The rekord Fenster + Türen GmbH & Co. KG company is the proud and satisfied owner of the 1,500th piece of Easy-Lift handling equipment sold by Bystronic glass. Since 1998, the device has been impressing customers from the glass processing industry with its rigid guidance and its own low dead weight. Also the use of the Easy-Lift by window and door manufacturers has long since ceased to be an exception to the rule: In recent years, the handling equipment has gradually asserted itself due to the fact that it is extremely flexible in terms of frame design and therefore ideally meets the special requirements of this sector. The rekord company is an excellent example of this.
The window and door manufacturer based in Dägeling, North Germany purchased its first Easy-Lift, which also happened to be the 1,500th device of this type manufactured by Bystronic glass, as well as a lightweight craneway – a good enough reason to pay both the customer and the milestone device a visit. Dirk Wiebensohn who, as Technical Manager, is responsible for the production processes at rekord was made aware of the Easy-Lift handling equipment by a supplier with the purpose to restructure window production with wood-aluminium frames in Dägeling. Following the initial contact and individual consultancy with Weichsel GmbH, the company responsible for the sales and service of Bystronic glass handling equipment in North Germany, it quickly became apparent that the rigid guidance of the Easy-Lift provides the best solution for the rekord company.
Work ergonomically and economically
This rigid load guidance is the great advantage of the Easy-Lift: “As a result, the insulating glass unit can always be suctioned in such a way that its lower edge is completely horizontal when hanging in the air, without manual intervention by the operator”, says rekord company’s Production Manager, Michael Bistram. During the subsequent insertion of the insulating glass unit into the window frame, the operator need not manually assist the fitting of the element into the frame. Previously, the rekord company worked with simple manual suction pads, track-mounted handling equipment and pure “physical strength”. Dirk Wiebensohn was quickly convinced that this old working style simply could not compare to the Easy-Lift as track-mounted equipment always tends to transport the hanging load unevenly at an angle. Thanks to the Easy-Lift, it is no longer necessary for the operator to perform time-consuming readjustments to the insulating glass units. “Consequently, we are able to work ergonomically and economically at the same time. The Easy-Lift is an investment in the company’s future as well as our employees who now have peace of mind thanks to the technology”, states Michael Bistram.
Flexibly adjustable, individually deployable
However, the handling equipment not only had to be ergonomic and economical for rekord; it also had to be practical for everyday use. “When it comes to the daily routine, only items like Easy-Lift that provide a tangible relief are able to champion themselves. It represents a practically-oriented solution with almost intuitive operation that provides both ourselves and our employees with a true added value”, says the Production Manager based upon experience. Easy-Lift demonstrates flexibility regarding the adjustment of its suction pads. “During the production of window elements and doors, we often have to deal with ‘disturbing’ frame parts, external sash bars and different glass surface heights. The suction pads of the Easy-Lift are spring-mounted, therefore accommodating height compensation. Furthermore, they can be adjusted as required: The outer pads are equipped with extendable arms and the pads located in the central area can be quickly and individually adjusted in the X and Y axes in order to enable a safe suction at all times”, explains Dietmar Weichsel, Managing Director of Weichsel GmbH.
Special hoists for doors
Rekord was and remains so satisfied with this first Easy-Lift that the company wasted no time in purchasing six additional devices together with three lightweight craneways. However, the hoists will not be used to lift insulating glass units into window frames on this occasion. “We required hoists at our recently established quality station to insert window sashes and doors in frames”, says Dirk Wiebensohn. For this purpose, rekord obtained two Easy-Lift devices complete with flexible suction pads and four special versions without suction pads that are equipped with graspers and grippers instead. “We use these special devices without suction pads in order to safely and precisely transport heavy doors that due to their paintwork, cannot be moved with suction pads. The construction looks simple yet it is amazing and functions without any problems whatsoever”, reports Dirk Wiebensohn. The rigid lifting guidance principle is also advantageous here as the load on the Easy-Lift is always at a controlled inclination. Consequently, the doors that are positioned on lower graspers and are held in position from above using easily adjustable grippers, which do not have to be laterally secured. “To date, this design is unique and specially tailored to rekord”, says Dietmar Weichsel and Dirk Wiebensohn emphasises: “With regard to this special construction, Bystronic glass clearly profited from its decade-long experience with handling equipment in the glass processing industry.”
Investment rapidly recouped
“Based upon our experience of using the various Easy-Lift equipment in our window and door production every day for a period of over one year, we can now say that we definitely made the correct decision”, say Michael Bistram and Dirk Wiebensohn in unison. “We are impressed by these ergonomic and reliable hoists that optimise our production processes.” The times when rekord had to work on a two-shift basis in order to deliver orders on time are a thing of the past. “Following the restructuring and thanks to the use of the Easy-Lift equipment, we now complete our work in a single shift. That saves both time and money, meaning that the investment was quickly recovered.” As a result, rekord has already ordered the next Easy-Lift complete with lightweight craneway which will be delivered in spring 2013.