Skip to content

VRC Applications in the Aeronautics Industry

VRC Applications in the Aeronautics Industry

Vertical reciprocating conveyors are used for the careful handling of airplane parts.
Space-age materials, complex assembly methods, and crowded facilities put special demands on industrial lifting equipment in the aeronautics industry. If you need a better way to lift materials in your aircraft manufacturing, assembly, or maintenance space, incorporating a VRC can offer a safe, efficient, and cost-effective solution.

Lifting Expectations: VRCs Built For Your Specific Application

In the aeronautics industry, there’s little room for error. Whether you’re handling high-value materials for a next-generation jetliner or hoisting delicate avionics assemblies off your shop floor, strong, safe, and reliable industrial lifting equipment is mission-critical.

In this article, we take a look at the specific conditions that distinguish lifting applications in the aeronautics and aerospace industries and consider the many advantages PFlow Industries’ precision-built vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) offer in meeting these specialized needs.

Industry-Specific Challenges

Airplane manufacturers, maintenance contractors, and aviation service providers face many of the same challenges as other industries when raising and lowering components and materials between different floors or work levels. However, the unique materials and assembly processes used in aeronautics and aviation pose particular movement challenges.

Large Components

Large pre-manufactured components are often stored on-site, and then maneuvered quickly and precisely into place at installation time.  

Delicate Parts

Aeronautical materials are engineered to the tightest tolerances and often include sensitive avionics. Components are sensitive to jarring, vibration, and uncontrolled motion even when being moved just a few feet up or down.

Complex Processes

Unlike traditional line assembly, the final stages of aircraft or aerospace manufacture involve multiple teams working in parallel on the same assembly or airplane body. That means tight deadlines, complex working environments, and access bottlenecks.

Specialized Environments

High-tech military or and specialized aerospace products must sometimes be assembled in clean rooms or other secure or restricted spaces and tested using specialized equipment before being shipped or installed.

Multi-Level Facilities

Construction facilities, hangars, airports, and aircraft themselves are large, complex structures requiring components and materials to be moved between multiple levels.


With tight delivery deadlines, maintenance schedules and turn-around times, and multiple teams working in parallel, materials need to be moved quickly through facilities to avoid bottlenecks.


Safety is vital in every aeronautical application, not only for the aeronautical workers, but for the users of the end product. A single damaged or component can have exponential negative down-stream consequences.

Industry-Focused Solutions

PFlow VRCs allow loads to be moved efficiently between levels in almost any industrial environment. With few restrictions on the size, weight, or type of materials to be moved, VRCs can be installed in places where elevators cannot, including the most sensitive and demanding aeronautical and aerospace applications.

VRCs bring the highest levels of safety, strength, and reliability to your vertical materials handling applications, without the higher costs and regulatory burden associated with elevators designed to move people.

Unlimited Size and Weight

Unlike scissor-lift platforms or forklifts, PFlow VRCs can be engineered to handle aerospace components of almost any size and weight. PFlow designed a fully-featured mechanical lift for a major aircraft manufacturer with a 10’ x 40’ foot carriage capable of moving large but fragile wing parts 20’ feet between levels.

The F-Series VRC can handle both the bulky wing components and the specialized carts and tow trucks used to move them and deliver less than 1 inch of vertical deflection while being built strong enough to withstand any vehicle impacts as airplane parts are moved into place.

Smooth, Controlled Movement

Powered by powerful but precise mechanical or hydraulic systems, PFlow VRCs are designed to move loads smoothly and accurately between floor levels. That’s critical when you are lifting hefty but sensitive components or need to work close to aircraft bodies or other “soft” surfaces. With predictable movement and minimal vibration, VRCs keep your critical components safe.

PFlow delivered a specialized system to allow a leading aerospace contractor to move fully assembled satellites from a clean room environment to a testing facility. With a vertical lift of just two feet, the system uses four electronically monitored mechanical screw assemblies to move payloads of almost any size or shape with horizontal step displacements of 0.01” or less.

Flexible Installation

VRCs are purpose-designed for complex work environments from high-tech airplane parts to round-the-clock baggage-handling terminals. PFlow units can be installed in through-floor applications, in an existing elevator shaft, or next to a balcony or mezzanine.

PFlow units can be installed indoors or outdoors, and can also be built to operate in specialized environments, from space-age clean rooms and secure SCIF facilities to high-pressure sterilization and wash-down facilities.

Fast and Safe

Designed to replace forklifts and scissor-lift platforms in terminals and on shop floors, PFlow VRCs deliver fast, reliable service when safety is non-negotiable. While our units can be engineered to move at 25 feet per minute or faster, all movement is always fully controlled.

All PFlow units feature safety gates and barriers to ensure units cannot move unexpectedly, and platforms are also fully enclosed to keep tools and components where they belong during transit. All PFlow units comply fully with the ASME B20.1 safety standards for industrial conveyors.

Industrial-Strength Lifting, High-Flying Service

At PFlow, our purpose-built, precision-engineered lifting solutions are matched only by our industry-leading service. We offer our customers:

  • Specialized knowledge of aeronautics and aerospace lifting applications
  • registered manufacturer
  • Personal service at every stage –  from design to commissioning
  • After-sales support including training, inspection, and maintenance 
  • Trained technicians and customer support staff, and a 24-hour emergency service line

Click below to learn more about how PFlow can provide innovative lifting solutions designed to meet the specialized needs of your mission-critical aeronautical or aerospace application.