Winlet glazing robots can now be fitted with pad extensions – and the innovation is already impressing glass installers with its contribution to productivity and safety.
Hird Group has worked with Winlet to develop the vacuum lifter pad extensions so clients can use the ground-breaking glazing robot with mullioned window façade panels.
By fitting the pad extensions, the suction pads can reach the glass panel either side of a mullion.
The new lifting system has been used to fit unitised facades at the London Fruit and Wool Exchange, in Spitalfields, which is being transformed into offices, shops, and restaurants in a £200 million development.
A Winlet 785 glazing robot is being used to lift into place 150 two-panel mullioned unitised facades, each weighing up 700kg. Separately, a Winlet 575 glazing robot is installing 184 other facades, each weighing 330kg.
It was the first time that the project manager for the glass installation specialist carrying out the installation had used the machines. He said: “The Winlets have been very impressive.
“To be able to take it to the glass and pick up the load, then transport it across to the aperture for installation is very good. It’s much a simpler, faster, and safer process.
“Using the Winlet is much easier, and takes less time. I would say it’s allowing us to achieve a productivity increase of at least 50 per cent fitting these mullioned unitised facades.”
The Winlet 785 glazing robot has a maximum lifting capacity of 785kg, plus a maximum working height, and horizontal extension, of 3.9m.
The machine has excellent safety features. For example, in the event of a catastrophic vacuum failure, the vacuum valves stay open, so the load is still held.
Winlet glazing robots allows fully-automated movement and control of the load. This is combined with linear side shift and gyroscopic control in the vertical plane.
While a glass panel is moved into position it can be kept perfectly aligned with the aperture, significantly reducing manual handling, and increasing productivity.
Hird is the UK and Ireland authorised deader for Winlet glazing robots.
Hird Director John Wilding said: “Many of our clients say the Winlet is a game-changer. Main contractors are beginning to specify that Winlets should be used for glass installation.
“With a steady stream of innovations, such as the extension pads, to ensure the glazing robots meet the precise needs of glass installers and their clients, Winlet glazing robots are staying several steps head of the competition.”
The London Fruit and Wool Exchange is located close to Liverpool Street Station and directly opposite Christ Church, Nicholas Hawksmoor’s baroque masterpiece.
The development is expected to create 2,300 jobs, and is due to be completed in 2018.
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