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Ergonomic & Workspace Solutions for Warehousing, Distribution & Manufacturing Facilities

Ergonomic & Workspace Solutions for Warehousing, Distribution & Manufacturing Facilities

Freight Elevator or Vertical Conveyor?

A potential customer called today with a dilemma.  He has a new building going up and will need a way to move material to a second level of the building.   He has been told that he will need a freight elevator, but he doesn’t have the budget.  He asked if we had any solutions.

An affordable alternative to a freight elevator is a Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor or VRC.  This equipment is designed to move materials, not people, so it is much less expensive (1/3 the cost) of a freight elevator. 

The VRC is generally designed for the application, to the load sizes, weights and characteristics of each operation.  We have worked on lifts as small as 30″ x 30″ up to giant VRC’s big enough to lift 2 cars.  One or more stops can be designed into the lift, with entries and exits on various sides of the platform, so they are very flexible.  We have even used VRC’s to replace old, outdated freight elevators.   Many VRC’s are used in applications where people have been transporting materials up stairways.  That can be a really expensive injury!

Some time ago, I had a customer call and say that they had been lifting barrels to a mezzanine level with a forklift and that they had dropped a barrel.  It caused a huge incident, with the local fire department, HAZMAT, EPA and the associated clean-up.  They were lucky that no one was hurt.  We quoted and installed a VRC for them.  They were so happy with the improvement in safety and productivity that they bought a second VRC for another location. 

A VRC can be a big savings, not only in the initial project cost, but in the longer-term for process improvement and a much higher level of safety.