Loading boards onto machinery can be an arduous task for operators within a woodworking production facility. Often this can be a two person task and comes with the risk of injury. It can also slow down the speed of production.

A solution to this is Vacuum Tube Lifting Technology, which offers a safe, simple and effective solution to product lifting and positioning in the workplace. Palamatic has worked with customers within the woodworking industry for 35 years to understand the most effective methods that work best for the operator.

A vacuum tube lifter offers a very safe and easy solution for moving product within a manufacturing process. It consists of an electric vacuum pump, a lift tube assembly and an end effector. The system lifts via suction created by the vacuum in a similar way a vacuum cleaner sucks up dust and makes the product weightless to the operator.

The jib or suspension crane that the lifting systems are hung from is critical to offering an ergonomic solution that works for the operator. Palamatic can provide H Style gantry systems to cover large areas, but its popular smaller swing jibs and low headroom centre posts can fit into areas where space is an issue.

Whether the application is to lift boards, doors or furniture, it is crucial to understand the sequence of operation in full and the characteristics of the product being handled when choosing a lifting solution.

The most common wood materials handled by Palamatic’s lifting systems include Trespa Jumbo boards, Spandrel panels, MDF, MFC, Chipboard, Wood, Plywood, Sterling board, Plasterboard and Polycarbonate.

Products handled include boards, doors, furniture, staircases, planks, timber sections, laminate surfaces and cabinets.

Applications Palamatic regularly provides equipment for include loading and unloading vertical panel saws, beam saws, dimension saws, flat bed CNC stations edgebanders, laminators, paint lines, and tilt tables.

Palamatic is also often asked to rotate boards through 90 degrees or 180 degrees for loading and unloading purposes. Another common request is to grip doors by their edges, instead of using suction on the flat face, for example to avoid wet paint/glue, which its systems can do with ease.

With Palamatic’s 22,000 sq ft factory based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, the company is well placed to visit customer sites, and for customers to send it samples to test prior to manufacturing their vacuum tube lifter. Palamatic uses its on-site fabrication centre to design solutions where an element of the application is unique to the customer.

To meet health and safety regulations, it is crucial that equipment is serviced regularly. Palamatic offers service contracts that include a thorough examination of customer equipment, and replacement of parts to keep equipment and production running.