May 16, 2018

Spotlight on... ergonomic equipment

This month, we take a look at products designed to prevent workplace injuries.

By DC Velocity Staff

Adjustable workstation: Newcastle Systems has introduced the Apex series height-adjustable workstation, a mobile cart that's suitable for employees working in manufacturing industries such as aerospace, automotive, and electronics. The unit gives operators and managers full-screen access to enterprise resource planning, manufacturing execution, and other information systems while on the move. Manufacturing floor associates can go from standing to sitting with the touch of a button, enabling them to complete tasks quickly and safety, the company says. The workstation features a 30- to 40-inch height range (from floor to top shelf). Newcastle Systems

Voice vest: Ehrhardt + Partner Solutions (E+P), a provider of supply chain execution software solutions, has launched Lydia Voice 8, an upgrade to its voice workflow-driven supply chain solution. Workers wear a "voice vest" that's outfitted with specialized microphones and directionally optimized speakers to ensure a premier worker experience in noisy environments. The company says voice vests are an attractive option to wearing headsets in warm or open-air environments, where headgear can become burdensome.

Lydia Voice 8 modernizes phonetic and word-based word recognition models and delivers almost-perfect recognition rates, the company says. In addition, it eliminates time-consuming voice template training to boost productivity, and streamlines support and onboarding of new, temporary, and day-labor voice-enabled workers.

In addition, Lydia Voice 8 was designed to eliminate the labor-intensive multisite IT responsibilities associated with a typical voice project, with Lydia Voice Enterprise SiteSwitcher with dynamic setup. The capability enables IT people to set up voice device network security and WAN (wide-area network) profiles from a central location. The devices are then smart enough to adapt to each location's network security access protocol. This is extremely useful for businesses that centralize device configuration or move devices from one location to another due to shifting workload requirements. Ehrhardt + Partner Solutions

Automated material transfer system: J-tec Industries has introduced an automated material transfer system called Carrymatic. The system's smart carts and line transfer stations communicate via Wi-Fi with a vehicle interface module that can be attached to any tugger vehicle. The carts are pulled in a train by a manned tugger vehicle (manual mode) or unmanned AGV (auto mode) through facilities, moving cargo automatically on and off the carts and stations at the line in a "no-touch" mode. Operators never touch materials being delivered. Powered rollers on Carrymatic carts and stations move cargo on and off the train. According to the company, this system eliminates safety risks when using fork trucks at line locations, reduces inventory costs, and improves delivery rates. J-tec Industries

Pallet leveler: Designed to improve both productivity and safety, Southworth Products Corp.'s PalletPal 360 level loaders provide fully automatic height adjustment when loading and unloading pallets.

Heavy-duty springs automatically lower or raise a pallet as weight is added or removed, maintaining the top layer of boxes at a convenient height. A turntable ring (or optional turntable platform) at the top of the PalletPal allows the user to spin the load so the operator can remain in the same spot throughout the loading or unloading process, making work faster, safer, and easier, the company says.

The compact base design allows workers complete 360-degree access to loads. Because all of the PalletPal 360's components are contained within the diameter of the turntable ring, there are no protrusions, projections, or obstructions, so reach-over zones are eliminated.

The unit requires no power and is maintenance-free, the company says. Fork pockets at the base allow for easy relocation. The PalletPal can accommodate loads weighing from 400 to 4,500 pounds, depending on which of five spring packages the customer chooses. Southworth Products Corp.

Presto Lifts PowerStack

Compact stackers: The PowerStak line of compact fully powered stackers from Presto Lifts are loaded with ergonomic, convenience, and performance-enhancing features, the company says.

PowerStak units are built on a short yet extremely stable wheelbase to increase maneuverability, even in tight quarters. An ergonomically designed handle puts all controls within reach for maximum operator comfort and convenience. Forward- and reverse-drive thumb switches are located on both sides of the handle to accommodate left- or right-handed operation. The unit's narrow mast and offset control handle allow a clear forward view. An auto-reversing belly switch protects operators from potential injury when walking the unit backwards, while an automatic brake halts travel when the drive/steering handle is released. Presto ECOA Lifts

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