Bespoke solution for lifting 35kg billets in the precision engineering industry
A recent order from a high precision technology company gave our design engineers the challenge that they enjoy! Our customer operates within very high tolerances as a precision technology metrology solutions supplier for the most demanding applications. This precision and pursuit of excellence meant that our customer was prepared to ensure that its production processes weren’t compromised by inefficient handling equipment.
The requirement was to provide a lifting solution for 35kg steel billets. The billets needed to be lifted from pallet level to a height of 1.7m. Once lifted, they had to be rotated through 90 degrees ready to slot into CNC machining equipment.
The billets have a smooth round surface with very little texture and no irregularities for attachments to grip hold of. They needed to be lifted across the top of the machining equipment and slotted in from above.
The environment in which the lifting operation was carried out was restricted in terms of space, so a compact solution was required that would not take up too much space. Ease of mobility between machines and outstanding manoeuvrability were important requirements.
A Pronomic 175P lightweight lifting trolley with bespoke attachment provided the answer that our customer was searching for. These trolleys are extremely manoeuvrable in all directions and are compact and lightweight as well as being capable of lifting up to 225kg.
The unit also has a range of safety measures including a unique spindle safety clutch, offering full protection from injury to the operator and the environment. This works by disabling the downward drive if the downward movement of the lifting mechanism hits an obstacle, preventing the lifting trolley from causing damage to products or operator. This release of downward pressure also prevents the trolley from tipping upwards.
As specialists in the manufacture of bespoke materials handling, we were easily able to design and build a tailor-made attachment that could safely and carefully lift the 35kg billets from pallet level to insert into the CNC machines. The trolley could be manoeuvred to the ideal position to lower the attachment around the billet. A manually operated handwheel could then be used to close the vice which safely gripped the billet. The billets were thenlifted and rotated through 90 degrees using a second manually operated handwheel to a vertical position from which they could be inserted into the CNC machinery.
It is important to note that we worked with the customer’s budget for this solution, producing manually operated mechanisms as opposed to more frequently used electrical options. We will always try to keep within budget, often going the extra mile in terms of design to create cleverly crafted units that suit the customer’s wallet.
Our customer was supplied with a lifting unit that was ideally suited to the application, with:
• Full handling manoeuvrability in a restricted environment
• Complete safety and protection from damage or injury for operators, the environment and the lifted items
• A bespoke attachment, built to fully meet their needs
• The ability to interchange attachments if future requirements change
• Price and design flexibility to match to budgetary requirements