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Safer and More Ergonomic Handling of Sheets of Glass and Windows

Vacuum lifting devices of the VacuMaster Window series for flexible handling of sheets of glass and windows weighing up to 300 kg – now also with integrated controls and energy-saving function.

Today, no-one doubts the benefits offered by vacuum handling of wooden components in the woodworking and furniture industries. Small companies and industrial woodworking firms use these devices to reduce the loading times of machining centres, for assembly work and for the internal transport of the various components, to name but a few. For the manufacturers of windows, Schmalz (represented by Millsom Materials Handling in Australia & New Zealand) has developed a special version of the VacuMaster lifting device, called the VacuMaster Window. These devices have been used for some time now for the vertical handling of sheets of glass and complete windows. The VacuMaster Window is available in three sizes with maximum loads of 170 kg, 225 kg and 300 kg. Depending on the version, each such device is equipped with two suction pads with a diameter of 300 mm or four suction pads with a diameter of 250 or 300 mm. All versions permit manual rotation of the glass sheets and windows by 90° to the left and right.

The VacuMaster Window can, for example, be used to grip sheets of glass, to move them and to place them in window frames. This work, which previously required at least two workers, can now be done by a single person. The same applies to the finished windows with frames up to 45mm thickness, since the suction pads can be positioned freely to ensure a good balance and precise positioning. Safe gripping and movement of the loads is ensured by a vacuum reservoir, a vacuum gauge for direct indication of the actual vacuum and an electronic warning device which immediately sounds an alarm if the vacuum or the electric power fails, permitting the user to initiate the appropriate actions.
The experience gained since the successful introduction of the VacuMaster Comfort series was implemented in the design of the vacuum lifting device VacuMaster Window. In addition to the standard version of the device, there is also a new "Comfort" version which offers the user even more benefits: handling of sheets of glass and windows is controlled with the aid of an ergonomically designed operator handle with integrated controls for the chain hoist and the vacuum. Turning by 90° is done manually with the aid of a grip on the operator handle. The user can thus grip, lift, turn and release the work pieces easily and without moving his hands from the operator handle. The energy-saving function reduces the amount of energy used for handling and also reduces the noise level of the device: the pump runs only when the vacuum in the vacuum reservoir drops below a preset level - something which occurs only rarely when handling airtight work pieces such as sheets of glass. This function provides a considerable increase in the operating lifetime of the pump, saves energy and reduces the noise level of the device.

 If required, the vacuum lifting devices VacuMaster Window can be suspended from chain hoists which, in turn, are suspended from crane systems. Millsom Materials Handling offers the users many options in this respect and, if requested, will plan, manufacture and install the complete vacuum handling system. The ideal solution is the combination of a Millsom Materials Handling crane system and a VacuMaster Window, since this offers a high degree of freedom with respect to the material flow and free access to the machines, the glass storage areas and the assembly positions. In addition, the very easy-running crane systems permit the safe and precise positioning of the glass sheets and windows with little physical effort. This, in turn, makes work easier for the persons concerned and promotes their motivation, their performance and, last but not least, better assembly quality.

 It should also be mentioned that the chain hoists are optionally available with frequency-regulation of the lifting and lowering speed. The precise adjustment of the speed (continuously from 0.8 to 8 m/min) also simplifies the positioning of the glass sheets in the waiting window frames and damaged panes are a thing of the past. As already mentioned, the handling solutions for glass panes and windows come from a responsible manufacturer. They can in most cases be delivered quickly, since all of the above-mentioned assemblies are standardized units which are perfectly matched to each other.