An international controls and drive manufacturer assembles large control panels at their Texas facility. These panels can exceed eight feet in height and weigh over 1,000 lbs. Assembly of the back plates and doors requires lifting from the horizontal orientation, pitching to vertical and maneuvering into position. These functions were performed by hand or with the assistance of an overhead crane and had a long history of operator injury. Additionally, there was a high incidence of product damage by attempting complex moves with the conventional overhead crane system. A single solution was sought to alleviate both areas of concern.
Cynergy designed a lightweight, vacuum-based end tool coupled with a servo-drive lifter to lift and manipulate the various components. The servo-drive lifter provides high-speed maneuvering when desired as well as very slow, precise speed control when needed. In addition, “float mode” zero-gravity control was added to allow the operator to align the large, awkward load into position.
In addition to addressing the injury and product damage issues, the new system provided for an additional benefit by allowing the customer to reduce their manpower requirements. Job descriptions requiring 2-3 operators were rewritten for one operator offering substantial savings. Return on investment occurred within a short 5-months. The below video shows the system being used to lift, pitch and place one of the large control enclosure doors onto the cabinet.