Lift tables at M+A Matting’s commercial floor mat manufacturing facility in LaGrange, Ga., must hold up to punishing manufacturing demands. When managers decided the equipment was not durable enough, the company installed new lift tables (Kelley) that slashed maintenance costs while improving productivity.
To cure raw rubber material, employees lay pre-cut rubber sheets stacked up on pallets inside 12 large 1,500-pound metal tray frames. One tray rests on ball-bearing rollers inside each tray frame, which then sits on each lift table at 32 inches above the floor. The tray frames and lift tables are positioned directly in front of tall rubber curing ovens that feature four narrow horizontal openings at different heights. Each lift table elevates the tray frame containing its tray with rubber sheets to the right opening on the adjacent oven. The oven then automatically pulls the tray along with its rubber sheets directly into the oven.
According to M+A Matting maintenance supervisor Kenneth Whatley, the previous lift tables’ pins, bearings, bushings, rollers and frames were wearing out and falling apart. The new, more durable lift tables feature a 5-horsepower continuous duty motor that produces a 26-second raise/lower time. Each 48- x 102-inch table has an 8,000-pound capacity, stands 12 inches in its lowest position and 71 inches at its highest position.
For employee safety, the lift tables include velocity fuses on all cylinders to prevent uncontrolled descent. M+A Matting also uses either a light curtain or rubber bump guard switch around the table’s perimeter to stop the lift when an employee or other obstruction triggers them.
Employees use a touchscreen to raise and lower the lift tables. When a table reaches the correct height, a button lights up on the screen indicating the lift should stop at a specific oven opening.
“Each lift’s 26-second raise/lower time impacts our productivity and efficiency, and its travel speed is slow enough that employees don’t overshoot the designated oven opening,” says Whatley, who adds that he likes the way the new lifts are built. “The replacement lifts are very beefy, dependable and we haven’t had any problems with them in the 13 years they’ve been in operation.”