At Cynergy Ergonomics, we take a consultative approach in work area ergonomic improvements to help you address work place health concerns and the safety, risk management and productivity needs of our clients. Our goal is an injury-free, highly productive labor force.
Recently, we had a customer come to us with a specific request that would require a custom ergonomic lifting device solution, as many of our lifting and lift assist solutions turn out to be. As a manufacturer of automotive and truck batteries, our customer had line operators picking up 50-pound battery plates as they came off a machine. Not only were they heavy, but they came off the machine in a horizontal position and needed to be set on a cart vertically. The process was difficult, extremely cumbersome and caused injuries to their workers. They asked us to design and create a lift assist device that would help the operators pick up and move these battery plates more efficiently and, most importantly, more safely.
Our engineers went to work and came up with a tool design that could pick up each plate horizontally and as the operator raises the tool and sets the plate down, pitches the plate up to the required vertical position. During design evaluation, we decided to change maximum load capacity to 150 pounds since it would not require much of a change to the tooling but added extra value. This increased load capacity by three times while still maintaining a single operator process as well as maintaining their takt time and cycle times.
Watch a video about our Custom Battery Plate Manipulator Lift and Pitch System.
How does the tool work?
- The tool is designed with a pair of pneumatic grippers that grip the lead plates.
- When the operator hits the “Grip” button the tool does two things: it compresses the grippers and releases the pitch mechanism.
- When the pitch mechanism is released, the plate pitches down to a vertical position.
- All of this happens in conjunction with the operator raising the part up off the machine. Once the part has been moved over to the tray where it will be set down, the operator hits the “Release” button and the gripper jaws open and the time for the tool to return back is delayed.
- After the part is released, the operator lifts up the tool and as it is traveling back to pick up the next part, the pneumatic grippers pitch up to vertical and reset to starting position.
The tool is mated to a servo-drive, PLC controlled lifter. It’s a Gorbel Easy Arm and the control interface is a slide handle. To move the tool up or down the operator simply raises up or pushes down on the slide handle. To actuate the tool there is a two-hand tie down control in place.
In the end, we were able to provide a customized, ergonomic lifting device solution for a very unique request while also improving the safety and efficiency of the work environment for all those involved.
Another satisfied customer and another win for our team at Cynergy Ergonomics!
If you’re looking to support your workforce, contact Cynergy Ergonomics to design and ergonomic lift or work station system that will improve your safety record and increase productivity.