Handling goods is not only about ergonomic work. In many industries, work must also be carried out in potentially explosive areas. Particularly in the chemical industry, products that are located in hazardous areas must often be handled. An important basis here is the ATEX product directive 2014/34/EU. This directive specifies how products must be designed and developed so that they can be used in the Ex-area.
The vacuum lifter ezzFAST from Best Handling Technology is used wherever speed is of the essence. It can be used to move and handle goods quickly, safely and ergonomically. Vacuum lifters are used especially for loading and unloading processes as well as for reloading, palletizing and order picking. In addition to typical containers such as sacks, cartons and drums, of which the ezzFAST can move up to six per minute, it also moves buckets, cartons, boxes, plates and sheets as well as rolls and coils.
In the ATEX version, our ezzFAST is also ideally suited for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Important in the Ex area is the avoidance of ignition sources. This can be avoided in various ways. With the ezzFAST, the metallic components are made of stainless steel so that no sparks can be generated. Plastic parts are electrically conductive or they are designed to prevent static charging. The vacuum hose has a metal coil that is grounded at both ends, as is the vacuum supply hose. In addition, all conductive components are secured by grounding cables. The electric vacuum pump is available in an EX-version or is installed outside the hazardous area. However, there the vacuum pump still draws air from the hazardous area and must therefore be equipped with additional protection and monitoring. Best Handling Technology’s preferred safety concept is a pneumatic vacuum pump that is not considered an ignition source. To protect the vacuum pump, an ATEX inlet filter is placed in front of the pump to filter the air that is sucked in from the environment before it enters the pump.
The ezzFAST in ATEX version is guided on a crane made of metal (aluminium or stainless steel). The carriage of the crane is equipped with bronze rollers.
The ezzFAST can then use a suction cup to handle bags, for example. For particularly difficult gripping operations, a pneumatic gripper, which is also designed for the EX area, is suitable. For example, it pulls plastic bags from a cardboard planer. The bags are very elastic, so do not use a vacuum. The gripper grips so well that it grips the material under the closure of the bag and can pull it out of the planer.