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Epsilon, a pharmaceutical project engineering company, has asked Base Handling Products to design two machines as part of a project to upgrade two granulation production rooms for a major client.

Epsilon knew that its solution would need mechanical handling equipment in order to meet new legislation on the production of tablets where solvents are being used.

The potentially hazardous production environment meant that Atex standard specifications were required.

Base Handling Products developed a post hoist that enables a platform to be loaded at a low level, elevated to the required height of 1,745mm and then rotated so that operational personnel on an adjacent access platform can facilitate discharge into the mixer.

Typically, the platform will be loaded with sacks or drums up to a safe working load of 160kg.

At the heart of the new hoist is a rotating precision ball screw within the main column, which provides the lifting function and is driven by a pneumatic motor gearbox.

This pneumatic drive includes a failsafe braking system so that if the air supply is interrupted or fails, the platform is arrested immediately in complete safety.

To achieve Atex classification, all elements of the design were configured to meet Atex Zone 1 and 21 area requirements.

The pneumatic control system was mounted in a stainless steel enclosure and used air-pilot-operated Atex valves to control the lifting operations.

The platform hoist can be operated in both directions from the control panel using dual pushbuttons that must be held simultaneously for the platform to move.

Not only did this handling system have to conform to the Atex classification but it was also subject to stringent hygiene requirements for use in a pharmaceutical production environment.

The construction materials used included Grade 304 stainless steel throughout and conductive polymers for wear and moving parts, with a particular emphasis on ease of cleaning and maintenance.

In addition to the hoist’s main function, a further feature was incorporated into the machine design that has eliminated the potentially hazardous manual-handling operation of removing the mixer blades from the vessel.

The hoist’s main column carries a lifting arm mounted on a rotary spigot that allows the mixer blades to be removed effortlessly and safely without the need for extra handling equipment.

Base Handling Products

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