6 Questions You Need to Answer When Buying A Vacuum Tube Lifter

Image of a vacuum tube lifter

Increasing productivity and reducing worker fatigue are some of the many benefits a vacuum tube lifter could bring to your business. For your first enquiry, you will be asked several questions about your application, your load and workspace. To help your own and your materials handling equipment suppliers’ understanding, here are 6 questions you can prepare ready for your initial discussion.

1. What is your application?

Application defines the type of product you are producing. This helps show the size and complexity of the product. The application will affect what lifting unit (vacuum pad) your vacuum tube lifter has. For example, if you want to lift cardboard packaging, the end effector could be supplied with two suction pads so they can sit either side of taped centres.

For this question, you should have one of the following answers:

  • Bucket
  • Barrel
  • Drinks Crate
  • Jerrycan
  • Cardboard Packaging
  • Board
  • Bagged Cargo
  • Special Solution
  • ATEX

Your application is one of the major influences that can affect if a vacuum tube lifter is right for you. If your product does not fit into the above, it might be worth exploring some additional options.

2. What material is your load?

What is your load made from? Providing the material to your supplier helps create a picture of what type of product the vacuum tube lifter will be lifting. It also can help create an understanding of what requirement you have for handling the load.

Your material could include but is not limited to:

  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Steel
  • Wood
  • Stone
  • Copper

A product made of paper is more likely to be damaged during the production process than steel, but steel may be more susceptible to scratching. Therefore, it is important to your material to ensure your product is handled in the correct way.

3. What type of surface does it have?

The type of surface your product has can be a very important factor in the type of vacuum tube lifter you need. Products with smooth surfaces work best with vacuum handling equipment. But you could also have a product that is smooth and oily. This could change features of the tube lifter you are supplied with. Surface types to consider are:

  • Smooth
  • Rough
  • Dusty
  • Moist
  • Oily
  • Textured
  • Porous
  • Waved
  • Dry

If your product is significantly waved, a vacuum tube lifter might not create the seal needed to perform the lifting task. Sending a picture of your product with a closeup of the surface will help your materials handling equipment supplier decide is a tube lifter is right for you.

4. What is the weight of your load?

Unlike other types of lifting equipment, vacuum tube lifters can be restrictive in their load capacity. To find the right size vacuum tube lifter, your product should have a maximum weight of 35-270kg. If you want the tube lifter to manipulate multiple products, your maximum product weight is the weight of the heaviest product.

5. How high (or low) do you need to lift the load?

Vacuum tube lifters are available in a range of sizes, therefore defining your minimum and maximum lifting height will help your supplier provide you with the right size for your handling needs. Your lifting height is defined by how high or how low you need to lift your product.

You will need to consider how your operator will use the equipment. It is recommended that your maximum lifting height does not exceed 180cm. Lifting this high could increase the risk of injury to your workers. If you need to lift higher, consider an alternative lifting device.

6. Do you need any additional travel?

Vacuum tube lifters should be used with an overhead lifting device like a jib crane, light crane system, or knuckle jib arm. Your decision on which to use should be motivated by the handling task. For example, if you want to move the vacuum tube lifter across a 180 degrees radius, a jib crane is a suitable solution. However, these can have limited horizontal travel. Therefore, you could consider a knuckle jib arm or an overhead rail system.

If you are unsure about what you require, speak to your materials handling equipment supplier. They will recommend you the best crane system for your requirements.

Jib crane and vacuum tube lifter

7. What are your next steps?

Preparing your answers to the above questions will help you prepare for your new vacuum tube lifter. Your next steps will be to choose your materials handling equipment supplier and start your enquiry process.

Handling Concepts has put together a comprehensive guide of the questions should ask before buying new lifting equipment. Feel confident in your decision-making process by following a process to assure your team and build your relationship with your lifting equipment supplier.

If you are ready to start your vacuum tube lifter enquiry, click here below and start your enquiry with Handling Concepts.

Handling Concepts has almost 30 years of experience supplying businesses with materials handling equipment. You and your business can take advantage of the sales team’s specialist knowledge, pragmatic advice and innovative approached to help you with all your handling needs.

Boost productivity, avoid downtime and increase production efficiency with a comprehensive of services, including LOLER inspections, critical spares packages and, of course, vacuum tube lifters.

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