Health & Safety concerns were the motivating factor for an asphalt roofing manufacturing company to seek a lifting solution for their packaging cell work area. The area was congested with a shrink wrapping machine, packaging robot, an inspection station and a palletizing station.
A shrink wrapping machine feeds the completed and packaged rolls to a robot which in turn stacks the rolled products on skids. Stray rolls frequently fall to the floor during the process. A worker has to manually pick up the rolls, maneuver around the equipment, carry the roll to an inspection area (a distance of approx. 20 ft), then carry the roll again to the palletizing area. This awkward and challenging job has various Health & Safety concerns.
The company found it challenging to find a lifting solution because of the congested floor space. They considered a floor based mobile roll handling cart but decided that it wouldnâ€™t work in that area because of the congestion and because it would be too slow. They looked at different roll handling end effectors however they knew off-the-shelf solutions were too universal and from previous experience, never seem to work well with their specific product sizes and weights. Next they looked at several different crane solutions.
The company decided to purchase both a crane and a custom below-the-crane-hook roll lift assist from Engineered Lifting Systems & Equipment Inc. (ELS). The crane they choose was a Free Standing Gorbel Work Station Bridge Crane to span the entire area and provide a mount for a hoist based roll lift assist. The Gorbel crane had flexibility in positioning (support column placement around the equipment) and would be easier to modify in the future if/when that cell changes or they chose to move it into a different area of the plant.
The custom hoist based roll lift assist that ELS designed and manufactured, accommodates the size and weight range of rolls and was ruggedly built for a rough handling environment. Ultimately the company chose to go with ELS because they had good experience with ELS in the past and were pleased with ELS customer care. Now workers can easily pick up rolls and move them within the rectangular work area.