Vacuum handling systems or "The world of vacuum handling"
Only a few short years ago it was considered unnecessary to spend money in the direction of materials handling, times have changed and it is now evident that substantial benefits can be achieved through making this area more efficient. This is particularly true now that suitable, technically manageable and affordable devices for this purpose are widely available, as shown by the examples below.
Faster and more flexible handling with vacuum
In the past few years, specialist for vacuum handling technology, Schmalz (represented by Millsom Materials Handling in Australia & New Zealand), has developed a comprehensive range of products and services for "manual handling technology" which meets all conceivable requirements. There are two basic families of vacuum handling systems, namely the vacuum tube lifters of the Jumbo series and the vacuum lifting devices of the VacuMaster series. The difference between the two is that the Jumbo vacuum tube lifters use vacuum to both grip the load and to lift it, while the VacuMaster vacuum lifting devices simply grip the load with vacuum and need a chain hoist for the lifting operation. Apart from this, both families are modular systems with which individual vacuum handling systems can be constructed from standardised components. This ensures that the investment in a vacuum handling system remains within calculable limits and that the system starts to pay for itself immediately.
The vacuum tube lifters Jumbo
The vacuum tube lifters Jumbo can be used to handle widely varying products, goods and packages weighing up to 300 kg without problems. A single person can lift, move and position all kinds of loads easily and precisely. Depending on the selected gripper, the Jumbo can handle products with smooth or rough, airtight or porous surfaces. The products may vary in size and may be flat, curved, flexible or rigid, and may have holes or apertures. For ergonomic handling, there are various operator handles with or without integrated controls for switching the vacuum on and off and for lifting and lowering the load. Basically, it is irrelevant what is handled with a vacuum tube lifter, providing the correct gripper is selected and the maximum permissible load is not exceeded. The use of vacuum tube lifters permits fast and frequent lifting and movement of loads in all areas and has the major advantage that only one medium is needed, namely vacuum. Vacuum tube lifters are used primarily for handling cardboard boxes, crates, packages, housings, etc. They can be suspended from overhead rails, this increases their operating radius, which is then limited only by the length of the vacuum supply line.
The vacuum lifting devices VacuMaster
The vacuum lifting devices VacuMaster are capable of lifting loads weighing up to 2000kg without problems. Vacuum lifting devices are suspended from crane systems which determine how far the devices can be moved. A chain hoist provides the necessary lifting and lowering functions. Vacuum lifting devices are used primarily in applications which require the handing of large, awkward and heavy "airtight" objects. Typical examples of these are sheets of metal, wood, plastics or glass. The VacuMaster series comprises many different models such as for example the VacuMaster Basic, the VacuMaster Comfort and the VacuMaster Eco. Depending on the configuration, the VacuMaster Basic can lift loads weighing 125 to 750kg and has a comprehensive set of features aimed at new users. Both the operator handle and the cross-beam which carries the suction pads can be adapted to meet specific customer requirements. The VacuMaster Comfort has a high-end configuration with additional, ergonomically integrated controls. Otherwise, it is designed for the same load range as the VacuMaster Basic, namely 125 to 750kg. Both of these models can optionally be equipped with swivelling/turning units for turning the load through 90° or 180°. The vacuum lifting device VacuMaster Eco, finally, is a self-powered device for horizontal handling of objects with smooth and airtight surfaces. The vacuum is generated as the device is lifted and is sufficient for handling objects weighing between 250 and 1000kg safely and reliably. Since the VacuMaster Eco needs no external energy, it can be used flexibly over large areas if suspended from a suitable crane.
Complete vacuum handling solutions for many branches
As can be seen from the above, vacuum handlings systems can be used anywhere. For this reason, Millsom Materials Handling offers not only the vacuum technology but also its own range of cranes and chain hoists. This permits the customers to assemble individual handling and material-flow solutions to meet their specific requirements. Most solutions can be constructed from standard components, shortening the manufacturing and delivery times and keeping the costs within bounds.