The EH&S manager of a large pharmaceutical company contacted Ergotronix to develop an ergonomic lift assist device to retrieve and install rolls of plastic shrink wrap. There was an expenditure budget allocated for this equipment and the new solution could not take longer to perform.
Roll Dimensions: 24” Long x 16” diameter with a 3” core.
Roll Weight: 45. lbs.
Roll Storage Cart: 36” Long x 32” Wide x 45” High, (four rolls on the cart)
Packaging Machine Lower Mandrel Height, C/L from Floor: 15”
Packaging Machine Upper Mandrel Height, C/L from Floor: 64”
The operator manually retrieves the roll from the roll storage cart in the vertical “eye-to-the-sky” position. The operator then carries the roll approximately 10’ to the packaging machine where they will first articulate the roll to the horizontal position, and then push the roll onto one of the two packaging machine roll feed mandrels. The centerline heights of the mandrels from the floor are 15” and 64” respectively. This manual technique has resulted in lost time due to back injuries, strains and general soreness. The customer tasked Ergotronix with eliminating 100% of the operator lifting, handling and pushing of the rolls.
To tackle this challenge Ergotronix designed and built a custom Ergo Tranz model ET220F compact transporter, with a 90-degree turn mandrel, inside-the-core style gripper. The mandrel expander gripper also features a motorized roll push-off. For ergonomic ease of use, the Ergo Tranz features preset minimum and maximum lift heights to match the two packaging machine mandrel heights, custom cut legs for easy movement and positioning of the Ergo Tranz in tight spaces around the packaging machine. The unit also features all anodized coated aluminum surfaces as well as all stainless-steel hardware, fasteners, nuts and bolts.
The operator retrieves the Ergo Tranz model ET220F and positions the mandrel expander, in the vertical position, above the cart mounted roll. Once in position above the roll, the operator uses the conveniently located hand pendant to lower the mandrel expander into the roll core. Once inside the roll core, the operator then activates the mandrel expander, which then tightly grips the inside core of the roll, making it safe and easy to handle. The operator then raises the roll from the cart using the Ergo Tranz. Once clear of the roll cart, the operator transports the roll to the packaging using the hand pendant, the operator will articulate the roll from the vertical position to the horizontal position. The operator will then align the roll core with the packing machine mandrel that they will be loading the roll onto by using the hand pendant and preset on the Ergo Tranz. After the roll is lined up to the mandrel, the operator simply uses the hand pendant to activate the motorized roll push off to unload the roll from the Ergo Tranz, onto the packaging machine mandrel, and the operation is complete. This is especially needed for their application as the height where the operator would push off was high above their head.
The operators have been very pleased with the with the ergonomic improvement gained by the utilization of the Ergo Tranz. They have also been very pleased with the reliability of the equipment.