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Industry: Agricultural/Food & Beverage Distributor in Rose Hill, NC

Challenge: Safety risk using forklift to move product between floor levels.

Solution: Install a material lift for safe transportation between floor levels.

Equipment: PFlow M-Series Mechanical Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor (VRC)

Finding a Better, Safer Way to Lift Materials Between Floors – Rose Hill NC Case Study

Challenge: Forklift Presented Safety Risk

Our agricultural food and beverage client in Rose Hill, NC had a safety concern with fork trucks lifting goods to their second level. Fork truck traffic in pedestrian areas was also a concern.

“It’s 20 feet from the second floor down,” says AEC Material Handling Specialist Brad Dowless. “The forklift would lift all the way up there, but for the driver it’s very difficult to see and hard to get materials up and down without hitting either the floor or the top of the second floor. Another challenge was the proximity to the wall, it was difficult for the forklift to maneuver safely.”

“Plus, there was a lot of pedestrian traffic in that area. Without a protective cage, there was always a risk of falling products.”

“A Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor (VRC) is a vertical elevator lift strictly for materials.”

Solution: Safe & Cost-Effective Material Lifting

To eliminate the safety risk, Dowless brought in a Mechanical Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor (VRC) from PFlow Industries. A VRC is basically an elevator lift strictly for materials. This provided the perfect, safest way to move goods to and from the second level.

VRC Features Provide Additional Safety

PFflow’s lift equipment offers many safety features. Addressing our client’s safety issue of falling products was the surrounding wire cage preventing any products from accidentally falling off and striking a pedestrian. On the second level, a deck lock was installed which prevents the platform from tipping in the event of too much weight being added. A pit was added prior to installation, allowing the platform to rest flush with the floor for smooth entering and exiting.

“From a safety standpoint, this is the best choice,” says Dowless. “It was also the most economical, labor-saving way to get away from a forklift and bring in an electric pallet jack at a lower cost. So it’s the right solution both from a safety and cost savings point of view.”

“A lot of industries are wanting to operate safer, go green and save cost by moving away from forklifts.”

Success: Performance Is Up & Cost Of Operation Is Down

In the time since the installation, Dowless has received positive feedback from our client.

“I went out there about a week ago and they’ve expressed how happy they are with it,” says Dowless. “Everybody likes it, it’s performing well, pedestrians are safe from falling products, and cost of operation is down by eliminating the forklift.”

PFlow Industries has a variety of VRCs that provide safe, economical ways to raise and lower materials in a variety of settings.

“Where this material lift really shines is with mezzanine work platforms,” says Dowless. “That way all you need is a pallet jack up on the top to load into the VRC. And an electric pallet jack at the bottom to receive and transfer.”

“A lot of industries are wanting to operate safer, go green and save cost by moving away from forklifts; especially in areas with high pedestrian traffic. These material lifts are the perfect answer.”

Engineer and material handling specialist, Brad Dowless specializes in packaging line integration, sortation and accumulation conveyor systems, distribution center conveyor systems, mobile aisle pallet rack systems, automatic storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), ergonomic lift and positioning equipment, heavy material lifts for floor-to-floor applications and mezzanine work platforms, modular offices and safety guarding (both custom and standard).


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