. Also there were issues using the existing overhead crane with its festooned pendant. The crane operator had to stand where they couldn’t see if the travel path of the lifter would hit obstructions during the transfer process.

The company tried using a standard pallet lifter, but the lifter took up too much space and was discontinued from use.

ELS was asked to design and manufacture a custom slim profile lifter that could also accommodate their widest bundle. ELS designed a 13 foot long 3 legged bundle lifter with 24” forks. The custom lifter’s design accessed both sides of the bundles and took minimal space beyond the bundle width. The slim pallet lifter made it easy to place bundles close to together and made handling easier in the limited space.

Along with the lifter ELS supplied and installed a new radio controller onto the existing overhead crane. Using the radio controller, the crane operator can now stand in whatever position gives the best view during handling operations. With the new lifter and radio controller, operations can be done with one operator instead of two, giving the company a cost saving benefit of reduced labour.