Pallet positioners reduce strain, increase control
July 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial
Belimo Customization in Danbury, Conn., designs and manufactures damper actuators and control valves for HVAC systems. While Belimo is focused on creating comfort, safety and efficiency in buildings, they are also keen to those same needs for their employees.
To lend employees a helping hand as they transfer boxes from conveyor belts to pallets, Belimo purchased nine pallet positioners (Southworth Products, southworthproducts.com) that are ergonomically designed to virtually eliminate the bending, reaching and stretching that can lead to fatigue and injuries.
Six of the pallet positioners at Belimo are traditional spring models that maintain the top layer of a pallet load at a convenient height and can be modified by changing the springs in its scissor lift to run lighter or heavier loads. But on three of the conveyor lines, the boxes vary greatly in dimension and weight every day, so Belimo installed three powered hydraulic pallet positioners, each with a 2-ton load capacity.
With this model, the operators can work at a comfortable height by precisely adjusting the positioner with a foot pedal. And because electrical cables run beneath the concrete floor and come up only where needed, tripping hazards are eliminated.
The pallet can also be rotated on the positioner’s turntable, allowing the operator to work on the nearside of the load rather than walking around it.
“Because our products have many different configurations, the cartons aren’t always similar weights, says Lenny Casacalenda, Belimo’s plant logistics manager. “So the hydraulic model gives employees the power to make sure the pallet is always in the best spot for them.”