Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs)
Engineered to meet your specific size, space and lifting requirements, PFlow Industries’ hydraulic and mechanical VRCs are a safe and efficient way to lift materials.
Let our VRC experts help you determine the right VRC for your specific application.
Mechanical lifts are an efficient way to move loads of multiple pallets, oversized materials, large carts, or heavy machinery. These lifts can easily handle heavy loads and are ideal for high-speed, high-cycle, or automated systems.
Hydraulic lifts offer an affordable and efficient option for two-level lifting. PFlow Hydraulic Lifts are engineered for level carriage movement and stability, and are suited for indoor or outdoor use.
Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs)
Vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) are a safe, economical way to raise and lower materials in factories, warehouses, distribution facilities, industrial plants, institutions, or anywhere that you need to move products or supplies from one level to another.
VRCs are not elevators and can not be used to transport people. They have their own national code (ASME B20.1) and are specifically exempt from the national elevator code. In 1981, PFlow helped change the national safety codes to exempt “material-moving” vertical conveyors from “people-moving” elevator safety regulations.
See our state-by-state list of codes regulating VRC installation and use.
Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors Benefits
There are many benefits to using a custom VRC to lift and lower materials from one level to another:
VRCs Designed for Your
The award-winning engineering team at PFlow Industries has unparalleled experience in the VRC industry and the technical know-how to solve a myriad of vertical lifting design problems. We have the knowledge and expertise to build a custom VRC for your exact needs.
PFlow has custom-designed material handling vertical conveyors to move loads that weigh only 10 pounds to more than 100,000 pounds. Our lifts have carriages ranging from 30” x 30” to 60’ x 60’, and vertical heights from 4’ to more than 200’. VRCs are commonly used as vertical pallet lifts. The structural support and enclosed carriage framework keep loads from falling, making it a safer and more efficient alternative to forklifts or scissor lifts.
We scrutinize and address every detail of your job to manufacture a custom VRC for your exact application, cover all design and construction issues, provide complete code-approved engineered drawings, and deliver ongoing service and support.
Our focus has always been on safety, advanced technology, and creating solutions for specific vertical material handling problems.
VRC Product Selector Guidelines
The following table should be used only as a guideline in determining which PFlow lifting conveyor is right for your application. PFlow has designed vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) to lift materials that weigh 10 pounds to more than 100,000 pounds. If you have application questions, please call us in Milwaukee at 1-414-352-9000.
|MODEL||M SERIES||F SERIES||21 SERIES||D SERIES||B SERIES||DB SERIES|
|Type||Mechanical||Mechanical||Hydraulic||Hydraulic||Mechanical||Mechanical (automated with carriage conveyor)|
|Carriage Size||Up to 12' W x 10' L||Minimum 6' W x 6'6" L||Up to 12' W x 10' L||6' W x 6' L||3' W x 3' L (standard 3' load height)||3' W x 3' L|
|Configuration||2-Post Cantilever or Straddle||4-Post||2-Post Cantilever or Straddle||2-Post Cantilever||4-Post, Formed Steel Frame||2-Post Cantilever|
|Capacity (lbs)||Up to 10,000, based on carriage size||Unlimited||Up to 6,000, based on carriage size||Up to 3,000, based on carriage size||500||100 (Small Packages)|
|Vertical Rise||Unlimited||Unlimited||Up to 22'||Up to 15'||14' 9" Floor-to-Floor (30" elevation at each level)||Standard Up to 20'|
|Standard Speed||25 FPM||18 FPM||24 FPM||17 FPM||30 FPM||60 FPM|
|Speed Upgrade||Up to 400 FPM or More||Up to 400 FPM or More||30 FPM||25 FPM||–||Up to 400 FPM or More|
|Cycles||Unlimited - Continuous||Unlimited - Continuous||10/Hour - 100/Day||10/Hour - 100/Day||Unlimited - Continuous||Unlimited - Continuous|
“Not only was PFlow able to design a custom downlift and uplift solution that fit our needs, but the company also engineered the entire moving-floor assembly system, based on our initial design concept, then manufactured and installed it.”
– David Konopacki, Lead Engineer, Bourgault
Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor FAQ’s
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.
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 14 to 16 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
- 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.