Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors: Types, Design, & Uses
The Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor (VRC) is one of today’s most versatile lifts for transferring materials between two fixed levels or more. These hydraulic or mechanical actuated lifts move freight, equipment, or cargo safely between multiple levels within a facility.
A popular solution in various industries thanks to their small footprint, these lifts provide safe, high capacity, and dependable service. More cost-effective than fork trucks and freight elevators, VRCs can be used in a wide variety of applications. Today, we’ll look at VRC types and designs and how Autoquip customers use them.
Types of VRCs
There are two primary types of VRCs (also known as Vertical Lifts or Freight Lifts) available; Mechanical and Hydraulic. Each type delivers unique features and benefits, so understanding the differences is essential when considering a purchase.
- Mechanical VRCs – These lifts are designed to transport heavy loads, travel vertically up to 100 feet, and stop at three or more levels. If your application requires precision operations, high-volume cycles, or fast transit, a mechanical VRC is the solution.
- Hydraulic VRCs – Hydraulic lifts are less expensive and can handle loads up to 6000 pounds. They can travel vertically to a maximum height of 28 feet and accommodate stops at two levels.
Autoquip manufactures four specialized VRC designs in standard and customized options:
- Straddle – Straddle lifts are designed to handle the movement and transfer of larger loads by “straddling” the carriage between two beams. The straddle model provides a stable platform but offers fewer loading options. Our standard models can travel up to 30 feet. Available in both mechanical and hydraulic configurations.
- Cantilever – This 2-post lift design eliminates overhead restrictions by using a carriage that is cantilevered off the guide beams. Standard models can handle loads up to 6,000 pounds and travel 12 feet. We can extend the travel distance using custom engineering if needed. Available in both mechanical and hydraulic configurations.
- 4 Post – Lifts using this design draw support from each corner. Offering maximum versatility, 4 Post lifts are more costly, but they provide the most capacity, precision, vertical travel, deflection, and loading options available. Due to the features of the 4 Post design, it is available in a mechanical version only.
- Freightlite – This material handling lift is ideal for moving lightweight loads below 3,000 pounds. Freightlite lifts can travel up to 15 feet. The reinforced platform minimizes deflection while maximizing stability. These hydraulic units are cost-effective and easy to install.
We help our customers realize even more value from their lift by including our intelligent control panel solution, AQ Connect, on all VRCs. And because safety is always our priority, each Autoquip Freight lift is designed and built to meet or exceed the requirements of ASME B20.1 – Safety Requirements for Conveyors and Related Equipment.
Uses for VRCs
Autoquip VRCs have been implemented in various settings, including retail, aerospace, OEM vendors, warehouses, and distribution centers. Because of our ability to manufacture innovative custom solutions, we’re only limited by our customers’ imaginations! Here are some of our recent case studies:
- A modular VRC solution to streamline mezzanine activity for a distribution center’s SLAM process.
- A 4-Post Mechanical VRC located in an aerospace manufacturing facility with limited available space.
- An automated VRC system managing retail inventory fulfillment and distribution
VRCs can also be used to:
- Ensure the safety of workers performing tasks that require precision positioning
- Handle repeated stopping and holding of cargo during loading/unloading
- Improve warehouse workflow and overhead space utilization
- Support automated inventory and retrieval systems
- Safely transport vehicles for showroom display and storage
Considering a VRC for Your Business?
There is no limit to the ways Autoquip VRCs can be customized and used across industries and applications. Contact us for a free quote today so our team can start working on a solution that changes the way you work for the better!