Custom Equipment: Solutions Put Up On End


Rick Andrews was called on by a Cleveland branch of a multi-national corporation to solve a material handling problem. The client was concerned about safety for employees when maneuvering 500 lb rolls of print transfer media. In early discussions, it became evident that this had been a problem for a while. Previous attempts to solve the probelm had been unsuccessful.

Rick was tasked by the client to develop a solution, one that would reduce the incidence and probability of injury, remain within budget, and operate solely on plant air. Looking at stock solutions from lift and leveler manufacturers, it was clear that the only way to solve the problem was to start from scratch. Rick contacted Matt Slife of Erie Industrial Equipment in Cleveland, Ohio, to aid in design and manufacturing.

The design team with considerable input from the client, developed a detailed concept. However, when reviewing the proposal, all three agreed that the best way to proceed was to create a working prototype. This was delivered in January of 2009.

An up-ender, as it is commonly known in the industry, was the basis of the design. In order to meet the requirements of the customer, two double-acting pneumatic cylinders were used as the power source. Tie-down straps and safety gates were provided to help ensure worker safety. Further, to aid in unrolling, several conveyor rollers were attached to the bed of the up-ender.

In March of 2009, the prototype was approved with only minimal design changes. For example, the client wanted greater visibilty as the unit operated. He researched possible solutions, and in the end decided that a plastic "soccer cone" was the best tool for the job. His input helped to keep this project in line with Conveyer & Caster - Equipment for Industry's promise of simple and creative solutions.


Since approval, ten machines have been ordered for delivery to locations throughout the country. This has piqued the interest of the corporate oces and discussions of world-wide rollout are currently underway.

If you have a material handling problem that just can't seem to be solved, call Conveyer & Caster - Equipment for Industry at 800.777.0600.

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