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New and improved vacuum lifting devices

Supplier: Millsom Materials Handling By: K. Smith
26 July, 2010

New vacuum lifting devices combine performance, operating safety and ease of use in a compact design.

Nothing is so good that it cannot be improved further. In accordance with this motto, Schmalz (represented by Millsom Materials Handling in Australia & New Zealand) is now replacing the very successful range of vacuum lifting devices "VacuMaster VARIO" with the two new VacuMaster versions BASIC and COMFORT.

This new generation of lifting devices takes into account the increasing demands from customers and users with respect to the permanently available performance, reduced power consumption, minimised maintenance time, maximum operating safety, high efficiency and the lowest possible investment and operating costs.

The strictly modular design of the devices on the basis of a wide range of standard components permits the rapid construction of individual systems to meet the requirements of various applications. The innovative development of the individual components is based on all of the experience gained in ten years of "vacuum-lifting technology made by Schmalz". The devices are widely used, in particular in the woodworking industry, for the ergonomic and safe lifting /lowering and handling of all types of loads.

For the simple, quick and low-cost construction of specific VacuMaster BASIC /COMFORT vacuum lifting devices, the modular system includes basic modules with electrically powered vacuum generators, operator handles, main and cross beams of various lengths and a large number of different standard and special suction pads. This makes it possible to construct specific lifting devices without costly and time-consuming modifications in order to meet the customer's individual requirements.

And if it should later become necessary to convert the device, this can be done very quickly, thanks to the standardised components and connecting elements. Three basic types of lifting device are available, for horizontal handling, for turning through 90° and for turning through 180°.

The maximum permissible loads differ according to the type:

  • horizontal = 125, 250, 500 and 750kg;
  • 90° turning = 75, 125, 250 and 500kg;
  • 180° turning = 75, 125 and 250kg.

Turning by 90° or 180° is achieved with an electrically powered linear drive. Depending on the condition of the goods to be handled and/or on the porosity of the work piece surfaces, other pump sizes may be used, ensuring in all cases that the handling solution is optimally matched to the existing requirements.

The following technical innovations in the new series deserve special mention:

The main beams are extruded aluminium sections which not only carry the load but also act as the vacuum reservoir and distributor. The lightweight but extremely strong connecting elements are made of fibreglass-reinforced special plastic materials. The manual slide valve is designed ergonomically and locks at both end positions. The ergonomic operator handle is very comfortable in use.

Due to the construction mentioned above, the overall height and the weight are very low, making use of the devices in low-ceilinged rooms easier and permitting highly dynamic movement when handling the goods. The overall height of the cross-beam and of the turning mechanism (basic type for turning through 180°) is so low that work pieces can be turned by 180° and positioned, even on machining centres with consoles and suction blocks, making machining of both sides much easier.

The version VacuMaster COMFORT differs from the BASIC version in that it has additional controls on the operator handle for such things as a chain hoist, the vacuum and the turning functions. Furthermore, a solenoid valve for the two-hand vacuum-off function guarantees more safety when handling work pieces. In addition, the vacuum lifting device VacuMaster COMFORT has a regulated vacuum generator with automatic air-saving function and is delivered complete with a chain hoist or, optionally, a frequency-regulated chain hoist.

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