The assembly process of manufacturing companies is often complex. Especially when products become larger and heavier. If larger objects need to be moved, it is of course important that this is done effectively and safely. If this is insufficiently thought through or poorly organized, this can result in downtime and this can be enormously costly. Of course, preventing this is better than fixing it.
In this blog, we explain the benefits of air casters and why it’s an interesting tool for moving heavy weights, such as machines, skids, and other large structures. This can help optimize production and prevent downtime!
1. Maneuverability and moving in confined spaces
Air casters allow a (heavy) load to float on a thin layer of air, so it can move almost frictionless in any direction. This freedom is ideal for maneuvering larger objects in smaller spaces or on routes with sharp turns or smaller passages.
Air casters provide ultimate freedom of movement and provide maximum maneuverability! Only 1 pound of force is required to move 1,000 pounds. This makes moving massive loads from one place to another within a facility an easy job. The working of air casters can be compared to that of a hovercraft, but without the massive propellers producing the air.
2. Safety and ergonomic benefits of air casters
In the production environment, many employees are involved in the movement of heavy loads; it is important that this is done safely and ergonomically. By using air casters it’s possible to move several thousands of kilograms with one person. For heavier loads this can be done with several people. For weights starting from 20,000 lbs, we advise using a drive, because of mass inertia. This way it remains safe to move large weights in an ergonomic way. ASE has developed and produced tools for this purpose.
With its own engineering team, ASE can assist in finding customized solutions in order to make the client’s internal logistics as optimal as possible.
3. Less risk of floor damage
The layer of air between the air casters and the floor ensures that the load can be moved with almost no friction. Because the cargo floats, there is no contact with the floor, meaning the risk of damage is negligible. Besides contact damage, air casters have a few other benefits for the floor/surface. The weight of the cargo is distributed over the entire surface of the air caster. Therefore, floor pressure is much lower and line or point loads are excluded. Because air casters have a maximum working pressure of 4 bar, the pressure on the floor is never higher than 4 kg per cm2.
4. Minimal maintenance
One of the benefits of air casters is that they have no moving parts. This means that lubrication or oil isn’t needed. Air casters require nearly no maintenance. If they get dirty, they can easily be cleaned using soap and water.
5. Vibration-free moving of fragile loads
Loads that are sensitive to shocks and vibrations can easily be moved with air casters. Unevenness in the floor will not be transferred to the load; the air caster absorbs it. This makes air casters ideal for moving high-tech equipment or other sensitive movements. The air casters act as a buffer / shock absorber between the load and the floor. This is one of the benefits of air casters; sensitive loads do not vibrate or shake during transportation.
6. A heavy load doesn’t have to be a burden!
In the production environment, it happens more often that heavy machinery or loads need to be moved. These loads are becoming larger and heavier, whether it’s transformers, large turbines, engines or even complete ships. Air casters have no limitation in terms of capacity. With enough air on a good floor, the entire load is given a floating position. This allows the load to be moved nearly without friction. Because the friction is almost gone, only one thousandth of the force is needed to move a weight. So with 1 kg of force, 1,000 kg can be set in motion. It is important that, although the movement is easier, the weight does not change. Safety always comes first!
Summarized benefits of air casters:
- Optimal maneuverability and freedom of movement
- Safe and ergonomic moving, no matter how heavy the load
- Lower floor pressure, thus less damage to the floor
- Nearly maintenance free
- Vibration-free moving of sensitive loads or machines!