Increased Productivity and Safety When Moving Heavy Equipment and Components

About The Company

Founded in 1983, St. Onge has transformed into a distinguished global authority in supply chain strategy and logistics, serving various sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, food & beverage, automotive, electronics, oil & gas, and more. Their solutions enable businesses to increase profitability, agility, and adaptability. Through research, advanced modeling, design, and engineering, St. Onge optimizes operations strategies, tailoring solutions to individual client needs for improved market positions, ROI, and end-to-end efficiency. Their international footprint, demonstrated by the Global Connexions initiative, provides clients with access to dedicated supply chain experts worldwide for comprehensive and unbiased support.

Load Specifications

Various Equipment & components

Application Analysis

General Specifications:

  • 15′ bridge
  • 60′-68′ runway
  • 14′ under hook
  • Options for 1-ton – 2-ton capacity
  • Manual push trolley bridge
  • Powered electric chain hoist

Handling Issues

Client needed an overhead crane to service his tool and die shop where they repair and refurbish their client’s equipment and machinery of various types. Onge had been using a fork truck to do the heavy lifting which was slow and unsafe when moving in and around the other employees stationed in the work area. Production was slow because the floor lift had multiple duties and wasn’t always readily available. On a few occasions when trying to upright or tilt a machine to gain access the load got away from the forks and caused additional safety damage issues.

The Solution

To help the client meet the desired goals ASE Systems specified an Enclosed Track workstation bridge (see complete specifications below). ASE’s enclosed track is highly ergonomic in that the bridge and trolley movements require only one pound of force by the operator to move a 100-lb load. For this crane, only 20-lbs of force is needed to move a 2,000-lb load. Another great feature of the workstation crane is its ease of installation; anyone without experience can easily install these cranes and they can typically be shipped in one to two weeks after receipt of order. St. Onge Company’s goals of increased productivity and safety were met with the enclosed track workstation bridge crane. WSBC series cranes are available in capacities up to 4,000-lb, with bridge spans up to 34’ and runway lengths over 250-feet.

Key Technologies

Enclosed Track Workstation Bridge

https://asesystems.com/workstation-cranes/

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Lifting Rolls Horizontally of Varying Lengths up to 500-lbs

About The Company

Rite-Hite manufactures, sells, and services locking dock equipment, industrial doors, safety barriers, HVLS fans, industrial curtain walls, and more. Known for the development of the DOK-LOK ® trailer restraint that prevents trailer separation, they have quickly gained a reputation for solutions that improve industrial safety, security and productivity through quality and innovation. Serving industries worldwide such as automotive, warehousing and distribution, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, as well as pulp, paper, and packaging, Rite-Hite has a global footprint in providing essential services.

Load Specifications

  • Load Type: Vinyl Rolls
  • Weight: Up to 500 LBS
  • Roll Diameter: 15”
  • Roll Widths: 58”-90”
  • ID: 3”

Application Analysis

  • Pick Up Point: Horizontal from a pallet
  • Rotation: N/A
  • Place Point: Horizontal on a table

Handling Issues

Rite-Hite was using an old pneumatic hoist-based roll lifter with probe tooling for horizontal lifting. They had recently added longer rolls which needed an upgraded unit with a longer probe for easily handling the heavier, longer rolls.

The Solution

ASE proposed a hoist based pneumatic C-shaped fixed probe tool with a powered center of gravity shift to adjust from short rolls to long rolls. ASE also included integration of the clients existing hoist pendant controls; this allowed for increased ergonomics and ease of use, making the handling process more user friendly for their operators. The customer was so happy with the capability of the unit, they purchased a second one for the output side of their production process.

Key Technologies

Hoist Based Pneumatic C-shaped Fixed Probe Tool

https://asesystems.com/roll-handling/hoist/

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Lift, Rotate, and Carry Loads Up To 365 LBS

About The Company

SKF Magnetic Bearing, established in 1907, provides solutions to reduce friction in rotation across various industries including aerospace, agricultural, automotive, food and beverage, mining, railway and more. Their bearings, seals, and lubrication systems can be found in everyday products used all over the world. Friction accounts for approximately 20% of the total global energy consumption. SKF’s dedication to developing bearing technologies aims to create more sustainable industries and reduce CO2 emissions.

Load Specifications

  • Load Type: Stack of Metal Plates
  • Weight: 176-365 LBS
  • ID Sizes: 6.04”, 7.5”, 9.5”, 10.5”

Application Analysis

The stack of metal plates must be lifted from a crate 4 inches above floor level and carried 3 to 5 feet and placed on another cart in a horizontal orientation.

  • Pick up point: From a crate at 4” above floor level
  • Distance of travel: 3-5’
  • Place Point: On a cart in horizontal orientation
  • Load Rotation: Yes, 90°
  • Ceiling Height: 20’
  • Overhead Obstructions: None
  • Environment: In door ambient temperature

Handling Issues

The client’s handling cycle consists of lifting a stack of metal plates. When the stack arrives at the client’s facility, they are sitting vertical in a wood crate at about 4” from the floor. The stack is lifted from the vertical position, rotated 90° and placed on a cart to be sent to the machine room where additional machining and finish work is performed. After machining, the plates are placed back on a cart, moved back to the packing station where the cycle is repeated in reverse. The operator was having to handle one plate at a time when moving them from the crate to the cart which was taking an unsustainable amount of time.

The Solution

ASE specified a hoist-based air powered ID gripper tool designed to be supported from the client’s existing overhead crane. The hoist-based tool (HBT) included gripper arms intended to grip the stack from the inside dimension and to lift & rotate the stack from vertical to horizontal. The tool utilizes compressed air cylinders to achieve the grip and rotation functions. Attach and release controls are located on an articulated hand assembly that provides additional ergonomic value when lifting loads close to or at floor level. The HBT tool enabled the safe & precise handling of each stack of plates and met the client’s requirement for a quick and easy handling solution. HBT tools are available in capacities ranging from 30-lbs up to 10,000-lbs. Tooling options include ID expanding mandrels, OD gripper pads (pictured below), cradles, forks, hooks and scissor type grippers. This ergonomic lift assist technology reduces fatigue, improves safety and increases productivity.

Key Technologies

Hoist-Based Air Powered OD Gripper Tool

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Moving and Precisely Positioning 1500-lb Rolls Safely and Easily

About The Company

For 75 years, United Envelope has led the way in envelope printing and manufacturing, providing unmatched quality and service nationwide. Their unwavering commitment to excellence is reflected in state-of-the-art facilities and experienced personnel catering to diverse clientele, from agencies to non-profits.

United Envelope prides itself on consistently delivering top-quality envelopes within tight timeframes, thanks to a focus on precision and efficiency. With dedicated account and production managers, they exceed customer expectations by tackling challenges with a solutions-oriented approach.

What sets United Envelope apart is their steadfast dedication to unparalleled quality, meeting the highest standards of functionality and reliability. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies, they ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness without compromising on quality, providing clients with an exceptional value proposition.

Load Specifications

  • Load Type: Paper Rolls
  • Weight- 1,500-LBS Each
  • Diameter- 60”
  • Width- 14”

Application Analysis

Paper rolls have to be manually moved, aligned, and loaded into production machines multiple times a day.

Handling Issues

Moving the 1,500 LBS paper rolls several times a day requires a significant amount of effort and manual labor to accomplish the handling task. United Envelope needed an easier way to move and properly align their rolls into the production machines.

The Solution

ASE specified one of our air caster roll movers to easily move the client’s paper rolls. Air Caster technology allows the load to literally float on a film of compressed air which provides the highest ergonomic value in the market today. Each air caster roll mover is built to the client’s roll specifications and makes it possible to not only move all kinds of heavy rolls but also coils, reels and other round loads regardless of the size. Air caster systems require a smooth non-porous surface like trawled concrete that is sealed to operate at optimal efficiency. The air caster roll mover can be equipped with power drive systems, guide wheel assemblies, remote controls, adjustable forks all designed to increase productivity and enhance the ergonomic value. Standard unit capacities range from 500-lbs to 12,000-lbs with custom builds available for higher capacities.

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Maneuvering 23,000 LBS Aluminum Fixtures Safely & Easily

About The Company

For decades, D-J Engineering has been a trusted name in the aerospace industry, renowned for its expertise in manufacturing large assemblies and complex aerospace parts. From legacy aircraft components, emergent technologies, or challenging development projects, their high-caliber engineering and reliable manufacturing, deliver solutions for clients worldwide.

With a focus on speed, expertise, and innovation, they stand as a strategic asset for clients needing to develop new manufacturing processes, especially for low production runs. D-J Engineerings seasoned management and collaborative teams of passionate, curious, and skilled professionals work together to tackle the toughest engineering and manufacturing challenges head-on.

Over the past 30 years, D-J Engineering has evolved from a small aerospace manufacturing company with six employees in a single building to a thriving enterprise with over 300 employees across three campuses.

Load Specifications

  • Aluminum fixture
  • Weight- 23,000-lbs each
  • Size: 141 x 288
  • Clearance to the floor: 1.875

Application Analysis and Handling Issue

Large aluminum fixtures weighing 23,000 lbs each need to be maneuvered within a limited area. This task was difficult to perform in the space that was available on standard wheel and caster assemblies, then pushed by fork truck. D-J Engineering needed a system that could slip under the beams of the fixture and be easily removed when not in use.

The Solution

ASE specified one of our air caster load module systems #TS-32-21N rated at 32,000-lb capacity. The system includes four 21 air casters load modules, four interconnect hoses with quick connect couplings and one air regulation control console. The air regulators contained in the control console ensure that the incoming air is properly distributed to each load module even if the load weight is unevenly distributed. The air caster load module system enables precise positioning, side-shifting and omni directional movement of the load. With this technology one pound of force exerted by the operator will move a 1,000-lb load.

Key Technologies

Air Casters

https://asesystems.comair-casters/load-module-rigging-systems/selection-guide/

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Lifting and Rotating Large Plastic Rolls With Ease

About The Company

Established in 1882 in Brownsburg, IN, Weston Foods boasts a rich legacy as a pioneer in the milling industry, specializing in rice and gluten-free flours. The company was founded by a group of highly skilled individuals with extensive experience in crafting top-notch gluten-free ingredients. Guided by principles of service, quality, and value, Weston Foods has flourished over the years to emerge as one of the foremost millers of gluten-free ingredients. Positioned as a leader in allergen-free food security, the company has consistently prioritized delivering excellence to its customers.

The company operates 16 facilities spread across 13 states, producing a diverse range of fresh and frozen baked goods. From doughnuts, cakes, and pies to cupcakes, cookies, crackers, cones, ice cream novelty products, and artisan bread, Weston Foods’ extensive product line graces the shelves of North American grocery retailers, supermarket chains, and various food service outlets.

Weston Foods commitment to quality extends beyond mere products; it’s a dedication to providing allergen-free food solutions that meet the highest standards. With a focus on freshness, innovation, and customer satisfaction, they continue to lead the way in delivering delicious, safe, and top-quality baked goods to households and businesses across North America.

Load Specifications

  • Load Type: Plastic Rolls
  • Weight: 145 lbs
  • Size: Diameter – 18” Width- 22” ID- 3”

Application Analysis

Lifting plastic roll weighing 145-lb from a pallet while roll is standing vertical. Once the roll is lifted it needs to be rotated 90-degrees and placed on a dolly for transport to the production area.

Key Points:

  • Pick up point- from a pallet, roll in vertical orientation standing 48” high
  • Rotate – 90°
  • Place point- horizontal onto a dolly at 5”
  • Area of coverage- 6-8’
  • Cycle time- 5/hr.

Handling Issues

The handling procedure was being completed by hand manually which was causing safety issues. Additionally, heavier rolls would require 2 workers to accomplish the task, decreasing productivity.

The Solution

When considering the load weight and cycle time, ASE specified an ERH-200 portable, semi-powered floor-based Roll handler. The unit is designed to be manually pushed and included powered lift & manual turn functions. This light-weight unit is easy to move and grips the roll by the core, by way of an expanding mandrel with fail-safe spring force grippers. Once the expanding mandrel is inserted into the roll, the operator is then able to lift and turn it °90 so the roll can be placed eye to the horizon onto a portable dolly (designed for roll handling) which we also specified for the size and weight of their rolls. We included a handle bar and floor locks for functionality & safety. Weston Foods was able to eliminate the use of multiple workers by implementing the ERH-200 roll handling device which allowed them to achieve their goals and add ergonomics and safety to their roll handling process.

Key Technologies

Some of the standard features on the ERH-200 include:

• Quiet 2-Speed Drive

• Lightweight Construction

• Micro-movement Control

• Quick-Change Battery Box

• Quick-Change Tooling Mount

• Battery-Charge Meter

• Manual Grip Tooling.

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Repetitive Lifting of Boxed Batteries for Palletizing

About The Company

Eaton Corporation, headquartered in Fontana, CA, stands as a prominent leader in power management technologies and energy-efficient solutions, operating across more than 175 countries.. Their primary focus is to empower customers worldwide by effectively managing electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical power in a reliable, efficient, safe, and sustainable manner.

In a world reliant on critical infrastructure and technology, Eaton plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation of essential services such as planes, hospitals, factories, data centers, vehicles, and the electrical grid. Their mission is to tackle the toughest power management challenges, contributing to a more reliable, efficient, safe, and sustainable future for everyone.

Their comprehensive range of industry-leading electrical, aerospace, hydraulic, and vehicle products and services enables them to assist customers in overcoming their most significant power management hurdles.

Load Specifications

  • Batteries in corrugated boxes
  • Weight: Up to 170-lbs.
  • Size: (LWH) 37.5” X 23.5” X 20”

Application Analysis

Key Points

  • Pick up point: From a pallet, stacked to 42”
  • Travel: 12’-14’
  • Rotation: None
  • Ceiling Height: 30’ clear
  • Cycle Time: 24 per hour

Handling Issues

The job was being performed manually using two workers causing work related fatigue and back strain issues, especially when reaching down to pick up boxes on the lower rows of the pallets. The customer’s goal was to double the number of boxes currently being handled and to reduce the number of workers on this task to 1 so the other could be reassigned to another task in the facility.

The Solution

ASE Systems recommended a lift assist solution consisting of a Workstation Jib Crane which delivers a high ergonomic value when moving loads from point A to point B in combination with a Vacuum Tube Lifter designed to grip and lift the corrugated boxes. The Jib crane allowed for the coverage needed to access all of the pallets in the operating area. The vacuum tube lifter consists of a high-volume vacuum pump which typically sits near the base of the jib crane, a vacuum lift tube and the control head w/ vacuum cup assembly. Vacuum Tube (VT systems) are ideally suited for lifting corrugated boxes or any materials that are semi-porous or porous. VT systems are well suited for high-speed pick and place applications such as palletizing, sorting and production operations. Eaton was able to increase their productivity by not only doubling their lifts per hour but they were also able to accomplish this handling task with only one operator. In addition, the vacuum tube system eliminated the possibility of repetitive worker injuries associated with the handling task.

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Repetitive lifting of fiberglass enclosures out of a molding machine

About The Company

Vynckier Enclosure Systems, Inc., headquartered in Houston, TX, stands as a premier provider of electronic enclosures, renowned for delivering a comprehensive range of high-quality products coupled with exceptional service capabilities. Specializing in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of electronic enclosures, the company caters to diverse industries, including telecommunications, industrial automation, renewable energy, and more.

The product portfolio of Vynckier Enclosure Systems encompasses electronic enclosures, fiberglass enclosures, and NEMA enclosures. Vynckier’s enclosures offer protection against harsh environmental conditions and customized features like thermal management or cutouts.

Vynckier enclosures are designed to safeguard electrical components from water, dust, wind, chemicals, and other environmental factors. Available in a wide range of sizes and configurations, from handheld pushbutton enclosures to large free-standing cabinets. The non-metallic enclosure solutions provide high-performing protection in challenging environments such as petroleum, chemical processing, water and wastewater treatment, and more.

Load Specifications

  • Load Type: Fiberglass Enclosures
  • Weight: 20 to 30-lbs
  • Size: 18” x 16” x 10.5” to 24” x 36” x 11” to 24” x 24” x 11”

Application Analysis

The fiberglass enclosures are formed in an hydraulic press and then removed by the operator from inside the molding machine at approximately 38” above floor level. Operator has to travel up to 10’ to place the enclosure on a table for deburring and then on to a pallet stacked up to 72” above floor level. A tilt range of 90° is needed in a workspace with a 22’ ceiling height and air availability of 120-psi. This cycle is repeated approximately every 3 minutes.

Key Points:

  • Pick up point- inside of molding machine at approximately 38” above floor level
  • Travel- up to 10’
  • Place point- table for deburring then to pallet stacked up to 72” above floor level.
  • Tilt- 90°
  • Ceiling height- 22’
  • Cycle time- 1 every 3 minutes
  • Air available- 120-psi in operating area

Handling Issues

Operator has to reach into the forming cell and unstick the enclosure from the mold and lift it out of the press. All the while the operator’s arms are extended out and his back is bent 60 to 80 degrees. Repeating this action every three minutes was causing shoulder rotator cuff & lower back injuries.

The Solution

Based on the limited floor space around the press ASE specified a Mirus industrial manipulator with vacuum grip tooling that was underhung from a pair of aluminum overhead rails. The Mirus manipulator includes a power drive system for easier traversing back & forth along the dual rail system. The tooling was also able to rotate the load 90° for inspection and deburring activities. ideally suited for reaching into enclosed machines and servicing all types of low headroom handling applications. The overhead rails were fastened to support beams that were attached directly to the top of the press. The manipulator is attached to an offset load platform which includes a power drive system for easier traversing back & forth along which includes a power drive system for easier traversing back & forth along the dual rail system. The tooling was also able to rotate the load 90° for inspection and deburring activities

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Six Advantages of Utilizing Air Casters in Industrial Operations

The assembly processes within manufacturing companies can be intricate, especially when dealing with larger and heavier products. Effective and safe movement of such substantial objects is crucial to prevent downtime, which can result in significant costs. In this article, we explore the advantages of air casters as a valuable tool for transporting heavy loads, such as machines, skids, and large structures, aiming to optimize production processes and minimize downtime.

  1. Enhanced Maneuverability in Confined Spaces: Air casters facilitate the movement of heavy loads by allowing them to float on a thin layer of air, enabling almost frictionless motion in any direction. This freedom of movement is particularly beneficial for navigating larger objects through smaller spaces, sharp turns, or narrow passages. With only 1 pound of force needed to move 1,000 pounds, air casters provide unparalleled maneuverability, comparable to the workings of a hovercraft but without the massive propellers.

  2. Safety and Ergonomic Advantages: In production environments where numerous employees are involved in moving heavy loads, safety and ergonomics are paramount. Air casters enable the movement of several thousand kilograms by a single person, or with the assistance of multiple individuals for heavier loads. ASE System Company’s engineering team offers customized solutions to ensure safe and ergonomic internal logistics.

  3. Reduced Risk of Floor Damage: The air cushion between the air casters and the floor minimizes friction, preventing contact and reducing the risk of damage to the floor. Additionally, the weight of the load is evenly distributed over the entire surface of the air caster, resulting in lower floor pressure and eliminating line or point loads. With a maximum working pressure of 4 bar, the pressure on the floor never exceeds 4 kg per cm2.

  4. Minimal Maintenance Requirements: Air casters boast a maintenance-friendly design with no moving parts, eliminating the need for lubrication or oil. Cleaning them is a simple task with soap and water if they accumulate dirt.

  5. Vibration-Free Transport of Fragile Loads: Air casters excel in transporting loads sensitive to shocks and vibrations. Unevenness in the floor is absorbed by the air caster, preventing vibrations from reaching the load. This makes air casters ideal for moving high-tech equipment or other delicate items, acting as a buffer or shock absorber between the load and the floor.

  6. Effortless Handling of Heavy Loads: Regardless of the weight or size of heavy machinery or loads, air casters provide a solution. With the ability to give the entire load a floating position on a well-prepared floor, air casters reduce friction, requiring only a fraction of the force to set a weight in motion. Safety remains a top priority, ensuring that despite the ease of movement, the weight remains unchanged.

In summary, the benefits of air casters include optimal maneuverability, safe and ergonomic moving of heavy loads, reduced floor pressure, minimal maintenance requirements, and vibration-free transport of sensitive loads or machinery. ASE System Company continues to revolutionize the industrial landscape by offering innovative solutions that enhance efficiency and safety in the movement of heavy loads within manufacturing environments.

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Air Casters and Industrial Floor Protection Methods

Industrial floor surfaces often prove more delicate than commonly perceived, making them susceptible to damage and displaying signs of wear and tear easily if not adequately protected. Preserving floor conditions can be challenging, given the various factors that can lead to extensive and costly damage, impacting both operations and safety.

Exploring effective industrial floor protection methods becomes crucial to ensure the longevity of these surfaces and instill confidence in their ability to withstand the test of time.

Air Casters and Surface Preservation:

Not all machinery and equipment used for load movement pose a threat to industrial floors. Air casters stand out as a notable exception. Unlike conventional wheeled counterparts found in most industrial settings, air casters don’t roll over the floor’s surface; instead, they float above it. Utilizing compressed air, these donut-shaped elements create a thin film of air between the load and the ground, allowing the load to hover above the floor surface.

Efficient use of air casters hinges on the quality of the industrial floor surface. Issues like porous surfaces, cracks, or gaps can impede the maintenance of the wafer-thin, frictionless air film that keeps the load afloat. In such cases, remediation or repairs may be necessary. Modern solutions like epoxy treatment are popular, and simpler adjustments, such as a plastic or thin sheet metal overlay, can also suffice. Once these modifications are implemented, air casters effortlessly glide over floors, even those with rough or uneven surfaces, without causing further damage. Additionally, the grinding noise associated with heavy equipment on floor surfaces is significantly reduced or eliminated.

Case Studies

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