A major food processing company was expanding plant capacity and adding new products to their product offering and sought to better utilize valuable floor space by going vertical with their processing activities. Older personnel elevators were taken out of service to make room for newer material lifts that could transfer pallets, carts, and other material between multiple levels – while utilizing the existing elevator shaft ways. Due to the fact that this was a food processing plant, the lift could not utilize fluids that could accidently come into contact with the product or its containers. Plus, the carriage itself had to be able to withstand frequent wash-downs without corroding over time and creating rust or other particles that could come into contact with food/containers.
The Autoquip Solution
The technical sales team at Autoquip worked closely with our distributor, who sold the equipment, and the safety and industrial engineers at the food processing plant to clarify all equipment specifications, installation constraints, and applicable code requirements. A vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC) from our Freightlift family of mechanically-actuated VRCs was identified as the best solution for this application because: 1) lift operates clean, free of any hydraulic fluids, 2) lift is designed to hold elevated positions for extended periods of time without drifting down, and 3) lift is capable of being called or sent to/from multiple landings – with total vertical travels up to 100 feet.
The lifts were also equipped with free-fall arrest devices that would completely stop the descent of a lift in the unlikely event of a catastrophic lifting chain failure. And finally, a stainless steel “skin” was added to the top of the lift carriage to withstand washings and frequent use with wheeled loads to maintain a corrosion-free platform surface. The end user is completely satisfied with this clean and reliable material lift solution, and local inspectors have approved these lifts for food production.
Lift Specifications for this Food Processing Application:
Lift Capacity: 4,000 lbs.
Vertical Travel: 192″
Carriage Size: 72″ x 96″
Lift Speed: 25 feet per minute
Lift Actuation: Mechanical Gear Motor
The Solution Benefits
Autoquip provided a customized VRC design that satisfied all equipment specifications, installation concerns, and applicable FDA requirements. The customer has a clean, reliable multi-landing lift solution that has allowed them to maximize the use of available floor space and existing elevator shafts.