Engine Block Handling Lift Assist for Inspection on Machining Line


A Midwest auto manufacturer utilizes an on-site foundry to cast and manufacture their engines at the assembly plant. During the machining process, the engine blocks travel on powered conveyors between the various machining steps. Throughout this process, operators are required to select sample blocks for inspection purposes. This entails lifting the block from the conveyor, rotating 180˚ and setting the block on the inspection stand. The process is reversed when inspection is completed. The operators utilized a simple mechanical device to lift the blocks from the conveyor; however they were being rotated and maneuvered manually leading to several recordable injuries.


The problem was addressed by supplying a pneumatically operated below-the-hook tool designed to pick up the blocks from the conveyor, power rotate 180˚ and set on the inspection bench. This device also provided the added benefit of providing the operators with means of dumping the machine oil from the cylinder bores over a specified catch basin (which was previously being spilled on the test stand and operators).