Linear manipulator for handling drums


A petrochemical company has to handle drums. In particular, the work cycle involves the drums arriving in a container which is then emptied by the operators. The drums are picked up individually and placed on a roller conveyor behind the worker, where they are later filled. Although the drums are empty, they weigh 25kg, which is quite a load. In addition to being heavy, the drums are also bulky, measuring 2m in height.  A further difficulty was that the drums arrive with the cap positioned at the bottom of the drum and have to be turned so that the cap is at the top instead.



The company, aware of the difficulty of performing the task, decided to turn to INDEVA.  The solution proposed by INDEVA was carefully designed and calibrated to the needs of the customer, who needed a highly customised manipulator. The choice fell on an INDEVA® Liftronic® Linear Manipulator which lifts by means of a suction cup frame, as it was necessary to work cantilevered inside the container. The difficulty, seemingly minimal, lay not only in the necessary equipment, but also in designing the best possible trajectory of the arm inside the container so that it would not hit the walls. The suction cup frame also allows the drum to be rotated by 180°.


  • Safety: the worker doesn’t have to get in and out of the container with heavy loads anymore
  • Ergonomics: the worker doesn’t have to manually handle heavy and bulky loads, while entering and exiting the container. Also, they don’t have to manually rotate the drums. In this way, it is not subjected to strains that can cause musculoskeletal damages
  • Speed: thank to INDEVA® Liftronic® Linear Manipulator it is possible to remove the drum from the container, rotate it and position it on the roller conveyor in one smooth movement
  • Productivity: the work cycle proceeds smoothly without interruptions