Thursday, October 17, 2019

Retaining Quality in an Impatient World

Before the computer, we were used to calling up a company to place an order or filling out their order form in the middle of their catalog. The general rule of thumb for deliveries was 4-6 weeks. We expected that and so we planned accordingly. If we needed something sooner, we’d trek off to the local store to purchase what we needed and usually had one or two choices, so we took what we could get.

How things have changed. Now we expect to be able to get products shipped to us overnight, delivered to our door, and some of us even want to order without having to speak to anyone. The easier the better. Has the quality of fabricated products suffered because of the expectancy of manufacturing products faster, cheaper, and with less attention to detail?

At WiscoLift, we refuse to compromise quality for expediency. While we have a variety of roundslings and web slings in stock to ship out immediately, our recovery straps and chain slings are fabricated when an order is received. Since we are considered a small company by government agency standards (less than 500 employees), we employ local residents and train them to produce high quality products that adhere to ANSI/ASME standards. We may not fit perfectly in the context of an impatient world, but we are proud of the quality workmanship that comes from our facility and think you may agree that “you get what you pay for.”

For more information on our fabricated web slings, recovery straps, and chain slings, visit us at or call our office at 800-242-3477.

#materialhandling #manufacturing #fabrication #slings 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Are You Interested In Collaborative Robots?

As you probably know, many companies are now integrating collaborative robots into their operations to increase efficiency. Especially for manual, redundant tasks. We are considering adding two types of Collaborative Robots into our line of material handling solutions. First is a Mobile Robot which looks like an AGV, however, it is sensor-driven and self navigating. It moves items from one location to another and automatically stops, turns and goes around objects in its direct path. No facility modifications are needed with the installation of this AIV (Automated Intelligent Vehicle). Second, the TM Series takes human-machine collaboration to the next level. This robot has a built-in vision system. The integrated camera localizes objects in a wide field of vision and the image-enhancement light enables object recognition under almost any conditions. It can pick up items and place them elsewhere. And, these two robots can be combined together to create a total integrated solution.

If you are interested in meeting to discuss ways a collaborative robot can increase productivity at your facility, please contact your Sales Representative or Rod Fisk at 800-242-3477. You may also email us at if you would like a representative to call you back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Collision Avoidance Systems

Whether you are installing a new overhead crane or upgrading an existing one, WiscoLift’s Collision Avoidance Systems are cost effective, and are fitted to meet your individual material handling requirements.

Collision Avoidance Systems comprise distance sensors that transmit a light beam onto a reflective target. The target returns a signal to the sensor that computes the distance and following pre-set parameters prevents the equipment from colliding. They are often used where multiple cranes are on a single runway, or wherever a single crane is to be prevented from running into runway ends stops or other obstacle. They help to prevent accidents by preventing cranes and other material handling equipment from coming into contact. They can be used to automatically slow cranes and/or stop them are pre-programmed distances from an obstacle.

Overhead crane installations do not automatically include collision avoidance; this is an option that should be considered whenever there are multiple cranes on a runway or when any kind of crane travel impact is to be avoided.

For additional information or pricing on a Collision Avoidance System for your existing overhead cranes, please call our office at 800-242-3477 or email us at

Friday, March 2, 2018

Is Your Industrial Workplace a Safety Hazard?

What does OSHA constitute as a workplace safety violation? Any identifiable hazard that prohibits a safe work environment for an employee. Let’s look at a few violations that should be obvious, but are routinely missed.

Top Violations
  • New employees are not properly trained on equipment and/or safety procedures.
  • Barricades are not used to warn people of slippery surfaces.
  • Guard rails are not used around elevated platforms or floor holes.
  • Protective equipment such as glasses and gloves are not used appropriately or at all.
  • Fall protection/prevention is inadequate for the employee’s job and/or not used at all when operating equipment such as an aerial lift truck.
  • Overhead lifting and rigging equipment is not inspected prior to using it each day/shift.
  • Machinery is not adequately locked and tagged out when maintenance is required.

Were you able to check off any of these violations?
OSHA recommends that all companies have a health and safety program to help eliminate accidents in the workplace. Accidents end up costing the company loss of day’s work and possible OSHA fines if violations are not resolved.

“Responsible employers know that the main goal of a safety and health program is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and their employers.”

Make Safety a High Priority

Developing a new program may seem like an overwhelming task, however, OSHA provides an informative document called Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs. Once downloaded, it will provide a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on the key elements and steps in having an in-house safety program.

Remember, the first and most important step in developing a safety and health program is making sure that management will commit to it and set it as a high priority within the company. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Is Work a Pain in the Back? Try an Ergonomic Lift/Tilt Table

In manufacturing, warehouse and industrial settings, material handling requires employees to lift, move, and tilt materials repeatedly. To assist, there are several reasonably priced, portable, and ergonomic lifters to assist with repositioning. One of the most versatile is a hydraulic powered Lift/Tilt Table. With capacities between 1,000-6,000 lbs., lift tables can be used for pallets, offloading, product, assembly, repair, and to bridge different conveyor levels.

Tables are typically stationary but can be easily fitted with optional casters; two swivel and two fixed, a self-propelling handle, or a semi-portable dolly handle. There are a large variety of tops; extra wide, ball transfer, roller conveyor and tilt tables. These optional tops allow additional uses within company workstation cells.

Set-up for Safety

Before selecting a Lift Table, the employee(s) should be observed to see the various types of movements necessary and then plan accordingly. NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) provides an equation to assess lifting conditions. This equation uses six factors that have been determined to influence lifting difficulty; 1) Asymmetry (twisting), 2) Coupling (grip on load), 3) Lifting Frequency, 4) Horizontal Location of Hands (start to finish), 5) Vertical Location (from floor), and 6) Travel Distance of Load. For more information, please see OSHA’s Technical Manual.

Lift/Tilt tables should be at a height so that the employee can stand fully upright or in a fully supported, seated position. The object should be to eliminate the employee having to bend, twist or pull products, all of which can lead to back pain and injury.

As with any type of industrial equipment, consider purchasing safety features to avoid any mishaps. Bellow skirting, safety tape switch, safety touch bars, and toe guards may be added to the table to ensure safety.

With the right set-up, Lift Tables and Tilters can provide a healthier work environment and increased productivity.

For more information on Lift Tables and Tilters, call our Sales Representative at 800-242-3477 or email Remember, “Working Safe is Working Smart.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Are You and Your Rigging Operators Lifting Responsibly?

According to ASME B30.20, both the owner of a lifting device (the company) and its operator are responsible for certain guidelines when lifting below-the-hook devices.
1.     Establish /Verify Equipment Safety - In order to ensure that below-the-hook equipment meets ASME standards an Equipment Inspection/Testing/Maintenance Program should be put into place. All equipment should be regularly inspected, tested and maintained so that it is in proper working order and records maintained.
2.     Use Proper Lifting Devices - Make sure that proper lifting devices are being used for a particular lifting application and that they are being used correctly according to the operating manual.
3.     Provide All Applicable Documentation - The operator should have access to operating instructions on all below-the-hook devices that provide field assembly, disassembly, operation and maintenance, and warning decals and placards installed by the manufacturer. In addition, all inspection, testing and maintenance records should be available to view before the operator lift.
4.     Use Qualified, Experienced Operators - The operator shall be instructed in the use of the devise by a designated person and should have knowledge and experience in applications and adjustments to loads, equipment shift inspection, load capacity, standard hand signals, and other overhead lifting requirements by ASME. For complete list, see ASME B30.20-3.4.2 Qualifications.
5.     Assess Lifting Conditions - Since adverse conditions can affect the lifting load, take conditions into account such as extreme temperatures, lighting, wind, precipitation or fog. The manufacturer’s recommendations should be used if conditions are questionable.
1.     Perform Visual Inspection and Test Controls - Make a visual inspection of hardware to make sure that all equipment is safe to use and test the lifting device controls that will be used to make sure they are working correctly. If any equipment is unsafe it should be reported and taken immediately out of service. ASME Section 20-3.3 states that the following should be inspected before and/or during every lift for indication of damage:
Lifting Magnets
-          Lifting magnet face and surface of the load for foreign materials and smoothness
-          Control handles of manually controlled permanent magnet
-          Condition and operation of indicators and meters
Vacuum Lifters & Mechanical Lifting Devices
-          Surface of the load for debris
-          Seal of the vacuum pad for debris
-          Condition and operation of the controls
-          Condition and operation of the indicators, meters and pumps
2.     Consider All Lifting Factors - Consider anything that may affect the load such as weather, temperature, or type of load. Ensure that all lifting operations are performed in a smooth, controlled manner and that all personnel are clear of the lifting area.
3.     Check Equipment Documentation - Check inspection/maintenance records to see if there have been any problems with the existing equipment and check other equipment documentation if necessary, for proper procedures, assembly, disassembly and rigging of the device.
4.     Lockout/Tag Procedures - Understand lockout/tagout procedures should equipment need to be taken out of service.
5.     Lifting Communication - Respond to designated people during the load lift. A STOP order should be followed regardless of who issues it.
Check Manufacturer’s Tolerances
You will find that different manufacturers offer the same lifting device but they can have different load ratings and tolerances. If you are not sure, check the manual before lifting.
Check Welded/Altered Equipment
All equipment that has been welded/altered should have identification stating the name and address of the repairer and include information on what was welded/altered. Equipment must be repaired and labeled by a qualified company or it should be taken out of service.
Always Use As Directed
Always use below-the-hook devices as they are intended. Danger always exists when loads are transported, especially when equipment is not properly maintained or safety precautions are not taken. Remember that proper lifting is the owner and the operator’s responsibility.

If you or your operators need overhead operator or inspection training we offer online training modules at: For additional information, contact us at or call 800-242-3477.
Remember, “Working Safe is Working Smart!”

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Material Handling / Lifting With Plate Clamps

Vertical and horizontal plate clamps are designed for lifting sheets, profiles or structures in either a vertical and/or horizontal direction. Plate lifting clamps have a built-in safety mechanism which consists of a locking device, a tension spring and a lever. Once the lever has been operated, the safety mechanism provides constant pre-tensioning of the cam on the steel-plate to ensure that the clamp doesn’t slip when the lifting force is applied. When the load is lifted, the clamping force on the cam is increased by the weight of the load.

With their ease of use and locking functionality, they provide a safe and ergonomic way to lift many types of materials.

There are lifting clamps designed for particular applications as well as specific materials. For an overview, these are some of the available plate clamps on the market today:

Vertical Lifting Plate Clamps – For vertical lifting, transporting and turning of steel plates and structures.
  • Flexible Lift/Extended Reach – Has 3-way articulating link for flexible vertical lifting of steel plates and structures.
  • Thin Sheet – Vertical lifting and transporting of thin sheet metal.
  • Wide Jaw Opening – Designed for lifting, handling and transporting shipbuilding structures, steel plates and structures.
  • Holland Profile (Hp) – Designed specifically for the Hp profile to lift, handle and transport shipbuilding structures from all positions.
  • Stainless Steel – For lifting, transporting and turning of stainless steel plates and structures.
  • Non-Marking (Marring) – Clamps designed with two clamping jaws with a special plastic layer. These can be used with various materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, wood, glass, plastic and stone. Not to be used with concrete.
  • Automatic Lock – Clamps have a safety lock that automatically clicks onto the material as soon as the clamp is placed on the plate.
  • Drum Lifting – Designed to vertically lift, move and transfer gallon drums with steel tops.
  • Concrete Pipe – These clamps are designed to vertically lift and transfer concrete pipe sections and wells.
  • Small-Grip – For the vertical lift and transfer of angle iron and other loads that have a small gripping area (h-beams, angles, etc.).

Horizontal Lifting Plate Clamps – Clamps that provide horizontal lifting and transfer of sheets and bundles.
  • Sagging/Non Sagging  – Clamps that can be used for horizontal lifting and transfer of sagging and non-sagging material. Can also be used to handle material used in shears, bending and rolling machines or other fabrication equipment.
  • Non-Sagging – These clamps only work with non-sagging sheets.
  • Bundles – Designed to lift and transfer bundles of non-sagging steel plates in the horizontal position.
  • Shipbuilding – Used for lifting, transferring and placing bulb profiles onto ship’s hulls perpendicularly. Clamps are fitted with a locking device for both the open and closed positions.
  • Shipsection – Designed to lift, transfer and place complete shipsections. Fitted with a locking device for both open and closed positions.

Universal Plate Clamps – Can be used for horizontal and vertical lifting, transporting and turning of steel plates and structures. These shackles place the center of gravity of the beam to be lifted directly beneath the lifting shackle.
  • Offset Lift – Used for lifting, transferring and stacking of level lifts of i-beams, fabrications and ship sections. Can be used for horizontal and vertical moving, transferring and stacking.
  • H-Beam – Used to lift, transfer and stack h-beams. These clamps can be used in vertical and horizontal moving, transfer and stacking of different types of structures.
  • Steel Beam – Clamps are used for horizontal lift and transfer of steel beams. They designed to be used in vertical and horizontal moving, transfer and stacking of i-beams, h-beams, angles, etc.

Note that if you are using plate clamps outside, wind velocity, precipitation, fog, extreme temperatures and lighting can adversely affect the lifting device’s operation.

As with any below-the-hook lifting device, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure to establish an inspection, testing and maintenance program in accordance with ASME B30.20.

For questions on the best plate clamp for your material handling application, please call our office at 800-242-3477 or email