Skip to content

VRC Material Lifts vs. Freight Elevators

VRC Material Lifts vs. Freight Elevators

As was said by our legendary founder, Bob Pfleger: “Before we could build a business, we had to create an industry.” 

In 1981, PFlow Industries replaced our innovative inclined reciprocating conveyor with the new vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC). This created a brand-new category in material lifts and launched a new era in material handling.

While the PFlow inclined conveyor offered an option safer than using a forklift, the inclined lift took up a significant amount of space and, before the introduction of the PFlow VRC lift, the options for lifting materials were either using forklifts or costly and inefficient freight elevators.

There are many disadvantages to using a freight elevator for material handling. This is why it’s essential to draw a clear distinction between a PFlow VRC (material lift) and a standard elevator. Read on to learn more about the advantages of choosing a VRC over a freight elevator.

Freight Elevators

When a business installs a freight elevator, they are held to the same standards and safety redundancies as people-moving elevators, which is simply a waste of time, effort and cost if you only need to transport materials.  

The disadvantages of using an elevator to move freight include:

  • Vertical travel / speed limitations
  • Location limitations
  • Space requirements
  • Countless costly safety redundancies intended to protect people in the event of an elevator failure

If you’re considering installing an elevator to move freight, you could instead save time, money, and trouble by opting for a VRC. 

The above factors are just a few of the many advantages that differentiate our VRCs from the common freight elevator. When you need to maximize space, improve efficiency and increase profits, there is simply no better choice than a PFlow VRC.

Read More: 5 Things You Must Know When Choosing a Freight Lift Elevator

Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors

VRCs accommodate the efficient movement of materials, supplies, and products between multiple floor levels. This allows for improved operational efficiency and increased overall safety to workers.

VRCs are not elevators and are officially recognized by their own national code from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME B20.1) which exempts them from elevator codes. This exemption was obtained with help from PFlow – changing national safety codes to differentiate between “material moving” lifts, and “people moving” elevators.

For this reason, VRCs are strictly for material use. However, they allow for greater flexibility in terms of installation, speed of the lift, and safety.

VRC Benefits

PFlow builds our lifts to be the safest, most reliable and best-performing lifts on the market. Our VRCs will save you money on both installation and maintenance. 

VRCs are also ideal for a wide range of applications, such as package handling, pick module replenishment, machinery movement, and pallet handling. 

The benefits of using a VRC include:

  • Lower cost of installation, operation and maintenance than elevators
  • Multiple available standard and optional safety features
  • Placement versatility – VRCs can be installed where elevators cannot, whether indoors or outdoors
  • Ability to accommodate loads of virtually any size, weight, or height
  • Seamless integration into automated conveyor systems
  • Ability to accommodate high-speed, high-capacity lifting applications
  • Flexibility in loading and unloading patterns

Because VRCs are strictly for material use, they allow for more flexibility in terms of installation, speed of the lift, and safety.