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LiftEase Panel Waltzer

Low profile lifting device that sits inside the panel.
  [vote for,

Essentially this is a small footprint hydraulic lifter a la pallet lifter. Where it scores over a pallet lifter is its range of movement an the ability to fit into small spaces.
I am currently working on a job that requires the production of about 65 control panels, some of which are up to 7 metres long and are shipped to site in four or so sections (sectional dimensions WxHxD approx 1800x2000x600).
Obviously these things are quite heavy. The sections need to be bolted to the floor in 6 places and also connected seamlessly together.
In mechanical plant rooms the world over the accepted practice is to use a pallet lift to get the panels close and then 6 to 8 burly chaps to wiggle the panels close together and also over some predrilled holes that will then accept the fixing bolts.
This process has taken us considerable time and resource with some mixed results (in part due to the labour force!).
We usually cannot use any form of external engine lift or A-Frame due to lack of space. Additionally roping and toekicking is out as we have no frame to rope over.

The panel is also mounted on a small (100mm) plinth fixed to the bottom providing a small hollow space below the panel floor. May I suggest a small rectangular (WxHxD circa 400x800x100) hydraulic lifter that can be placed *inside* the floor of the panel once the steel plate has been removed. perhaps with retractable arms at the middle of each side. The lifter should have 4 ball and socket type castors of strong (nylon/PTFE) construction.
The panel floor is rigid enough to support the weight of the panel at these four points.
A smaller version of the pallet lifter arm could then be employed to raise the panel approx 40mm; just enough to clear the floor and any prefixed bolts. The manoeuvring will now be achievable by 1 to 2 not so burly mates.
When location is acceptable the release brake to the lift arm will gently drop the panel over the bolts ready for tightening. In multiple sections the panels can be bolted together prior to dropping with the use of more than one lifter, thus negating the necessity for countless G-Clamps and sweat.
The lifter is then simply removed from the bottom of the panel (through the doors) and the panel floor is replaced
Believe me, if this is baked it would make my day. Unfortunately, I have been unable to Google a whiff.

gnomethang, Jun 11 2003

Panellizer. http://barryowen.pw...kery/Panellizer.jpg
Crap Drawing showing sort of what I mean. [gnomethang, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

custom lifting equipment designer http://www.cedpackaging.com/prod11.htm
your best bet. [ato_de, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

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       [thumbwax] Thanks for the solidarity. I removed the text and have modified the original to try and explain why roping and toekicking will not work in most of our situations.
gnomethang, Jun 11 2003

       How about (something like) an engine lift? Or are you looking for something more like a floor jack?
phoenix, Jun 11 2003

       [phoenix] I can't use an engine lift because an equivalent sized lift for something this big could not fit in most of our working spaces.
What I am trying to achieve is a jack that can be placed centrally inside the panel under the floor and be able to lift via the panel base and not the attached metal plinth. In this way there are no extremeties of the jack showing and it can be lifted out of the bottom of the panel when finished.
gnomethang, Jun 11 2003

       It looks to me like you might be well on your way to a do-it-yourself item. Building the mechanical part shouldn't be much more difficult than the actual frames; if you make it a scissors-action, you can use a rather generic hydraulic ram - check out the ones used for auto body work, such as the Porta-Power.   

       The best premade I could find was a "hydraulic spreader", but it's not made to roll around once it's open. (Although a welder and some casters could fix that...)
lurch, Jun 11 2003

       TY [lurch] and [ato]. I'll have to sweet talk someone into paying for the Baking of it!
gnomethang, Jun 12 2003

       URL tip: instead of telling people the username and password to type for your link, you can include them in the URL itself, just to the right of the http://.
krelnik, Jun 12 2003

       Why not just set the frames down on big globs of grease? They would be easily scootable then, maybe even by one nonburly type.
bungston, Jun 12 2003

       Thanks [krelnik]. The reason that I didn't was because I didn't know that you could!
gnomethang, Jun 13 2003


       Even if it would work I don't think that the project management would like it.
Might be worth a try on the smaller ones though!
gnomethang, Jun 13 2003

       One more idea (though I like yours)...   

       Why not have small dimples (slightly wider and deeper than the casters on the bottom of the panels) cut into the control room floor, so that the casters could plop into them? You push the panel, on casters, into position, and then it falls into place. Separate holes for bolts would allow permanent attachment.
shapu, Aug 04 2004

       [shapu] There are no castors on the panel. The castors are on the lifting device. I can see what you are saying and I thought of castors on the plinth but then it wouldn't be a plinth.
I think that tolerance and the lack of uniformity of floor also cause problems.
gnomethang, Aug 04 2004


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