Custom device combines ergonomics and efficiency in the production of switch boxes

Thanks to vacuum lifting technology, our customer Ingela GmbH transports switch cabinets and boxes of different widths in a way that is gentle on people and materials.


Anyone who has ever had to carry a washing machine into the cellar knows how difficult this is. The box-shaped houskeeping helpers are not only extremely heavy, but also very unwieldy. So it can quickly happen that the appliance scratches the wall and is damaged. TheIngela GmbH from Bisingen in Germany also encountered this problem again and again during its switch cabinet production. The company develops and produces innovative control technology for machine and plant construction. The product spectrum ranges from the conception of systems to hardware and software development and the production of control cabinets and boxes.


Transport caused material damage

With the development from switch cabinet producer to engineering service provider, managing director Ingo Straub decided to accommodate the company in larger premises. In the process, the production hall was completely redesigned and optimized for a smooth production process. The recurring problem in the final assembly was also to be eliminated. After completion, the large switch cabinets with weights of up to 140 kg had to be loaded onto an appropriate transport rack. It always took two or three colleagues to interrupt their work and manually lift the heavy and unwieldy boxes into the high racks. It was particularly annoying when a product that had actually been delivered had to be repaired," recalls Ingo Straub.

Vacuum technology solves the problem

In search of a solution, Ingela decided to fall back on the power of vacuum. The electrical engineering experts chose AERO-LIFT: "The company has great references and we want to establish partners in the region".

We developed a tailor-made system solution for Ingela that significantly reduces the risk of damage and long-term injuries to employees. In order to cover the entire final assembly area, we installed a rail system of around 46 square meters. This allows users to be flexible and use the vacuum lifter at different workplaces. The low dead weight of the aluminum rails also makes it easy to mount them to the ceiling by means of suspension. With the smooth-running system, the box gripper together with the control cabinet can be moved without any effort.

The vacuum lifting device is a special design which is designed for different sizes of switch boxes. A total of four suction plates can be switched on and off depending on the width of the transported goods. Thanks to the spring-loaded suspension, the pick-up units adapt to the surface in a way that is gentle on the material. With a powerful pump and seals matched to the material to be transported, the unit has a load capacity of up to 150 kg despite its small size and double safety calculation. The torsion-free spiral cables allow the unit to be rotated in all directions. The vacuum lifter is placed on top of the material to be transported, sucked in by means of a manual sliding valve and then transported to the intended workplace.

Ingo Straub and his team are very satisfied with the lifting device: "After a short briefing the operation works very well overall". In the meantime, the employees have mastered routine handling and the solution has been integrated into the production process. Now even a mechanic can load and unload the transport racks on her own. The employees have become more motivated due to the independence they have gained and the physical relief: "They praise the fact that the employer has recognized a problem and is solving it," reports the managing director. In addition, the risk of damage to the finished products is extremely minimised. Altogether the handling solution makes itself noticeable by a general increase in efficiency. "The vacuum lifting device from AERO-LIFT makes our work much easier," summarizes Ingo Straub.


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Video of the application

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