News: Know it’s worth… So much more than just a ‘Box-Lifter’

News

NERAK have been designing, manufacturing and installing Continuous Platform Elevators, also known as Boxlifters for nearly 30 years. When we consider the array of products in the NERAK portfolio, it has to be one of the most versatile.

The design – given away by its name centres around a series of continually rotating horizontal platforms, linked to rubber belts and conveyors, which are controlled by motors and sensors to travel over a series of shafts from an infeed to an outfeed.

These Elevators can convey packages, cartons, product and totes from one floor level to another and are used in Manufacture, Distribution and Production Applications around the world.

 

Feedback from our customers tell us that from a cost perspective these lift systems have always delivered a significant and continual return on investment.

 

Purchasing decisions in our experience are centred on these key areas of focus;

Why would this machine be right for us?

Boxlifters are a great solution if you need to convey modular unit loads up to a maximum dimension of 1200(l) x 1000(w) x 600mm(h).

One of the defining factors of a boxlifter is that it’s a high throughput solution but it can also be used to continuously convey product at a slow speed, which may be necessary for applications used in production or manufacturing environments.

They have a smaller footprint than incline belts and Spiral Elevators so if floor space is at a premium its a great option.

They are commonly used for single floor applications and convey materials up to 40 metres high in either an upwards or downwards direction. They have the facility to run in reverse.

If you require a high throughput but need this over multiple floor levels, we can use conveyors to link multiple Boxlifters together.

 

Will this lift achieve our required Throughput?

If you are looking to convey anything from 400 to 2400 units an hour, depending on your chosen configuration and product size, this lift will indeed deliver the required throughput.

 

Does it come under LOLER Regulations?

No, one of the great things about these machines is simply that due to the way they operate, they don’t fall under the requirements of LOLER. They are classed as vertical conveyors as a result of its continuous process.

 

 

What are the maintenance and spare part requirements like?

Our Aftercare team will provide you with a Spare Parts Package Quotation along with your Operating Manual which details common wear parts we recommend you keep on site.

These machines require very low levels of maintenance and as such cost is kept to a minimum. As an average we would suggest that if your machine is operating for more than 18 hours a day or more – servicing should be completed twice a year. If you are using your lift 12 hours a day or less one service a year should be sufficient. We recommend your engineers complete regular checks as best practice.

 

If a platform did become damaged or needed replacing they are easily removed using one of our Platform Remover Tools.

You can also send your Platforms back to us and take advantage of our Platform Refurbishment Programme which encourages flexibility to release platforms at your convenience to reduce the impact of downtime. You can send them back to us or we can uplift them, whichever is preferred.

We review each platform on an individual basis and only replace parts which are needed. We then clean all the parts before re-assembling the platform and return it to the customer ensuring they look like new again…. This is a great way to maximise the longevity of the parts and the platforms, keeping on top of regular maintenance checks and keeping costs to a minimum.

The largest component within a continuous platform elevator that you may require NERAK, or your own engineers to change over would be your rubber belts.

These belts contain embedded vulcanised cables which make them incredibly strong. They have no links, are silent-running, wear-resistant and virtually maintenance free – qualities further enhanced by their corrosion-free design. Moreover, operation with the rubber block chain is extremely cost-effective as there is no need for lubrication, regular adjustment and re-tensioning.

 

What’s it’s longevity?

Well maintained Continuous Platform Elevators can last for 10 or more years.

 

How user friendly is it?

Very user friendly! “These lifts can just be left to run” and when they do require maintenance everything is simple to remove and to reinstall through easy access mesh paneling which surrounds the lift shaft. The lifts contain sensors which monitor the flow of product running through the lift system. When there is a gap in the flow of product being conveyed, the lifts will move into sleep mode until the sensor is triggered by the next rotation of product joining the in-feed at which point the lift exits sleep mode and returns to normal operation. This is a great way of reducing energy costs of your operation.

The lifts can either be supplied with all the internal safety functions wired back to a junction box, ready to be incorporated in your control system or they can come with a full set of controls as part of a small integrated system.

Is it versatile enough to adapt as our business evolves?

Absolutely… We are able to review the lifts on a case by case basis to discuss adding more platforms should your throughput requirements increase.

If your physical work-space needs to change and you find that you may need to re-address the configuration of your lift to a different shape or extend or shorten some of the conveyors, we can undertake a site visit to review the possibilities of doing this.

If your machine has standard platforms which accommodate loads of up to 25kg and your product conveying requirements evolve, it’s possible to reinforce these so they can accommodate up to 50kg weights.

 

How does it compare to the chain conveyor?

The rubber belts in these lifts keep noise levels to a minimum – they are near silent running which is really important for operatives working in the vicinity of the lift/s during long shifts.

Rubber belts are quicker to changeover than the chains in chain conveyors. A customer who has both types of lift says that changing rubber belts in a NERAK lift take four hours less than it does it a chain conveyor and this is important as it means that not only is there a cost saving through time but also that a full changeover can be completed in one shift rotation.

There is no need for lubrication on the rubber belts as they are corrosion free whereas chain conveyors need to be kept greased. They come pre-stretched so do not need continual re-calibration which leads to a significant reduction in maintenance and downtime.

 

Do the lifts have a warranty?

Yes, NERAK offers a 12 month warranty which is validated through NERAK commissioning the lift system

 

Which other companies use these lifts?

XPO Logistics, Amazon, Next, New Look, DHL, Muller, OCS, Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport and many more….

Boxlifters in an E-Commerce Distribution Facility

 

 

 

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