How to Perform a Glass Vacuum Lifter Load Test
A vacuum lifter is a device used for material handling such as glass, plastic, paving stones, etc. The materials lifted are typically non-porous as this ensures the vacuum can achieve enough suction for the lift. By creating a negative pressure between the vacuum cups and the material’s surface it creates a suction allowing the object to be lifted without falling.
For safe use of your glass vacuum lifter, you should be performing a load test before use to ensure nothing goes wrong during an actual lift. By doing this test in a controlled environment you can be sure everyone involved is safe and your materials/equipment remains undamaged.
To learn more about glass vacuum lifter safety click here.
Why Should You Load Test?
When using machinery that relies on vacuums, delicate materials, and situations that can quickly turn dangerous it is important
that everything is functioning correctly. Particularly with vacuum lifters which cannot be used in freezing temperatures, rain, and wind, you should always perform a load test.
If your glass vacuum lifter is ever subject to any of the above weather conditions, it is important you inspect the machine for any damage or remaining moisture. Once the weather is suitable for vacuum lifter use, it is important to perform the load test. Doing this reduces the risk of the vacuum lifter losing suction while in use, which prevents injury and materials being damaged.
A standard load test requires that the glass vacuum lifter lifts an object that is at the lifter’s Maximum Load Capacity that also has the appropriate Load Characteristics i.e. non-porous surface, not exceeding max load, the load is not too long/wide or not long/wide enough, etc.
To safely perform an actual load test, you should:
- Set your load on a stable support, such as a slab buggy, so that it is upright and easy to attach the glass vacuum lifter to.
- Direct your glass vacuum lifter towards the load using your mini spider crane, glazing robot, or the other machine you are using. Attach the vacuum pads to the surface of the load so that it gains sufficient vacuum to lift it.
- Once the vacuum pump has stopped running and has achieved the needed vacuum to attach to the load you should begin to raise it.
- Once raised to the minimal distance needed to be fully supported by the lifter you should continue the hold for 5 minutes.
- During this time, you should examine the vacuum lifter, watching out for any slips and falls. The vacuum lifter should remain in place throughout the entire 5 minutes.
- If the lifter does slip or fall you should conduct a vacuum test and inspect each vacuum pad.
Load tests can also be performed with an equivalent simulation. This is an alternative to a standard load test as rather than using a physical load to lift you instead apply forces that are equivalent to the Max Load Capacity.
If you have any questions on performing load tests you can contact us by phone or by clicking here. If you are unsure of how to perform a load test you can also hire one of our RTITB-qualified vacuum lifter operators who can perform the needed load test and also complete the lift for you.