Grab-O-Matic Drum Handlers Improve Safety and Increase Productivity

St Clare Engineering Ltd manufacturers of the Grab-O-Matic range of drum and materials handling fork truck attachments have developed a Quick Attach/Release System for their range that not only improves safety but also reduces production times.

Houghton International have a requirement to lift and move thousands of drums a week at their Manchester plant and enquired if there was a safer and more efficient solution than what was already in place. The Grab-O-Matic drum grabs currently being used were doing the job correctly but Houghton required something more bespoke for their operation.

The remit from Houghton included reducing the overall length of the unit to give the trucks more space to turn in between racks, a secure system to attach/release the units from the forks as they are constantly changing from moving pallets to moving drums and increased protection for the drums to eliminate dents and scratches at the base of the drums.

St Clare managed to incorporate all three specifications into the Grab-O-Matic QR-2-DLR-WP, the pillars (drum supports) were move back on top of the fork pockets, 150mm wide webbing drum supports were fitted to cushion the drums and the Quick Attach/Release System was fitted to the frames.

“Lee Draper Operations Manager at the Manchester Plant of Houghton International Inc one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of engineering fluids and lubricants, said since upgrading their existing Grab-O-Matic fork attachment double drum handlers to the new Quick Attach/Release System for attaching and releasing the drum grabs from the forks of the fork trucks, safety has been increased and production times reduced.

From an initial site visit to asses our needs and requirements Andy Bow from St Clare Engineering-(Grab-O-Matic) produced a written report on our problems and the solutions required to solve these issues and initially supplied a trial Quick Release 2-DTLR-WP double drum handler for us try out prior to purchasing. The trial period proved very successful and was well received by all the fork truck drivers as they could immediately see the benefits of safety and reduced production times, as Houghton –Manchester already had a number of standard Grab-O-Matic double drum handler fork attachments there was only a need to purchase new Quick Release fork attachment frames as the new QR frames are compatible with all standard Grab-O-Matic gripping heads and drum supports (pillars). The frames were manufactured bespoke to suit our fork trucks and we have been very impressed by the quick release drum handlers and the efficient service provided by St Clare Engineering”

Houghton initially purchased 2 units and have since invested in 2 more along with additional Grab-O-Matics,  the Crane Hoist Attachment (model QR-SC-1 which converts a fork lift into a crane with hook) an Automatic Scissor Grip Drum Handler (model SG-1) and a fork attachment drum rotation unit (model SC10) for dispensing the contents of a drum in a controlled manor. Houghton-Global have also recently purchase 5 x Units for a similar operation in Spain based on the success at Manchester.

How Does the QR System Work:

A Carriage Hook Plate is bolted to the centre of the fork truck carriage, this then stays in place permanently as it does not interfere with the normal lifting and moving of pallets and is only 300mm wide.

The forks are inserted fully into the fork pockets and when raised a sprung loaded lever locks behind the Carriage Hook Plate and will only release when the unit is lowered to the ground, this reverses the action and the forks can be withdrawn from the unit.

This process eliminates the need for the fork truck driver to dismount from his cab to secure the drum grabs to the forks with either ‘T’ bolts or chains saving valuable time when switching attachments, the system is safer as it reduces the risk of accidents due to the ‘I can’t be bothered to get off and secure the unit to the forks syndrome’.

This unique system Increases Safety AND Saves Time!

The Quick Release frames are universal with all current Grab-O-Matic pillars and gripping heads, this is a safe, secure and efficient way to attach the Grab-O-Matics to any fork truck, the only information we require when ordering is the size and type of carriage on your trucks and the length, width and thickness of the forks.

All the Grab-O-Matic range of fork attachments can be manufactured using the Quick Release system, increasing safety and decreasing change over times for attachments.

Bespoke items can also be made to suit to customer specifications in both powder coated steel and stainless steel for ATEX or pharmaceutical applications.



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