Air or pneumatic skates/bearings are pneumatic devices that operate similarly to a hovercraft or an air hockey table, with a thin cushion of air created between the floor and the load platform or beam. This allows for almost frictionless, omnidirectional movement. Very heavy loads can be moved with air castors – when floating on air, a 450 kg load can be moved with as little as 450 grams of force. The volume of compressed air required for operation is also relatively low, resulting in an efficient and cost-effective operation.
Air skid and castor systems are extensively used in many applications across a broad range of industries. Some examples include:
When heavy machinery or equipment needs to be moved or relocated, traditional load skates or castors can’t compete with the versatility of pneumatic skates and pallet jacks. Not only do they provide a cost-effective alternative to overhead cranes, but they can also be utilised in areas where heavy lifting equipment or forklifts can’t operate. Air skids allow for accurate, safe and omnidirectional movement of loads ranging from 1,300 kg right through to 23,000 kg per skid.
Airfloat technology has been used for decades to revolutionise manufacturing processes. Air skids and transporters are commonly used in the assembly of construction equipment, aircraft, trucks and locomotives. They offer a wide range of benefits, including promotion of lean manufacturing principles, less reliance on traditional overhead conveyors and cranes, minimal maintenance, and lower initial capital expenditure.
With air bearing systems, you can move and relocate shipping containers safely and easily. As a result, air skates provide better results than traditional rollers or skates. Advantages include minimal facility or plant requirements and unlimited positioning of containers, as well as easy operation in environments where other forms of material handling equipment are unable to operate.
Air caster technology is used widely in areas that require spark-free solutions for the movement of heavy loads. Benefits include 100% spark-free operation, enhanced worker safety, and the easy manoeuvring of loads in tight and difficult areas. Sitecraft offers an all-aluminium air utility platform, suitable for use in paint booths and other environments where flammable goods, vapours or dust exist.
Air skates and pneumatic pallet jacks help to minimise the risks associated with forklifts being used to move and place heavy rolls and coils. Air operated and pneumatic paper/steel, roll and coil movers can easily be operated by one worker without the risk of forklift injuries. Added benefits include operation on plant air supply, minimal maintenance and repair issues, reduced damage to valuable stock, and accurate alignment with machine spindles and mounts.
If you’d like to learn more about the range of air skates and air pallet jacks offered by Sitecraft, get in touch with one of our industry experts today. Call now on 1300 363 152, or send us an enquiry through our convenient online contact form.