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Have a Question About VRCs? We Have the Answers

Click on any of the following questions about vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) and material handling to display the answer.

PFlow Industries offers hydraulic lifts and mechanical lifts for material handling. Both straddle and cantilever styles are available, along with four-post and modular designs. We customize our lifts for specific needs.

Hydraulic vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) are the least expensive to purchase and install. The PFlow D Series or PFlow 21 Series would be specified for two-level applications when the load capacity is not greater than 4,000-6,000 pounds, the carriage sizes range from 6’ x 6’ up to 12′ x 10′ and the vertical rise is 22′ or under.

A mechanical lift is used where larger carriages are needed, the vertical rise is greater than 22′, or requires three or more level stops.

We suggest discussing your application with a PFlow representative or authorized dealer to ensure the proper lift is specified.

The carriage of a PFlow vertical lift is supported by wide flange columns. The columns need to be lagged to a ground level or surface. The columns are required to be braced at the upper levels and typically attached to the floor’s support structure.

The profile of a typical VRC carriage is 3″ to 10″ when mounted on the surface. When a flush first-level transition is required, a pit is needed, ranging from 4″ to 12″ and up.

Vertical lift dimensions vary by model. Please refer to CAD drawings located in the Knowledge Base for exact dimensions, or contact a PFlow representative or dealer to discuss your vertical material handling situation.

The motor pump for a typical hydraulic lift is 20″ wide x 30″ long x 20″ high. It can be mounted anywhere within 15′ of the lift. On a mechanical lift, the power unit is located at the top of the guide rail columns. It requires approximately 3′ of space above the carriage load height.

A mezzanine backstop safety panel (MBSP) is a fixed guard used at the upper level where there is a snap chain or drop bar, but no railing on the backside of the carriage.

These safety panels are used primarily on two or 90° load patterns for an edge of mezzanine application.

The panel attaches to the guide rail columns of the lift at the upper level.

Its purpose is to enclose the back of the carriage so that there is no possibility of someone walking onto the lift carriage and falling off, and to help prevent products from falling while loading at the upper level.

Safety gates and enclosures are intended to meet OSHA, ANSI, ASME and common sense standards. Anywhere a person can come in contact with a vertical conveyor lift, an enclosure guard is required. Where the lift is to be loaded, a safety gate with an interlock is required.

An interlock prevents a gate from being opened unless the lift is present at that level. The interlock also prevents the lift from running when the gate or door is not closed.

All electrical components needed to make the lift function are included with the vertical reciprocating conveyor. The standard controls are self-maintained contact controls. Constant pressure or dead-man controls are also available.

Approval drawings are typically prepared and sent out within two-three weeks after the receipt of an order for a material handling product from PFlow Industries.

Standard lifts are typically shipped six to 10 weeks after the signed approval drawing is returned to PFlow Industries.

The lift is typically shipped via common carrier. The major components in the shipment

  • Carriage
  • Guide columns approximately 20′ (dependent on vertical rise and splicing)
  • Parts crate
  • Drive base (mechanical) or power unit (hydraulic)
  • Control panel

The basic steps for installing a lift:

  • Columns are set in place and temporarily braced
  • The carriage is placed between the columns and attached
  • For mechanical lifts, the drive base must be raised to the top of the columns and attached
  • Gates are assembled, set in place, anchored, and braced
  • Enclosures are assembled, set in place, and anchored
  • Wiring of electrical components

Standard preventative maintenance of a lift is typically within the capabilities of plant maintenance personnel.

  • Inspect the lift on a quarterly basis
  • Lubricate lift parts as required

See our Knowledge Base for maintenance documents.

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