Earlier this year, a major U.S. department store retail chain was facing an obstacle at its Findlay, Ohio distribution center. The company had been using forklifts to move large, palletized goods, such as inventory, materials, and equipment to the upper levels of their facility. The forklift would raise the material up, and workers would open a gate at the top level to access the supplies. While this method had worked in years past, the company now needed to find an easier, more efficient, and ultimately safer, way to move materials between floor levels.
After careful research and consultation, the end user determined a Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor (VRC) from Wildeck was the best way to move their palletized goods. Advanced Handling Solutions of Hubbard, Ohio, was the Wildeck dealer on the project who guided the end user through the sales process and facilitated the installation.
While working with Wildeck’s engineers and Advanced Handling Solutions, it was determined that a mechanical vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC) unit, as opposed to a hydraulic VRC, was needed based on the application’s lift height requirements. When reviewing mechanical lift designs, a straddle configuration was chosen based on the required load capacity and carriage size. The end user wanted the ability to move multiple pallets at a time, and with capacities of up to 4,000 lbs., which was made possible. With a lifting speed of 28 feet per minute, the end user could now move loads quickly and with the push of a button.
While the overall installation ran smoothly, it wasn’t without obstacles. The biggest challenge the dealer faced during this project was the placement and location of the lift in the facility. The end user needed the lift to be installed through an existing floor, which provided some logistical barriers. Advanced Handling Solutions came up with an efficient plan that involved relocating the existing sprinkler system, as well as other mechanical and electrical components of the building floor. Advanced Handling Solutions was responsible for cutting the hole in the floor support and joists, while relocation of the building floor components was handled by the end user.
“There were a lot of moving parts for this project. From working with Wildeck’s engineers in the design phase, to coordinating installation with the end user, this project was a success thanks to the collaboration between all parties involved.” Said Mick O’Hara, president of Advanced Handling Solutions.
The solution developed for this project is one that can be applied to thousands of manufacturing and industrial applications that are looking to expand their capabilities and create a safer and more efficient process for their employees.