2011 POY Finalists: Manual Material Handling
Finalists in Manual Material Handling in Plant Engineering’s 2011 Product of the Year competition
The lightweight Aluminum Gantry Crane is the solution when you want to keep your employees safe from heavy lifting without adding a costly permanent crane. Its portability makes it a cost-effective solution for areas where lifting equipment is needed on an infrequent basis. The Aluminum Gantry Crane can handle loads from 250 lbs to 2 tons, features an adjustable standard span of up to 20 ft, and has an adjustable height under boom of 7 to 12 ft. The crane also collapses easily when not in use, saving valuable floor space.
The SaniForce drum unloader can evacuate medium- to high-viscosity products like tomato paste and peanut butter from 55-gal (208 l) drums without diluting the product. This technology replaces manual hand-scooping and expensive bin-dumping systems. SaniForce drum unloaders can achieve a 99% evacuation rate from straight-sided and tapered drums utilizing a follower plate and inflatable wiper seal. The drum unloaders can accommodate piston and diaphragm pumps for maximum flexibility. All pump options feature a quick knock-down design for easy cleaning and a liner guard to prevent aseptic bags from entering the pump.
The Battery Care Box puts everything needed for proper battery care together in one box. Because all forklift batteries contain sulfuric acid, MSDS information requires specific personal protection equipment for workers who service such batteries. This acid often escapes in normal use and can come in contact with workers’ skin or eyes if they are unprotected. This box contains tools, cleaning supplies, personal protection equipment, and even signage for making working with batteries as safe as possible.
Safe-Bump is a bumper that attaches to any forklift via magnets and very strong 3M VHB tape. Originally designed to be placed on the forks to prevent product damage, it was also found to be effective in preventing costly damage to the truck and facilities when attached to the counterweight. These PVC plastic bumpers attach easily and have a long service life. The Safe-Bump’s unique design allows it to bend 90 degrees so it can fit around counterweights. All the required materials are included to attach the Safe-Bump anywhere on the forklift.
Models 9300 and 9400 sideloaders are designed for handling long or bulky loads in narrow aisles. These sideloaders feature a high stacking capability and the versatility to be used for transport and rack storage. 9300 and 9400 sideloaders offer a high-voltage system powered by two 24-volt batteries, allowing for efficient and consistent travel speed. Maintenance is made easier because the sideloaders display diagnostics—including the drive axle position, hour meters, troubleshooting messages, and battery state of charge—via an information center monitor in the operator compartment.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.