by Jake Knaub
In just eight days, workers installed 245 Insulated Metal Panels (IMP's) to erect a 17,500 square-foot [1,626 m2] addition to WPG's manufacturing facility. The construction crew was briefly trained in the use of WPG lifters with IMP's, and within a day they had developed an efficient installation routine. Thanks to their hard work and WPG's state-of-the-art lifters, Powr-Grip's production floor expanded into the new addition in just two short weeks. You'll love what installers have to say:
Being in the materials handling business, Powr-Grip's choice to use insulated metal panels comes as no surprise. These panels are prefabricated siding and roofing pieces, complete with 26-gauge steel interior and exterior surfaces, as well as 4 inches [10 cm] of polyurethane insulation in between. One panel snaps into another, then another, and before you know it there is a completed building standing before you. IMP's are also highly energy-efficient and feature a clean, modern look.
However, they can be cumbersome to install: Traditionally, wall panels were drilled, bolted to a bar, and then hoisted into place. Once a panel was installed, the bar would be removed and the holes filled and repaired. For the roof, slings were used to move and install panels in place. These slings warped and bent the edges of the panels. The edges then had to be bent back into shape, by hand, so that they could attach to each other. The roofing panels also come in stacks. Each of these panels is positioned in an alternating order: face up, face down, etc. To use these panels, a team of four workers had to lift the panels, and flip every other one. Not only is this cumbersome, it also increases labor costs.
Issues like these have begun to rapidly move the industry to adopt vacuum lifters. Vacuum lifters do not damage the panels like bolts and slings do. They also make "flipping" panels much easier. Luckily, Wood's Powr-Grip specializes in designing and building lifters specifically for this purpose. By attaching to the center of the panels, leaving the edges free, vacuum lifters allow panels to be set directly in place. And instead of four workers, now only two were needed to flip panels, thanks to our MTCL Cladding Lifter.
IMP's are the future, and the future is now with Wood's Powr-Grip Vacuum Lifters - the same lifters we make in our expanded, more efficient facility.
The new addition has been a welcome improvement in tackling the steadily increasing demand for Wood's many Hand Cups, Below-The-Hook Lifters, and Vacuum Mounting Cups. The expansion increased production and boosted efficiency by supplying the space needed to streamline manufacturing processes.
Jake Knaub is a Staff Writer at Wood's Powr-Grip. He researches, prepares, and composes materials for publication.