The mishandling of rolls of materials is a workplace hazard. For the safe handling of these large rolls, you need roll handling equipment. Like many products for managing your facility, not all roll handling pieces are the same. Here’s what you need to know when you’re searching for roll handling equipment.
Why Is Proper Roll Handling Important?
You want to keep your warehouse safe, but with a variety of roll sizes used in many industries, you may not have the equipment on hand for your employees to safely move those rolls. With the ability to safely and quickly move rolls, your workers will experience less fatigue on the job, fewer accidents and more efficiency. Additionally, careful lifting of rolls with the right equipment will reduce damage and product loss.
Safety on the Job
The biggest reason a proper lifting procedure is vital for employees is that it prevents back problems. Back injuries during lifting accounted for 38.5 percent of all musculoskeletal injuries at work in 2016. Among those injuries, three out of every four occurred when the worker was lifting something. The lower back is especially vulnerable. This area accounted for four out of five back injuries on the job.
The Proper Procedure for Lifting Heavy Rolls
Training your workers in proper lifting procedures will go a long way toward preventing job injuries. OSHA recommends several workplace changes that can help prevent back injury.
- Determine safe lifting levels: OSHA recommends using the NIOSH Lifting Analysis Worksheet to calculate safe lifting amounts for a given job. The worksheet factors in duration, the amount lifted, the angle of lift and several other parameters to calculate the recommended weight limit, or RWL, for a project. The RWL is how much 75 percent of female workers and 99 percent of male workers can lift safely in an eight hour period.
- Carefully select storage: Storing heavy items at waist level prevents workers from bending too far over to pick them up or lifting the objects over their heads.
- Push rather than pull: Pushing is more natural than pulling. To accommodate either, have sturdy handles that allow a worker to grasp the object while upright and without bending.
- Provide lift assistance: Even OSHA suggests having lift assistance equipment on hand to help your workers. For rolls anywhere from three to 70 inches wide, we have customized roll handling solutions to reduce your workers’ injuries on the job.
- Train and strengthen: Training your workers’ minds and bodies can reduce lifting injuries. Teach them to promptly report any injuries and to follow your workplace’s procedures for such events. Strengthening your employees’ bodies better prepares them for regular lifting without injury.
- Reduce lifting situations: Where possible, reduce the number of times your workers would have to manually lift things in your facility. Roll handling equipment takes much of the effort out of moving these materials, which helps cut down on injuries.
What Not to Do
Never allow workers to pick rolls up manually. Even tandem lifting can be dangerous and damage the roll. Do not let workers move rolls from their preparation position parallel to the floor to their perpendicular orientation for storage. Even tilting the roll can cause severe damage to the worker or the material. Use only proper roll handling equipment to move these bulky, potentially dangerous loads.
How Does Roll Handling Equipment Work?
Roll handling equipment moves the rolls without risking the worker’s health. There are several types, and each one operates differently. Understanding the types of roll handling equipment you have available will help you make the best selection for your facility.
When you need to turn a roll from horizontal to vertical or transport it entirely, you should use a tip lift. To operate it, the worker will insert the toothed probe into the roll’s core. The teeth lock into the center, allowing the worker to move the roll. Tip lifts come with manual, electric or pneumatic operation. Each has its advantages:
- Manual tip lifts: For locations without access to electricity, a manual tip lift could be the solution. These lifts provide simple, economical operation without the need to wait for air or search for a power outlet.
- Pneumatic tip lifts: Pneumatic tip lifts gain extra power from air pressure. They do not require an AC outlet for operation, and they work twice as fast as manual tip lifts.
- Electric tip lifts: For ease of operation without the waiting inherent in using pneumatic tip lifts, electric is the option you should choose.
For moving rolls with the help of a truck or forklift, you need a mobile solution that can attach to one of these vehicles. You’ll gain the ease of use and mobility of the vehicle with the safety of an appropriate roll handling part. Variations on mobile units can help you get the most out of the equipment, including:
- Hydraulic cart attachments: Hydraulic cart attachments have onboard power and can handle rolls up to 1,538 pounds and 60 inches wide.
- Forklift attachments: The workhorses of our mobile unit line are the forklift attachment. These attachments mount onto the carriage of forklifts. They can lift 2,000 pounds and 10-foot cables to increase mobility.
- Electric cart attachments: Electric cart attachments have onboard pneumatic release controls. Select this attachment for loads up to 50 inches wide and 938 pounds.
Sometimes, a tip lift is not suitable for changing the position of a roll, such as when someone is loading or unloading rolls from pallets. The solution in such instances is a roll over. All our roll overs are custom-built, and you can get models capable of moving up to 6,000 pounds.
The self-contained design of roll overs is a boon because you don’t have to bolt them to the floor. With a mobile format, you can move the roll over to where you need it rather than moving the more massive pallet of rolls to the device.
Make sure to have power access to wherever you transport the roll over — they use electrical operation and hydraulic power to move the weighty rolls. Due to their design, the time it takes to turn the rolls is only 15 to 20 seconds, a speed that will boost your facility’s productivity and efficiency.
Horizontal Roll Lifters
You may need to lift and transport some rolls in a horizontal orientation. A horizontal roll lifter does that while reducing the risk of injury from a worker trying to move the roll manually. Be sure to purchase a capacity that matches the loads you plan to lift. When it comes to selecting horizontal roll lifters, there’s a fine line between ordering a lifter that’s too overpowered and expensive and choosing one that doesn’t have the capacity you need.
Vertical Roll Lifters
While horizontal roll lifters maintain the sideways position of rolls, vertical lifters keep the rolls upright as they’re moved. The vertical lifters connect to a standard hook on a hoist, while a toothed probe holds tightly onto the core as it’s transported. There are several variations of the basic vertical roll lifter, including:
- Step center lifts: These center lifts have two separate diameters, three inches and six inches, creating a step in the middle. With different diameters, you get a two-in-one device that has increased versatility. Because they’re so specific to a project, we customize all step center lifts.
- Vertical center lifts: A vertical center lift has a basic style with a toothed center that fits into the core of the roll. The teeth clamp into the core when the core gets lifted. To remove the lift, the worker turns a knob to retract the teeth.
- Remote vertical center lifts: Remote vertical center lifts operate the same way as the standard lift with the difference of a remote operation added to the design. No longer does a worker have to manually retract the teeth. They can use a remote to do the job from a distance.
Industrial Applications of Roll Handling
Several industries use roll handling equipment to safely transport and move their rolls. Because the materials of the rolls differ, the handling equipment requirements for each sector will also change. But what unites the following groups and more is their need for safe, secure and reliable equipment to move and transport rolls:
- Pharmaceutical industry: Paper labels on rolls for the pharmaceutical industry need to be moved around a warehouse. Roll handling equipment can take care of these bulky paper rolls.
- Food and drink industry: Like the pharmaceutical industry, the food and drink sector often uses paper labels on containers. If these labels are brought to the facility on rolls, workers will need to move the rolls safely to storage or the labeling equipment.
- Paper products industry: Paper manufacturers often produce rolls of paper before the paper gets cut into pieces. To transport these paper rolls, the worker will need roll handling equipment.
- Cable production: Rolls of cable or wire do not have the same weight as paper rolls. The denser materials can add heft to the rolls. Those in cable production or who need to store cable rolls need heavy-duty equipment to lift the extra weight.
- Packaging: Packing and storage industries often use long reels of plastic wrap. You’ll need equipment to transport and turn these wrap reels.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Roll Handling Equipment
Purchasing roll handling equipment depends on several factors in your facility. You’ll need to take several measurements before going online to order to make the process as fast as possible, especially if you need a quote for customized roll handling equipment. Many types of equipment must be custom-built to accommodate specific needs. Let us know your needs, and we’ll help you find the best roll handling equipment for your facility.
The dimensions of your product are critical for getting the right equipment. Check with the company you’re ordering from to see if you need your measurements in metric or U.S. units. At Tilt Lock, we use U.S. units, so you’ll use inches and pounds when ordering.
Measure the length of the full roll. You’ll also need the diameter of the vase of the roll. This measurement is the distance across the base from one edge to the other through the center. You’ll include the core in this width.
Lastly, find the weight in pounds, which depends on the material and its density. Two rolls of paper of equal lengths and widths could have different weights due to variations in density. Accurate weight measurements are especially crucial because roll handling equipment has a weight limit for safe lifting. If you exceed this limit, you risk serious bodily injury.
Type of Material
The type of material affects the kind of equipment you purchase beyond factoring in the weight. Some materials may flatten on one side if left to rest horizontally. For such materials, you’ll need vertical center lifts to hoist the roll while maintaining an upright orientation. The inner portion of the material must be secured somehow to the core, either with tape or glue. You must also ensure that the outer layer is secured to prevent the roll from unraveling during transport.
Type of Core
Cores are critical for moving rolls because the probe fits inside the core for lifting or tilting. You must verify adhesion of the inner material to the core to keep the unit together when you move it. Some materials may not include a core because the material itself, such as metal, is sturdy enough to hold everything together.
Turning or Transporting Materials
When it comes to using roll handling equipment, turning and transporting are two typical applications. But not every piece of equipment can do both tasks. You may need specialized or more versatile equipment based on what your facility needs to do. Consider how you need to handle large materials when choosing the gear you need:
- Turning only: When you need to turn rolled materials, tip lifts are a classic solution. With pneumatic, manual and electric options, you’ll find a way to turn materials in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible. Roll overs are a great option for turning rolls too large for tip lifts.
- Transporting only: Vertical and horizontal lifters are used exclusively to move materials. Horizontal lifters keep the unit parallel to the ground. Vertical lifters are ideal for softer materials that may develop flat spots or become damaged if stored horizontally.
- Both turning and transporting: If you need both turning and transporting, we have mobile units that you can attach to carts or forklifts. Some of them can lift up to 2,000 pounds, making them a good solution for warehouses that need versatility and the ability to reach hard-to-access places.
Finding the Equipment to Fit Your Needs
Don’t put the safety of your workers at risk. Also, don’t settle for equipment that isn’t designed for the rolls your workers need to move. At Tilt Lock, we can customize the roll handlers you order for your needs. For more information about our custom offerings or to request a quote, contact us online or speak with one of our representatives over the phone at 1-800-999-8458. We offer safe, reliable solutions to your facility’s roll handling problems. Let us know how we can help you.