Whilst every company is unique in its own way, the work problems it can encounter on a daily basis are often shared throughout industry. Action Handling has a 48 year trading history, during which it has accrued a fountain of knowledge, so when it comes to finding solutions for work problems, we can often pull on previous projects completed for other customers with similar hurdles to jump.
This was the case with a recent visit to a vegetable factory in rural Suffolk. The customer was having ongoing problems with changing reels of plastic packaging for supermarket chain branding. Staff members had to manually lift the reels off the loading machine when empty, re-load the new full film lengths from nearby racks and then reposition the new branded film accordingly, all depending upon the individual product or supermarket chain that were next in line to be processed within the picking system. This all proved to be a very labour intensive exercise indeed! By chance we had resolved a similar problem for Pulse Packaging in Saffron Walden, Essex previously and this helped to make the design process much easier in being able to recommend the right product solution which would in turn enable the customer to release members of staff into other production areas rather than spending extensive time lifting and loading the reels manually.
Having the rolls of material shipped in horizontally and stored in an upright positions is a problem, so by implementing a piece of kit that can lift and tilt the rolls but remain totally robust, yet simple to operate was very much the right route for this customer. The lifter is very simple to use by being able to moving an expandable centre core boom directly over the core roll, then lift and shift for precise positioning before lowering the core centre and expanding the boom to clasp the internal part of the core. The rolls are then easy to lift either manually or by electric power (dependant on the model). Conversely, the rolls of film are just as easily restored to their original horizontal position by reversing the procedure.
The benefits of using such a piece of equipment will be to reduce workplace injuries by eliminating the need to manually lift rolls from storage racks onto the machine and to make this a one person task instead of two operatives having to struggle in very tight areas in order to move heavy rolls across a busy production area.
When looking at roll and reel handling to reduce the problems of manual handling it is always useful to consider these following points in your selection process:
- When lifting the weight are you grabbing the outer body or are you lifting from the core using a spindle?
- Will you need to manipulate the reel/roll by using additional attachments to grip and rotate the roll?
- Consider the tare weight of the product.
- Check the overall diameter of the product.
- Check the core diameter.
- Will the act of lifting the product cause any damage to the product itself?
- Consider the space and the environment you have to move and lift the rolls.
- Will this lifting be done using a hydraulic lift or will the site need one with a battery power lift?
In most cases customers are looking for a lightweight and manoeuvrable solution to assist them with the process of moving rolls in a confined space. The changing of the main steel print roll was a two person job in this case, but by using our modified hydraulic lift stacker we were once again able to supply a piece of kit that reduced the task to a single person job and also take away the risk of injury caused by the lifting and twisting in such a tight area at the customer's premises. The simple foot pump on the hydraulic lifter rises it to the height of the machine and with two nylon rollers fitted along the front of the lifter the operator can simply roll the empty reel from the machine effortlessly and move to reload the new roll for the next client.
If you have any reel or roll handling issues then please get in touch and let us make your workplace a safer and easier place to work in.
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