Milwaukee, WI (September 10, 2015) – Travis Eidler hired as Electrical Engineering Technician
PFlow welcomes Travis Eidler as PFlow's newest Electrical Engineering Technician. Travis previously worked as an Automotive Lab Technician. His primary responsibility was to help prepare electrical and hydraulic tests on automotive valves.
“I look forward to applying my experience and education in a role that will not only be beneficial to the company but also help expand my knowledge in engineering. Travis will continue his education at MSOE for an undergrad in Electrical Engineering. Travis also received his Associates in Electrical Engineering from WCTC. In his free time, Travis enjoys running to keep active. He has also completed four Tough Mudders and is planning on six more in the next three years.
Milwaukee, WI (August 14, 2015) – Nick Quartuccio hired as Western regional Manager
We are pleased to announce that Nick Quartuccio has accepted the position of Western Regional Manager.
Nick has been a sales specialist handling systems projects with PFlow for two years. His experience in handling complex projects will serve him well in his new role. He will transition to this new position on September 1, 2015. Nick will handle sales for Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Milwaukee, WI (August 10, 2015) – Carrie Rusch hired as Engineering Support Specialist
PFlow welcomes Carrie Rusch as our new Engineering Support Specialist. Carrie is dedicated to learning about the PFlow products and customers satisfaction.
Carrie has over 15 years of customer service, inside sales and expediting experience, in the building and food industries. “I’m honored to have this opportunity to work for PFlow. I look forward to becoming an integral part of the engineering team.”
Carrie is a Milwaukee native and was an Air Force wife. She has lived around the country, resided in Germany and is now settled in West Bend, WI. She has two sons. One is attending school in New Hampshire and is an intern at BAE Systems. The other lives locally and is employed as a semi-truck driver and crane operator. She enjoys reading, visiting Arizona, spending time with her large extended family and is an avid rock hound. As an empty nester, she help with house and pet sitting for others.
Milwaukee, WI (July 6, 2015) – Chris Stoll Hired as Project Engineer
PFlow Industries welcomes Chris Stoll as the newest member of Engineering. Chris will be dedicated to developing safe and efficient material handling equipment, using modern engineering technology for solid modeling and simulation.
Chris has 17 years of engineering experience in the material handling industry. His last four years were spent working on major projects in the global energy and mining industries.
Chris looks forward to new engineering challenges that come with PFlow’s standard and custom engineered products. He also welcomes the opportunity to share technical knowledge with PFlow colleagues and further develop his skills in solid modeling and simulation software. In his spare time he enjoys fishing and being with family.
Our engineering department continues to grow! PFlow is proud to have the largest engineering staff in the VRC industry. Our staff totals 24, with a combined vertical conveyor experience of 240 years!
Milwaukee, WI (June 16, 2015) – Brain Braam Hired as Midwest Regional Manager
PFlow welcomes Brian Braam as the Midwest Regional Manager. Brian will handle sales for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
"I am honored to be part of such a highly regarded company like Pflow. I look forward to representing the BEST VRC's in the industry.
Previously, Brian was an in plant specialist for Arbon Equipment. Brian represented Rite Hite products and various Allied vendors in Wisconsin. He has held positions in the material handling industry for the past 15 years. Brian is married with two college age daughters. He enjoys golf, softball and spending time with his family.
Milwaukee, WI (May 28, 2015) – 2014 Governor's New Product Award
The Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers 2014 Governor's New Product Award: We are excited and honored to announce that last night PFlow took second in the medium sized company category for the moving floor system. Thank you to WSPE for hosting the event and congratulations to all the recipients.
Milwaukee, WI (May 19, 2015) – 2014 Governors New Product Award
PFlow's moving floor system is up for the 2014 Governors New Product Award. The award recognizes Wisconsin's leading manufacturers who have contributed to the State's economic growth through the development, manufacturing and marketing of new and innovative products. PFlow will exhibit at the conference and attend the banquet. Thank you to the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers for considering us.
Milwaukee, WI (May 19, 2015) - Kobylarz New M2K System Administrator
PFlow is excited to announce that Justin Kobylarz has taken the role as our M2K System Administrator. In addition to his company-wide M2K responsibilities, Justin will be providing IT support outside of the realm of M2K.
Justin has been with PFlow for 13 years and brings a wide variety of skills to the position, such as, computer, mechanical, electrical and customer service. Congratulations Justin!
Beverage World Magazine (April 15, 2015) – 2015 Warehousing Innovation Awards: Reaching New Heights
We're excited to announce that PFlow has been selected for the Beverage World Innovation Award. PFlow was recognized for our Warehouse Innovation. This is the first time they’ve run these awards. Check out what they said about PFlow.
Beverage World Innovation Award
The Colony, TX (April 2, 2015) -- Megastore is Core of Ambitious Project in The Colony
PFlow is ecstatic to be apart of this colossal project! PFlow designed and manufactured 11 lifts for the The Nebraska Furniture Mart. Eight installed M Series will travel from 40 FPM up to 180 FPM. Three installed 21 Series will travel at the standard 24 FPM. Each VRC has a heavy-duty carriage made to lift and lower large furniture. Some of the lifts have a conveyor to move along purchases at this 560,000 square foot emporium.
Milwaukee, WI (February 27, 2015) -- Hext Hired as Director of Inside Sales
We are pleased to announce that Dan Hext re-joined PFlow as the Director of Inside Sales.
Dan was previously with PFlow for 12 years in both project management and inside sales. Dan has spent 16 years in the material handling industry. As our Director of Inside Sales he will oversee quoting and all inside sales functions.
“It is great to be back with my Pflow family! I look forward to working with my team to offer the highest level of customer service with a personal touch”.
Nationwide (February, 2015) -- Thank you
Thank you to "Beverage World" for including PFlow in their February digital issue
Milwaukee, WI (December 22, 2014) -- Manufacturing Expansions Reflected in Record Milwaukee Purchasing Managers Index
Manufacturers in southeastern Wisconsin are experiencing record growth, learn how PFlow is “up across the board.” BizTimes.com
Florida (December 17, 2014) -- Kuhn Migrates North
Eduardo Kuhn, International Sales Manager, will now also oversee north and central Florida. Eduardo resides in Florida and will serve as the new point of contact for the accounts in this region.
In 2012 PFlow appointed Eduardo to build the international sales division. Eduardo will remain dedicated to the relationships abroad in addition to Florida.
Florida/Mexico/International: Eduardo Kuhn, 786-300-2119 cell. Learn more about one of Eduardo's recent projects.
Milwaukee, WI (December 2, 2014) -- Heavy Lift Manufacturer PFlow Buys Milwaukee Building for Expansion
We design vertically, but continue to expand (across the street that is). Learn about PFlow's recent 26,000-square-foot building purchase. www.bizjournals.com
Milwaukee, WI (July 25, 2014) -- Bittner Hired as Product Support Specialist
PFlow Industries welcomes Jeff Bittner as the newest member of the Product Support Department. Jeff’s 20 years' of experience is devoted to customer service and evolves from the automotive and aircraft industry.
“I look forward to working as a team in the Product Support Department along with the Technical Support Department.”
Jeff earned an Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Ferris State University (Big Rapids, MI). After college he traveled majority of the United States and some of Europe. During his travels he installed various types of equipment in various industries. Efforts were spent troubleshooting, programming, and operator training. Jeff enjoys riding his motorcycle, music, hunting and fishing. He also paints and air brushes.
Milwaukee, WI (June 14, 2014) -- Lombardi Walk/Run for Cancer at the Milwaukee Zoo
"Team PFlow" participated in the "Lombardi Walk/Run for Cancer." Our participation will help patients, support families and builds cancer awareness. Monies from the event support leading-edge cancer research and compassionate care. Thank you to the Vince Lombardi Foundation as they continue to tackle cancer!
Key Insights from MODEX 2014 (April 27, 2014) -- "Safety in the Workplace"
PFlow's National Sales Manager Chuck Cobb, along with input from other industry leading innovators, share their insight on safety. To learn more visit: http://lnkd.in/dHtfVxP
Milwaukee, WI (March 3, 2014) -- Britton Hired as Marketing Coordinator
PFlow welcomes Allison Britton as the newest member of the Marketing Team, devoted to promoting PFlow's brand awareness. Allison’s ten years of experience includes working in the marketing and graphic design field for the architectural and engineering industry.
“I look forward to growing as a marketing professional while learning about a new industry. PFlow had a great team of individuals dedicated to a quality product.”
Allison earned her BA in graphic design from Drake University (Des Moines, IA). After college she lived in Minneapolis for seven years and returned to Wisconsin three years ago. In her free time she enjoys scuba diving, running and spending time with family.
Milwaukee, WI (January, 1 2014)-- Bertoni Hired as Inside Sale Rep.
PFlow welcomes Angela Bertoni as the newest member of the Inside Sale Team, a group devoted to supporting the regional managers by pricing equipment and providing quotes. Angela’s previous experience includes eight years of online banking product support for a finance technology company. Prior to that she spent eight years of back office support for a family owned furniture company.
“Having been with PFlow for several months as a contract employee, I am excited to be a permanent part of the PFlow ‘family’. Switching gears from a financial technology company and into manufacturing, I am eager to grow alongside an industry leader.”
Angela earned her Associates Degree in Arts & Sciences from UW– Waukesha County. Angela has spent her entire life in the metro-Milwaukee area. She is very dedicated to spending time with her family and enjoys being outdoors. In her free time she volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America.
Milwaukee, WI (January, 1 2014) -- Ford Hired as Scan Project Lead
PFlow welcomes Sara Ford as the newest member of the Document Imaging Team. Sara is the Project Lead for a company-wide imaging project. In this role she is excited to lead PFlow in a new direction of greener processes and procedures. Sara previously worked for PFlow in the Purchasing Department as Purchasing Clerk. She has now returned to head this new undertaking. In her spare time, Sara enjoys working on hot rods and visiting car shows.
PFlow is pleased to announce longtime Sr. PM, Kurt Ohlinger, has been promoted to Inside Sales Technical Specialist.
Due to the high volume in our quoting division, we knew some departmental restructuring was needed to meet that demand. This new position was created to strengthen the team and Kurt's extensive experience made him the ideal candidate.
With over 16 years at PFlow, Kurt will easily transition into this position and its new set of responsibilities. These include estimating, specification review and quoting special projects. He will rejoin the Inside Sales team after a successful career in Project Management where his detailed nature and multi-tasking skills have allowed him to take on increasingly complex projects, working within the framework of the order to maximize customer satisfaction and project success. For the past 10 years, he has been the primary liaison for Cartveyor™ Shopping Cart Conveyors, managing the order process from the point-of-order to final shipment.
"Over the years, I have had the opportunity to build relationships with PFlow dealers and this role allows me to continue working alongside them, just at a different stage in the sales cycle,” said Kurt. An avid runner and skier, Kurt spends his time outside of work training for long-distance races.
Milwaukee, WI (June 20, 2013) -- New Sales Specialist on Board at PFlow
PFlow has brought Nick Quartuccio on board for a newly created Sales Specialist position. He will work alongside project management, estimating and quoting special projects, as well as assist with national accounts and contract management.
Adding Nick to the PFlow team bolsters our focus on expanding the VRC market and demonstrates our commitment to remain the industry leader,” said Tom Archie, Director of Sales Engineering.
Nick comes to PFlow with a strong sales background, which includes 5 years in the brokerage industry before entering the industrial arena with engineering design software sales. Most recently, he served as a sales specialist for a large industrial gas and welding supply company.
A former Marine with Fox Company 224 based in Milwaukee, he holds a Finance degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and actively volunteers as a mountain biking patrolman in his free time.
Milwaukee, WI (April 24, 2013)- Michael Reilly Promoted to Manager of Product Engineering
PFlow is proud to announce the promotion of Michael Reilly to Manager of Product Engineering. He will report to the Vice President of Engineering, Mark Webster.
"I am fortunate to have Michael leading our design engineering group,” says Webster. He is an excellent engineer with a passion for his work, and enjoys tackling the daily design challenges we face as a custom equipment manufacturer. His efforts contribute significantly toward PFlow’s goal of remaining a leader in vertical material handling.
For nearly 6 years, Michael has been performing project engineering, scheduling and other important functions within the engineering department. He has also played a key role in many recent process improvements. As manager, he will now lead PFlow’s team of skilled technical designers and drafters and take on the additional responsibility of managing all engineering work associated with producing PFlow’s products. Michael appreciates the opportunity he has at PFlow to play an integral role in the development of highly specialized projects; his most memorable to date was a 16,000 lbs. capacity servo-mechanical screw lift designed to scan aircraft via on-board radar equipment supplied by the customer.
He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering for the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1996 and has applied his mechanical design expertise at several employee and family-owned companies prior to joining PFlow. His most notable professional accomplishment is being named on a patent for a carrier tape vibrating module used in the inspection and packaging of semi-conductor integrated circuits. Outside the office, Michael enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his wife and 2 sons.
Milwaukee, WI (August 9, 2012) – International Sales Division; Eduardo Kuhn to Lead as International Sales Manager
With the growth we've experienced over the past few years, we felt the time was right to bring on a dedicated international sales manager who can focus on building our brand and developing relationships abroad,” said Chuck Cobb, National Sales Manager at PFlow. PFlow Industries has announced the appointment of Eduardo Kuhn to spearhead the new International Sales Division. This expansion will allow PFlow to foster relationships with dealers in emerging markets where demand has soared and promote their cost-effective vertical lifting solutions to a world-wide audience.
The implementation of an International Sales Division is a response to the heightened development in emerging markets, concentrating on Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Kuhn assumed the responsibility for the territory on July 30, 2012 and joins PFlow after a seasoned sales career in imports/exports. He will be headquartered in Miami, FL, a hub for international trade, and will play an integral role in expanding the dealer network and assist in developing bi-lingual marketing campaigns focused on creating product awareness.
Kuhn says, “I have learned that success is largely about getting the right information to the right people at the right time and I am eager to use the communication and problem solving skills I have acquired throughout my career to establish lasting partnerships with PFlow customers.
Milwaukee, WI (July 28, 2012) – Jim Borden Joins PFlow as Manufacturing Engineer
PFlow is synonymous with quality in the industry and bringing Jim on board is evidence that we are continually seeking out experts to maintain that reputation,” said Sowinski.PFlow Industries announced the addition of Jim Borden as Manufacturing Engineer. Borden will serve as a liaison between the Manufacturing and Engineering departments to ensure product document accuracy and quality compliance. Borden will report to Tom Sowinski, Vice President of Operations.
Borden’s career in manufacturing spans over 3 decades; first entering the field as a machine operator and advancing to setup technician before earning a bachelor’s degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Once promoted to Manufacturing Engineer, he passed the Certified Manufacturing Engineering Technologist (CMfgT) examination. Since then he has developed successful ISO-9000 quality control systems in the metal stamping and custom injection molding industries and holds designations that include Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) and the American Production and Inventory Control Society’s Certification in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM). While earning these certifications, Jim completed his coursework to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration. Outside the office, Borden is a volunteer member of the National Ski Patrol, having served as an Outdoor Emergency Care and Basic Life Support (CPR) instructor.
Milwaukee, WI (July 11, 2011) – PFlow names Chuck Cobb as new National Sales Manager; expands regional sales network
PFlow has appointed Chuck Cobb as its new National Sales Manager, a position with the responsibility to manage the regional sales staff and sales of PFlow's core vertical material lift systems to all existing and emerging industrial and commercial customers. Cobb, who joined PFlow in 2004 as the Southeast Regional Manager, has over 20 years in the industry and is known throughout the country as an expert in materials conveyance.
"Chuck's extensive experience serving the VRC industry as well as his extraordinary work ethic will be a valuable asset to both our sales staff and our national dealer network," said PFlow President Ted Ruehl. "Chuck has provided superior customer service throughout his career and we are pleased to have him bringing his knowledge and skills to our entire national sales program."
In addition to adding Cobb, PFlow has added two new regional sales managers and expanded the territory alignment to four distinct regions, providing PFlow dealers and customers with enhanced regional service.
Joining PFlow as the new Northeast Regional Manager is Fred Volkman with responsibilities from Maine to Washington, DC, and New York and Pennsylvania. Volkman has over 20 years of experience in the vertical lifting market from the perspective of the distributor, the manufacturer's agent and regional sales.
Ray Fuller has been hired to replace Cobb as the Southeast Regional Manager covering states from Texas to Florida and the Virginias. Fuller brings over 18 years of experience in distributor support as a regional manager in the mezzanine industry.
"The opportunity to add two reps with the extensive material handling experience of Fred and Ray will be a huge asset to our dealers and customers," said Cobb. "They are renowned in their territories for their hands-on approach to servicing the customer and providing the best lifting solution for the needs of individual customers."
Milwaukee, WI (June 10, 2008) – PFlow sets speed record with customized DB Series VRCs!
PFlow Industries pioneered and has subsequently dominated the vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC) category by taking a good idea and continuing to make it work for an ever-increasing variety of industries and applications. From a single-lift model in 1977, the core PFlow product line has grown to include six standard model series, each of which can be customized as needed to fit perfectly with the specifications of a particular customer. Sometimes the modifications are minor, and sometimes they are far more involved.
Recently PFlow customized two Series DB VRCs in a manner well beyond the norm for JL French Automotive Castings, Inc. of Sheboygan, WI.
In 2006 JL French was in the midst of a steady increase in business necessitating a redesign of the manufacturing floor to achieve greater production volumes. The most efficient use of the existing space required two separate areas where in-process castings needed to be automatically elevated to get to the next manufacturing module. In one area the lift was 14.5' and in the other it was 16.2'. The key requirement to the elevation mechanism was speed, with the common themes of low maintenance, reliability and safety also important. The castings were a uniform weight (between 12 and 16 lbs); but they varied in size and shape, and each had to be lifted individually.
Initially JL French worked with material handling experts on various system designs, each of which had prohibitive features:
A continuous vertical conveyor (CVC) system, basically a continuous loop, vertical escalator with platforms was considered. Certain height restrictions existed in the building, and the ceiling provided a clearance of less than two feet – not enough room for the platforms to hinge at the top and continue on the downward loop. Plus a clearance pit would be needed in the floor, and JL French was leery of the frequent maintenance likely required to operate the complex CVC system.
Industrial elevators were evaluated; but in order to achieve the necessary throughput multiple parts would need to be lifted together– a significant inconsistency to the desired production sequence.
An inclined belt system, a type of CVC with a slope and design similar to a straight staircase, didn’t get much past the discussion stages because the horizontal floor space required simply wasn’t available.
By the time JL French connected with PFlow, it was clear that innovative thinking was needed. PFlow engineers examined the specifications and determined that a DB series lift might work; but in order to achieve the necessary cycle time, it would require a maximum vertical speed of 350'/min, almost six times the standard DB series speed of 60'/min. Rather than shaking hands and moving on, the PFlow team confidently assured JL French that it could be done!
The design collaboration between PFlow, JL French and the area material handling dealer resulted in a system with the following features:
A Servo-controlled asynchronous AC motor that continuously provides torque while the platform is stationary, eliminating mechanical floor-level switches and the need to engage the brake during loading and unloading. This results in zero wasted time, incredibly smooth operation and virtually infinite brake life (the brake is set only during extended idle periods). The motor has an absolute position encoder that provides motor rotation information to the controller, telling it exactly where to stop based on motor revolutions. The motor automatically adjusts to the varying product weight.
Chain-mounted counterweights that reduce the torque requirement on the motor and allow for the necessary speed to be achieved with less horsepower.
A 3' x 3' lift platform with chain-driven live rollers (CDLR), served by CDLR in-feed and discharge conveyors.
A one-unit-at-a-time liftcycle with a weight capacity of 20 lbs.
An achieved cycle time of 13 seconds; exactly as specified.
“We’ve always been the industry leader in using programmable control of motors on VRC applications,” said Mark Webster, PFlow vice president of engineering. “We constantly evaluate variable speed drive advancements in terms of capability, reliability, and cost effectiveness. The technology used at JL French is scalable to higher capacity and higher speed applications.”
Milwaukee, WI (December 15, 2006) – Acquisition Gives PFlow's Product Line A Lift
PFlow Industries, the leading manufacturer of vertical conveyors designed to transport materials between two or more levels, has purchased The Langley Manufacturing Company located in Victor, New York.
The new offerings will be sold through PFlow’s international network of distributors. Ruehl stated that PFlow also intends to keep serving Langley’s existing customer base with replacement parts.According to Ted Ruehl, President of PFlow, “this is a natural product line extension as Langley has been designing and manufacturing high quality material lifting and dumping machinery for over 40 years.” Ruehl sees excellent customer value in adding Langley’s Sidewalk Lift, designed for basement storage to street level transfer of materials through sidewalk openings, as well as its line of dumpers.
PFlow is coming off a record sales year in 2006 and Ruehl forecasts a “strong environment” for the material handling sector of the economy in 2007. He says PFlow continues to be interested in acquiring companies that offer high quality products in the material handling industry.
Since 1977, PFlow has offered total engineering, fabrication, and coast-to-coast installation services. At its headquarters in Milwaukee, company facilities include over 110,000 SF of manufacturing space and a complete research & development center. Over 35% of PFlow’s staff are engineers or R & D personnel.
PFlow lifts move materials of all shapes and sizes and are available in capacities from 50 lbs. to over 200,000 lbs. with unlimited vertical rise, and are especially useful in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution operations. Mechanical, hydraulic, high-speed, high-throughput, and customized lifts are available, as well as fully automated systems. Applications, both interior and exterior, include mezzanines, balconies, through-floor, and elevator shafts.
PFlow also designs and manufactures a patented product called the Cartveyor™ Shopping Cart Conveyor which transports shopping carts from one level to another. Especially popular in multi-level retail stores, the Cartveyor is installed parallel and adjacent to an escalator and allows store customers to simply push their shopping carts in and ride the escalator next to their carts.
PFlow Industries has always focused on safety, advanced technology and creating solutions for specific vertical material handling problems.
Milwaukee, WI (December 11, 2006) – New Product from PFlow Industries Is Designed for Shopping at the Next Level
PFlow, a manufacturer of a complete line of vertical conveyors designed to transport materials between one or more levels for over 30 years, has unveiled a new website www.cartveyor.com for its patented Cartveyor™ product.
The Cartveyor Shopping Cart Conveyor transports shopping carts from one level to another and is becoming increasingly popular as large retailers move into urban areas and build multi-level stores as opposed to expansive, single story layouts in suburban areas.
Several problems are created when shopping is done on multiple levels; one being the requirement to move customers with their shopping carts (or trolleys or buggies) between the levels. This problem is not easily solved with traditional means of vertical transportation. Elevators are not efficient for moving the high volume required, and inclined moving walkways take up a huge amount of retail space due to their requirement of being installed at a less than 12 degree incline.
Installed parallel and adjacent to an escalator, PFlow’s Cartveyor allows store customers to simply push their shopping carts in and ride the escalator next to their carts. (The Cartveyor can also be equipped as a stand alone unit.) The Cartveyor incorporates many safety features, requires minimal maintenance, and is designed for years of trouble free operation.
The new website features a video of the Cartveyor in action.
A major U.S. retailer, who already used PFlow’s vertical conveyor systems for moving pallets, challenged PFlow to solve the problem of safely and efficiently moving shopping carts between levels. Having successfully designed and built hundreds of continuous vertical conveyors for the United States Post Office and having over 35% of its personnel as engineers or Research & Development specialists, PFlow was more than up to the challenge as the Cartveyor demonstrates.
Milwaukee, WI (August 11, 2006) – PFlow Industries Helps New Balance Run Lean
“Lean Manufacturing.” What’s that you ask? Perhaps a new carb-cutting diet from Dr. Atkins? Or better yet, a new invention by a team of global scientists that makes candy bars a healthy option as a midday snack?
It’s neither, but it’s something that should definitely be on a business’ menu for success! “Lean Manufacturing” is all the rage in warehouses and manufacturing plants world-wide. In the vernacular, the term itself was actually coined by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones while conducting research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the workplace, “Lean Manufacturing “ is a model of management designed to make the best use of space, tools, materials, equipment and knowledge that ultimately helps manufacturers save time, movement and, eventually money.
There’s perhaps no better example in action than at New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.—the global sporting goods industry leader which produces and ships 40 million shoes annually. Its fully-automated, state-of-the-art warehouse facility in Lawrence, Massachusetts boasts 250,000' and houses 130 employees. Built in 1997, the warehouse has enabled New Balance to consolidate and streamline distribution of both domestically produced and imported products to retailers throughout the country. But more efficient material handling was attainable in large part due to “Lean Manufacturing”, and in no small part due to PFlow Industries.
Aside from a series of logistical adjustments that were made, a significant improvement to the overall process was the installation of a Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor from PFlow, a company recognized as being instrumental in actually creating the Vertical Conveyor industry. All in all, the efforts and updates have helped New Balance reduce the time needed to prepare and ship a full order from 17 weeks to just two.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, PFlow has been the industry leader in the design and manufacturing of safe, vertical material handling equipment since 1977. VRCs from PFlow provide a fast, convenient and safe way to move goods to/from mezzanines, balconies, basements and between levels in multi-story buildings.
The New Balance warehouse, which contains a three-level mezzanine, has over three miles of conveyor belts running at any given time, and the shoes are processed in waves from a Tilt Tray sorter. One of the warehouse re-design’s major initiatives was to catch costly mistakes made in processing, such as incomplete boxes of shoes that were incorrectly selected for shipment, before they reached the end of the line. PFlow’s “lean” machine perfectly suited to serve the 1.5 million dollar tilt-tray platform was a Series M Vertical Lift that is designed in particular to alleviate problems that might occur in unit processing. If and when a wave is run without the correct shoe, the PFlow M1 is loaded with the correct shoe necessary to make the order whole, and then, with the touch of an elevator-like button, brought to the proper level for insertion.
The M Series Lift offers high performance and durability with a two-post mechanical design that is ideal for transporting large, heavy loads between two or more levels. Bob Knapp of Baron Industries in Burlington, Massachusetts, who sold and distributed the lift, knew that PFlow’s Series M is also excellent for high-cycle, automated systems or frequent-use applications, such as the New Balance warehouse. PFlow engineered the machine for New Balance to meet the exact application and height requirements needed, and the carriage is lifted and lowered by a heavy roller chain attached to a motorized mechanical lifting mechanism.
While “lean manufacturing” didn’t turn out to be a way to speed up the metabolism, for New Balance it did speed up its run to the top of the athletic shoe industry. By applying the techniques presented by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, and seeking a higher level of performance with a little help from PFlow Industries, the Boston-based sneaker giant has dashed from No. 8 in 1995 to its current ranking of No. 4.
Milwaukee, WI (July 15, 2006) - PFlow Series 21 Vertical Lift Safely Handles Loads To 6,000 Pounds
The Series 21 Vertical Lift, by PFlow Industries, offers efficient, vertical material handling and is equipped with patented safety features not available on other vertical lifts. The unit transports materials between two levels and is adaptable to mezzanine, through-floor, interior or exterior applications.
Designed for loads up to 6,000 lbs., the Series 21 is available with carriage sizes to 10’ x 10’. The carriage—available in straddle or cantilever styles—is hydraulically lifted and lowered from level to level. The Series 21 Lift features 6” wide flange guide columns that are 66% heavier than other vertical lifts on the market, and oversized bearings and heavy roller chain ensure long-lasting performance.
The Series 21 Vertical Lift is equipped with a heavy torsion bar that links the two hydraulic lift cylinders in order to equalize the load, eliminate twisting of the carriage and relieve stress on the guides, columns and carriage. As a result, the carriage remains level at all times for smooth, efficient operation. Dual, spring-loaded safety cams provide added protection against uncontrolled descent. The Series 21 Lift can also be equipped with PFlow’s exclusive, patented DeckLock System that automatically locks the carriage into place at the critical upper levels and eliminates carriage bounce or drift.
The Series 21 also comes with a variety of standard safety features that meet or exceed code requirements. These features include 8’ high mesh enclosures, safety gates at each level, safety chains and railings, overtravel protection, backstop panels and remote, heavyduty control stations. All safety gates are electrically and mechanically interlocked with carriage movement and lift operation. Velocity fuses prevent uncontrolled carriage descent in the unlikely event of a total hydraulic hose rupture.
Milwaukee, WI (June 15, 2006)– PFlow Industries’ Engineers Flex Their Muscles for Heavy Lifting and Storage of Super-Sized Vehicles
Their Series DB has a lifting capacity to 100 lbs; Series C up to 200 lbs; Series D up to 3000 lbs; Series 21 up to 6000 lbs; Series M up to 8000 lbs; and Series F up to 30,000 lbs. So what happened when an application called for a load of 200,000 lbs? The Engineers and Research & Development personnel at PFlow got pumped up to design a Special Vertical Lifting Solution!
AIA Architects of Reno, NV had a client that owned property on a lake but plans for the residence would require slightly more than your standard three, four, or even five car garage. This client owned dozens of expensive sports, luxury, and vintage automobiles and motorcycles.
A large above-ground parking structure would have been considered unsightly, so the obvious direction to go seemed to be down. But building a ramp would have consumed valuable real estate, and besides, no ordinary underground garage would do. AIA’s client also needed room for three large recreational vehicles, a 55-foot offshore racing boat and a helicopter!
In response, AIA designed a parking facility or more precisely a “carriage house” consisting of three levels - two above ground and one below. The uppermost level has over 2,300' of space including two bedrooms, two baths, a living room, office/den, kitchen and a deck overlooking the lake. The other two levels are for parking, featuring 2,000' F at the driveway level and 6,100 SF below grade.
AIA’s concept called for a hydraulic lift with a platform large enough to accommodate the largest vehicle - a 55' RV weighing more than 50,000 lbs. The lift needed to retract completely into a 13' pit, followed by the 90,000 pound “lid” of steel and concrete that would double as part of the driveway when in the lowered position. Add the platform itself, and the total weight to be lifted would exceed 100 tons.
But it wouldn’t be that easy; other factors were involved. So, knowing expert and experienced capabilities would be needed, AIA contacted PFlow to design and manufacture what would be a state-of-the-art lifting system.
The fact that the lift would have to fully retract into the pit and yet be flush with the driveway when raised would require that the platform guides terminate some distance below grade, which presented a formidable design challenge.
A shallow water table and environmental concerns would preclude a deep pit under the platform. In addition, the short length of engagement between the platform and guides would offer little help in keeping the platform level under uneven loading.
The PFlow team was not fazed by the complications. To ensure a level platform throughout travel, and to provide accurate positioning at loading and unloading points, a servo-hydraulic system was incorporated. Lifting is accomplished via six 12" bore telescopic hydraulic cylinders and a 75hp, 600-gallon hydraulic power unit delivering 160gpm. Oil is supplied to each cylinder through an independent hydraulic circuit with servo-proportional control valves for regulating flow. To track position, individual linear transducers are incorporated on each cylinder providing absolute position feedback to the multi-axis servo control module. Through this module, position, velocity, drive level, position error and many other values can be monitored in real time and plotted. The parameters for each axis can also be tuned independently.
With absolute position data available for each cylinder, important safety-monitoring functions are possible. The system automatically stops travel if any cylinder axis fails to follow the prescribed path within a pre-set tolerance, or if an axis goes out of synchronization with any other axis. A programmable logic controller is used to link the servo-controller to the rest of the system, receiving signals from position switches and other input devices, monitoring system status and controlling the operation of the hydraulic power system and the safety features. Fault diagnostics and audible/visual alarms indicate action required by the operator, either to reset the system or call for service. If the platform drifts downward at the upper level, it will automatically re-level.
It seems that no job (or load) is too big (or heavy) when PFlow puts its minds to it. The company also has lifts in operation handling diverse materials ranging from 50,000 lbs. paper rolls to 110,000 lbs. fuel cells.