Our customer Olex Cables needed to lift and move wooden spool ends to manufacture spools for heavy cabling. The wooden plates needed to be lifted from horizontal to vertical. The plates were 80mm thick, weighed 70kg each and had a surface that would not suit a standard vacuum lifter.
One option considered was a specialised, custom vacuum lifter foot, but in this particular instance it would have been very expensive and run the risk of damaging the timber. Additionally, the rate of production did not justify the expensive of this option. Another option would have been to use a forklift truck to shift the plates, but this would have been slow, potentially dangerous to the workers and, again, potentially damage the items.
Bomac was able to source a custom plate grab through a specialist supplier in Europe. The plate grab had a wide mouth and utilised over-centre locking.
An Altrac Jib Crane was installed and utilised the special plate grab attached to an electric hoist.
The outcome was a total lifting solution that was safe and efficient without damaging the items being handled and without risking workers’ safety. The plate grab option was considerably less expensive than a custom vacuum foot for this application. This cost was in line with the low rate of production of the spools, which was a responsible use of the customer’s budget.