Hospitals & Healthcare

Vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) provide a safe, quick, and efficient way to move carts, totes, trays, and other items between floors. Because VRCs are intended to move materials only, not people, they are typically less costly to install and maintain than elevators and, unlike fork trucks and scissor lifts, VRCs have an enclosed carriage framework that prevents loads from falling onto workers below.

VRCs have many applications in hospital and healthcare environments and can be installed virtually anywhere (indoors, outdoors, in existing elevator shafts, through-floor). Common applications include transporting medical supplies in and out of storage areas, moving linens to and from laundry areas, and transporting food carts between floor levels.

As the VRC industry leader, PFlow can engineer a lifting solution for you. Whether you need to retrofit an unused elevator shaft, utilize inaccessible storage space, or improve labor productivity, a PFlow VRC could be your solution.

a hospital uses a vertical reciprocating conveyor to safely and efficiently move dirty linens

Benefits of PFlow Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors

VRCs offer numerous benefits over fork trucks, cranes, and other handling methods.

✔ Less costly to install, operate, and maintain than elevators
✔ Reduces the risk of employee accidents
✔ Easy push button operation
✔ More efficient than other lifting means
✔ Enables utilization of space that would otherwise go unused

PFlow Industries’ VRCs are designed and constructed to meet your specific lifting needs. Whether you need unlimited cycle use, lifting to multiple levels, flexible load / unload patterns, or the ability to move bulky loads, PFlow will provide a solution.

Hospitals & Healthcare VRC Applications

A great deal of material handling takes place in hospitals. Supplies and equipment are moved into and out of storage, bed linens are moved to and from laundries, and food is delivered to and from kitchens.

Medical devices and pharmaceutical operations have similar handling operations. VRCs can optimize the movement of raw materials on pallets or in totes, from receiving to storage and totes containing finished materials can be moved almost effortlessly to pick modules or warehouse racking or mezzanines.

Common applications include:

  • Supplying clean totes to a mezzanine used for order picking
  • Moving equipment into and out of basement storage
  • Raising pallets to upper levels in a warehouse or distribution center
  • Transporting food to a basement-level kitchen

Learn how a hospital laundry used a VRC to improve handling and transport processes for cleaning bed linen carts.

Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor FAQs

It depends on the application, but in general a VRC needs no more room than that required for the platform. Hydraulic mechanisms can be mounted some distance from the platform. Mechanical systems often have drive systems located at the upper level.

It is possible to have the platform flush with the floor. This provides step-free movement onto and off the platform. However, a small pit will be needed to accommodate the platform supports.

This varies by state. Details are on our website here. PFlow guarantees code compliance in every state.

Hospitals & Healthcare Customer Testimonials


“The timing sequence of everything is excellent. By the time the lift comes back up the next cart is ready to come out of the wash and into the lift. And if the lift isn’t unloaded for a few minutes at the bottom, the cart wash also stops, eliminating any potential back-ups.”

– Brad Bennet, Chief Engineer, Madison United

Ready To Improve Handling Between Floors in Healthcare Facilities?

If you could use a safe and efficient way to move supplies, pallets, laundry, and other items between floors, reach out to us. Our experts will be pleased to recommend a vertical conveyor for your application or can design a unique or custom solution when needed. Call us in Milwaukee at 414-352-9000, or use our Quick Contact Form.