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  1. Hydraulic Lifts: A Comprehensive Guide

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    Hydraulic Lifts: A Comprehensive Guide

    Hydraulic lifts are powerful devices used to handle heavy loads in manufacturing warehouses, construction sites, and other industrial environments. Available in a range of designs, these ergonomic lifting solutions enhance the safety and efficiency of various material handling tasks. Below, we provide a general overview of hydraulic lifts, including the following topics:

    What is a Hydraulic Lift?

    Hydraulic lifts use a hydraulic cylinder system to lift, move, and position heavy loads. While their designs vary depending on the intended application, all hydraulic lifts function using the same basic components:

    • A hydraulic cylinder enclosing a piston
    • A reservoir for oil storage
    • A pump for generating fluid energy
    • A motor for generating mechanical power
    • Valves for manipulating fluid flow

    How do Hydraulic Lifts Function?

    During lift operation, a pump pushes an incompressible oil from the oil reservoir to the cylinder. This pushes the piston upward, providing the force necessary to raise the lift. Once the desired height is reached, the pump is switched off and the lift is held securely in position by the oil trapped within the cylinder. To return the lift to its original position, a valve is opened to release oil back into the reservoir, and the piston is lowered by gravitational force.

    Depending on the position, size, and operation of the cylinder, hydraulic lifts can be categorized as holed or hole-less systems. With holed hydraulic systems, the cylinder extends into a hole in the ground at a distance that is equivalent to the lift’s maximum vertical travel height. In contrast, hole-less hydraulic systems use a direct-acting piston to raise the lift, eliminating the need for a hole.

    Hydraulic lifts consist of several interacting systems:

    • Circuits. A hydraulic circuit is designed to control the flow and pressure of the liquid.
      Pump. Hydraulic pumps are responsible for converting mechanical energy to hydraulic energy. The mechanical action of the pump creates a vacuum at the inlet. This forces the liquid to move from the reservoir to the inlet line, then through the outlet to the hydraulic system.
    • Motor. The hydraulic motor is a rotary actuator that converts hydraulic energy into torque and rotation.
    • Cylinder. The cylinder converts hydraulic fluid energy into force and creates pressure in the fluid.
    • Piston. The hydraulic piston, which is housed within the cylinder, moves upward in response to fluid pressure.
    • Fluid. The hydraulic fluid allows power to be transferred throughout the system. While water and mineral oil are the most common hydraulic fluids, other options include:
      • Glycol ether
      • Organophosphate ester
      • Polyalphaolefin
      • Propylene glycol
      • Silicone oil

    Types Of Hydraulic Lifts

    Hydraulic lifts are available in several types, each of which is optimized to meet specific load, safety, and mobility requirements. These include:

    • Table lifts. Available in scissor or column-type designs, table lifts are ideal for lifting heavy loads across relatively short vertical distances.
    • Personnel lifts. Personnel lifts are designed to safely raise personnel above ground level for maintenance, stocking, and other activities. Lightweight and portable, these lifts are suited for applications in which space is limited or weight is a concern.
    • Forklifts. Forklifts are powerful devices that lift and transport heavy loads in warehouses, construction sites, and other industrial settings.
    • Medical lifts. In the medical industry, medical lifts allow patients with limited mobility to be easily and safely moved by caregivers.
    • Automotive lifts. Automotive lifts are designed to elevate vehicles to a comfortable working height for maintenance and repair tasks.
    • Post car lifts. Post car lifts feature sturdy symmetrical columns positioned directly across from one another. This design aligns the vehicle’s center of gravity with the lift, ensuring that the load is evenly distributed across the columns, carriage, and bearings.
    • Platform lifts. Platform lifts feature a supportive platform that is raised and lowered using crisscrossing braces. These lifts are useful for ceiling construction, cable wiring, and other tasks performed at elevated levels.
    • Pallet lifts. Pallet jacks are used to lift and transport pallets and palletized loads in warehouses and trailers.
    • Hand-pumped lifts. Designed for manual operation, hand-pumped lifts utilize a hydraulic hand pump to raise and lower loads.

    Types of Hydraulic Lift Tables

    Hydraulic lift tables safely raise and lower loads in heavy-duty material handling processes. Types of lift tables include:

    • Mobile. Mobile lift tables are portable solutions for raising and accurately positioning heavy loads. Commonly used in warehouses and manufacturing plants, they help prevent strains and injuries related to the handling and inspection of heavy or bulky items.
    • Rotating. Ideal for assembly applications, rotating lifts are equipped with a rotating top that allows easy access from multiple sides.
      Low profile. With their low collapsed height, low profile lift tables allow for ergonomic lifting of heavy loads from the floor. Their design also provides easy access for pallet jacks.
    • Stainless steel. Stainless steel lift tables offer a durable and corrosion-resistant solution for handling loads in corrosive or harsh industrial environments.
    • High capacity. Ideal for large loads and heavy cargo, high-capacity lift tables feature a robust and durable platform with a wide base to maximize stability.
    • Ground entry. Ground entry lift tables provide access to pallet jacks for easy loading and unloading. Loads can also be positioned to various ergonomic working heights for inspection, maintenance, and other tasks.
    • Tilting. Tilting lift tables feature lift heights and tilt angles that can be independently controlled, making them great for applications requiring precise positioning of large loads.
    • Tandem. Tandem lift tables incorporate two standard base frames connected by a single platform. This design provides increased stability and safety when handling long or wide loads.
    • Multi-stage. Multi-stage lift tables are light-capacity units featuring a small platform supported by two stacked pairs of scissor legs. This allows vertical travel to be maximized while maintaining a small, compact design.

    Hydraulic Lift Applications

    Hydraulic lifts support essential material handling applications in several industries, including:

    • Industrial. Electro-hydraulic technology improves the speed and precision of lifts, allowing them to provide safe and smooth load control in various industrial applications. These applications include lifting or transporting heavy or bulky items, positioning items for assembly, and lifting items for inspection.
    • Construction. Hydraulic lifts with large platforms and high load capacities are ideal for safely lifting and transporting materials and heavy equipment at construction sites.
    • Automotive. In the automotive industry, hydraulic lifts play an essential role in providing easy access to vehicles during manufacturing, maintenance, repair, and inspection.
    • Marine. With their powerful lifting capacities and durable construction, hydraulic lifts make marine cargo handling and transportation applications smoother and more secure.
    • Aerospace. In aerospace applications, hydraulic lifts improve worker safety by enabling ergonomic positioning of heavy or bulky aircraft structures. For example, high-capacity hydraulic lifts provide vertical and lateral access to jet engines, wings, and other components for assembly, cleaning, or repair activities.
    • Mining. The power and controllability provided by hydraulic lifts make them a safe and reliable solution for moving rocks and other heavy loads in mining applications.

    Safety Regulations Regarding Hydraulic Lifts

    Given the amount of force supplied by hydraulic lifts, it is important to abide by strict safety guidelines during equipment use. Relevant hydraulic lift safety certifications and regulations include:

    • OSHA. The design and operation of hydraulic lifts should adhere to OSHA’s regulations regarding work performed on elevated platforms. These include:
      • Standard 1926.451. This standard addresses general requirements for guardrail systems and other appropriate forms of fall protection.
      • Standard 1910.29. That standard addresses personal protective equipment for protection against falling objects as well as guardrail design guidelines.
    • ANSI A92. The ANSI A92 standard outlines key criteria for ensuring that lifts and other aerial platforms are designed, manufactured, operated, and maintained correctly.
      Aerial lift certifications. OSHA aerial lift certifications require lift operators to pass an OSHA-certified training course regarding safe lift operation and maintenance.

    Hydraulic Lifts from Unidex

    Hydraulic lifts increase the efficiency of industrial material handling tasks while creating a safer work environment for employees. At Unidex, our customer-focused approach allows us to create custom ergonomic material handling solutions that fit the unique requirements of each application. Featuring various designs and load capacities, our hydraulic lifts improve workflow efficiency and reduce manual labor in a range of demanding work environments.

    Contact our engineering team today to learn more about our hydraulic lifts and how they can be adapted to meet your needs.

  2. Benefits of Portable Lifts

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    Portable lifts are lifts with casters and cylinder mechanisms that operators can move to various points around a worksite. These lifts allow users to set up portable workstations at safe and ergonomic heights, safely carry and move heavy loads, and more.  At Unidex, we specialize in creating ergonomic lifting solutions, including lift tables and portable lifts. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at different portable lifts we offer, their benefits, and common applications.

     

    Types of Portable Lifts

    At Unidex, we offer the following portable lifts:

    Portable Hydraulic Lift TablePortable Hydraulic Lift Table

    Our PHQL Series “Quick Lifter” Portable Hydraulic Lift Table can lift 500 pounds and has a height range of 28 to 44 inches. This allows employees to have a mobile, adjustable workstation at a safe, ergonomic height. A 24” x 24” top is offered and these lift tables have a minimal lead time, hence the “Quick” name. We carry tables in multiple sizes and shapes, as well as with different customization options.

     

    Portable Workstations

    Mobile Hydraulic Lift & Assembly TableOur PH Series Mobile Hydraulic Lift  & Assembly Tables are worktable surfaces that can lift to heights from 28 to 44 inches. These are ideal for operations in:

    • Cleanroom settings due to their electrostatic-free surfaces
    • Sanitary environments (including food and pharmaceutical production centers) due to their stainless steel construction
    • Lean manufacturing centers due to their mobile setup and easy portability

     

    Manual Lift & TransporterManual Hydraulic Lift & Transporter

    We carry a line of PHL Series Manual Hydraulic Lifts & Transporters that can carry 250 pounds for handling and elevating loads. It has a cantilevered design for easy accessibility to racks, machinery, and other fixtures, and it has an extensive lift stroke range of 48 inches. This guarantees access to machinery and equipment across the worksite. It has a 24″ by 36″ footprint and a welded steel construction.

     

    Electric Workbenches

    Easy-Lift Electric Workbench

    The EHW Series Easy-Lift Electric Workbenches are some of our most robust workbenches, offering a 500-pound load capacity for industrial applications that require the ability to easily handle and lift heavy loads. It can be equipped with a wide range of lift capacities to create safe, ergonomic workstations for sitting or standing employees. It has an easy-lift mechanism; operators can simply toggle the switch to move the surface up and down. Different options for our EHW Series Easy-Lift Electric Workbenches allow facilities to choose the right construction materials, work-holding components, and additional features (such as trunnion mounts and drawers) to form the foundation of an effective work station.

     

    Advantages of Portable Lifts


    Each portable lift in our collection offers facilities more flexibility while also protecting workers from common repetitive stress and strain injuries. Some of the key benefits of portable lifts are:

    • Ergonomics. The tables can be adjusted to reach the right work height for sitting or standing employees. Instead of craning forward or working with a table at an uncomfortable height, employees can safely handle complex, repetitive, or potentially dangerous tasks.
    • Ease of Use. Our portable lifts are easy to handle, move, and set up. The lifts are also easy to operate through toggle switches and manual mechanisms.
    • Safety. Because of the heavy load capacity of these tables, users can minimize the manual carrying of heavy items. We also construct our lifts from safe materials that meet the requirements of work environments ranging from cleanrooms to food and beverage production centers.

     

    Applications That Benefit From Unidex Inc Portable Lifts

    Applications that benefit from our selection of portable lifts include:

    Panel Boxes

    An electrical panel box is a mounted panel that houses the circuit breakers that control either an entire building or a portion of the building. We offer portable lifts with ESD liners. ESD liners protect items and users from electrical threats such as direct discharge, charge generation, and electrostatic fields. Because these lifts are properly lined, they reduce the risk of electrical damage and danger.

    Propane Tanks

    Propane tanks are specialized cylindrical containers that can safely hold propane. Tanks can be filled and depleted multiple times. We offer portable lifts specifically designing for lifting and lowering propane canisters, eliminating the risk of drops and employee injuries. Because the lifts move the containers up and down, employees don’t have to lift or carry the awkwardly shaped, heavy container.

     


    Contact Unidex Today for Portable Lifts

    Portable lifts offer several advantages from enhanced safety and ease of use to improved ergonomics. At Unidex, we prioritize employee safety and health by designing portable lifts for use across multiple industrial sectors. Contact us today to learn more about the different lifts we offer.

     

     

  3. Lift Tables for Food Industry

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    Typical Modifications

    Lift Tables for Food Industry

    Lift tables raise or lower loads in a controlled and safe manner. They see broad usage across a wide range of work settings and factories, especially when lifting or lowering heavy loads across relatively small vertical distances. Lift tables also help promote workplace safety, offering a sturdier alternative to ladders in many situations. Some common uses for lift tables include handling pallets, loading vehicles, lifting workers for specialized jobs, or allowing adjustable worktable heights.

    The adaptability of lift tables to perform a variety of tasks makes them ideal for most applications. In food production and processing, lifting equipment helps to automate processes and enhance safety within numerous operations.

     

     

    Uses of Lift Tables for Food

    Lift tables have numerous applications in the food industry for processing, packaging, and production. These machines help to increase productivity and efficiency and can be custom-tailored for a variety of unique applications. Stainless steel lift tables are ideal for food and beverage sector applications because of their compatibility with the various sanitation processes required in material handling and processing.

    Lift tables see frequent use in the following operations:

    • Food processing. Mechanical, powered, and hybrid lift table designs provide support to various food processing operations.
    • Food packaging. A lift table can fit into an automated packaging line or reduce strenuous and repetitive bending and lifting in manual packaging operations.
    • Food production. A quality lift table can help food production operations to lower costs and improve production times.

     

    Lift Table Types Used in the Food Industry

    The food industry relies on multiple types of lift tables, with each providing benefits for specific applications.

     

    Stainless Steel Lift Tables

    Many food applications require the use of stainless steel. Given the food industry’s rigorous cleaning and sanitation requirements, stainless steel lift tables offer the durability needed to withstand harsh chemicals and routine cleaning.

     

    Tilt Lift Tables

    Tilt lift tables raise materials or products to a specified height and then tilt the table to dump them into a container, mixer, or other equipment. Using tilt lift tables reduces the need for repetitive reaching and bending motions by workers, ultimately lowering the risk of stress injuries. Tilt lift tables see everyday use in food handling, especially in the packaging stage.

     

    Powered Lift Tables

    For high-cycle applications in the food industry, powered lift tables provide an ideal solution. Powered lift tables allow for fully adjustable work heights that improve efficiency and offer precision control or raising and lowering speeds.

     


    Food Industry Lift Tables From Unidex

    Lift tables help to streamline operations and promote worker safety through better efficiency and automation. When used appropriately, lift tables offer a wide range of benefits for the food industry, from processing and production to packaging.

    Unidex offers solutions to improve workplace safety and productivity at your facility with our ergonomic lift tables and other material handling equipment. We are experts in material handling and work with you to customize lifting solutions that meet all of your process needs. To see how our lift tables will benefit your food application, please contact us today.

     

  4. Lifts for Aerospace Industry

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    A lift table uses a mechanism to lift or lower equipment or people. Lift table systems can raise heavy equipment and supplies, including individual parts or pallets, along with workers or vehicles. Because of their versatility and reliable design, platform lifts and lift tables see frequent usage in various processes across the aerospace sector. Typical examples may include preventive aircraft maintenance and the placement of different aircraft components during assembly.

     

    The Purpose of Lift Tables in Aerospace Applications

    Work platform lifts offer numerous benefits for aerospace operations. Some of these advantages include:

    • Reduced risk of injury. Many workplace injuries in the aerospace sector involve repetitive motion, overexertion, and bending. Lift tables reduce these injuries by enabling workers to easily position or preposition during various tasks, preventing strain that might otherwise result in long-term harm.
    • Improved maintenance. Ladders are often unstable, making it difficult or unsafe to perform maintenance on large aircraft. Table lifts allow workers to safely and effectively reach every aircraft area to perform necessary maintenance.
    • Simplified installation of aircraft parts. Engines and other aircraft components require precision for proper installation. Table and platform lifts help to move components accurately and quickly into place for proper installation.

     

    Lifting and Handling Solutions for the Aerospace Industry

     


    Lifting and Handling Solutions for the Aerospace Industry

    There are multiple types of lifts available for aerospace applications. Each lift type may perform different functions based on the application’s specific needs.

    Jet Engine Test Cell Lifts

    Engineers rely on jet engine test cell lifts when conducting functionality and performance tests on jet engines. These lifts feature two hydraulic-actuated, floor-mounted lifts that support the main platform. The design also features removable guard rails that keep workers secure while using the platform while simplifying access during loading or unloading of workers and testing equipment.

    High Travel Work Platform Lifts

    Built for frequent use, these lifts feature a high weight capacity for carrying workers and aircraft parts for repairs. They are designed with durability and safety to protect workers while frequently accommodating heavy equipment and multiple personnel.

    Lightweight Personnel Work Platforms

    Lightweight personnel platform lifts provide an ideal lifting solution in facilities with limited loads. Engineers design these lifts to fit through doorways, and some available models will fit into elevators. Lightweight personnel work platforms typically hold one or two workers at a time, allowing them to access hard-to-reach aircraft areas for cleaning and maintenance work or assembly.

    Jet Engine Assembly Lifts

    This type of engine table lift holds jet engines in place during the assembly process. The lift mounts to the floor for stability, allowing technicians to adjust the engine height reliably during placement operations, and rotate on the z-axis.

     


    Aerospace Lifts From Unidex

    Whether you need a lift to hold a single maintenance worker or an assembly lift for accurate and precise component installation, Unidex offers lifting solutions for every aerospace requirement. To see how lift tables from Unidex will benefit your aerospace operation, please contact us today.

     

  5. Hydraulic vs. Pneumatic Systems

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    Pneumatic and hydraulic systems use fluid power to increase pressure and move mechanical parts in machinery. While pneumatic systems use compressible air or pure gas to achieve their function, hydraulic systems use compressible liquid, such as oil. Commonly seen in lifts and other handling equipment, pneumatic and hydraulic systems offer many advantages, making them ideal for a wide range of applications.

    Hydraulic Vs. Pneumatic Lifts

    Lifts refer to equipment used to raise or lower objects, such as people, cargo, heavy machinery, and more. In order to produce the upward pushing force necessary to move objects, lifts utilize a range of actuating mechanisms and components. The two most common actuator types include hydraulic and pneumatic.

    Hydraulic Lifts

    Hydraulic pneumatic systems

    Hydraulic lifts utilize a lifting mechanism that compresses a liquid, such as oil, to increase pressure within the cylinder, generating the linear motion that is needed to raise and lower the platform and object. Capable of producing more than 25x the force of pneumatic lifting systems, hydraulic lifts can tolerate very heavy loads. Hydraulic lifting mechanisms can also hold torque and force at a constant level without continuous fluid flow, unlike their pneumatic counterparts.

    One primary concern of hydraulic lifts is their environmental impact. Since these mechanisms use hydraulic fluid, they can be damaging to the environment in the event of a leak. Additionally, hydraulic lifts tend to take up more space due to having several components and parts, meaning they are best for applications where space isn’t a primary concern.

    Pneumatic Lifts

    The lifting mechanism within a pneumatic lift utilizes a hollow cylinder and piston. Through the use of an external motor or pump, the piston moves within the cylinder to increase air pressure, allowing the cylinder to move and create enough linear force to extend the lift components.

    One primary advantage of pneumatic lifts is their versatility. Since most pneumatic lifts don’t require electricity, they are suited for a variety of applications, including those exposed to extreme temperatures and other environmental conditions. Pneumatic systems are also very accurate, capable of generating extreme force, and less expensive than hydraulic systems.

    However, pneumatic lifts must maintain operating pressure during use, making them less efficient and more costly to run than other lift types. Also, pneumatic actuators are normally sized for specific applications, limiting them to the needs of that application’s specifications and requirements.

    Applications for Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems

    While both hydraulic and pneumatic systems are powerful lifting tools, they are each suited to their own applications.

    Hydraulic Applications

    Hydraulic lifts are incredibly powerful and offer superior strength and capacity, making them ideal for the following applications:

    • Car Lifts
    • Dump Truck Lift
    • Elevators
    • Excavating arms for diggers
    • Forklifts
    • Turbines
    • Wheelchair Lift
    • Wing Flaps on Aircraft

    Pneumatic Applications

    Pneumatic actuators can be matched precisely to the power needs of each given application. They also don’t pose an environmental hazard because they use air instead of oil. Having the ability to absorb some amounts of shock, they are ideal for automotive and other sensitive applications. Some of the most common applications include:

    • Air brakes used by buses, trucks, and trains
    • Air compressors
    • Compressed-air engines and vehicles
    • Conveyor systems in pharmaceutical and food industries
    • Explosion-proof work areas
    • Manufacturing and assembly lines
    • Precision drills used by dentists
    • Pressure sensors, switches, and pumps
    • Vacuum cups for sheet lifting

    Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems From Unidex

    Hydraulic and pneumatic systems work differently to lift objects, and they each offer their own unique advantages. At Unidex, we specialize in providing standard and custom material handling manipulators, lifts, and work positioners to meet the needs of any application. To learn more about our hydraulic and pneumatic lifting tools and how we can improve your production process, contact us today.

  6. Medical Support Equipment

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    Lift tables are simple yet versatile tools that help employees lift, lower, or reposition heavy loads of all kinds. In the medical industry, these lifts serve many critical functions. As a stable and quick lifting solution, lift tables enhance safety and efficiency in medical applications from patient care to medical equipment assembly. 

    Lift Tables for Patients

    Lift tables are devices that utilize a valve and hydraulic cylinder to raise or lower objects and/or people. As an easy to use, cost-effective lifting solution, lift tables are highly beneficial for enhancing safety, mobility, and productivity in many instances, especially when used for patient care applications. 

    Medical lift tables are commonly used as patient positioners in settings such as hospitals, rehab facilities, and more. Patients with mobility challenges, such as wheelchair users, require special support in a healthcare environment. Healthcare providers can use lift tables to provide a safe and easy means of positioning these patients since they may have difficulty moving on their own. 

    Common patient positioning applications include:

    • Overbed tables
    • Helping support patient’s arms or legs when extended from an exam table 
    • Transitioning patients from a bed to a wheelchair (commonly known as Hoyer Lifts)

    Speed and stability are critical concerns in hospital environments and other medical settings. Lift tables help to eliminate these concerns by allowing healthcare providers to quickly and safely move or position patients so that they can receive the medical attention they need, especially in surgical or emergency situations. 

    Medical Equipment Assembly Lifts

    Lift tables are also commonly used in manufacturing for medical equipment assembly. Mass production of medical equipment relies on assembly lines to rapidly build products step by step. As each piece of equipment passes through the assembly line, factory workers perform repetitive movements, such as turning, twisting, and lifting, to complete manual assembly tasks. Performing these repetitive tasks hundreds of times per day puts workers at serious risk for injury; therefore, proper ergonomics are critical, especially in medical equipment assembly lines where workers must handle heavy, bulky, or fragile components.

    Lift tables provide the power and stability to move heavy loads without placing repetitive strain on employees. Used in an assembly line, they drastically reduce the effort required to lift and lower raw components, increasing efficiency and reducing the likelihood of mistakes and injuries. At Unidex, we provide lift tables for assembly line manufacturing of respirators, x-ray machines, and other critical care equipment.

    Lift tables also serve as adjustable-height workbenches, which allow employees to quickly raise or lower the surface to a comfortable level. On an assembly line, this is yet another way of ensuring a safe and ergonomic work environment, eliminating the strain of reaching for an improperly positioned work surface. These advantages carry over to pharmaceutical companies as well, who use adjustable-height workbenches to quickly reconfigure testing and assembly areas depending on the needs of their employees.

    Lift Tables from Unidex

    Lift tables are crucial to the safety and efficiency of many applications in the medical industry, including patient care and medical equipment assembly. Unidex specializes in providing standard and customized material handling manipulators, lifts, and work positioners for a variety of industries. Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction enables us to meet even the most challenging material handling equipment needs. For more information, or to get started on your custom lifting solution, contact us today.

  7. Hydraulic Lifts—The Types & Their Uses

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    Hydraulic Lifts—The Types & Their Uses

    In the industrial and commercial sectors, the term “hydraulic lifts” refers to devices that rely on hydraulic pressure to raise or lower personnel and products. They generally feature a cylinder and piston assembly—which extends or contracts depending on the hydraulic pressure—and a platform—upon which the load sits. In addition to being available in a wide range of standard models, they can be customized to meet the requirements of specific applications. 

    Below we provide an overview of the types of hydraulic lifts available, including their unique features, advantages, and use cases. 

    Types of Hydraulic Lifting Machines

    Hydraulic lifts come in several variations. At Unidex, we offer the following types:

    Hydraulic Lift Tables (PH/QL)

    Our hydraulic lift tables are highly customizable, allowing users to make modifications to meet their needs. They have a standard load capacity of up to 500 pounds and lift stroke of 16 inches with standard height capabilities for between 28 inches to 44 inches. Typical applications include automobile servicing and industrial assembly transport carts.

    Types of hydraulic lifting machines

    Portable Hydraulic Lifts (PHL)

    Our portable hydraulic lifts are lightweight, stable, and easy to operate. They have a standard load capacity of up to 250 pounds and can lift loads to a maximum elevation of 48 inches from the floor. These lifting devices accommodate the integration of fixture or tool holders, allowing for assembly or inspection of cantilevered parts. Typical applications include component assembly and transfer, machine feeding, mobile staging, and work positioning.  

    Portable Electric Hydraulic Lift Carts (PE)

    Our portable electric/hydraulic lift carts offer optimal durability, flexibility, and safety for production operations. They feature 12 volt DC power units, options for light-duty, standard-duty, shaft handling, and telescopic variations, and compatibility with a wide range of end tools (e.g., forks, platforms, grippers, and rotators). Typical applications include product assembly and material loading and unloading. 

    Electric Hydraulic Pallet Lifts (TL)

    Our electric/hydraulic pallet lifts are designed for heavy-duty tasks, offering a standard load capacity of 2,000 pounds and a lift stroke of 36 inches. They feature a bolt down design open on three sides that facilitates loading and unloading pallets but also accommodates a variety of end components.  Typical applications include product transferring on assembly lines and work positioning. 

    Electric Hydraulic Positioners (EH)

    Our electric/hydraulic positioners are compact but powerful lifting devices suitable for raising, lowering, and rotating workpieces in fabrication, welding, and assembly operations. They offer standard load capacities of up to 500, 2000, or 6000 pounds and a lift stroke of 60 inches. Typical applications include large and heavy component manufacturing. 

    Electric Hydraulic Workbench Lifts (EHW)

    Our 120 VAC electric/hydraulic workbench lifts are designed for use with heavy loads of up to 500 pounds. They feature a 30-inch by 60-inch worksurface that raises and lowers to the proper working height (between 27 inches and 45 inches) at the touch of a button. Casters can also be integrated for easier positioning. Typical applications include food processing and pharmaceutical production, and general assembly for all industries.

    Electric Hydraulic Person Lifts (EHWP)

    Our electric/hydraulic person lifts are designed for raising and lowering personnel to the desired work height. They are self-supporting and can draw power from any standard 120 VAC outlet. Typical applications include assembly and inspection operations.

    Standard and Custom Lifting Solutions From Unidex

    Hydraulic lifts play a critical role in countless industrial and commercial applications. However, ensuring lifting operations proceed safely necessitates choosing the right lifting device for your facility. For selection assistance, turn to the experts at Unidex. 

    At Unidex, we have extensive experience providing material handling equipment to customers across a diverse set of industries. In addition to our standard hydraulic lifts, we offer customized solutions to end-users with highly specific or unique requirements. To learn more about our lifting products and services, contact us today.  

  8. Critical Applications That Require Ergonomic Lifting Solutions

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    Critical Applications That Require Ergonomic Lifting Solutions

    In the military and defense sectors, the products employed must demonstrate a high level of quality, dependability, and safety. This requirement is true for all materials, machines, and systems, including material handling equipment.  

    Material handling equipment finds applications in many military and defense operations, ranging from the loading and unloading of supplies to the transport of materials from one location to the next. In these often critical and sensitive situations, it’s important the lifting and positioning solutions are designed and manufactured to provide optimal performance without the risk of operator injury.

    The following blog post discusses the importance of integrating ergonomic design into Mil-spec material handling equipment and provides examples of the equipment used in military and defense applications.

    The Importance of Ergonomics in the Military and Defense Industries

    In the workplace, the term “ergonomics” refers to the design and optimization of equipment and a facility’s layout to suit the employees. While it is generally used when referring to offices and warehouses, its principles can be applied to all industries, including military and defense.

    Ultimately, the goal of ergonomic design is to make the workplace safer and more efficient. These benefits then translate to lower risk of operator injury, higher employee productivity, and greater overall morale. Within the military and defense industries, the use of ergonomic material handling systems result in the following:

    Lower Risk of Injury to Life and Limb

    Well-designed lifting and positioning equipment can accommodate large and heavy materials without significant risk to the machine operator. On the other hand, the wrong equipment can increase the risk of employees experiencing back injuries as a result of lifting, handling, or carrying objects.

    Some of the factors that can cause back injury include:

    •   Awkward positioning or posture. When lifting heavy materials, the amount of force acting on the body and where it is concentrated depends on the lifter’s posture and lifting method. Improper lifting or carrying technique may result in excessive force acting on the back, which can cause injury.
    •   Continuous or excessive vibrations. During operation, powered hand tools often generate vibrational force. When used for significant amounts of time or under the wrong circumstances (e.g., in cold environments or by personnel with poor blood flow), the vibrations can cause muscular disorders, muscular spasms, vascular constriction, and other vibration-induced issues.   
    •   Constant or extreme force. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends personnel lift no more than 51 lbs. However, many industry professionals regularly lift more than the recommended amount in their day-to-day activities. These heavier loads cause strain on the body.
    •   Repetitive movement. Operations involving repetitive movement continually put stress and strain on the same muscle groups. Over time, this can lead to inflammation, irritation, and other injuries.

    Faster Operations

    Material handling equipment allows workers to move supplies easily without resorting to manual methods. In doing so, it enables them to complete transportation and distribution operations much faster.

    Better Accommodation of OSHA Regulations

    OSHA regulations dictate safety requirements for workers. Ergonomic equipment generally integrates these standards to enhance worker and workplace safety.

    Common Applications of Material Handling and Lifting Equipment

    Material handling equipment is used to load and unload various military and defense supplies, including engines, tank components, maintenance platforms, cargo doors, wheels, motors, and castings. Some of the typical machines and systems employed for these operations include:

    • Common Applications of Material HandlingYard ramps: These ramps allow workers to move trolleys and wheeled pallets between different heights, such as between a truck and the ground. Without these ramps, workers would have to make repeated lifting and twisting motions that could stress their backs, necks, shoulders, arms, and legs.
    • Drum handling equipment: Product stored in barrels, drums, and other containers typically require transportation or movement to other areas. Using specialized equipment designed for gripping, lifting, and dumping them reduces the risk of injuries related to tugging, lifting, and picking.
    • Tank lifts: Cylindrical tanks are often moved with a two-wheeled dolly. However, improperly secured tanks can fall off and injure the tank’s contents and the operator. Lifting devices with a securing mechanism facilitate safer transportation and lifting operations.
    • Manipulators: Floor-mounted manipulators with articulating arms are often used to pick and place products to build up pallets. Using vacuum cups or gripping arms to lift materials reduces the amount of physical stress experienced by workers.
    • Maintenance platforms: Powered work platforms that adjust to different heights eliminate the need for workers to climb up and down ladders multiple times—often with tools and parts in hand—during maintenance operations.
    • Positioners: During maintenance or rebuilding operations, positioners allow heavy or bulky parts to be lifted and rotated into the proper position.  

    Contact the Ergonomic Equipment Experts at Unidex

    When used in military and defense applications, ergonomic lifting and positioning solutions keep workers safe in a wide range of critical operations. Additionally, they improve efficiency and productivity. For more information about ergonomic material handling equipment, contact the Unidex experts today.

  9. How EH Positioning Systems Power the Aerospace Industry

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    How EH Positioning Systems Power the Aerospace Industry

    Every industry is feeling the crunch to be more efficient, but perhaps none are more stringent than the aerospace sector. Aerospace companies need to be able to easily access and store thousand of unique parts, each type with wildly different dimensions and storage condition demands.

    Static storage and pick shelving are basic solutions, but they take up a lot of space. More complex systems like AS/RS systems, carousels, and gravity flow picking racks are more efficient. Aerospace facilities need material handling and storage solutions that can enable the movement of heavy and high-frequency parts while also being able to handle a wide variety of sizes for tubing, plates, sheet metal, and channels.

    Advantages for Improved Efficiency and Productivity

    Ergonomic Solutions for the Aerospace IndustryInvesting in better equipment handling systems doesn’t just save companies on square footage. Smart solutions also reduce the risk of workplace injuries by automating many lifting and handling tasks. These systems include material handling equipment, portable lifts, and any other equipment used to lift or move materials and inventory.

    With more advanced material handling solutions in place, personnel can easily access vertical and lateral storage spaces and use machinery to move the actual equipment to its destination. Reducing workplace accidents increases employee productivity, reduces turnover, and also reduces the costs of paying for medical fees and temporary staff. It also lets people work faster throughout the entire day.

    Adding positioning tools to the system further increases its efficiency. These solutions allow workers to rotate airplane subassemblies, move them, and easily assemble or inspect the parts.

    Three key benefits of positioning systems specifically include:

    1. Consistent quality. Automated positioning machinery enables accurate, precise, and consistent movements. This ensures that the resulting assemblies and product placements are also accurate.
    2. Increased efficiency. With automated equipment, setup and positioning are faster. It also requires fewer trips to storage shelves to gather all of the necessary components for each assembly. EH systems create even more efficiency because they reduce the amount of direct labor per assembly.
    3. Work flexibility. Smart automated equipment can be trained and retrained on more than one task. It requires less lead time between function changes and can handle more discrete projects or assemblies.

    Common Applications

    The aerospace industry has unique demands that must be considered when sourcing material handling and lifting equipment. These demands include the size of very large and heavy aircraft components, the weight of assembled parts like jet engines, and the complexity of electronic configurations. Some of the most common applications of specialized EH positioning systems include:

    • Equipment to carry jet engines from storage to test cells, such as high-travel lifts and heavy-duty ram lifts
    • Lifting, inspecting, and working on large components
    • Lifts that provide cantilevered work platforms along fuselages
    • Lightweight lifts for manual positioning
    • Platform lifts to position jet engines in recessed pits for inspections and work
    • Portable hydraulic lifts that give workers access to various vertical points along jet fuselages
    • Portable hydraulic tables to carry satellites between storage and launch sites

    Custom Aerospace Solutions from Unidex

    EH positioning systems give personnel in aerospace facilities greater positioning and flexibility to handle complex assembly tasks. These systems can help workers operate on and near heavy and large machinery with reduced risks for injury. They also allow facilities to run more efficiently, have faster tool setup, and have more high-quality, precise arrangements.

    Unidex specializes in providing material handling systems and equipment for manufacturers in a variety of challenging industries across North America. Since 1989, our company has concentrated on creating customized material handling solutions that meet unique challenges. We prioritize an engineer-to-order system that gives companies design options, custom features, and unique material handling functions that best fit the intended application.

    Contact us today to learn more about our material handling systems and positioning systems for aerospace industries.

  10. The Benefits of EH Positioners

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    The Benefits of EH Positioners

    eletric-hydraulic positionersElectric hydraulic (EH) positioners use electric hydraulic pumps and cylinders to create safe and efficient ergonomic lifting processes. One of the most significant benefits provided by EH positioners over alternative devices is the ability to lift and rotate large components or materials. This one capability can widen a facility’s manufacturing capabilities.

    Other benefits include greater durability for equipment, flexibility and versatility in general lifting processes, and greater safety for workers at and around the workstation.

    The Advantages of Electric-Hydraulic Power

    EH positioners offer a range of advantages, such as:

    Ergonomics

    Every workplace needs to consider ergonomics and safe handling when considering new equipment for their facilities. Correctly applied ergonomic choices can reduce the number of injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and potential liabilities.

    Creating a more comfortable work environment for employees also boosts employee morale, productivity, and length of employment terms. Ergonomic EH positioners allow employees to operate heavy duty machinery and complete tasks in more comfortable and healthy positions.

    Controlled Lifting Speeds & Higher Load Capacities

    Safety is equally as important as ergonomics, if not more.

    Efficiency

    Unidex’s ergonomic EH positioners can be customized to fit certain tasks. This customization improves task completion times for a greater overall rate of efficiency. EH positioners also fit in constricted areas, so more units can safely share a limited work floor.
    Dual-Column EH Positioner
    The system that’s implemented at the beginning of construction can be customized to meet both functional requirements and simplicity requirements.

    The ergonomic aspect of EH positioners also leads to increased efficiency. Operators are more comfortable and less likely to experience repetition-related or equipment-related injuries, so the regular pace of completing work will face fewer interruptions.

    Versatility

    Dual EH positioners may be used together to create a positioning system with multiple set controls and actions. They can share a single hydraulic pump so each station can handle multiple routine actions. EH positioners feature a full range of motion—they can rotate 360° to lift or rotate complete workstations. They also feature high loads and the positioner itself has welded steel components that facilitate a long service life.

    Custom Equipment for Versatile Applications

    Operators can use EH positioners in a variety of industries and for multiple applications, though they’re typically reserved for heavy duty tasks. Some common applications include:

    • Lifting dump truck wheel rims
    • Manipulating the orientation of aircraft components for assembly
    • Material handling on shop and sales floors
    • Moving loads and empty skids in a warehouse
    • Rotating, powering, lifting, and spinning jet engines for repairing, assembly, and inspection

    EH positioners can be used in any industry or facility where workers need to transport, lift, or manipulate heavy loads.

    Request Your Ergonomic Solution Today

    EH positioners are ideal solutions for material handling applications across a variety of industries. Operators can move heavy objects or workpieces while reducing or eliminating the risk of repetitive stress injuries and accidents.

    Unidex Inc. is a leading builder and supplier of electric hydraulic positioners and other rotating and lifting tools. We specialize in developing and manufacturing material handling solutions, including:

    EH Ergonomic Positioning Solution

    • Heavy duty workstations
    • Industrial manipulators
    • Mobile lifts
    • Portable lifts
    • Portable tables
    • Adjustable work positioners

    Unidex’s EH Single Column design incorporates linear rails and pillow blocks (as seen on many 3, 4, and 5-axis machines). It also uses gear motors and large geared radial bearings to rotate heavy loads to fit our customer’s needs. There are many safety features included on the EH.

    Our team of experts can help you select and customize the right material handling equipment for your facilities and work needs. Contact us today to learn more about our positioners or other material handling equipment.