For hydraulic cylinder manufacturer Best Metal Products, a great solution is something you don’t mess around with.
The company purchased a 600 kg capacity G-Force to handle their increasingly heavy products in 2009 and they knew they had found a lifting solution they could bank on for the future.
"There was a definite 'wow factor' the first time we saw the G-Force," said Matt Malfroid, Quality & Training Supervisor for Best Metal Products. "Everyone who touched it was amazed with the ability to float such large parts."
As it turns out, the employees using the G-Force weren't the only ones impressed. The company is very proactive in injury prevention, and hosts an annual visit by a local physician to evaluate the work processes and highlight anything that might be an injury risk.
"They were really impressed this year," said Malfroid. "As we've expanded, we've been very conscious of putting in solutions that really help out workers and reduce the risk of injury. The physician that came in really liked what he saw in the GForce."
The original G-Force installed was a 600 kg capacity Q model with Float Mode and a high capacity magnet to grip parts. The G-Force was installed onto an existing Gorbel work station crane with a 1,000 kg capacity aluminum bridge. It is used to in assembling hydraulic cylinders that measure 2.5 to 3.5 M long and weigh over 500 kgs.
"Since we installed the first G-Force, we've added an entirely new work bay for machining these heavier cylinders," said Malfroid. "We didn't need to shop around. We knew we liked the GForce, so we brought in two more."
The new work cell is covered by a Gorbel work station crane with two 2 tonne capacity aluminum bridges. Each bridge holds a 600 kg capacity GForce to lift large cylinders into CNC Mazak lathes and back draft welding tables.
Prior to the G-Force units, workers were lifting the heavy components by hand, and injuries were piling up. "We just didn't have a safe way to lift them," said Malfroid. "It was all by man power, mostly using multiple people per lift. We were having back injuries, stress and strains of shoulders. Those are obviously things we want to avoid."
Worker response to the G-Force was immediately positive, and there has not been a single lifting injury since they were installed.
"They are using it everyday, which keeps them from lifting anything manually," said Malfroid.