The focus of Aerolift has always been designing custom made vacuum lifting solutions. But in the last years our focus has shifted a bit. Did we stop designing custom made? No. Did we stop designing and producing vacuum lifting solutions? No, no, no, of course not! On the contrary even, we believe vacuum lifting technology is the best lifting method there is. But, if our focus still is designing custom made vacuum lifting solutions, what has changed? In this article we tell you all about it.
How we started out
Aerolift Industrials B.V. was founded in the early 60s as part of the Nagron organisation. A small company which specialised in the development and production of vacuum lifting devices. In that time a new and innovative lifting method. Soon the vacuum lifting devices where used in several industries, but the real breakthrough was in the precast concrete production industry. The special features of vacuum lifting technology offered advantages which optimised the production tremendously:
- Demoulding after 8 till 10 hours, instead of 24 hours;
- Attachment and detachment done in seconds by a push on the button;
- After attachment and demoulding, turning in the air;
- No embeds needed which saves in manpower and investment costs;
- No damage to the concrete product;
- Efficient use of storage space.
Did you know? Some vacuum lifters of Nagron are still used or circulate in the second-hand market. These vacuum lifters are at least 40 years old and still function properly. This is the quality Aerolift still stands for.
Worldwide known for high quality vacuum lifters
Over time, Aerolift became an understanding, not only in the Netherlands, but worldwide. Our vacuum lifting devices are now used in the concrete industry, tunnelling industry, metal industry, paper roll industry, offshore industry, wind turbine industry, the oil and gas industry and so on. Any product with an airtight surface can be handled by vacuum technology. But this also brings us to the limitations of vacuum lifting technology. A lot, but not all products are suited to be handled by vacuum technology.
Limitations of vacuum lifting technology
All Aerolift vacuum lifters are solely designed with a high vacuum, reaching a vacuum level up to 96%. The vacuum pump runs idle and if there is not any form of leakage at the product or the lifter, the product stays attached forever. Even in the situation of a power failure and the pump shuts down, the attachment stays strong. In case of doubt to whether a product is airtight enough, we can test it at our storage facility, MHZ B.V. Another important requirement of the product: sufficient inherent strength. For example: if we try to lift a container at the top by vacuum technology, we will only lift the roof due to the limited strength of the welds.
Time brings changes
But, with more as 60 years of knowledge and experience in designing custom made vacuum lifting solutions, our focus shifted a little. It started several years ago by designing and producing the first hydraulic paper gripper. For this customer we already designed several vacuum lifting solutions to handle paper rolls in automated paper mills. To be shipped by sea, paper rolls are wrapped into a paper seal, disabling the possibility to be handled by vacuum. The wrap would simply be ripped off. Although it couldn’t be done by vacuum technology, the customer requested us to design a lifting solution which included the same sort advantages as a vacuum lifter. The first Aerolift lifting solution not based on vacuum technology!
Focus shifted to complete lifting solutions
After years of designing solely vacuum lifting solutions we expanded our focus. Not to lift everything, but to offer complete lifting solutions. Three examples of complete lifting solutions which includes lifting without vacuum:
- Of course, for the paper roll industry we design solutions to lift both unwrapped and wrapped paper rolls;
- For the tunnelling industry we offer solutions from production of the tunnel segments till construction in the tunnel boring machine (TBM). Including a handling solution to transport a stack of tunnel segments;
- For the oil & gas industry we develop solutions to handle from plate till (concrete coated) pipe.
Although, we do not only design vacuum lifting solutions, all our lifting solutions are designed to offer the same sort of advantages, such as speed, no damage, ease of use, less manpower and of course safety.
Complete lifting solution for your industry?
Are you looking for a lifting solution for the complete handling process in your industry? Don’t hesitate to contact the Aerolift experts. Over the years we developed a wealth of experience and knowledge in many different industries. We are looking forward to discuss the possibilities for your specific situation.