KITO PWB’s ENDO Spring Balancers can reduce clutter, improve efficiency, and become a valuable addition to modern assembly lines.
Spring balancers play a key part in industries across the world, for example in the food and beverage supply chain – abattoirs, the automotive industry, and others, usually working as part of small, medium, or large lifting operations.
The piece of equipment is designed so the suspended tool seems virtually “weightless”. As the tool is moved up and down, constant tension on the cable is achieved by the spring and tapered drum.
Tools can be suspended from the spring balancers, and can help to make working areas clearer, safer, and tidier in busy manufacturing environments.
Glenn Morgan, National Hoist Manager from KITO PWB, says spring balancers are often used in the manufacturing industry for the handling of welding jigs.
The company is the exclusive distributor of the products for Australia, which are built at its ISO 9001:2000 certified factory in Niigita, Japan.
Designed to compensate for the weight of work tools, components, and equipment, KITO PWB’s range of Endo Spring Balancers are ideally suited for suspending welding guns, electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic tools and supporting assembly components during the manufacturing process.
The company also offers a variety of specialty spring balancers with safety features, and tool balancers for clean-room applications, food preparation, static discharge, and air tools. The ENDO spring balancer line includes useful accessories as well.
Available for applications ranging from 0.3kg to 200kg, ENDO Spring Balancers by KITO PWB are a valuable addition to an assembly line.
Spring balancers can also support robot cells. In particular, Spring Balancers can hold all the cabling for robots. That means a robot could be operating on the factory floor, but all the cabling is out the back, using a spring balancer to hold the cables under tension,” he says.
“That way, the cables can then move with the robot – if the robot moves back, the cabling moves back.
The ERM Series Retractor
ENDO has recently released a new model, the ERM series retractor, designed to suspend various tools and equipment using the spring tension as a driving force for the other application. It is an ideal tool for used in automation, machine builders and manufacturing, and process lines.
The difference between retractors and spring balancers is that retractors are designed to retract the cable when no force is applied.
This means that an amount of downward force must be constantly applied to keep the suspended object at its extended position. The torque output of the rewind spring increases as the cable is extended and retracting the suspended object to the uppermost adjusted position when released. The ratchet stopper device can be turned on or off according to requirements. The retractor’s tension can be adjusted with just a hex-key and features a convenient and detachable top hook. Installation is also flexible, coming equipped with four mounting holes to attach to other devices.
“Retractors can also be used to hold electric screwdrivers. They can pull it down, use the screwdriver to manufacture the component. When they’re done, they can just let it go and it will move out of the way,” he says.
“They can then pull down a different screwdriver, for example one with a socket head fitting or hex head fitting. You don’t have a bench that’s cluttered with tools, they can just pull them down as they need them.”
The ERM Series Retractor supersedes an older product.
“One of the main benefits is it merges two of its products. It used to be they’d have one of the spring retractors had a ratchet mechanism and one without. So now they’ve made it so that it’s just the one product, and you have a switch where you can turn the ratchet mechanism on,” he says.
“They also found that a lot of the spring retractors were used in applications where a hook suspension is no ideal, so they’ve made it so you can bolt it directly to a frame.
“It might be you have a machining centre with a safety gate. You could use the spring retractor there to lift it up or to pull it down so you can then operate the machine.”
KITO PWB’s spring retractors are available for applications ranging from 1 to 20 kilograms and is designed for a long life – backed with a 12-month warranty.
By using this piece of equipment, manufacturers can enable tasks at production and assembly stations to become increasingly efficient, allowing staff to save time and work at faster paces.
Advantages of using an ENDO Spring Balancers:
- Suspends tools in assembly lines or other work areas
- Helps the assembler with repetitive tasks such as installing fasteners: screws, nuts, bolts, etc
- Holds fixtures, tools, welding guns, and similar equipment
- Improves efficiency and diminishes worker fatigue
- Stabilises tool positioning and contributes to work accuracy
- Contributes to a safer working environment
- Keeps fixtures, tools, and welding guns off the floor and clean
- No electric or pneumatic power is required and therefore a safer working environment is achieved
Balancer safety features:
- Fall arrest system – Prevents tool from dropping in the unlikely event that a spring breaks
- Snap-back protection – Works like the fall arrest system, except this is designed to stop the spool if the cable is ever cut
- Secondary support hangers – On top and bottom to accommodate safety chain
- Drum lock system – Available to lock the spool while replacing a tool
- Plug-in cable set – For easy cable replacement
- Tension gauge – Lets operator see tension setting
- Safety spring canister – For safe spring replacement