Ever wondered how the ancient Egyptians lifted the massive pyramid stones? They didn’t. A study suggests that they used a special contraption, similar to a sledge, to pull the heavy blocks over wet sand. Tiresome and tedious work that undoubtedly required great physical strength and effort, but then again, it was probably less challenging than lifting the blocks manually.
Another architectural marvel, the Taj Mahal, was built using a pulley system that helped lift and move the blocks of marble and other materials. Over the course of history, people have come up with all kinds of inventions to make the impossible, possible.
The Invention That Revolutionised Many Industries
Talking about raising big things, one of these inventions helped lift an entire nation out of the Great Depression quite literally. As you might have already guessed, the invention in question is the hoist.
Although it has been around since ancient times, the first major hoist design that helped transform many industries as we know them was invented around the 1930s by Fred R. Coffing. This heavy-duty chain hoist enabled farmers and manufacturers to lift loads, far heavier than before. And today, it’s one of the most important pieces of machinery for materials handling tasks.
What Is a Hoisting Equipment?
As one of the primary pieces of material handling equipment, the hoist uses a roller chain or wire rope to assist in lifting and lowering heavy loads. To put things in context, the elevator uses a hoisting mechanism to move the car up and down multi-story buildings.
Similarly, cranes also feature a hoist mechanism that enables the machine to lift heavy materials. But unlike cranes that can lift and move objects around, hoisting mechanisms can only raise the load vertically, allowing for smooth, direct-path lifting over obstacles.
What Are the Benefits of Using Hoisting Systems?
Nowadays, construction sites, automotive manufacturing plants, and warehouses all employ some sort of commercial hoisting equipment to optimize lifting operations. Wondering how hoisting systems can help your business? Keep on reading!
At the risk of stating the obvious, taking the manual strain out of material handling tasks contributes to a safer and more efficient working environment for everyone involved. By handling the heavy lifting, hoisting devices lower the risk of fatigue and injuries on the work site. And since they operate overhead over a specific area, employees can maintain a safe distance at all times.
Apart from saving time and effort, hoists also minimise product damage throughout warehousing and manufacturing operations. With multiple speed options and features, industrial hoists can handle various types of loads, gently and securely.
While it’s clear why you should consider employing this type of machinery in your business, it’s important to understand that not all hoisting systems are created equal.
Types of Hoist Lifting Equipment
When looking for hoisting equipment for sale, you’ll come across various types designed to meet the needs of different industries. This classification is based on the ways the equipment is powered, i.e there are:
- Manual hoists – These feature a lever-operated ratchet and pawl mechanism to lift/lower loads or apply/release tension. Tough, durable and cost-effective, manual hoists are typically used in the transport, marine, mining and construction industries.
- Electric hoists – Such hoists have electrically driven motors engineered to withstand extreme and hazardous conditions. Electric-powered hoists can be found anywhere from warehouses to automotive workshops.
- Pneumatic hoists – These machines feature pneumatically driven motors to lift and handle equipment safely in a potentially explosive atmosphere.
- Hydraulic hoists – Such hoists rely on an oil-based piston configuration to lift heavy and bulky objects. Marinas and shipyards often use hydraulic hoists to move boats in and out of the water as well as load and unload cargo.
How and Where Is Hoist Lifting Equipment Used?
Since hoist lifting equipment is easily portable, it can be used to complete a variety of tasks throughout your facility. For instance, if you’re running an assembly line, hoists can facilitate moving products through the production stages. Then, you can employ hoists for securing components when there’s a need for additional work. Next, you can use hoists to load finished products onto trailers for transportation or to move objects to and from storage areas.
You may be wondering how one device can have so many uses. The thing is, there are many application-specific attachments and accessories that add to the functionality of hoisting machines. These are commonly known as end effectors and include the following:
- Drum lifters – feature tongs or chains to lift or rotate plastic and steel drums.
- Pallet lifters – feature a fork to lift pallets from underneath.
- Slings – made of hard-wearing nylon, polyester, wire rope or chain used to lift heavy and unwieldy objects.
- Magnets – used to lift heavy ferrous objects with/without electricity.
- Vacuum lifters – feature an electric extraction pump and pads to create a vacuum.
- C-Hooks – designed to lift coils, rolls and pipes through their inner diameter.
The lists above make up only a small fraction of the hoists and end effectors available nowadays. What’s more, their purpose extends way beyond the industrial environment. There are dumbwaiters used to transport food within hospitality venues, mobile hoists used to help transport the elderly and disabled, car boot hoists for loading and unloading goods from vehicles and more.
With industrial hoist lifting equipment as the muscle behind your operations, you won’t only raise heavy loads, but you’ll also raise the bar for safety, productivity and efficiency within your business. Spare yourself and your employees the trouble and leave the gruelling task of lifting to the machines.
And one last thing before you go, keep in mind that not all hoisting systems have the same lifting capacity and functionality, so it’s important to select the right solution for your needs. When shopping for hoist lifting equipment online or in-store, it’s best to enquire expert advice to ensure you’re making a smart investment.
If you can’t find a suitable machine for your line of work, look for manufacturers that offer custom solutions with an on-site assessment to ensure you have a product that suits your specific requirements.