Author Archives: Unidex Inc.

  1. Scissor Lifts vs. PH Lift Tables

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    Scissor Lifts vs. PH Lift Tables

    Scissor lifts work to vertically elevate workers and equipment for many material handling tasks, making them a popular option in numerous industries. Although scissor lifts can be useful in certain situations, they come with several drawbacks that may not make them the best option for your needs. As a suitable alternative, portable hydraulic (PH) lift tables offer enhanced flexibility and versatility. Here, we’ll dive into the different advantages, disadvantages, and applications of scissor lifts and PH lift tables to help you make the right decision.

    Scissor Lifts vs. PH Lifting Tables

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    Scissor Lift Alternatives

    What is a Scissor Lift?

    Scissor lifts are specialized machines designed to move equipment and personnel in a vertical direction. This type of lift can handle any material handling application that would normally require a tower, ladder, or scaffolding.

    Benefits of Scissor Lifts

    Scissor lifts offer various benefits, including:

    • Provides Access to High, Hard-To-Reach Areas
    • Multiple People Can Work on the Lift at Once, Improving Productivity
    • Sturdier Than a Ladder and Less Labor-Intensive than Erecting Scaffolding

    Disadvantages of Scissor Lifts

    Despite their numerous benefits, scissor lifts come with some significant disadvantages such as:

    • Space Constraints. Scissor lifts have large base frames that take up a lot of floor space.
    • Non-Ergonomic Foot Pedals. The foot pedals are typically 10-12’’ off the ground, making them less ergonomic to use.
    • Requires More Manpower. With scissor lifts, the vertical height movement per each manual pump is minimal, requiring more time and energy from workers.
    • Limited Flexibility. Because scissor lifts can only move vertically, you can’t navigate them around obstructions. Scissor lifts also are less effective in indoor facilities and warehouses, due to their large size.
    • Hazardous to Workers. Scissor lifts have several pinch points that can crush or seriously injure anything caught in their moving parts.

    What’s a PH Lift Table?

    PH lift tables offer improved versatility and flexibility to solve almost any material handling challenge. Available in numerous load capacities, PH lifting tables provide the ideal solution for portable workstations, assembly operations, and many more.

    Benefits of PH Lift Tables

    PH lift tables offer a wide range of benefits that make them a preferred alternative to scissor lifts. These benefits include:

    • Improved Safety. PH lift tables are easy to use and reduce the risk of workplace injury by minimizing the need for strenuous reaching or heavy lifting.
    • Simplicity. Hydraulic lifts are typically operated using an intuitive lever system for simplified raising and lowering. This allows them to be implemented into any facility with minimal training or interruption.
    • Enhanced Productivity. PH lift tables don’t slow workers down and are capable of lifting heavier loads faster than manual teams. This often results in a fast, more cost-effective production process.
    • Durability. PH lifting tables are simple yet sturdy and include very few mechanical components. When used properly, they require little to no maintenance, even when used in harsh conditions.
    • Compact and Portable. PH lift tables are small and take up a small footprint once installed. They also come with locking swivel casters that make them easy to move around.
    • Even Lifting. The lift mast is centered to ensure even weight distribution as the load moves up and down. This helps to prevent premature wear of lift components while lowering the risk of dropping objects.
    • Versatile. PH lifts are available in various sizes and capacities to fit your unique budget and application requirements.

    Industries Served and Applications

    Due to their many advantages, PH lifting tables are used across various industries and applications, including:

    • Foundries. Lift tables provide safe, even lifting of cast components and raw metals.
    • Metal Processing & Materials Handling. These industries utilize PH lift tables to speed up the movement of finished products and heavy raw materials.
    • Manufacturing. Manufacturers of all kinds rely on PH lift tables for use as build stations and to help workers manage loads quickly and safely.
    • Electronics. This industry utilizes PH lift tables with electrostatic discharge (ESD) to assemble or move large electronics without damaging sensitive circuitry.
    • Plastics. The plastics industry uses PH lift tables to manufacture and maintain molding equipment, as well as for moving large amounts of heavy plastic components.
    • Food and Beverage. Food and beverage facilities use PH lift tables to load heavy shipments after production and handle heavy equipment.
    • Paper. Packagers, printers, and paper manufacturers use PH lift tables to transport and position heavy reams of paper.
    • Railroad. Lift tables are used throughout the railroad industry to safely move train car components, cargo, maintenance equipment, and rails.
    • Automotive. Lift tables help mechanics and auto manufacturers when preparing or servicing vehicles.
    • Aerospace. PH lift tables are used in the aerospace industry to move heavy components that are impossible to lift by hand. For example, they can position and load aircraft parts during maintenance, manufacturing, and other operations.

    PH Lift Tables from Unidex

    While scissor lifts can prove useful for certain applications, PH lift tables offer many more benefits that make them the preferred choice for various industries. At Unidex, we’ve been specializing in custom material handling equipment for over 30 years. Our PH lift tables are flexible, cost-effective, durable, and ensure a safer working environment for your employees.

    For more information about our scissor lift alternatives, or to get started on your custom solution, contact us today.

  2. Stainless Steel Lift Tables | Food & Pharmaceutical Industries

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    Lift tables are adjustable surfaces used to raise, lower, and convey goods and materials within a facility or workspace. While lift tables are available in a wide range of materials, stainless steel is the material of choice for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Stainless steel is strong, corrosion-resistant, and easy to sanitize. It is ideal for sensitive operations that must meet rigorous health and safety standards established by the FDA and other regulatory bodies. By incorporating FDA-approved stainless steel lift tables into food and beverage and pharmaceutical operations, companies save time and money on cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep while eliminating the potential for cross-contamination due to surface imperfections and corrosion.

    Food & Pharmaceutical Industry Applications of Stainless Steel Lift Tables

    Stainless Steel Lift Tables In the Food & Pharmaceutical Industry

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    Stainless steel lift tables are an affordable and highly versatile option for a wide range of food and pharmaceutical applications, including:

    • Ready-to-Eat Rooms: Manufacturing facilities that produce ready-to-eat food must meet stringent standards concerning surface preparation. According to FDA regulations, surfaces that come in direct contact with food cannot transfer odors, tastes, colors, or other substances to the food.
    • Cleanrooms: Cleanrooms in pharmaceutical and food operations must maintain very low levels of contamination. Stainless steel does not create, retain, or impart oils, grease, or particulate matter that could cross-contaminate materials with which it comes in contact.
    • Laboratories: The corrosion resistance and strength of stainless steel make it ideal for use in laboratory settings where it must withstand exposure to harsh chemicals, heavy loads, and moisture. Since stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and easy to clean, it reduces the risk of sample and product contamination.
    • Bakery Production: Stainless steel lift tables are perfect for use in bakery production facilities, where they are used to prepare and transport baked goods in different stages of preparation. They are valuable tools in production lines because they can withstand high heat, heavy loads, moisture exposure, and rigorous sanitization processes.
    • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: Pharmaceutical manufacturing involves finely calibrating and mixing specific, highly reactive chemicals. Due to the sensitive nature of pharmaceuticals, stainless steel is the preferred surface material for counters and lift tables. It is non-porous, easy-to-clean, temperature-resistant, and corrosion-resistant, which helps meet the extremely stringent standards for hygiene and cross-contamination control in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Material Handling Benefits of Stainless Steel Lift Tables

    Stainless steel lift tables offer a wide range of benefits for material-handling operations in the food and pharmaceutical industry, including:

    • Improved Speed: Stainless steel’s smooth, non-porous surface is easy to clean and sanitize, and is capable of withstanding high temperatures and chemicals used in automatic cleaning operations. This speeds up the overall cleaning process and reduces downtime between product batches.
    • Enhanced Safety: Stainless steel is non-porous and corrosion-resistant, which means it can be exposed to harsh chemicals and cleaners without the risk of pitting or cross-contamination.
    • Corrosion-Resistance: Since it is non-corrosive, stainless steel is safer, easier to use, cleaner, and has a longer service life than other materials.
    • Low Maintenance: Stainless steel lift tables can be cleaned faster and more thoroughly than other materials since they are not affected by high temperatures, harsh chemicals, or moisture.
    • Paint-Free: Many food and pharmaceutical companies prohibit the use of paint or coatings in manufacturing due to the potential for flaking, pitting, and other corrosion. Stainless steel naturally presents a smooth, corrosion-resistant surface without the need for treatments or paint.
    • Smooth Surface: Stainless steel presents a smooth, non-porous surface that will not collect food, powder, chemicals, or other potential contaminants.
      FDA and HACCP Compliant: Stainless steel meets stringent FDA and HAACP regulatory guidelines for safe food and pharmaceutical processing and handling surfaces.

    Quality Stainless Steel Lift Tables by Unidex

    Whether you need a lightweight and mobile stainless steel lift table for pharmaceutical manufacturing or a heavy-duty table for your baking operation, the experts at Unidex can help you find the perfect lift table solution. With decades of experience serving a wide variety of industries, we understand the unique requirements of the food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

    To learn more about our stainless steel and other lift table designs, contact us today!

  3. End Effector: What It Is, How It Works, Types, Applications

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    End EffectorManipulators and robot arms require end effectors to perform their designated tasks. They function by attaching to manipulator arms or a robot’s wrist, which enables this equipment to interact with a subject. 

    Operators often rely on gripper end effectors to lift and handle certain objects using robotic machinery, which is why these components are ideal for assembly, pick-and-place, and machine-tending applications. Operations use end effectors for robotics or manipulators to improve safety measures or eliminate safety concerns around the use of this machinery. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the different end effector types, along with their various applications.

    Different Types of End Effectors

    Depending on the intended application, operations may use a variety of end effectors to perform certain tasks.

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    Robotic Grippers

    • Electric Grippers Electric grippers use motor-driven fingers, which allow for easy control of position and speed. Many applications use adaptive electric end effectors, including machine tending, handling, and bin picking, among others.
    • Pneumatic Grippers These grippers use air to function, normally by forcing compressed air through a piston. Pneumatic grippers allow for angular or parallel movement.
    • Suction Cups — Suction cups use a vacuum to pick up parts. Their simple design offers ample flexibility for material handling, along with cost-effectiveness. However, they are unable to handle perforated materials.
    • Magnetic Grippers These grippers feature a design that’s similar to suction cups, but they’re used specifically for handling ferrous material. Additionally, they eliminate the risk of dropping materials during power outages or air loss, and they don’t come with air costs. Their simple design also requires minimal maintenance.
    • Mechanical Grippers — Non-powered mechanical grippers normally feature designs for specific types of parts. These grippers may include forks, hooks, or complex fingers that allow operators to clamp and rotate them.

    Robotic Process Tools

    • Robotic Welding — Applications often use robot arms with welding end effectors, which are most frequently found in the automotive industry. Because of their precision and consistency, robotic welding systems usually produce great results.
    • Painting — The application of paint must be consistent and smooth, which often presents a challenge for human operators. In addition, these applications must protect against contamination in a controlled environment. Both of these factors make painting robots suitable for these conditions, allowing for high-quality paintwork while reducing the risk of contamination.

    Robotic Sensors

    Some applications also connect sensors to robots, converting them into programmable sensor-orientation devices. Robotic inspection and other applications use these to minimize inspection engineers’ hands-on time they would otherwise spend gathering data.

    Applications for End Effectors

    Many types of applications use robotics and manipulators with end effectors. Some potential applications include:

    Pick & Place

    These tasks involve picking up and placing objects in another location. Oftentimes, these applications require safe handling and precision when manipulating the object, regardless of the object’s material or its fragility.

    Machine Tending

    Machine tending entails overseeing equipment as it loads and unloads machines. It could also involve blow off, part inspection, sorting and packaging, and wash tasks.

    Packaging & Palletizing Processes

    These processes include high-speed and precision packaging assembly, pallet forming, and product loading, among other tasks. They’re particularly demanding in many applications due to the need to handle often fragile materials with a combination of efficiency and care.

    Assembly Tasks

    Assembly is a manufacturing process in which machinery assembles products by adding individual components one at a time in a specific sequence. In completing these tasks, the robot’s or manipulator’s end effector frequently handles objects of various shapes and sizes.

    Quality Testing & Inspection

    Following the manufacturing process, products require the application of consistent force and rigorous testing. While human workers may struggle to maintain consistent tension, pressure, and overall precision, it’s easy to program these tasks when using robotics with the appropriate end effectors.

    Surface Finishing

    Surface finishing tasks require adequate flexibility, which robotics and end effectors help achieve. Seeing as surface finishing is a particularly dirty task in the production process, it’s also ideal for automating with the right programmable machinery.

    End Effectors & Tooling at Unidex

    To meet the needs of any application, it’s important to select not only the right robotic and manipulator systems but also the right end effector. At Unidex, we offer custom mechanical, powered, and manual end effectors based on your individual requirements. Our clients choose Unidex because we offer custom solutions that consider the entire application, taking a holistic approach to solving a wide range of potential problems in the workspace.

    For additional information about our services and products and to get started on your next custom end effector design, contact us today.

  4. Industrial Manipulators 101 – All You Need to Know

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    Industrial manipulators are lift-assist devices that take the stress of repetitively lifting heavy or bulky items off personnel. Routinely lifting and transporting heavy items presents workplace safety risks and has the potential to cause musculoskeletal issues for workers due to improper lifting techniques and fatigue. These devices help workers across a variety of handling operations, allowing users to complete handling tasks with consistent safety, convenience, and efficiency.

    Industrial manipulators are designed to mimic the movement of human hands, wrists, and arms for optimal performance, and they are available in portable, floor-mounted, and overhead-mounted models. As industrial manipulators assist with material handling and ergonomic lifting, they will subsequently reduce fatigue, help minimize the risk of injury, and increase overall productivity.

    Industrial Manipulators common problems solved, products weight too heavy, product needs to be moved to hard to access locations, the product is too hot or oily, products require flipping, fatigue when manual lifting, high volumes of products

    Common Problems Solved by Industrial Manipulators

    Industrial manipulators can manipulate and transfer items in positions outside of their center of mass. This ability solves many problems that many operations face. For instance, applications may use industrial manipulators when:

    • A product’s weight is too heavy for manual movement by personnel
    • Products need to be moved to hard-to-access locations not easily reached by personnel, such as a tall shelf or when reaching into deep cabinets or machines
    • A product is either too hot or oily to the point that it puts people at risk of injury when moved by hand
    • Products require flipping or rotating
    • Personnel may experience dangerous levels of fatigue when manually moving a product
    • High volumes of products need rapid transport

    Industrial Manipulator vs. Jib Arm Balancers

    When considering either industrial manipulators or jib arm balancers, certain differences between these two devices will help you determine which is right for your application.

    How do balancers work pneumatic cylinders enable the movember ot the cables in balancers

    Balancers work best for transporting lightweight objects featuring standard shapes, as opposed to heavier loads that industrial manipulators more effectively handle. Jib arm balancers, like other balancers, use either nylon or steel cables to move products vertically, whereas manipulators and other equipment without cables rely on a rigid arm.

    How Do Balancers Work?

    Pneumatic cylinders enable the movement of the cables in balancers. As the cylinders of balancers open or shut, their cables move up or down along the balancer. In some cases, machines may fit cable systems onto horizontal arms, which facilitates movement around a central point, while the cables perform all of the lifting. Some balancers may be capable of limited product manipulation via tooling, provided the manipulation features a small center of mass.

    Industries for Industrial Manipulators & Jib Arm Balancers

    Industries for industrial manipulators, building, packaging, textiles, chemistry, food, mechanics, wood, electromechanics, automotive.

    Depending on the needs of different applications, facilities may use either industrial manipulators or jib arm balancers for improved material handling capabilities. Some specific applications for these devices include:

    • Building: Applications in the construction and building manufacturing industries frequently use industrial manipulators to assist with handling a variety of materials, including drainage pipes, paving slabs, concrete products, and many other heavy loads.
    • Packaging and Packaging Lines: In many cases, companies in the packaging industry will need to move products of varying sizes and shapes, such as pallets, boxes, drums, and plastic rolls. These and other products require lifting solutions that are dependable, adaptable, and versatile for use with many types of products.
    • Textiles: Textile applications rely on industrial manipulators to handle rolls of different materials and sizes.
    • Chemistry and Foundry: These industries often use industrial manipulators to handle and lift a variety of hazardous chemicals to minimize the risk of exposure to employees. Foundries may also use industrial manipulators to handle other heavy items, including crucibles, foundry buckets, molds, rims, foundry pieces, and precision castings.
    • Food: Industrial manipulators carry many food products such as whole cheeses and other dairy products, meats, bottles, processed food packaging, food bags, and carton boxes.
    • Mechanics: Industrial manipulators’ rigid steel arms can complete a multitude of tasks that involve complex pneumatic rotations and tilts.
    • Wood: Industrial manipulators’ capabilities also enable them to carry and handle many wood products of varying shapes, sizes, and weights.
    • Electromechanics: The electromechanical industry frequently experiences ergonomic problems due to the frequent handling of bulky products. Industrial manipulators handle and carry electromechanical products such as tubes, TVs, appliances, and air conditioners, among others.
    • Automotive: Large and heavy automotive parts often require handling assistance. Industrial manipulators assist with lifting and handling batteries, wheels, doors, bodywork, glass, dashboards, seats, and more.

    Industrial Manipulators from Unidex

    Reliable industrial manipulators support the health and safety of workers while enhancing workplace efficiency.  At Unidex, we offer a selection of high-quality industrial manipulator solutions, including overhead-mounted, ECL electric column lift, EH electric-hydraulic manipulators, jib arms, and more. We also offer customized solutions based on your specifications.

    For more details about our industrial manipulators and other products and services, contact us today and we’ll put you in touch with one of our experts.

  5. 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?

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    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.

  6. 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.



  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. Hydraulic vs. Pneumatic Lift 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 the 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.

  10. 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.