Refractory Handling/Fireplace Construction


A Midwest manufacturer of modular fireplace boxes utilized an assembly process that required operators to manually lift 75 lb faux brick panels, turn them 90° and place them inside the box by reaching over the work bench and into the box. This was a source of chronic back and shoulder injuries to the operators.


A rigid mast system with custom lifting head was designed to lift and electrically manipulate the panels to the proper orientation. The cantilevered tooling provided the necessary reach-in capabilities so as to allow the operators to effortlessly manipulate the panels and maneuver them to the sides and rear of the boxes. The vacuum head design accommodates the various deep-groove brick pattern faces, allowing the operators to handle all of their panels without tooling change-outs. In addition to substantial injury reduction statistics, the customer has seen productivity improvements and has opened the job description to all employees.