This article describes the use of vacuum suction lifters and other vacuum lifting equipment. Also, it provides some advice on how to improve safety and avoid hazards when using vacuum suction lifters.
Vacuum suction lifters are used in the industrial sector today for handling and lifting components or materials that either have smooth or flat surfaces. Materials like concrete slabs, plasterboards, pipes, metal, plastic laminates, glass plates, tins, beer kegs, cement bags, and more can be handled and lifted with ease by using vacuum suction lifters or vacuum lifting equipment. The vacuum suction lifters make use of suction pads which aids attachment to the surface that is to be lifted.
When talking about vacuum suction lifters, two important features are considered, and they are:
- Vacuum lifting tubes
- Vacuum lifting attachments
Vacuum Lifting Tubes
Vacuum lifting tubes comprise a reinforced fabric tube that aids attachment to the suction pads, a vacuum suction pump that helps create pressure, and a lifting frame that provides room for different attachments.
The design of the vacuum lifting tubes is such that they help create a vacuum through the suction pads, and when this occurs, the pads get firmly attached to the surface that is to be lifted. The suction pump can be electrically powered to give it more efficiency in attaching to surfaces. One important thing about the lifting tube is the area ratio because it influences the gripping force through the suction pads.
In general, the entire vacuum suction lifter depends on the vacuum pump, and it also significantly influences safety, especially during operation. When there is a pump failure, the vacuum lifting tube will make use of the valve to close the vacuum in the tube. If the vacuum reduces, the exerted force will also decrease, lowering the load automatically. It is important to note that the lifting tube is one of the safety features of the vacuum suction lifter.
Vacuum Lifting attachments
In general, there are different types of vacuum lifting attachments, and they are highlighted below:
- Self-induced vacuum lifting attachments: This attachment utilizes the principle that is operated in suction pads, and this occurs when the suction cup is pushed on a surface and air is expelled out of the cup. The pressure below the surface will them grip the cup on the load. Self-induced systems are effective when used on greater loads, and they offer great flexibility, both within the piston and above the seal itself.
- Power-operated attachments: These attachments are available in different forms, and they often utilize various power sources. It can be an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. Still, whichever the case may be, it serves to drive the vacuum pump so that the reservoir tank can be evacuated. It is worth mentioning that the reservoir is attached to the suction pad, and there is a control valve that helps to increase handling safety. One of the interesting things about this type of attachment is that it can also be self-contained for suitable attachment to crane systems.
Safety Operating Procedures
It is usually recommended that every vacuum suction lifter have operational procedures for improved safety.
Here are some safe practices to ensure in any vacuum lifting procedure:
- Always ensure that you use the right equipment and be aware of its limitations. For example, whether it can lift multiple items at once or just one item.
- There’s always a manufacturer’s manual, and it is important to follow the instructions in the manual.
- Every vacuum suction lifter has the type of load it is better suited for. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the lifter you are using is ideal for the load you are lifting.
In addition to the vacuum suction lifter being suited for a specific device, it is essential to ensure that you only use it on the material it is suited for. Furthermore, it is important to assess the risk of the load before you lift it.
- Before you lift the load, it is important to ensure that the vacuum in the space between the load and the suction pad is full. Vacuum efficiency is a factor that can determine whether the suction pad will work efficiently or not.
- Operators of these devices should be provided with a safe working environment.
- The people involved in operating these devices should also be trained to know the right way to use the vacuum suction lifter.
Even though the vacuum suction lifters are designed to enhance safety during lifting operations, it is important to ensure that these safety practices have strictly adhered to further guarantee safety.
Lifting operations nowadays are safer and more productive when vacuum suction lifters are used. There are different types of suction lifters, and they are all designed for different lifting operations. We have provided some safety practices to incorporate in your operations to ensure further safety and increased productivity. The most important of them all is to ensure that you use the right vacuum suction lifter on the right surface. These suction lifters are ideal for different lifting procedures, and they guarantee safety and improved productivity.