Category Archives: Material Handling

The Need for Diversified Product Offerings

At Liftomatic Material Handling, we are primarily known for manufacturing drum handling equipment, but we have other offerings too. We have the ability to design, make, and deliver custom material handling equipment based on customer needs.

Increasing Our Product Range

Recently, a company called us in need of a super sack handling solution. The large nylon bulk bags are used for shipping, handling, and storing dry granular products, such as grains, sands, and beads. The cost-effective sacks, which resemble oversized tote bags, have loops to help lift and move them. The company required a specialized lifting device for this application.

So, our team got to work and custom designed and built a lifting device to fill the specific need. Since the product is custom made, it could meet specific size and weight dimensions to be most effective for this job.

The Importance of Flexibility in Manufacturing

Flexibility is an important trait for modern manufacturers. It enables a manufacturing company to provide something required by a customer using its current building capabilities and multi-skilled team, rather than getting bogged down in the current product line only. A flexible manufacturing operation, such as our own, is responsive, and, thus, reacts to different and unforeseen requests from customers, rather than turning them away.

In the above example regarding super sacks, our Liftomatic team created the modified Below the Hook lifting device to fill the particular customer’s request, even though it was not part of our existing lineup of drum and barrel handling equipment offerings. Providing the custom solution was fulfilling for us as a company because it resulted in a satisfied customer who received products with the exact dimensions requested, thus enabling them to continue to have a productive work environment.

Do you have a unique material handling need? Request information for your next custom order.

Finding the Right Drum Dispensing Options for Your Application

The proper equipment makes drum dispensing and dumping easier and safer. This is true across a wide range of applications, but how do you find the right drum handler and dispenser? Here are some things to know.

Drum Handling Variables

Drum handling equipment includes drum lifters and dispensers. They are beneficial in various industries, with different designs being suitable for different industrial and commercial applications. From food processing to ball bearings, small parts, pharmaceuticals, paint, and coatings, there are many uses.

Given the diversity of work environments, it is important to use the right drum handling equipment for the situation at hand, whether it be dispensing or mixing contents from or in drums. There are many variables for drum dispensing, such as ergonomics, space utilization, and throughput.

Consider the type of material you’ll be working with (liquid or solid?). Also consider any special requirements for the material – is it flammable or explosive? Could it corrode certain types of metal? How much room is there around the warehouse for drum handling equipment? Will people be required to operate the equipment by hand, or do you have an automated process?

This is why we craft custom handling equipment for drums and barrels to meet each of our client’s needs.

Unique Drum Dumping Equipment Applications

Liftomatic Material Handling has product modifications to suit different dumping capabilities. We recognize that no two clients are identical and this is true of drum dumping applications; thus, we customize our handling solutions to each customer.

Drum Dumper

Tip-Mate 800 Drum Dumper

The newest addition to our product line is the Tip-Mate™ 800 drum dumper, which features a push-button activated clamping system to dump 55-gallon drums weighing up to 800 pounds using a forklift truck. Unlike many other dumpers, the Tip-Mate™ 800 does not require foot pumps, hand cranks, or any other manual activity to activate it, other than pressing the button, which makes for an easier process.

Other types of drum dumping equipment we manufacture include Below Hook Drum Dumpers, which are meant for steel, plastic, and fiber drums weighing up to 1,000 pounds each, Forklift Mounted Drum Dumpers, and portable models. Our experts are happy to help you determine which one is best for your organization’s needs.

Contact Us

Do you want to learn more about specific drum dumping applications? Call us at 1-800-837-6540, so we can review your material handling needs. We specialize in building material handling equipment, specifically for drums and barrels.

Understanding the Importance of Remote Control Technology in Material Handling

Using remote control technology might not be new in material handling, but it has advanced greatly over the years, allowing for safer working conditions and better control.

To modernize more warehouses around the world, we’re rolling out even more equipment with remote control technology. This adds a greater amount of safety to the workplace and is convenient to material handling operations. There are numerous materials that can be hazardous to a person’s health, so it’s important to keep a safe distance when possible. Remote control technology can be used with gantry cranes, container handling equipment, overhead cranes, and even coil handling equipment. This type of material handling allows operators to focus more on their load than the equipment itself, keeping everyone safe.

Maneuvering heavy drums can be difficult to do by hand, and dangerous when toxic chemicals are inside. Remote control options allow operators to work with drums from the safety of their forklift or other equipment they are handling.

Liftomatic Material Handling understands material handling equipment for drum and barrel handling applications better than anyone. We have been in business for almost 70 years and understand the importance of safety and keeping your business profitable. To learn more about the many remote control options for your warehouse, feel free to call 1-800-837-6540 to speak with a representative.

3 Tools to Improve Trucking Efficiency

Workers in the trucking sector face a number of challenges on the road. From keeping track of their driving time, to finding areas to rest and eat, and then moving materials on and off the trucks at each stop. It’s a rewarding job, but one that requires a lot of planning and a lot of muscle. Fortunately, incorporating the right tools into your process can greatly improve your time on and off the road.

Fleet Tracking Tools

One of the major issues associated with managing a large fleet is keeping track of all of the drivers and shipments. GPS truck tracking systems make things easier by allowing companies to monitor everything from truck speed, idling time, breaks during the day, etc. It also improves customer service since customers can be made aware of where their shipments are and when they can be expected to arrive.

Living on the Go

Truck drivers don’t have a lot of options when it comes to eating and sleeping during a long trip. They depend heavily on rest stops along the way, which can be few and far between. App developers have caught on to the need for this information, and have designed a few apps available for download that help drivers find the nearest rest stops from wherever they are. A number of options are available for download, such as Rest Stops Plus.  “Team-driving,” often involving husband and wife teams- has become popular today too!

Product Loading/Unloading

A trucker’s job doesn’t end once he or she gets to a destination. Loading and unloading materials is the next step. Since many products are shipped in 55-gallon drums, it’s important for fleet managers to provide workers with the proper drum handling equipment. A regular forklift doesn’t have the right attachments to secure drums, so providing hand truck drum handlers, which are portable and can carry up to 1,000lbs, offer an added layer of safety and utility.

Of course, transportation and shipping companies have many more challenges to contend with than those mentioned above. For companies that provide global freight service, like Estes Express or FedEx, monitoring shipments through air and across oceans presents its own set of challenges. But thanks to modern technology, even these jobs are getting easier to manage. We’re always interested in the next innovations to come out of this sector, and are continuously adding to our own product lines of drum handling equipment to provide even more solutions.

Our Guide to Choosing Drum Handling Equipment – Part 1 Now on IEN

Liftomatic model 2-FTA

Selecting the Right Drum Handling Equipment

Liftomatic has a long history of contributing helpful information to Industrial Equipment News (IEN). We recently published a new whitepaper which provides helpful guidelines for selecting the correct drum handling equipment for your desired applications. You can find the full whitepaper on IEN, titled Essential Guide to Choosing Drum Handling Equipment. Here, we’ve provided a quick breakdown of the information that was so thoroughly addressed by our Application Specialist, Keith Carmody.

  1. Assess your goals and challenges – For example, if your goal is to prevent drum damage, consider using padded equipment. If you want to improve throughput and inventory turns, you may benefit from a drum handler that can pick up multiple drums at time. The first step is figuring out the areas that need improvement, and then looking into which products can best help you meet those goals.
  2. Consider your operators – Not every person on your team will be able to effectively use each piece of equipment. Take an inventory of your staff, look at each person’s strengths and weaknesses, and then assign the equipment based on those factors. Also take into account hours worked, since lack of sleep combined with heavy equipment can have disastrous consequences.
  3. Reassess your operations – Just as each person may be best suited to a different task, the same goes for equipment. Maybe you’ve been using the same products for the last decade, but have since changed other parts of your processing chain. This is a good time to review new products and see if any of them will be a better match for your needs. Occasionally, custom drum handling equipment is needed to address all requirements.
  4. Consider materials being handled – 55-gallon drums can contain a number of different products, but one of the most well-known examples is oil. This material is highly flammable and explosive, and many other products have similarly hazardous characteristics. Always make sure operators are aware of which materials are being transported and what safety precautions are necessary. Some items will require specialized drum handling equipment to ensure safety.
  5. Review the safety of your entire facility – Having trained workers and the correct equipment is your first line of defense against workplace accidents. Make sure the facility itself is also in line with safety recommendations. This means having proper signage in all necessary areas, looking out for blind spots on the warehouse floor, and providing regular maintenance on all equipment.

Hopefully the above information has been helpful in choosing the right drum handling equipment and ensuring the safety of your facility. The original whitepaper can be found at IEN for reference. In addition, this is the first in a 2-part series on selecting drum handling equipment. Stay on the look-out for our complementary second feature!

Upgrades and Changes at Liftomatic to Better Serve Our Customers

We couldn’t be more excited about 2015! We’re excited for a number of new changes here at Liftomatic, allowing us to better serve our clients. Since we began almost 70 years ago, our clients have allowed us to be successful and have helped us in so many ways. For example, in past years, we’ve made changes because of client participation and suggestions. Furthermore, we’ve been working with some our clients for decades, enabling us to find markets that outpaced original expectations and allowed for cost savings and project management opportunities that never would have been possible otherwise.

Our first focus of 2015 is our client relationship management (CRM) software platform. For a number of years, our sales team used an effective, but dated program to manage and track customer relationship. The entire Liftomatic team has spent the better part of the last year working with a Integrated Sales Solutions (ISSI) in Libertyville, Illinois to beta-test, install, validate and data-port the new technology We’re happy to be able to begin using this customized CRM software software platform that will allow us to better serve our growing and diverse customer base.

One of the main focuses of this CRM software was the design and overal user-interface. For example, some of our research indicated that many of our clients are on the go early in the morning, taking care of office duties and administrative requirements before heading out into field operations.   Due to this, we designed time-sensitive alerts into the new system,  allowing for better staffing at certain times and in the right places. All of this will allow us to be fully ready to help customers quickly and when it is most convenient to their individual schedules.

Our new CRM software also allows us to easily correspond via emails/notes. For example:

Step1- Write Email Click Send SLX- Click the “Send SLX” (circled in blue) and it will attach the email as a note to the account with that specific email.
Step 2- Notes in SLX- This is showing the end result of sending the email through SLX. Please note that the subject line for the email will show up as the description in SLX.

Lifto CRM Step 2- Notes in SLX 1.13.2014 Lifto CRM Step1- Write Email Click Send SLX 1.13.2015

The number one focus for us is you, the client. The efficiency of our contacts with you is what helps make you profitable.  We believe that quality products, parts, service, and information should be delivered correctly and efficiently to you, the customer.

Be sure to watch throughout the year as we unfold what we hope will be the benchmark of CRM software platforms for years to come. We want you to know that we are here, working to make you better and to earn your trust as the very best vendor in the drum handling industry.  Thanks for your business as always.

-The Staff at Liftomatic

Liftomatic CRM Software

Giving Thanks and Looking Forward to the New Year!

At Liftomatic, we’re already preparing for the New Year. However, it’s worth remembering that many year-end chores remain to be done.  We’re working on budgetary requirements for ordering new equipment before year end and also making sure that invoicing is done.  We’re quite familiar with our many great customers who also have these requirements and our goal is to see that your year to year transition is smooth and effective. In order to do this, we work with a variety of people, products, and businesses.

First, we work closely with our production and inventory managers to see that the right mix of products, PM kits, maintenance items, and capital equipment is available to service just about any last minute requirement that our customers may have.

We also staff accordingly during the last month of the year to ensure coverage for you- the customer, so that when you call, email, tweet, fax or contact us through Facebook messenger- we’re here and able to get you what you need. Our staff is here to answer any question or help with any issue that may arise during this hectic time of year.

Although we’re extremely focused on our customers and our work, we’re always in a giving spirit as well!  Sometimes, particular models are available in higher inventory levels and we’d like to shed a few pounds before the holiday feasts begin!  Ask us about special pricing and special offers on year-end close-outs or heavy stock items.  Our goal is to ensure customer satisfaction in every possible instance.

With the end of 2014, we’re pleased to say that our customers and everyone that we’ve worked with have allowed us to serve the drum handling market for 67 years.  As we enter our 68th, you have given us renewed energy to bring even better and more efficient customer service, even higher quality products and technology innovations that will keep your operations the most profitable and productive in your field.

Thanks for letting us be a part of your drum handling requirements.  We’ll continue to work hard to earn your trust and respect.

Happy & Safe Holidays to all.

-The Staff at Liftomatic

Productivity Demands in the Process & Blending Industries

Oil prices have been dropping more than 20 percent from the levels observed only a few months previously to this article’s writing. Consequently, gasoline prices have also been heading down and for many an average citizen it has been a nice bit of savings at the pump.

However, the big question for those in the business of processing is this: What do lower prices at the pump mean for companies such as Liftomatic, a premier custom manufacturer of material handling equipment for drum & barrel applications?

Deflationary pressures, especially in regards to oil prices, can have a serious impact on the economy on companies providing support to petroleum extraction and production companies. The essential reason for this is that when oil prices are up, extractors and producers have lots of capital for expansion and new projects requiring substantial infusions of capital. As prices drop, support firms can begin to feel the pinch on necessary product purchases that often have thin margins.

In this time of deflationary pressure, Liftomatic steps up and faces the conditions head on by assisting customers in taking advantage of product purchases while they can enjoy a more substantial return on their investments. As Liftomatic services and products can help meet the needs of those wishing to improve productivity and thereby also help with the bottom line, it makes perfect sense to act now and buy. Also, considering the additional measures of safety that Liftomatic’s equipment brings to the table now is the time to act during temporary pricing downturns.

Liftomatic stands steadfastly behind the motto that “quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten.” Furthermore, our customers will not only pay less now but enjoy greater profits in the future due to increased efficiencies, safety, and overall quality of Liftomatic Drum & Barrel Handling Applications.

Start the cycle of savings immediately by giving us a call today to discuss your current situation and requirements and the benefits of doing business with one of the industry’s premier processing companies.

New Below-Hook Lifters

As a leading provider of safe, efficient, and high quality equipment for the handling of drums and barrels, we are always looking for innovative products to better serve our wide range of customers throughout the world. We are proud to be able to expand our line of drum handling equipment and offer the new model BHDL-3A-HD fully automatic and mechanical below-hook attachment. This new model offers an impressive range of features, such as the ability to lift 55 gallon drums from an overhead position while the drum remains in a complete vertical position when used with this new below-hook model. The BHDL-3A-HD is perfect for use in the energy, hazardous waste, and chemical industries; as well as those that wish to manage drums without manual contact.


BHDL-3A-HD Top View

Additional features of the BHDL-3A-HD below-hook attachment include the ability to conform to the entire (55-gallon) steel or plastic drum body and the underside of the drum chime using three radial arms, a 3-point connection assistance to secure the drum during any movement or lifting, and an industry first “intuitive lock” system that secures the radial arms until the load is placed in its final resting location. This industry first system can manage drums with a range of 21”-23” in outside chime diameter.

Incorporating the new BHDL-3A-HD into existing handling equipment is seamless because it can be attached to any overhead lifting hoist or used with our model FTB-3 forklift adapter, allowing the unit to be used from the underside of a set of forklift forks. If you’re interested in learning more about our new drum handling equipment, visit our website.

Addressing the Skills-Gap in the Material Handling Industry

Browsing the headlines, it’s impossible to deny there’s a skills-gap threatening all branches of industry. As school curricula have changed to prepare students for college directly after graduation, young people are increasingly shifting away from vocational schools and opportunities. This presents a major problem for the United States industrial sector, which relies on a constant supply of fresh talent to accommodate an aging workforce nearing retirement. This is especially urgent today, as the Baby Boomers who have led industry for decades are now tasked with the challenge of finding a large enough talent pool to take the reins before they retire.

According to ThomasNet’s Industry Market Barometer released last year, 78% of survey respondents describe themselves as between the ages of 45 and 65 or older. Even if many of these professionals don’t plan to retire or leave any time in the near future, training and transitioning their eventual replacements can take years. And smaller companies face their own challenges, including not having a dedicated Human Resources department, in many cases. For employees, this can be a benefit, since there’s more leeway in creating and maintaining company policies. In smaller companies there may be more flex-time and the ability to work from home. But for the company itself, not having a staff specifically for recruitment can make it difficult to find the right people for any given job.

To address this problem, it’s important for employers to regularly look for people with varied skill-sets who can excel in numerous capacities. For example, here at Liftomatic, a Production Manager came to us after having served in the Air Force. His particular background included logistics and linguistics. This is a huge advantage to us because he can read and speak Chinese, which is an asset in global distribution. Though he didn’t have as much production experience, that was something we could teach him. Our staff is not immune to the threat of getting older, so it’s vitally important that we’re always on the look-out for talent that will be able to fill a number of roles as the need arises.

Though the industry is evolving, it’s important to note that it is, and has always been, a cornerstone of the American economy. Your groceries could not have gotten onto store shelves without specialized equipment moving it through production, to shipping, to the stockroom. Your car could not run without its oil having been transported in drums across vast distances. Material handling, and industry in general, relies on people to keep the supply chain moving. And we’re constantly looking for those people who have the skills and passion to continue moving us forward.