There are many types of load handling equipment to consider, including cranes, conveyors, air cushion vehicles, forklifts and other industrial trucks, transfer carts, drag chains, rails, and more. Each of these move systems has varying strengths and weaknesses. This white paper discusses the best use case and a quick overview of the most common load handling systems.
For good control of a load, our general rule is that one person can move and control a load weighing up to 5,000 pounds (2267 kg) ergonomically on AeroGo air casters.
On a perfect surface, a force of 1 pound (.45 kg) for each 1,000 pounds (453.5 kg) of load is required. Most factories do not have perfect surfaces, so a general rule is four to six pounds of force for each 1,000 pounds of load. For loads not maneuverable by one user, AeroGo also supplies power traction drives for loads requiring extra steering and force.
No, but to operate properly, a smooth, nonporous surface will provide the best performance and life for your Aero-Caster equipped products. Usually, a standard concrete warehouse or factory floor provides an adequate surface. Some large cracks and filling expansion joint repairs may be required. Please refer to our operating surface specifications for additional information. Overlay material can provide options for moving over rough surfaces. (Example: You can use an overlay material to move onto an area of broom finished concrete. The overlay material can be sheet metal or a heavy gauge plastic sheet material.)
The requirements for compressed air are dependent on the weight of the load, the size and number of air casters and whether a standard or Heavy-Duty system is used. Generally, most plant air systems operate at sufficient pressure to operate an AeroGo air caster system. Our systems operate at 25 psi (1.75 kg/cm2), or 50 psi (3.51 kg/cm2) for the Heavy-Duty System. Please consult an AeroGo representative to determine the air flow requirements for your system. Example: An AeroGo 28,000 lb./12700 kg Air Caster Rigging System, on a normal smooth sealed concrete floor, uses up to 110 scfm at 25 psig.
Yes, an added benefit of an AeroGo air caster system is that it will lift a load before the film of air is created under the air caster air bearing. The effective lift of an air caster is determined by the type and size of the air caster, but can range from 0.5 to 3.5 inches (1.27-8.89 cm).
A properly adjusted AeroGo air caster system generates very little noise or airflow around the air caster/air bearing. If you place a business card next to a properly adjusted air caster, the business card will not be disturbed.
LOAD WEIGHT X 0.005 = pounds of force to move the load
Force required to move a load is calculated by multiplying the load weight by a surface factor between 0.001 to 0.005. Surface factor is determined by evaluating surface levelness and smoothness. A perfect surface would use 0.001. Most surfaces require a factor of 0.005.
First of all, because of safety. One person moving that much weight should at least have another person around to assist as a spotter. Secondly, all floors can have small slopes, undulations in the surface and small cracks. As air casters move over these uneven surfaces, the fabric of the air caster lightly contacts the floor, increasing friction slightly. The undulations create the affect of moving the load up or down small slopes. Any slope, no matter how small, has a big impact on the force required to move a heavy load.
Yes. Specialized self-contained systems are available. However, it may not be the most practical solution. Portable systems work best for very short distances and/or infrequent moves and typically employ high pressure nitrogen bottles. If your application requires more frequent moves or traveling longer distances, you will require a continuous supply of air (i.e. a compressor) which typically makes self contained air caster systems a less cost effective option.
Yes, eventually. Air casters wear-out as the air caster material occasionally comes in contact with the operating surface even if it is “floating” properly. Due to handcrafted manufacturing and high quality materials, on a proper operating surface an AeroGo air casters can last for years.
No, even if the air supply is suddenly shut off, it takes a while for all the air inside the air caster to bleed out. This assures that the load is not subject to shock from a sudden drop in pressure. Keep in mind that once the air has escaped the air caster and the load is resting on landing pads, the load is no longer moveable.
It’s easy. If you have a substance on the air caster fabric, wipe it off using a rag dabbed with acetone. Once cleaned, make sure that the air caster completely dries before any air or load pressure is applied. Use small amounts of liquid on the air caster fabrics. If the solvent soaks into the air caster materials this saturation will shorten the life of your air caster. Scuff marks do not affect the air caster’s performance and do not need to be removed.
Too much pressure on a raised floor can cause the floor to break. If a floor tile fails during movement of a machine, damage to the sensitive machine is costly to repair and delays the production of the cleanroom. In a worst case failure, utilities and cables beneath the floor can be damaged, causing additional shutdown of the cleanroom. Since a cleanroom operation only makes money when it is operating, shutdowns are very costly. This fact alone is the reason air casters are so perfectly suited for cleanroom operations: they distribute the load weight across a larger surface area than wheels or casters.
AeroGo takes special precautions during the manufacture and assembly of cleanroom systems to prevent the introduction of contaminates and debris. Each system is tested and purged with pure nitrogen prior to shipment. Regulators are oil and grease free and cleanroom compatible fittings and hoses are used wherever possible.
Our low vibration moving products are not certified for use in cleanrooms, but our customer’s have tested our systems and found they do not introduce any contamination when used with a clean air source.
Some cleanroom operators will purchase a system, but most frequently, a rigger or specialized transportation company will purchase AeroGo’s equipment. Cleanroom operators generally hire riggers for all large equipment moves in a facility. Equipment manufacturers often hire transportation companies to move new machines from their factory to a customer’s facility.
The Gapmaster allows greater flexibility when using overlays. Gapmaster air casters possess a greater capability to cross gaps and steps on overlays, eliminating the need, in most cases, to tape overlay joints. Some riggers view the increased friction of the Gapmaster as an advantage by keeping the machine under better control during positioning. The lower 15psi rating on the Gapmaster reduces the load on raised floor panels and requires the use of larger air casters.
Access floor manufacturer specifications can be very confusing. The best and safest approach is to contact AeroGo and tell us the type and weight of the machine and the access floor specifications. You can also visit the Cleanroom page for additional information.