According to data compiled by global lifting leader Konecranes, the growing focus on delivering assistance for lighter capacity lifting began picking up steam in the automotive industry, where internal policies suggested that loads over 25 pounds required a lift assist. Automakers soon saw the value of reducing cumulative trauma based on repetitive lift motions. Today, this mindset has expanded into many other businesses.

The trend stems from increasing awareness that a well-designed lifting assist reduces both workplace injuries and product damage, along with improving worker productivity and morale.

“XA aluminum enclosed track workstation is the system of choice for many automakers, aerospace companies, machine shops and general manufacturing,” says Chuck Snook, Konecranes sales manager, Region Americas, WLS. “The acquisition cost is low and the benefits are high. The XA system bolts together,and can be used with a manual or electric chain hoist, or an ATB AirBalancer, as we show in one of our videos. The XA system is also highly adaptable–if production needs change, the customer can easily take it down and move it or expand by adding extensions.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that overexertion and bodily reaction account for the largest percentages of missed work. OSHA computes the indirect cost to employers of workplace injuries at $45 billion annually. In addition to absenteeism, it can cost 21 percent of an employee’s annual salary to find a replacement. To prevent worker injury, current thinking indicates that loads above 40 pounds require a lift assist.

Koecranes - XA aluminum enclosed track workstation

“Forty pounds is just outside the comfort level for manual lifting, but not quite enough to justify a “large” crane,” says Snook. “XA delivers a load capacity of up to 2 tonnes if needed, but where it really shines is managing those smaller loads for the employee who would otherwise be lifting them by hand.”

XA’s aluminum framework operates with 50 percent less rolling resistance than steel I-beam systems, allowing many tasks to be accomplished with push/pull trolleys rather than with motorized drives. This can provide savings in equipment, maintenance upkeep and electricity costs. The XA Profile is 50 percent lighter than traditional steel runway systems, making it easier to move and also very quiet.

“Another bonus is that the XA system is aesthetically pleasing,” says Snook. “For manufacturers who take pride in their facilities, Konecranes XA can substantially enhance the look of the workplace while enhancing safety and productivity.”

About Konecranes, Inc.:
Konecranes is a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses™, serving a broad range of customers, including manufacturing and process industries, shipyards, ports and terminals. Konecranes provides productivity-enhancing lifting solutions as well as services for lifting equipment and machine tools of all makes.

In 2014, Group sales totaled EUR 2,011 million. The Group has 12,000 employees at 600 locations in 48 countries. Konecranes is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (symbol: KCR1V).

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