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Vacuum lifter with a pneumatic gripper: suitable for explosion-hazardous areas

A vacuum lifter is used wherever speed is important. With it, goods can be moved and handled quickly, safely and ergonomically. Vacuum lifters are used in particular for transport between assembly areas, to test and work stations, for packaging, as well as for palletizing and order picking.

Typical packages that are moved and transported with a vacuum lifter are materials such as sacks, rolls and coils, products with smooth surfaces, as well as small load carriers and cartons. With the appropriate load handling device, the vacuum lifter can be optimally adapted to different tasks.

The ezzFAST vacuum lifter also offers other special features. It can also be used within low room heights. Compact components are available for this, which significantly reduce the space required in terms of height. The operating handle can also be adjusted for high altitude products and tall boxes. The ezzFAST demonstrates great flexibility with the option of quickly changing the suction cups. There is also the option of turning or tilting containers. The tilting and turning process can be assisted electrically or pneumatically. With the ezzFAST, products of up to 400 kilo can be moved safely and intuitively.

Lifting aids and handling systems are also used in explosion-hazardous areas. In addition to mobile lifting trolleys in a special design and encapsulation of the electrical components, vacuum lifters are also used.

Application example: an ezzFAST vacuum lifter with a pneumatic gripper

A vacuum lifter for bags should be used when mixing components.

A bag that is tucked into a hobbock is waiting to be picked up by the vacuum lifter ezzFAST.
A bag within a hobbock is ready to be grabbed by the vaccum lifter ezzFAST. This vacuum lifter enables employees to work safely and ergonomically at an enourmous speed.

The bags must be extracted from the hobbocks and transported to a blender. Since the bags cannot be sucked in, they are picked up with a pneumatic gripper and moved to the mixer. The gripping tongs grip so well that they can grab the material under the closure of the bag and pull it out of the hobbock.

There is a grate at the top of the mixer where the bags should be placed. In the area of the grate or when the mixer is open, lies the ATEX directive zone "0" for gases.

The risk of an explosion is based on the probability of the coexistence of combustibles (concentration of ignitable gases, vapors or dust particles) and oxygen over a certain period of time (defined by zones).

Appropriate handling systems ensure that potential sources of ignition are removed or prevented. In this way, the risk of an explosion is completely eliminated.

When choosing the materials, the following aspects must therefore be taken into account:

  • there must be no open source of ignition,

  • the materials must not become statically charged,

  • connections of individual components must be conductive (with grounding cables, e.g. made of copper), and

  • heat generated must be prevented.

The vacuum lifter ezzFAST is handling a bag in an ATEX directive zone 0.
Because of the safety and flexibility of the vacuum lifter ezzFAST, it is even possible to handle bags in an ATEX directive zone 0.

The main component of the solution is a pneumatic vacuum generator that ensures safe use. There are no moving parts and all materials are conductive plastic. The other components, such as the control and operating unit, are made of aluminum or stainless steel and therefore have no ignition source.

The carrier system, i.e. the crane to which the vacuum lifter is attached, consists of a double T-beam mounted slewing crane made of stainless steel, including grounding and a load roller made of stainless steel.

In this way, all material and function requirements in relation to the ATEX directive zone 0, for gases could be met.


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