Putting the Force behind Keg Palletising

A Major Brewer identified the need to check weight/volume of kegs that were full.

A high risk of serious injury was evident if an operator was to lift full capacity kegs and transport them from the end of the conveyor line, to a scale and then to a pallet.  The kegs when full weigh 63 kilograms.  Further issues arose if the kegs were below the required weight.  This meant that they would need to be returned to the fill line for a top up.  In this instance, movement of transporting the keg could be doubled, increasing chances of injury for the operator.

A smooth transition was needed, to lift the product and place kegs onto a pallet.  After discussions with the end users, Materials Handling Pty Ltd discovered the key application to solve this dilemma would be the installation of a lifting system for moving kegs from conveyor line to pallets.  Such installation would require minimum effort of the operator and remove all possibilities of lifting heavy kegs.  Furthermore, the Major Brewer wanted to replicate human movement and stressed the importance of mimicking human motion and improved ergonomics.

The product chosen was the GForce Intelligent Lift Device (IAD) suspended from a Gorbel workstation, jib fitted, with patented low friction roller technology.  The GForce IAD only places a maximum of 20 grams of effort on the operator’s hand, allowing them to lift high capacity loads via the hand control (which is directly connected to the end tool).  The GForce patented lifting technology sense the input by the operator and load weight and controls lift speed accordingly.

The new system also required a mechanical end tool which would attach to kegs lifting them safely and quickly, without disengaging any levers.  Materials Handling Pty Ltd provided an end tool design solution to combat this problem.  The design ensured lifting was conducted via the handle, which engaged/disengaged automatically.  To address the check weighing requirements, a load cell fitted with digital readout was incorporated into the GForce.  This provided a fast indication of the key weight. Materials Handling Pty Ltd provided a system that was extremely functional and successful.  It has been further implemented across 5 different locations nationally, in the warehouse environment for order picking.

Putting the Force behind Keg Palletising

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