Anyone working in the machine tool or metal machine repair industry knows that safety is of utmost importance. Up until fairly recently, in the last 25 years, workers relied on inefficient and unsafe freight elevators to lift heavy materials and complete day-to-day tasks. In some cases, workers even moved heavy equipment manually, putting themselves at even greater risk of injury.
Now, powerful and effective vertical lifts make it possible for workers to lift goods without expending unnecessary energy and risking serious injury to themselves. What’s more, vertical lifts work faster and more efficiently than laborers or freight elevators, boosting productivity as well.
The benefits are obvious. The only decision left to make is whether to utilize hydraulic material lifts or electric material lifts. Learn more about the distinctions below.
Hydraulic Material Lifts
A hydraulic material lift uses compression and hydraulic fluid to raise heavy equipment or materials. Specifically, hydraulic elevators are powered by a motor, cylinder, and piston. The motor pushes hydraulic fluid into the lift’s cylinder. From there, that fluid turns the piston and propels the lift upward.
While these lifts are certainly more efficient than the freight elevators or manual labor of the past, they still have some shortcomings. Hydraulic lifts are noisy, have a limited lifting capacity per hour, and require additional tools, like chains and cables, for especially heavy applications.
They also require oil that can heat up too quickly and possibly cause a malfunction. Keep all lifts working at their best by thoroughly cleaning them and doing it regularly. Regular cleaning prevents harmful buildup that can cause machines to break or to work less efficiently.
Electric Material Lifts
An electric material lift, on the other hand, relies on electric motors for steering and lifting.
The average electric material lift is more effective than the average hydraulic material lift for several reasons. Electric lifts do not rely on valves and hoses, making them markedly less susceptible to leaks and excess emissions.
The piston and compression associated with hydraulic lifts make their movements somewhat unstable or jerky. By comparison, electric motors are much smoother and allow for more precise movement. Best of all, there is virtually no difference in these machines’ carrying or lifting capacity, meaning an electric material lift is just as effective as its hydraulic counterpart.
Are hydraulic material lifts or electric material lifts best for your workers and your applications? Review the differences, and make a determination about what lifts best meet your needs.