Lifting magnets have become very popular in handling ferrous materials for very logical reasons. Not only are they more efficient than the traditional lifters but also very effectively help in reducing various direct and indirect costs. However, before we move on to the reasons why magnetic lifters are more advantageous than traditional lifters, let us first understand the types of magnetic lifters. Basically there are two types available:
- Permanent Magnets
Magnetic Lifters with Permanent Magnets: As the name suggests, these lifters have a permanent magnetic character which means, their magnetic capacity has been restricted through the use of permanently magnetised materials. Their magnetic fields are permanent and cannot spread past the preset or “pre-achieved” radius. A permanent magnetic lifter can be turned on and off by simply rotating a lever which usually comes with a safety latch that makes sure the magnet is not accidently switched on or off.
These lifters do not require any external power supplies to be functional. Their lifting capacities usually range between 330 and 10,000 pounds and are very easy to transport from one place to another. However, they do have a massive drawback and that is the permanent nature of their magnetic field. They cannot lift weights past their capacities and often require multiple lifters to lift extremely heavy objects like containers. Also, they are not very efficient at lifting stacks of thin materials.
Magnetic Lifters with Electromagnets: Electromagnetic lifters have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, there are ways to eliminate the disadvantages almost completely thus making it the better choice over the permanent magnetic lifters. An electromagnetic lifter basically has two components: a coil of electrically energised material (usually copper) and a steel core.
The coil is wrapped around the core and when electricity passes through the combination produces a magnetic field by realigning the particles within the ferrous material that needs to be lifted. However, since most electromagnets run on DC current, these lifters also include a rectifier that transforms AC current to DC. Depending on the coil, core and electricity supplied, these magnets’ capacities can surpass that of a permanent magnet to quite some extent. The best advantage an electromagnetic lifter offers is its varying capacity for lifting. Since the magnetic field can be adjusted whenever necessary, same lifter can be used for both thick and thin materials without employing multiple magnets of the same kind. But as we can guess, a sudden power failure while using an electromagnetic lifter can be disastrous. However, there are power generators available in market that are especially built for these lifters and supply them with electricity during such power failures.
Why Lifting Magnets Are Better Than Traditional Lifters?
- The first obvious benefit that magnetic lifters have over traditional lifters like hooks and chains is efficiency. Unlike the traditional ones, magnetic lifters just have to attach itself to the top of the intended load and then lift and place it to the intended location. They do not require any drilling or extensive manual handling. In addition to being more time efficient they also increase workplace safety.
- As mentioned in the previous paragraph, magnetic lifters do not require any drilling on the load surface, which means no refilling and refinishing costs. This way magnetic lifters cut off a considerable amount of indirect costs.
- Lifting magnets are longer lasting than traditional lifters and thus participate in a company’s long term profit gains.