Industrial settings that use steel sheets as part of their operations may need special types of equipment to transport the steel sheets from one location to the other. While the same job can sometimes be done manually by engaging several workmen, the approach may invite serious issues in terms of hazards. Additionally, it will also require the employer to invest additional amounts for the purchase of employee-safety gear. Some sheets will be large and they need to be supported from both the sides during transportation and under such cases, the operations become more efficient if manual labour is replaced by the use of lifting devices.

Plate clamps, plate hooks, and magnets are the three main devices that are commonly used to lift steel sheets. Plate clamps appear in three designs that promote the lifting of steel sheets in vertical, horizontal, and specific positions. Usually two or more plate clamps are used together and they are sometimes complemented by the use of a spreader beam that not only helps to spread the load in an even manner, but also allows the clamps to be spaced out uniformly. Each type of clamp comes with various orientations. Some clamps feature hinges, some are heavy-duty designs, some are specifically designed as high grip versions and some are of non-marking categories which come with leather pads that prevent the formation of scratch-marks on steel sheets during transportation. Additionally, plate clamps can also be used to turn steel sheets through 90 degrees and even through 180 degrees, which facilitates the vertical lifting of steel sheets and their horizontal positioning at the time of settling down.

Lifting hooks or lifting dogs come in various forms including grab hooks, end dogs, flat plate dogs, and round section dogs. These hooks can be used to lift multiple steel sheets and special versions can be developed based on the thickness of the load that needs to be lifted. Lifting dogs serve as an effective non-marking lifting medium to transport multiple sheets in a cost-effective way.

As the name indicates, lifting magnets work by holding steel sheets with a strong magnetic force. However, for lifting magnets to work properly, the load should also have magnetic properties. For example, mild steel portrays magnetic properties and so sheets made of mild steel can be lifted with magnetic lifters. Additionally, lifting magnets can be used to lift other objects such as tubes, pipes, and cylindrical steel items. Before using a lifting magnet, the operator should conduct a testing procedure to ensure that the magnet has sufficient force to lift a particular load. This is mainly because of the fact that the contact area between the load and the magnet is often reduced due to the formation air gaps resulting mainly from oils, paints, debris, and bad machining practices. 

Tags: Handling