Sheet metal handling

Metal plates are often handled by clamps and magnets, depending on if the plate is magnetic or non-magnetic. Sheet metal handling of magnetic and non-magnetic plates can easily be done by vacuum technology. Including steel, aluminium, copper, stainless steel and other metal alloys. Compared to other lifting systems, vacuum technology offers several impressive advantages.

Heavy lifting of crude steel slabs and other castings

The processing of metals starts in a blast furnace, where the metals are melted and cast into crude steel slabs or other casting forms. The material is formed into coils or sheet metals, ready for shipping. Moving a payload of this calibre involves extremely heavy handling. The biggest vacuum lifter we designed, is the biggest vacuum lifter in the world and able to lift steel plates up to 85 tons! Aerolift lifting solutions are exceptionally safe for all manner of sheet metal handling. Together with the customer, Aerolift will find the most efficient solution for handling your metal products.

Safety first

All our lifters comply with the most stringent safety standards. For example, all Aerolift vacuum lifters are secured with an alarm system and guarantee load attachment in case of a power failure. The operator is able to read the vacuum level continuously during operation. If the vacuum level in the tack or under the suction pads drops below 80% the vacuum lifter emits a clear visual and audio signal to warn the operator. In addition, all Aerolift vacuum lifters are engineered and built to ensure that in the event of a technical failure it takes at least several minutes for the vacuum pressure to drop halfway. This leaves sufficient time for taking measures to lower the load safely to floor level or support the load in any other way.

From semi-finished product to end product

The metal coils or metal sheets are used as semi-finished products in metal cutting and processing mills. Here, the material is processed into a new, semi-finished product or an end product. Some examples:

  • pipes;
  • skin sheeting for ships hulls;
  • walls;
  • aircraft wings;
  • steel plates of the windmill tower;
  • steel construction profiles.

The vacuum lifters of Aerolift offer optimal support for all type of storage, intern transport and material handling. In addition to manually controlled vacuum lifters, Aerolift manufactures fully automated systems as well.

Handling ferro and non-ferro metals by vacuum technology

When a conventional material handling system is used, non-ferro metals such as aluminium, copper and stainless steel are mostly handled with chains or clamps, with surface damages as result. Handling metals with vacuum technology offers distinct advantages over traditional systems:

  • no risk of load damage;
  • faster handling with less labour;
  • no spacers or stoppers needed for storage.

Magnetic metals are often still handled using magnets. Vacuum handling can boost your efficiency by:

  • increased lifting capacity due to low-weight lifter;
  • lower capital investment;
  • no heavy-duty backup power necessary;
  • no residual magnetism;
  • perfect control on the plate to handle;
  • no spacers or stoppers needed for storage;
  • free of magnetic interference and other environmental influences (think of ships compasses and gyros).

What’s more, the vacuum lifter uses considerably less power than magnetic sheet metal handling (3kW to lift 10 ton and 5kW to lift 20 ton).

More information about our sheet metal lifting solutions?

Would you like to know more about our sheet metal lifting solutions? Contact Aerolift and we discuss the possibilities for your project.