One of the most common workplace injuries reported is muscle strain due to repetitive motion. Manufacturers are seeking ergonomic material handling solutions to reduce the risk of injury for operators. In this case study, Air Power proposed a solution that successfully eliminated the risk of injury for these robotic machining cell operators.
This customer had dealt with various injuries due to the operators handling parts of various sizes/weights while loading and unloading parts onto automated infeed/outfeed conveyors on robot machining cells. Hand and finger injuries were commonly reported, as well as various back injuries. The customer required a solution that was safe and easy for operators to use. The solution needed to be located out of the way of forklift traffic and out of the work area of the cell so as not to impede on the operator’s workspace. They needed a device with the ability to grasp multiple sized parts without hassle. This solution also required a system that was low maintenance, durable, with low compressed air usage.
Air Power Solution
Air Power proposed an Ingersoll Rand column mounted with a 10ft reach and articulating arm. This system mounts out of the work cell yet reaches into the work cell to reach the work area for loading and unloading. It includes an integrated 500lb air balancer for lifting/lowering with the ability to adjust both the lifting and lowering speed to dial in the exact application. This device features low rotational inertia for ease of use and improved ergonomics for the operator, low maintenance, low CFM usage per cycle.
This Custom Air Power/Ingersoll Rand Manipulator is made of heavy steel for durability with pistol grip controls and a dummy handle for ease of use and maneuverability. It includes single-hand controls for lifting/lowering of the device & clamping/unclamping of parts, safety interlock that is load sensing to prevent parts from being dropped once elevated off the work surface, V-shaped movable jaws to allow clamping of various sized parts, padded jaws to prevent damage to machined surfaces, and requires little to no maintenance.
Manufacturing commonly requires operators to lift and move heavy materials, which can lead to injury and fatigue. This material handling solution makes lifting a breeze.
A leading US Electronics Recycling Company.
This customer wanted to reduce the possibility of injuries from the amount of lifting their operators were exposed to. This problem was leading to higher turnover in specific areas due to common complaints of lifting parts that were upwards of 120 lbs! Thus reducing the rate of production and declining morale throughout the production floor due to manual lifting.
Air Power Solution
The Schmalz JumboFlex 50 was able to lift the customers’ desired weights of 40-120 lbs and capturing their desired throughput goal of 60-70%. This piece of equipment utilizes a vacuum suction pump that relieves the weight of the piece you’re picking up and relieving the amount of strain on the operator’s backs. Pairing the JumboFlex with Schmalz’ Column Mounted Jib Crane, we are able to reach out 10ft and have 270 degrees of full motion!
This material handling solution completely eliminated the customers’ problem. The Schmalz JumboFlex 50 eliminated the risk of injury for operators. This allows them to work faster, increases the rate of production, and reduces fatigue from constantly lifting heavy materials. The Section Manager stated, ” It’s not about the speed we’re able to go at, what this piece of equipment has done for us is, improve employee morale and reduce turnover now that they don’t have to lift heavy stuff all day long.”