Manual handling of shrinkwrapped packs
2 March 2013
A producer of freezing elements, in its shipping department, employs mainly women; they have to manually lift, move and position shrink wrapped packs of freezing elements. During summer production increases and these female operators must lift these packs, which weigh up to 20kg, several times a day with very fast and repetitive work cycles. The packs must be picked from the conveyor and placed from above into narrow, high containers, thus forcing the women to bend their back, twist their body; the operation is difficult also due to lack of space for the operator hands when placing the packs into the narrow box. Manual load handling with such characteristics (load weight, high work frequency, vertical load moving, horizontal distance of the load from the body, difficult grip) does not comply with the Regulations about safety and ergonomics in manual load handling.
This Company needed a solution for the elimination of these problems, whilst improving productivity.
The packs to be picked are of different sizes and weights, and they needed a solution that allowed continuous production with no interruption for changing the end-effectors or for selecting a different load, when picking a different pack.
The only available solution able to fully satisfy all these requests is an INDEVA® Liftronic®.
In fact , with an electrical hoist the operators are forced to keep the up/down button pressed all the time (non ergonomic action, if repeated during the work day) and the packs are always picked with the max pre-set capacity, which may result too strong for the smallest packs, causing their fall and damage (non compliance with safety rules).
A pneumatic traditional system isn’t self-balancing and requires a production stop for selecting a different load weight or if the system is pneumatically auto balancing, the weigh balancing adjust is not immediate and does not eliminate inertia forces, thus compelling the operator to perform many little corrective movements before reaching the desired position in the narrow release area
Both the above mentioned traditional solutions wouldn’t have met the Company needs, being, slow, and very little user friendly and ergonomic.
An INDEVA® Liftronic®, a real self balancing system (auto detect and auto- balancing of the load weight), no button to keep pressed, sensitive in line handless button to push, ergonomic, in line sensitive handle, equipped with safety device against load fall, fully satisfies the demand for increased safety, ergonomics and productivity, allowing smooth and quick movements, as the operators were handling loads manually but with the strength of a machine.